Merry Christmas!!! Christmas festivities have been going strong here at the Shannon household. All three (count ’em, THREE) trees are decorated, the living room is filled with nutcrackers and we have just about finished the Christmas cookies/desserts/heaven.
After a failed attempt at thin mints, I decided to make something new for dessert this year. Martha Anne has been raving about her chocolate pie, and after getting the recipe, I decided to Kathleen-ify it and add it to our 2014 line-up.
This fudge pie has a special ingredient, like Minny’s pie, from The Help. Unlike Minny’s pie, that special ingredient is just coconut sugar (much, MUCH better haha). While I don’t recommend adding it to every meal (it is, after all, still a sweetener), it is a little better than regular sugar and can be used as a direct substitute. First, it contains a higher level of nutrients – including zinc, calcium, iron and copper – and the B vitamin inositol (mood booster) and antioxidants. Second, it is lower on the glycemic index (35 versus 60-75 for regular sugar), and isn’t as likely to cause rapid spikes in blood sugar. Third, it contains 10% less fructose than regular sugar. Glucose is the primary sugar that is metabolized by all of the cells in our bodies and used for energy. Fructose is also a sugar, but it is metabolized through a different pathway (I won’t get into the biochemistry of it – we ain’t got time fo dat). The liver is the only organ that can metabolize fructose, which cannot be used as efficiently as glucose for energy. Diets too high in fructose cause the liver to convert excess fructose into fat, and can lead to liver damage and insulin resistance. No fun. (FYI Agave Nectar, another sweetener thought to be healthier than high fructose corn syrup, still contains 90% fructose (HFCS has 55%), so it still poses this problem).
Now that I’ve given you all a nice little science lesson (Merry Christmas!) it’s time for me to dig in. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!
Hazelnut Fudge Pie
Makes a lot of servings
For the crust:
2 cups hazelnut flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
For the filling:
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
3 1/2 tbsp cocoa
2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
1. Blend the ingredients for the crust together in a food processor until they form a single piece.
2. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan with coconut oil, and press the pie dough into the pan.
3. Pulse the coconut oil, sugar and cocoa in the food processor until evenly mixed.
4. Add the eggs, coconut milk and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
5. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake at 325 F for 45 minutes.
6. Top with coconut whipped cream and enjoy!