Café Gratitude’s Silky Avocado Key Lime Pie Recipe Is a Slice of Perfection

Photo: Café Gratitude
It's easy to fall in love with the creative menu at Café Gratitude, a small chain of organic, vegan restaurants in California. Each item comes with its own affirmation; whether it reads "I am extraordinary" or "I am whole," ordering a meal has never felt so good.

You'll only find the restaurants on the West Coast of the United States, but the release of Café Gratitude's Love Is Served ($23), a cookbook created with executive chef Seizan Dreux Ellis, lets you enjoy its wholesome recipes anywhere in the world.

love is served cookbook

Shop now: Love Is Served, $23

Love Is Served features a wide variety of recipes, from spinach and asparagus Benedict with tempeh bacon to coconut ceviche. Of course, the dessert section is what really caught my eye as I flipped through the cookbook's pages for the first time. Café Gratitude's vegan key lime pie is almost too good to be true. You'd never know the recipe is free of dairy and eggs. An avocado base (with a boost of healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants) gives it the silky-smooth texture you'd expect in a key lime pie. The pecan crust provides a beautiful balance of flavors and textures. Top it all off with a dollop of homemade cashew whipped cream. It's as close to perfection as dessert can get. Here's how to make it:

"I am awakening" key lime pie

Makes one 9-inch pie


For the pecan crust:
1 cup pecans
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp date paste (see recipe below)
1 Tbsp of vanilla water

For the key lime filling:
1 cup Fresh squeezed lime juice
3/4 cups agave
1/2 cup coconut milk
1.5 cups avocado
2 Tbsp vanilla water (see recipe)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup soy or sunflower lecithin
1 cup coconut oil

For the cashew whipped cream:
1.5 cups water
1 cup dry cashews
1/4 cup cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unscented or lightly scented coconut oil

For the vanilla water:
4 strings of vanilla bean sticks
6 cups of water

For the date paste:
20 pitted dates
1/4 cup warm water

To make the vanilla water:
1. Blend the vanilla sticks and water until it’s thoroughly broken down. This could sit for weeks in an airtight container.

To make the date paste:
1. The fastest and best way to make date paste is to process pitted dates in a food processor.
2. Dates range between being really dry and really moist. If they are way too dry, you may need to add more water. If they are very juicy, don’t add any.

To make the crust:
1. In a food processor, add the pecans, salt, and date paste, and process until the crust starts to rise on the sides of the processor bowl.
2. Slowly add the vanilla water by stopping it a few times. You will need to clean the sides as you go until you get a mixture that can hold together with a gentle pressure and can be broken apart with a clean break.
3. Lightly grease the entire inside of the pan with coconut oil and distribute the crust evenly on the bottom of the pan and lightly compact by hand. Set aside.

To make the key lime filling:
1. In a high-speed blender, add the lime juice, coconut milk, agave, avocado, vanilla water, and salt.
2. Blend until you have a smooth cream and then add the lecithin and coconut oil.
3. Continue blending until the mixture is completely blended. You may have to stop and clean the sides as you blend.
4. Pour the filling on top of the prepared crust. Set in the fridge for about an hour or until firm.

To make the cashew whipped cream:
1. In a high-speed blender, combine the cashews, water, cane sugar, and salt.
2. Blend until you have a smooth cream, then add the coconut oil.
3. Continue blending until the mixture is completely blended, then pour two cups on top of the key lime filling.
4. Let the whole pie set in the fridge for at least six hours or overnight.

For decoration:
1. Remove the pie from the pan by running a small spatula on the sides of the pie. Smooth out if necessary.
2. You can pipe whipped cream on top of the pie and decorate it with pecans and limes.

The surprising benefits of avocado, according to a dietitian:

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