Key Lime Pie made with Avocado

lime-fruitKEY LIME PIE is another pie my friends remind me to make. Fresh key limes is the secret ingredient. Try and get the key limes instead of regular limes. It tastes just as good either way. The first time I had the Blonde Giraffe’s” key lime pie in Key West, Florida I was hooked. It was that good. Using a family recipe from their Brazilian grandmother, the Blonde Giraffe‘s pie shop flourished and delivered key lime pies all over the U.S. (No longer delivers (the pies) and the Blonde Giraffe has moved). They added key lime zest to the whipped egg white topping. Instead of their traditional evaporated milk, we will be using whipping cream + cream cheese.  We will also be adding avocado to this health -TRENDING key lime pie!

Best Key Lime Pie I Ever Had!

Best Key Lime Pie!

BLONDE GIRAFFE – Home of the award winning KEY LIME PIE! When I came down to Florida, my sister would leave a Key Lime Pie in the freezer for us. What a treat! I would get up at night and wander into the kitchen for a treat and hack away at the key lime pie like a block of ice. It was just as good frozen! I guarantee it!
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INGREDIENTS
300 grams cream cheese
200 ml whipping cream for mixing with avocado
150 ml whipping cream
1 medium-large Avocado, cut into big cubes
1/4 cup sugar substitute – Stevia, organic coconut sugar, monk fruit, etc.
30 ml water
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
Zest of 2 limes
1 sachet Gelatin Powder
Limes + Key Lime Concentrate + Key Limes

Limes + Key Lime Juice + Key Limes

Pie Crust:

  • 1 cup shelled walnuts
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar substitute
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed anise seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    1. DIRECTIONS: Heat oven to 350 Degrees Farenheit. (177 C.).  In a food processor, pulse walnuts until finely ground. Add graham cracker crumbs, 1 tablespoon sugar, anise seeds and salt; pulse just until combined. Add 2 tablespoons water; pulse until ingredients are thoroughly combined and resemble wet sand. Press into bottom of an 8 1/2-inch spring form pan. Bake 20 minutes; cool completely.

      The walnuts are a healthier option.  The tiny amount of anise seeds give it an interesting flavour. An almond crust would also be a very healthy option.

Three-Ingredient Almond Crust

This easy-to-make crust contains just three ingredients and browns up beautifully. You might even like it better than traditional pie crust!

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar substitute

Instructions (pie crust)

  1. Melt the butter.
  2. Combine the sugar and almond flour in a bowl.
  3. Pour the butter into the almond mixture and stir until well combined.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently until all the almond flour is incorporated with the butter and the dough forms a moist ball in your hands.
  5. Place the ball of almond flour dough on the bottom of the nine-inch spring form pan.
  6. Use your fingers to press the dough evenly out the sides.

INSTRUCTIONS (FOR PIE)
1. Zest the lime first before extracting the juice. Set aside the lime zest and juice
2. Boil 150 ml of whipping cream in a small sauce pan and add it to the gelatin powder in a medium bowl, stir for 2 minutes until completely dissolved. strain through fine sieve. Cool it down.
3. Using a food processor combine avocado, cream cheese, sugar substitute, 200 ml. whipping cream, lime juice, zest and 30 ml of water until everything is smooth and well combined.. Pour in the cooled gelatin cream mixture and continue processing until well combined, cream and smooth in texture.key-lime-pie-avocado
4. Pour avocado lime cheese cake into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top. chill in the freezer for 1 hour to set.
5. Release the pie from the pan if using spring form pan. If using a mousse ring (which I used I this recipe) use a blow torch and run around the edge of the ring to loosen the mousse and remove the ring.
6. Garnish with lime slices and zest on top.
TOPPING
Whipping Cream (optional)

HAT2FOOD TIPS
You can substitute quark  (even cottage cheese) for the cream cheese to have a lighter side. My aunt (German influence) always uses quark in baking her cheese cakes. For this recipe I was able to produce an 8 inch and one 4 inch pie. This recipe can fill a 10 inch pan too.
IMG_3667didyouknow2
WHIPPING CREAM:  People sometimes use half and half as a substitute (12% milk fat) for whipping cream. “Whipping cream” is made up of 30 percent fat, while cartons labeled “heavy cream” or “heavy whipping cream” must contain 36 percent milk fat. The fat gives stiffness to the cake or pie. That is why we added the gelatin -for stability. Evaporated milk contains 7.5% milk fat. Remember…the evaporated milk is still susceptible to microbiological spoilage even though the evaporated milk is packaged in cans and heat-sterilized. Tropical countries use evaporated milk a lot since refrigeration may be a problem in some areas.

