please don’t make me give up dessert

It’s been a year since I went on the Fast Metabolism Diet and learned that I am healthier, stronger and more energetic on a diet free of wheat, corn, dairy, soy, and refined sugar. I tried the diet mostly because I wanted to lose weight, but quickly found that this way of eating had many collateral benefits, so I stayed with it. 

I used to have joint pain so bad that I couldn’t sleep at night, and it was only getting worse. It had become agony just to sit still for long.  Recently, I endured a 14 hour plane ride with no more than a little stiffness. To have come that far from where I was a year ago is just a miracle.

Giving up wheat, corn, dairy, soy and refined sugar sounds really hard, right?  I mean, what do we eat?  Fact is, it’s not nearly as hard as I thought it would be, and now that I have the hang of it, it’s become a culinary adventure.  I’ve learned to adapt most of my favorite recipes to be gluten and dairy free, and best of all, my family likes this way of eating too (with some holdouts, but we’re making progress.) 

We even get to eat dessert.

The Caron fam has a sweet tooth and this brave new regimen would have been a tough sell if we’d had to give up dessert. Here is my version of a cream pie that is–incredibly–dairy and gluten free, plus you don’t have to bake it.

All of the ingredients are available at Trader Joe’s, my go-to place. It is easy to make, really delicious, and so good for you. The nuts provide protein, the fresh fruits provide vitamin C and antioxidants, and the coconut is a great source of medium chain fatty acids. Even Joe likes it, as you can see.

Teen-friendly healthy dessert.

Strawberry Banana Cream Pie, gluten & dairy free
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Delectable no-bake cream pie that uses nuts and dried fruit for the crust, fresh fruit and coconut cream for the filling. Light and satisfying.
  • Crust:
  • 1 heaping cup of almond meal (pulse raw almonds in food processor until finely ground)
  • 1 heaping cup of dried apricots
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ Tbsp coconut oil
  • Filling:
  • 1¼ cup raw cashews soaked for at least 4 hours
  • 3 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • ½ banana
  • ⅓ cup Trader Joe's coconut cream (in the brown can)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Coconut cream topping:
  • 1 can of Trader Joe's coconut cream (in the brown can)
  • 1 tbsp of agave nectar or maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  1. Process dried apricots in food processor until finely chopped.
  2. Add almond meal (you can use almond flour), coconut oil and pinch of salt and pulse until fully combined.
  3. Grease a pie pan with coconut oil.
  4. Place crust mixture in pie pan and press into uniform thickness.
  5. Place in freezer to set.
  6. Drain cashews.
  7. Place all filling ingredients in food processor and blend until very smooth.
  8. Pour into crust and tap to even out.
  9. Decorate with sliced strawberries.
  10. Place in freezer to set (3-4 hours.)
  11. Coconut cream topping: chill coconut cream in the fridge for 1 hour.
  12. Whip coconut cream, agave nectar and vanilla extract until fluffy.
  13. When ready to serve, remove from freezer for about five minutes to soften.
  14. Top each slice with whipped coconut cream.
  15. Variations:
  16. Use walnuts instead of almonds for the crust.
  17. Use dates instead of apricots for the crust.
  18. Add a ½ cup of shredded coconut to the crust mixture.
  19. Use mangoes instead of strawberries (fresh or frozen.)

About the Author

Kathleen Caron

I'm good at finding stuff, and I love to share all my discoveries. I write about the intersection between faith, family, fellowship and food.

  • Anne Peterson

    Boy that sounds good, Kathleen. And the picture of Joe really cinches it.

    • Kathleen Caron

      Anne, I wanted you to see that this pie is so luscious and creamy, even a teenage boy will eat it. See, teens don’t have to eat junk food, that’s just a marketing ploy on the part of fast food companies. I hope you try it sometime, and let me know how you like it!

  • Shelley DuPont

    This looks delicious. As soon as I finish my Whole 30 challenge, I’ll be ready to start incorporating Primal desserts. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kathleen Caron

      That sounds interesting Shelley, what is the Whole 30 challenge?

  • kathunsworth

    Kathleen it is amazing how you can still eat well gluten free etc That pie look gorgeous and I am able to still cook yummy things for my son. Does better when he is gluten and dairy free….we fell off the wagon and need to get back on it. thanks for inspiring us with this lovely recipe.

    • Kathleen Caron

      Kath, I want to help people understand just how easy it really is, how you can eat delicious, yummy food that is healthy and not feel deprived. If you decide to try the pie, you may like it better with dates instead of apricots for the crust, but both are great. Let me know how you like it!