About this recipe
I just returned from a week-long camping trip to Long Key State Park in the Florida Keys. It was heaven. I haven’t missed a summer down in the Keys for as long as I can remember. My grandparents spent a lot of time down there while I was growing up and I spent a lot of time with them, so the Keys became a second home for me, Little Torch Key in particular. When I met my husband, he had never visited the Keys before. It quickly became the first trip we planned together (and where he first told me he loved me), and now he’s just as hooked as I am. It’s magical and seedy in all the right ways. Plus, it’s famous for my two favorite things: drinking before noon and Key Lime Pie.
If you think Key Lime Pie is redundant on menus in Sarasota, it’s downright ubiquitous in the Keys. But that doesn’t stop me from ordering it whenever it’s available. It is, in case you didn’t know, the official pie of Florida. When I set out to make my own version, it had to be something I could feel good about feeding my family whenever they wanted, as is my general rule when I make sweets.
Traditionally, Key Lime Pie is made with egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk in a shortcrust pie shell. This recipe has none of those things, plus it’s frozen. Welcome to dairy-free, egg-free, cane sugar-free, and gluten-free Key Lime Pie Pops. They are awesome.
I eat a lot of nuts — pecans, cashews, walnuts, almonds — because they’re full of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, and are a good source of protein. If you also eat a lot of nuts, there are two very important things you need to know that I will explain to you here in a simplified manner. First, nuts (and seeds, legumes, and grains) have a natural coating of phytic acid that protects the nut, but hurts our stomachs and prevents us from absorbing all the the nutrients they have to offer. In order to combat this, you need to soak your nuts in salted water and consume within a day or two, or dehydrate them for longer storage and to make them crispy. I don’t always do this, but I try. Second, when nuts are exposed to high temperatures, like in “dry roasting,” a lot of nutrients are diminished. So purchase raw nuts when possible and do the toasting yourself.
Avocados are a great stand-in for the eggs and dairy usually found in Key Lime Pie. They are rich, creamy, and high in healthy fats that help lower bad cholesterol. Plus they lend a pretty green hue to these pops.
For the crust:
- Combine pecans, dates, coconut oil, and salt in bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely ground. Transfer to bowl and set aside. Wipe out bowl of food processor.
For the filling:
- Rinse and drain cashews thoroughly. Combine cashews, meat of avocado, lime zest, lime juice, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla in bowl of food processor. Process until completely smooth and creamy. Taste and add more sweetener if necessary.
- Firmly press about 2 tablespoons crust into the bottom of each pop mold. Pour filling over top and sprinkle with additional crust.
- Transfer to freezer and freeze for 30 minutes. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze until firm, about 4 hours. Carefully dip bottom and sides molds in warm water to release.
Don't want to make pops? No problem! Just press the crust into little single-serving cups and pour filling over top. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Serve with a spoon right out of the cup.