No Eggs, No Dairy, No Problem

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If you opt for a vegan lifestyle yourself, or sit down frequently to meals with vegans, you'll have to give up on a lot of foods. Desserts, happily, don't have to be one of them. This vegan key lime pie recipe goes together in just a few minutes: It's quick and easy enough to make over and over again, and tasty enough that you'll want to.

Adapted from a recipe at Minimalist Baker

Total Time: 30 minutes, plus freezing time | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (takes a sleeve of graham crackers, or slightly more)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or vegan butter alternative, melted and divided
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup agave nectar or other sweetener, to taste

Directions:

  1. Soak the cashews overnight in cold water. 
  2. Heat your oven to 375F. In a small mixing bowl, toss half the melted coconut oil with the cracker crumbs until the crumbs are well coated. Press the crumbs into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate, packing them down gently with your fingers or the back of a spoon.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is golden and smells toasty, then remove the crust from the oven and set it aside. 
  4. Drain the cashews and transfer them to a high-powered blender. Add the remaining ingredients and puree to a smooth, creamy consistency. Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell, cover it loosely with foil or plastic wrap, and freeze until firm. This can take 2 to 4 hours, depending on your freezer. 
  5. Serve the pie immediately after it freezes, or enclose it in a heavy-duty freezer bag and keep it for up to 2 weeks. Either way, remove it from your freezer 10 to 15 minutes before you plan to serve it so it has time to soften slightly. 

Tip

  • To make this dessert suitable for celiacs, replace the regular graham crackers with a gluten-free variety,  or for low-carb diets, use a nut-based crust instead. 
  • If you're using fresh key limes, you'll need about 7 to get the right amount of juice. Before you juice them, zest them if you wish and use the zest as a garnish. If you can't find key limes, the dessert tastes just fine when made with regular lime juice. You'll need only 3 or 4 regular limes, because they're a lot larger. 
  • This recipe will make a dozen individual tartlets, if you prefer. The single-serving size provides a healthy dessert or snack you can pull out of the freezer at any time, so it can help you avoid less virtuous snacks.