words :: Feet Banks
Holá Pie Munchers!
We’re kicking it health conscious this month with a no-bake Avocado Key Lime creation from the incredible Joanne Gerrard Young, aka: Chef Jo at The Healing Cuisine. Jo is an old friend and masterful chef with a long history of innovative and delicious recipes that strengthen your immunity and promote better health. She developed this pie for Tom Brady and Giselle while living in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica—where limes and avocados are plentiful. Check it out!
Key Lime Pie
Note: This pie works best with an 8 or 9” spring-form pan, or 4-6 inch tart pans
Pumpkin Seed Oat Crust
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup ground oats
1/2 cup of pitted dates (soaked 10min & chopped)
1/8 tsp pink or sea salt
1. Add the pumpkin seeds to the food processor and process until ground.
2. Add the ground oats and combine.
3. Begin to pulse in the dates, continue pulsing until a fine meal consistency is reached.
4. Scoop out the crust mixture into a 9” tart pan or spring-form pan
5. Press the crust mixture firmly into the pan, making sure that the edges are well packed.
6. Push your thumb against the bottom inside edge of the pan to push the crust up the sides of the tart pan or at least a ½ inch up the side of the spring-form pan.
The base should be relatively even throughout, not too thick the outer shell should be a little thicker than the center.
Set in refrigerator to chill.
Zest of 2 limes
1/8 cup of freshly squeeze key lime juice
3 – 4 avocados
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/16 tsp scrapped or powered vanilla bean
A pinch of pink or sea salt
1. Blend all filling ingredients in a high-powered blender until smooth.
2. Fill the pumpkin seed oat crust with avocado filling and chill for 1-2 hours.
3. Top it with cashew whipped cream!
Let the record show that if you don’t live in a tropical country those real vanilla beans are gonna cost a shitload (but they’re worth it). Chef Jo said she originally made this young coconut meat rather than pumpkin seeds and oats because of their availability in Costa Rica.
“All my pies are raw because I suck at baking,” she says. “I don’t really measure anything. This one started as a mousse because Tom loves ice cream, so I originally developed it as a mint ‘ice cream’ with cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips. It was so good I figured I’d be able to make a Key Lime Pie, which was my father’s favourite. Traditionally Key Lime is all egg and sugar and refined flour—all ingredients that don’t exist in my kitchen.”
In case it isn’t apparent, Chef Jo is a fucking genius and not afraid to do things her own way. After 10+ years of shredding pow and running a juice bar and cafe in/around Whistler BC, Jo and her husband (OG Canadian snowboard legend Kevin Young) moved to Costa Rica in 2008 to surf and raise kids on the beach.
A chef friend called one day saying he was cooking for Giselle and that she had a vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free diet. ‘And what the fuck is evo?’ he asked…I said, ‘you need me!’
“I started a restaurant, but it was too much,” she says. “It was a stress-taurant. Just running a business and learning the language and culture with two kids under five… it was too much.”
But Jo’s recipes, and health-focused approach to food made an impact on the local scene. After designing successful juice cleanses for friends looking to get pregnant, lose weight, or just live a healthier lifestyle, Jo discovered a new niche.
“I had 6-8 people a week signing up for my cleanse. I’d do two days raw, three days of juice, then two more days of raw. Lots of fibre, lots of proteins and superfoods. It was for surfers and yoga people at first but after 8 months everyone in town had done a juice cleanse, so I started putting out a raw food menu. Then started to teach people how to make their own means.”
By 2010, word of Chef Jo’s delicious and healthy food philosophy had spread. “A chef friend called one day saying he was cooking for Giselle and that she had a vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free diet. ‘And what the fuck is evo?’ he asked. Ha! That is extra virgin olive oil. I told him he needed me.’”
Jo’s meals were a hit and a juice cleanse followed, and soon Jo was routinely cooking for and advising the world’s top supermodel and her Superbowl champ husband.
“I had a good reputation for healthy food so if anyone had a client with special dietary needs, I would get the call.”
Now, with over 25 years’ experience creating gluten-and-allergen-free plant-based foods, Chef Jo is currently riding out the COVID pandemic with her family in Ontario, Canada while continuing to provide chef services, recipes, consultations, and classes for clients around the world. The crazy thing is this Key Lime delight is not ever her favourite pie.
“I’ve loved peach pie since I was a kid,” Jo explains. “I make a raw one with coconut sugar and coconut milk. I also have a layered fruit paradise pie, a fruit flan mango custard pie, hazelnut chocolate, coconut cream, banana cream… it’s all about nut milks and using dates and seeds and nuts as the binder. Most important is to remember that each of us can connect to our higher selves when we feed ourselves healing, living foods.”
Get crackin’ pie lovers! And dig into more of Chef Jo’s creations and learn about healing with whole foods at The Healing Cuisine.