Have you ever laid outside with trees surrounding you, sun on your skin, light in your eyes and taken in and really appreciated your surroundings? I don’t do this often enough for where I live because most of us have that mentality where we know that trees give us oxygen and without them we’d die “blah, blah, blah”. And knowing this, we still seem to take them for granted and don’t spend enough time appreciating them.
There are so many benefits to trees and why they are so important (check out the video below) that one day a year, dedicated to trees, seems so little! That one day a year is coming up and it is National Tree Day on the 31st of July.
There are many ways to get involved but I prefer making a contribution from home by simply planting native trees, shrubs, grasses or even an edible garden; which is my favourite kind! Planting something that you can get everyday benefits from, PLUS something you can harvest from. If you have kids, I’m sure they would love to get their hands dirty in the back yard while they give you a hand. It’s a great education for your kids to see how plants and food grow as well. If you would like to get involved, read up on your options here.
…So, as I just realised myself jumping straight into it, you’re probably wondering what the heck National Tree Day is?! It combines with Schools Tree Day to make Australia’s largest community tree planting and nature care event. It started in 1996 and since then, more than 3 million people have planted 21 million seedlings. It is a special annual day for all Australians to help improve the environment in which we all live. Before you go ahead and get involved, you probably want to learn more about it, so click here.
Anyway, enough about getting yourself involved and onto this Raw Apple Pie recipe that made you read this blog in the first place, which is still of course somewhat linked to National Tree Day…
Some years ago now we planted an edible garden and an apple tree as part of our involvement in National Tree Day. We have prepared and made countless things from this garden and even the apple tree! We actually dried a heap of apples in our Excalibur from that tree last Spring and surprisingly enough, we had some lonely left overs! So I thought, what a great opportunity to showcase this apple tree this month with a raw apple pie.
For the base of your apple pie, you will need:
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 cup dried, unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup dates
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
And for the apple pie filling, all you need is:
- 2 medium apples
- 8 thick dried apple rings
- 1 cup dates
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
To pretty your apple pie up, save some:
- Unsweetened coconut
- Dried apple ring
Place all of the base ingredients into a food processor and process until the mixture is sticking to the sides the dates are well processed. I used shredded coconut so that I could use it as a topping for extra texture and flavour. I didn’t worry about cutting the dates up but to save time, chop them into quarters.
Place the processed base mixture into a shallow dish and firmly press the mixture down evenly. This mixture comes out of the food processor conveniently well!
Cut ONE apple into quarters leaving the skin on and remove the core and seeds (I use Granny Smith apples). Roughly chop the apple and add to the food processor with the rest of the filling ingredients (except the second apple). I recommend cutting the dates into quarters to save pulverising your mixture until the dates are taken down to smaller sizes. You could also try adding fresh orange juice as well as or instead of the lemon. That will be my next experiment as well as trying different nuts for the base!
Process ingredients until it’s well mixed with a few small chunks of dried apple and dates. If need be, stop the food processor and scrape the sides down and process again to achieve this texture.
Tip the filling into a mixing bowl and cut the last apple into quarters leaving the skin on and removing the core and seeds. Depending on what you prefer, slice the apple into thin slices, diced or roughly chopped into small pieces. I was going for small diced cubes and just ended up rolling with roughly chopped cubes! Put these sliced/diced/chopped apple pieces into the mixing bowl with the filling and mix gently to combine the apple.
Tip the filling on top of the base and smooth out with your mixing spoon.
Now for the prettying up! If you love coconut, cover the top of the filling with the shredded coconut or hold back like I have for a mild additional flavour. Garish it with a torn piece of dried apple and put it into your freezer.
Half an hour later you’re ready to serve to your table of curious and excited guests – you and your guests will not be disappointed! If, on the very unlikely chance there are left overs, keep it in the freezer to save it from getting soggy and maintain that incredible base!
This is such a simple recipe that anyone can do with flavours and textures to die for! Absolutely DEE-licious!
Check out more of The Rawtarian’s recipes and don’t be afraid to add your own touch or twist to it or experiment with making your own flavour punching recipes!