frosty banana and peanut butter chocolate pie

Posted on Feb 7, 2012 in Food

That up there, that is a chocolate pie. Not only that, but it’s also a healthy chocolate pie. It has no added sugar, a whole grain crust and the filling is made up of a metric crapload of bananas. It’s the dessert equivalent of eating grilled chicken and broccoli if chicken and broccoli were incredibly delicious and decadent. This pie is how you do clean desserts.

But, the motivation for this pie comes from a much darker, sugar- and fat-filled place. And that place is sea salt caramel gelato.

I picked this stuff up on a whim at a local specialty grocery store last weekend. As I was putting away the rest of my haul into the fridge, I twisted open the jar and just snuck a taste. Fireworks went off. Angels sang. Colors were brighter. My world was officially a better place. This was the most amazing, delicious and incredible frozen dessert I’d ever had. Before I knew it, I was wrist deep in the pint scraping every last morsel of creamy, salted goodness off the bottom. Totally satisfied with my decision to make a lunch of gelato, I turned the container over and, after a little sugar-fueled number-crunching, realized that I’d inhaled 960 calories and 44 grams of fat worth of deliciousness.

In that moment I realized that I really need to work on my healthy dessert recipe repertoire.

You see, there was something so appealing and comforting about that gelato. Something that I think a lot of my cleaned-up dessert recipes are missing. Sure, they satisfy the sweet tooth, but they don’t satisfy the need for pure, decadent, sugary bliss. I’m talking about the kind of culinary satisfaction that can only come from a hot fudge brownie sundae or a slice of your favorite cheesecake or your Mom’s famous cherry pie. Now, I’m not opposed to sometimes making a lunch out of THE BEST GELATO EVER, because my general food philosophy is “everything in moderation, including moderation” but this time was inspiration to up the game on my everyday desserts.

So I headed to the kitchen, determined to create a recipe that was both healthy and totally decadent, and this pie was born.

Now, I’m not going to say it’s quite as satisfying as that gelato (seriously folks, if you can find some, go buy it), but it’s pretty darn good. The decadence of it all hinges on the quality and sweetness of your bananas. Make sure to use perfectly ripe and firm bananas—preferably the ones that have just started to spot. I hate eating ripe bananas—I like mine with a bit of green—but you really need the extra sugars to make this pie what it is. And that’s totally delicious.

Let’s chat a bit about the crust. This past Fall, I became a pie-crust making rockstar. I mastered the art of a buttery, flaky crust and I was pretty proud of that accomplishment! This crust is not that crust. This crust is somewhere between a graham cracker crust and a regular crust. Not flaky, but dense, but with an interesting crunch and flavor thanks to the added unsalted peanuts. I really loved this crust, mostly because it was such an interesting change of pace! I’d imagine it’d be fabulous in a fruit pie because the filling would soak into the crust and make for an amazing treat. Feel free to test this guy out with all your favorite pie recipes and let me know how you like the different texture and taste.

In the end, I’m really, very happy to add this beautiful, healthy recipe to my dessert repertoire. I think it’d be a really nice healthy treat for a summer day (maybe side-by-side with my yogurt pops on 4th of July). But even with all the yumminess of this pie, I still definitely put a small (tiny, really) scoop of gelato on top when I ate it. I just can’t quit you, gelato. I just can’t quit you…

Frosty Banana and Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Makes: 1 pie

Adapted from: The Best of Clean Eating 2

Ingredients

For the Crust
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 1/3 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon safflower or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Filling
  • 3 large, ripe bananas (about 1-1/2 pound)
  • 1/4 cup honey (optional, only add if bananas aren’t ripe)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
For the Topping
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate, chopped

Instructions

For the Crust
  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and peanuts. Pulse until mixed thoroughly and peanuts are well-chopped.
  3. In a spouted measuring cup, combine milk, egg yolk, oil, vinegar and vanilla. With the processor running on low, slowly stream the liquid into the dry ingredients. Process until combined and crumbly.
  4. Turn out mixture onto a floured surface and form into a mound, then into a flat disc. Roll out using a rolling pin until crust is about 12″ in diameter. Transfer crust to an ungreased pie pan, trim crust to about 1″ from edge. Fold under and pinch, creating a fluted edge. Poke bottom of crust with fork to create steam vents.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until edges and center are just golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely before filling.
For the Filling and Topping
  1. In a blender, combine all filling ingredients and blend on high until very smooth. Be sure to check for banana chunks before stopping. Pour filling into pre-baked crust. Top pie with chocolate and peanut topping. Cover tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for 2-3 hours or until filling is solid and cold. If frozen for longer than that, let rest on the counter for at least 30 minutes to soften before cutting and serving.
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What’s your favorite healthy/clean dessert recipe?

