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Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie

Instead of turkey and pie (and hopefully football) David and I opted to spend our Thanksgiving week in Costa Rica indulging in sun and clear water, yoga and surfing, tropical drinks and fresh fish.  But before our departure a small taste of Thanksgiving was necessary. David’s favorite part of Thanksgiving is the sweet potato pie his mother makes. As a little boy he delighted in the once a year truth that to eat it for dinner meant that he could also enjoy it for breakfast the following morning. Because I didn’t want David to miss out on his favorite sweet treat and because I’ve been wanting to create a version without all the added sugar and dairy I managed to put together this surprisingly simple and healthful Sweet Potato Pie before our departure.

Having indulged in a bit of pie I would be remiss if I neglected to give thanks for a few things I’m grateful for. The first is to be with the one I love in such a beautiful, peaceful place. Next are the people (and in this I’m obviously including my constant companion Charlie boy) in my life whom I love and who love me. And the last but absolutely not least is the rare opportunity to follow my passion…to truly find myself in food. I couldn’t have done the latter without everyone who has supported me, allowed me to be vulnerable and fumble through this journey to forget who I thought I should be and become who I am.

I made mini pies because I have little pie molds but this recipe works just fine for a large pie as well.

2 medium sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons chia seed

For the crust:
1 cup pecans
1 cup rolled oats
8-10 dates
2 tablespoons almond butter

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Pierce the sweet potatoes a few times with a knife or fork. Bake on a baking sheet lined with foil for 60 minutes or until very soft.

Put the 2 tablespoons of chia seed in a small bowl with 6 tablespoons of water. Let sit for a few minutes to allow the chia seed to swell. This is the egg substitute so it will mimic the consistency of egg.

Pulse the pecans, oats, dates and almond butter in a blender or Vitamix. Careful not to over blend – the mixture should be evenly ground but not a powder or paste. Use a bit of coconut oil to grease the inside of the pie dish or pan. Empty the crust mixture into the pie pan and using your fingers, press evenly onto the bottom and sides of the pan. You want about a 1/4 inch thickness all around.

When the potatoes are ready, remove from the oven and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 F. Slice open the potatoes and remove the flesh into a mixing bowl. Add the spices, chia seed and almond milk and whisk together by hand or with an electric mixer for 1-2 minutes. When ready it should set up slightly. Spoon mixture into the crust and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until the crust and potato filling start to brown slightly. Allow to cool before serving. Or refrigerate and serve the next day…for breakfast or lunch or dessert. Happy Thanksgiving!


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