These mini key lime pie desserts are much simpler to make than a traditional key lime pie but bursting with just as much flavor. They're also vegan, gluten-free, and Clean Program-approved so these petite desserts can be enjoyed any time.
Citrus helps keep this dessert fresh and light. The lime juice also packs a slew of benefits to the body. For starter, limes are packed with potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, and calcium. The vitamin C and flavonoids found in limes help promote our body's natural production of collagen. Collagen is important for skin elasticity, gut lining, immunity, and joint health. The acidity of limes health stimulate digestive enzymes, so consuming lime-filled foods and drinks will help keep things moving and prevent constipation.
Limes make an exceptional addition to desserts in particular since they help regulate the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. This helps prevent dramatic spikes in blood sugar and the resulting sugar-crash after eating many traditional desserts. Don't skip the zest either! Since the skin helps protect the fruit from natural elements and threats while growing, it naturally contains the majority of the antioxidant and nutrients in the fruit.
The crust of this dessert is a far cry from the dairy, gluten, and sugar-laden pie crusts you'll find in many bakeries. Made from a base of almonds and coconut flour, you'll get a healthy dose of protein and fat to keep you full for longer after eating this dessert. Both coconut and almond flours score low on the glycemic index, meaning they'll help keep blood sugar stable - a quality often lacking in sweet treats. Like the coconut cream in the filling, coconut flour contains high levels of healthy saturated fats in the form of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). Coconut flour is also high in fiber and protein and low in sugar.
Cashews make an excellent base for the creamy filling of this pie. Cashews are filled with nutrients like vitamin B6, vitamin E, and vitamin K, plus minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, iron, and magnesium. Research shows that consuming more nuts can help lower your risk for cardiovascular disease since they help lower "bad" cholesterol levels in the body. They also contain arginine, which helps protect the structure and health of artery walls.
2 cups raw cashews, soaked
1/2 cup full-fat coconut cream
2 tablespoons coconut palm nectar
1/4 cup lime juice (if you cannot find key limes, regular limes are fine)
1 cup almond flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup ghee or coconut oil, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Step 1: Assemble ingredients and soak cashews for at least 2 hours (or overnight). If you're in a hurry, boil water, pour over cashews and let sit for 15-30 minutes.
Step 2: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all dry crust ingredients. Then, cream dry ingredients together with vanilla and ghee. Spread mixture out onto parchment-lined baking sheet in 1/4 inch layer. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool completely.
Step 3: Add all filling ingredients to blender or food processor. Blend on high until creamy and smooth. If the mixture is too thick, slowly add water one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is obtained.
Step 4: Break up cooled crust into a crumbled texture. Fill the bottom of 4-5 small mason jars and lightly pack crust in. Save some of the crust to sprinkle on top of pies. You may have extra crust left over which can be saved for another recipe.
Step 5: Pour cashew mixture over crust and spread evenly. Top with more crust mixture, lime zest, and lime slices if desired.
Step 6: Store in fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.
Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble
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