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.
- 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
- 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
- Process dried apricots in food processor until finely chopped.
- Add almond meal (you can use almond flour), coconut oil and pinch of salt and pulse until fully combined.
- Grease a pie pan with coconut oil.
- Place crust mixture in pie pan and press into uniform thickness.
- Place in freezer to set.
- Drain cashews.
- Place all filling ingredients in food processor and blend until very smooth.
- Pour into crust and tap to even out.
- Decorate with sliced strawberries.
- Place in freezer to set (3-4 hours.)
- Coconut cream topping: chill coconut cream in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Whip coconut cream, agave nectar and vanilla extract until fluffy.
- When ready to serve, remove from freezer for about five minutes to soften.
- Top each slice with whipped coconut cream.
- Use walnuts instead of almonds for the crust.
- Use dates instead of apricots for the crust.
- Add a ½ cup of shredded coconut to the crust mixture.
- Use mangoes instead of strawberries (fresh or frozen.)