Coming home from Memphis a few years ago, I stumbled on an immediately mouthwatering recipe for Chocolate Pecan Pie (in of all places the airport!). The recipe had all the usual unhealthy trappings of Southern food: lots of “bad” fat and highly processed sugars. But by the time I got home, I had figured out which health-supportive ingredients could be substituted for the less healthy ones. I decided to use maple syrup, for instance, instead of light corn syrup. In the end, the only resemblance my pie had with the original one was the chocolate and pecans.
2Combine the almonds, pecans, flour, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and grind to a fine meal. Transfer to a large bowl and add the coconut. Add the dates and coconut oil to the food processor and process until the dates form into a gooey mass, about 1 minute. Add the dry ingredients back into the food processor and process until everything is mixed well and starts to form into a ball.
3Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie tin. With clean hands, knead the dough for a minute or so to ensure that the oil is evenly distributed. Press the dough into the pan, making sure that the bottom, sides, and rim are covered (the sides should be slightly thicker than the bottom). With a fork, prick several holes into the bottom of the crust. Set aside.
For the filling:
1In a blender, combine the soymilk and arrowroot and puree for 30 seconds. Add the banana and puree for another 15 seconds. Set aside.
2In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, melt the chocolate chips. In a large bowl, immediately combine the melted chocolate chips with the soymilk mixture, maple syrup, vanilla, coconut oil, pecans, and coconut. Mix well. Scrape the filling into the crust with a rubber spatula and spread evenly.
3Place the pie on a cookie sheet. Cover the crust with aluminum foil and bake for about 20 minutes, until filling is firm.
4Remove from the oven, cool for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
5Garnish each slice with a few mint leaves.
This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food team.