Forbidden Black Rice Salad

Black Rice was once “only” enjoyed by the Emperor and his royal court. It was forbidden for the commoners to eat this exquisite black rice. The tender, nutty flavoured rice is presumed to enrich one’s life and promote longevity.rice3 After I brought my chilled rice salad to the office,  I noticed that all the staff made it the following week!  It travels well and is a great picnic salad.  A refreshing change from your typical summer salads.
I researched and tried out several versions but this recipe from the Bon Appétit June 2012 needs no improvement. black rice salad photo provided by Jason Lowe, Bon Appétit

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BLACK RICE SALAD – WITH MANGO AND NUTS
INGREDIENTS
2 oranges
1/4 cup or more fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
2 cups black rice
Kosher salt
2 just-ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, cut into 1/2″dice
1 cup finely fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup finely chopped red onion (about 1/2 large onion)
1/2 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts or unsalted cashews or other nuts
6 scallions, thinly sliced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded, minced
black-rice-ingredients
INSTRUCTIONS
1 ) Remove peel and white pith from oranges.
2 ) Working over a medium bowl to catch juices and using a small sharp knife, cut between membranes to release orange segments into bowl. Squeeze membranes over bow to release any juices. Strain juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl; reserve orange segments.
3 ) Add 1/4 cup lime juice, oil, and fish sauce (if using) to bowl with orange juice; whisk to blend.
4 ) Set dressing aside.
5 ) Bring rice and 2 and 3/4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Season lightly with salt. Cover, Reduce heat to low and simmer until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let stand, covered for 15 minutes.
6 ) Spread out rice on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with dressing and season lightly with salt; let cool.
7 ) Place mangoes and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add rice and toss gently to combine.
8 ) Season lightly with salt and more lime juice if desired.
Serves: 6–8

didyouknowDID YOU KNOW?
While whole grain brown rice and red rice also contain beneficial antioxidants; only black rice contains special variety of antioxidants known as anthocyanin antioxidants. (Thus the dark purple colour -like blueberries)  Additionally, black rice also contains an important antioxidant – Vitamin E, which is useful in maintaining eye, skin, and immune health in addition to other important functions. Forbidden Black Rice contains 18 amino acids (same as Aloe Vera), iron, zinc, copper, carotene, and fiber. Mangos are #1 ~ the most popular fruit in the world.

black-rice

Emperor’s Dining Room

In ancient times, Emperors reserved this wonderful black rice for their own consumption because it was thought that it would extend their lives. Black rice does provide many health benefits that the western world is now embracing with gusto.  It helps fight against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes with high amount of flavanoid phytonutrients and protects heart health (plaque formation). Herbalists use black rice as a prevention and treatment for ailments and as a blood tonifier. 

Black Rice was also considered to be somewhat of an aphrodisiac at one time.  I suspect the Emperors down throughout the ages shared their black rice stock with their consorts or concubines.

Heirloom Forbidden Black rice is a strain from Indonesian Rice.

Heirloom Forbidden Black rice is a strain from Indonesian Black Rice. photo provided by Spikenard and Myrrh

Black Rice is surely ‘one of the’… if not ‘the most’ special variety of rice that is cultivated today. Its special, near medicinal values is truly stunning, even today with all of our medical knowledge and tools. Every time you sit down to enjoy a few servings of this awesome super food, you can remind yourself that you are eating something that was once reserved for royalty. If a commoner was caught eating this rice it was “off with their heads”.

VARIATIONS
If you are trying to find something else to do with your avocados, my friend Monique from Ambitious Kitchen added avocado to her black rice salad. It is a nice touch and goes well. Instead of unsalted peanuts (Bon Appétit version), I used cashews while Monique added almonds to her salad. If you have the time and patience, roasted pecans would be wonderful too.
avocado-mango-blackrice-salad

Another gluten-free recipe that is filled with flavour , colour and the YUM-Factor!

kids32BACK TO SCHOOL LUNCH!
A light touch: For milder flavour, use leeks instead of red onion and yellow or red bell peppers instead of jalapeno peppers. Forget the nuts (allergies)  if you like.  Substitute other herbs for the cilantro. e.g. parsley, basil, fresh mint, fresh-soft rosemary (my favorite) or even peppery rocket lettuce. Know what your kids like to eat. I would even test out fresh oregano in this ‘forbidden’ black rice salad.  COLLEGE KIDS: Add a smidgen of fresh pressed garlic ~ to boost the immune system.  If it is not fresh I would not use the herbs. The dried herbs taste different. They have flavour, but are better suited in baking and cooking.

