pecan slice pie

Tomorrow we are kicking off a baking challenge at work – I know not what you might ordinarily expect from a group of dietitians, but we LOVE to bake and we definitely LOVE to eat the creations. So whenever I take in any baking for work it’s a bit like presenting something for Masterchef – there are definitely some harsh and knowledgeable critics who will be inspecting every element of what’s produced.

The slight twist in our baking cook off is that we have been assigned groups, and each group has to produce something in an allocated category. Things like ‘cheesecake’ ultimate brownie’ ‘what Grandma used to make’ and ‘raw’. Lucky me, I got the ‘raw’ category.

So I did some internet researching, and actually as it turns out, it may be lucky for me. As ‘raw’ cooking and baking is actually pretty trendy these days and every health conscious and ‘fitspo’ person is getting on the band wagon, so there was actually heaps of things to choose from. One of the biggest drawbacks for me for these types of dishes is, however, that there always seems to be hundreds of ingredients on the list and half of them are obscure and require spending a lot of money in specialist shops.

So it took a while, but I found a recipe for something that wouldn’t cost me half a weeks’ wages and wouldn’t take me the whole weekend to make, PLUS has one of my all time favourite things in it: peanut butter.

pecan pie



1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup walnuts

1/4 cup dates

1/4 cup raisins

2 Tbsp peanut butter


2 Tbsp peanut butter

Caramel topping

1/2 cup dates

2 Tbsp peanut butter


Soak the dates in boiling water for a few minutes. Add all base ingredients into a food processor and blitz until the mixture starts to come together. Tip into a small, lined cake tin and press the base into the tin. Spread the peanut butter over the base. Put the caramel topping ingredients into the food processor and combine until a smooth paste forms. Carefully spread this over the middle layer and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Add some walnut pieces to decorate if desired. Use a salted peanut butter to eliminate the need of adding a sprinkle of salt to each layer.

So, pretty simple, and looks and sounds amazing – the proof will be in the judging.

If you have been following my posts for a while, you would notice that this isn’t the normal sort of thing that I post about. I guess I want to highlight that when looking on blogs, or searching recipes on the internet, it’s important to realise that even though something may be labeled as ‘raw’ or ‘healthy’ or ‘nutritious’ just because it uses ‘all natural’ ingredients or it claims to be ‘sugar free’ doesn’t mean it’s going to be the best choice for you.

For example the ‘pie’ above is still a very high calorie and sugar dessert with over 300kcal per slice and 20g sugar and over 20g fat per slice. Let me put that into perspective. The new WHO guidelines have suggested that we should cut down our sugar consumption to less than 25g sugar/day. And yes, you can argue that all of the sugar in this pie comes from the dates, but the body doesn’t necessarily distinguish between white refined sugar and the sugar found naturally in dates. In excess, too much sugar can still lead to excess energy intake which may contribute to unwanted weight gain. See my post on sugar here

So I encourage experimenting in the kitchen and enjoying occasional treats but don’t let terms like #refinedsugarfree and #allnaturalingredients mislead you into thinking these foods are calorie free or going to be any better for you in the long run than a regular pie made with pastry and sugar. These terms certainly aren’t an excuse to eat these types of foods frequently, but when you do eat them, take your time to savour and enjoy :)




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