32 Comments

  1. Oh, man. I need this pie in my life!

    • Let me know if you make it and how you like it! :) I think everyone needs it in their life.

  2. Looks delicious! I have a new favorite dessert – cheesecake mousse. It’s made with cottage cheese, pudding mix, and gelatin. It sounds weird, but it’s actually really good. I also really like protein pancakes for a healthier dessert. It really feels like dessert when I put raspberry sauce on them.

    • YUM! I love mousse. I make a really yummy one with tofu and chocolate. And now I totally want pancakes. :D

  3. Sounds & looks yummy. Can you suggest a gluten-free flour to use in the crust?

    • I really like chickpea flour, but I’ve never used it in the crust before. Let me know if you find something that works well!

  4. Girl…I can’t seem to get enough of you this week. You are my gelato!

    • Hahah, thanks Courtney! :) But I’m no where near as delicious, I promise.

  5. Ha! I saw this while in San Francisco a few weeks ago and could kick myself for not trying it! Huge kudos for trying to make something equally as satisfying. Can’t wait to give them both a try

    • DEFINITELY try it out if you see it somewhere near you. So. Good.

  6. *dies* I want a big slice of THAT pie! <3

    • I don’t see why you couldn’t make the crust vegan with a flax or chia egg. :) If you try it out, let me know!

  7. My boyfriend is nuts about the gelato! We shared some of the chocolate kind once and the whole thing was seriously gone in about TWO SECONDS hahaha

    • We just bought the chocolate kind, and it was awesome, too, but NOTHING compared to the salted caramel. LIFE. CHANGING.

  8. This, is impressive! I love the ingredients list, definitely something I would make :D And it looks delicious. I wish my hubby liked chocolate :( But I’m assuming since it’s frozen I could just leave it in the freezer and take it out slice by slice. I’m curious why you used bread flour for the crust though? Yours looks great, I’m just wondering if you think a lighter pastry flour would be OK in it’s place?

    • Pastry flour would definitely be okay. Honestly, all I had was bread flour and it worked so I wrote it up! :P

  9. Hey coming out of lurking status here, ha! I’ve been following your blog/spark(my username is runswitrun) :) for quite a while. Anyway, thought I should be somewhat social–eh? Best thing I’ve eaten this week would be my first green monster shake. Decided to finally try it out after seeing it everywhere and really enjoyed it! Handful of spinach, coconut milk, 1 banana some chia seeds and a scoop of chocolate protein powder. YUM!

  10. hahahaha oops finally commented and I did it on the wrong post. damn I’m good.

    • Hahah, that’s alright! I’m glad you decided to come out of lurking and join the conversation. :) And SO glad you liked the green monster!

  11. Sounds almost exactly like a recipe from Clean Eating Magazine from the summer. Like, almost the exact same pie.

    • Yup, it was adapted from that recipe (and I credited the original source in the recipe). I love Clean Eating! :) I talked a few posts back from this about how I got a new Clean Eating cookbook for Christmas and how there would be a lot of adapted recipes from them because I was so inspired.

  12. I first clicked on this on FoodGawker expecting to find yet another uberly unhealthy recipe. I was estatic to find out my assumtions were wrong! I cannot wait to try this!! Thanks for sharing :)

    • That’s my favorite part about it!

  13. Yum! This is a scrumptious looking pie. I’m such a huge fan of all hear flavors. I’m definitely going to have to try this.

    • Hope you love it! :D

  14. Oh my lord!Think I just died and went to heaven! This has to me my dream combo:D

    • It’s pretty hard to mess up that combo. :)

  15. ommmgg i love anything sea salt and caramel. i need that gelato and i need your pie, too!

  16. I just made this for my sisters birthday..the filling was great, then again how can you go wrong with peanut butter bananas and chocolate? I froze it overnight and let it thaw for about 4 hours and the texture was perfect! The crust left a little to be desired for us but I may have overcooked it a bit. I think it could be good with a pretzel crust but I had trouble finding a healthier recipe for a pretzel crust. I love the clean ingredients..thank you for the recipe!

  17. This was delicious!! Thanks so much for the recipe :) I eat an truly ridiculous amount of pb/banana, so this was perfect.

  18. can i sub the coconut milk with dairy milk instead if i’m not a vegan ? :)

    • Sure can!

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