It’s time to dip my toe back into the sugar pond and the best place to start is with this Dreamy Almond Chocolate Pie. Sweet, but not overly so, and with the added value (and flavor) of a simple (and gluten-free) Chocolate Almond Crust, this pie has become one of our family favorites.
Today I found myself in a little bit of a funk. Post holiday blues? Maybe.
I looked up some tips on how to kick the blues to the curb. I read things like, “be sure to exercise.” Well, I did that. In fact, I got up at 5:30 this morning and hightailed it to my TRX class. What a workout!
Other things I read suggested getting plenty of sleep. Hmm, that might be an area where I’m lacking lately. It’s not healthy to burn the candle at both ends, unless you have some candles in reserve.
I happen to believe chocolate can be a good mood lifter. As long as it’s enjoyed in moderation which can be kind of tricky when you’re down. It seems like the blues and discipline are at odds with one another.
In my search for curing a funk, I didn’t read anything that suggested meditation. Or how about just being OK with a day that’s not OK?
See, I have this theory. We all get a little down here and there. I think it’s just part of the human condition.
Maybe feeling a little low makes the good times feel even that much better.
Sarah Ban Breathnach says in her book Simple Abundance, “It is difficult to experience moments of happiness if we are not aware of what it is we genuinely love. We must learn to savor small, authentic moments that bring us contentment.”
So, I’ll begin with a list of the things I’m grateful for today. Then I’ll go ahead and work out too. I’ll throw in some deep breathing exercises for good measure. I might try writing in my journal too.
And I think I’ll have a slice of this Dreamy Almond Chocolate Pie while I’m at it. And then to cap it off? Maybe I’ll go to bed a little earlier and hope for a better day tomorrow.
Dreamy Almond Chocolate Pie
- 1 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup natural sugar
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 1/4 cup raw ground almonds (I use a spice grinder to get them to a fine consistency)
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon chocolate liqueur
- Place 1 1/2 cups almonds and natural sugar in a food processor and pulse until the almonds are coarsely ground. I like to leave the consistency of the almonds, but not too much. Add the coconut oil (you may need to heat it up a little before it’s ready to cooperate), cocoa and vanilla. Pulse a few more seconds until all the ingredients are incorporated.
- Press the almond mixture into the bottom and sides of a lightly greased pie pan. I sprayed my pie dish with a little coating of vegetable spray and that seemed to work just fine.
- Next pour the chocolate chips and agave nectar into a medium bowl, place them in your microwave and heat for about 33 seconds. (33 so you can be lazy and push the same button twice…a huge time saver!). Stir the chocolate goodness for a bit and then microwave for another 22 seconds (same deal – repetitive number equals laziness principle at work here). Stir that chocolate goodness a bit longer. Repeat this process until the chocolate is mostlly melted. Be careful not to cook too long or you’ll burn the chocolate. I hate to see good chocolate go to waste.
- If you haven’t done so already, place some almonds in a coffee or spice grinder and pulse until fine. If you don’t have a spice grinder, then feel free to use that food processor some more. You’ll have to clean it anyway, so you might as well make good use of it now. Just be sure to pulse long enough to create a fine meal of the almonds, but not quite so long that it turns into almond butter. But, now that I think of it, that wouldn’t be so bad either. There’s no going wrong with this recipe!
- Add the 1/4 cup almond meal, the entire can of coconut milk and the liqueur to your melted chocolate and stir until everything is nice and mixed together. Pour the chocolate into your prepared crust and refrigerate at least 2 hours – 4 hours to allow the chocolate time to set. If you need to rush things, you could experiment with putting it in the freezer a bit. But honestly? Chocolate is like the blues – sometimes the only thing that works is a little bit of time.
- Garnish with almonds and dairy-free whipped topping to really dress it up.
There you have it. My cure to the post-holiday blues. Now I’m off to start my gratitude journal for the day where you, dear reader, will certainly be on the list!