Y-U-M-M      Y-U-M-M-M!

The EGG Factor -Mayonnaise

Who wrote the book, Great Eggspectations? Charles Chickens!

Summertime craves mayonnaise in cold potato salad, creamy coleslaw and more.  They all start from the simple egg.  The most healthy and versatile food. Homemade mayonnaise is easy to make and better than store bought ( no preservatives ). The flavour is just outstanding!  Mayonnaise is  a “mother”  or  base for Rémoulade, Tartar sauce, Green Goddess Salad Dressing,  Aioli and others.  Historically, it was a tradition in France that  the man of the house made mayonnaise by hand with a whisk, every Sunday.
When I first made this at my neighbour’s place for a dish that she was serving to her guests I showed her how to make it as I was doing it. She thanked me but commented that she really wasn’t interested.  She doesn’t use mayonnaise and she would never make it. That was a year ago.  She now makes it regularly and uses it as a sauce base for  salmon and other dishes. Still raves and shares her recipe with others….spreading the news!

The beauty of home made mayonnaise is not only about the incredible flavour, it is also because of the lack of preservatives and the health benefits.

Natural mayonnaise ingredients and the sauce itself.

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MY MAYONNAISE Recipe
RECIPE
Ingredients
1 to 1 1/2cups of avocado oil (or light olive oil)
1 egg
1 tsp mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt (optional)
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

avocado_oil

DIRECTIONS
1.  Start with all your ingredients at room temperature.  ( eggs need about 30 minutes to come to room temperature ).
2.  Combine the egg with mustard and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor or  blender/
3. Slowly add the oil in a very thin stream –with the processor running.  Keep beating or whisking at a high rate.
TIP: Processor: Pour  oil into the pusher tube, streaming  through the small hole until completely combined.  If your pusher tube does not have a hole, just drill a very small hole in the tube.

Homemade mayonnaise is so easy and so, so good. Daniel Neman shows how to make it in Prep School.

 

This automatically produces a thin stream of oil to pour out.  You don’t have to stand there dripping the oil by hand.
4.  Add the rest of the ingredients near the end and blend together.
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FIXING RUINED MAYO:  Your mayo may separate during or after it had been refrigerated. Refrigerated separation is a quick fix.  Add a tsp of water and whisk it back into a creamy texture.  If your mayo separates during the making process then add a tablespoon of warm water to a warmed bowl and pour the broken mayo slowing into the bowl as you whisk or use a blender.  James Peterson recommends adding another egg yolk.

Broken Mayo: Looks Like Pancake Batter

Julia Child suggests a teaspoon of prepared mustard. Why did the mayo separate? This may occur when you add in the oil too quickly or the initial ingredients were too cold. It is not because you added too much oil.  Heston Blumenthal  tested this theory.  However, it only works well with a cement mixer.  Heston’s mayo recipe is half way through this video—> Heston’s eggs and mayonnaise recipe.  If your mayo is too thick add a splash of water or  lemon juice  and whisk it into a fluffy texture.

Total time under 5 minutes, makes 1 1/2 cups.
Refrigerate for 4-7 days. It won’t last that long!

HAT2FOOD TIP: Blanch your egg in the shell in hot water for 10 seconds. Then, quickly place the egg in icy cold water bath.  Blanching destroys some surface bacteria (in theory).  If you add blanched basil leaves, (add with the egg), when making your mayo – they stay green in the mix. Otherwise the basil will quickly turn black.

Mayonnaise:  Green Basal, Garlic And hot mustard powder & white pepper

IMMERSION BLENDER: If you use an immersion blender, start by keeping the blade at the very bottom of the exact fitting container – Use a mason jar or a glass measuring cup. Start with slow pulses. For best results, make sure you start by dripping in the oil very slowly. The first 30 seconds is critical. If you use this method with a mason jar, all you need to do is add the lid and pop your mayo in the fridge.

WHISK METHOD: The challenger’s mayo – the best workout for your upper arms. Substitute 2 egg yolks for one egg if using the manual method.  Also use only one cup of oil.

Eggs are a Nutrient Powerhouse
Intolerances aside, eggs are a great food.
Yes, the fat is all in the yolk; and all the nutrients.
One egg provides:
• 245 IUs of vitamin A
• 37 IUs of vitamin D
• 19 mg potassium
• 25 mcg folate
• 22 mg calcium

The Perfect Egg

didyouknow2DID YOU KNOW:   The Choline in eggs helps make phosphatidylcholine to benefit your liver, nervous system, and brain.  According to Dr. Jonny Bowden in his book The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.

Solution: Buy The Best Eggs, Cook Them Right and Eat Infrequently