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Guilt-free dessert for the holiday weekend

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Knocks your socks off: Key lime pie is a delicious detox dessert that is perfect if you are worried about over indulging

Life is short. What that means in my book is there is definitely room for dessert and wine.

The problem is if we stretch the “life is short” philosophy too far, then we risk life getting infinitely shorter.

I don’t know about you, but I have no desire to limp over the finish line, dragging an oxygen tank behind me. I would rather die at 90 having fallen off the top of a mountain taking a wild adventure selfie to send to my grandkids. To have a life well lived, it helps to live a well life. So how do we find the balance?

When it comes to dessert, here are a few tricks. Desserts, being sweet in general, fall into the carb category. So, if you are having it, skip the carbs with your main meal. Try not to have a plate of pasta or a side of carrots or potatoes. Choosing something like local fish with tons of green vegetables would be ideal. That way, the dessert can be the carb portion of your meal — albeit a large one (so don’t do this every day).

Next, it helps to pick a dessert that contains fats or protein. These tend to slow down sugar release so you have a better chance of preventing your blood sugar from spiking. And the big, huge rule that you must not avoid — always choose real food options.

Slushies and rainbow ice creams are not dessert, they just contain a pile of chemicals that won’t nourish you in any way whatsoever.

Instead, choose something that has some selling points. For example, sorbet with berries will give you a good dose of antioxidants. It is also a little boring though, yes? So let me liven that up.

If I said I could give you a dessert recipe that was brimming with good fats, had incredible zing and came without the side of not-worth-the-calories regret, what would you say? If it is a HELL YES! then this is absolutely the one for you.

Sometimes a dessert comes along that totally knocks your socks off and this is one of them. Over the years, I have given you tons of recipes but there are some key ones that people mention again and again: Nutrifit banana bread, Holy Crap cookies, Mexican quinoa, coconut caramel energy bites, the green smoothie and the Moroccan salad …. I’ll pop these up on Facebook over the weekend in case you missed them. But we have a new one for the collection now — and you HAVE to make it, it is so good!

I will be honest, this one is not entirely mine. The inspiration for my Key Lime Pie came from Deliciously Ella and Sarah Britton’s blog, My New Roots. I just fiddled with their recipes — mainly to make them work with what I had in the house, but also because I really love a lime zing (which I amplified a little). I have used a walnut crust too, which I really love, but almonds or pecans would be good as well.

I have given you this recipe before but I have been asked for it again and again lately.

We are just about to start a two-week detox that goes right over the holiday weekend — I have given it to all our participants as a recipe they can enjoy totally guilt-free. Give it a try too and let me know your thoughts. I promise you will love it!

Key lime pie

Makes one large pie (10-12 inch pan) or 14 individual pies in a muffin pan



2¾ cups walnuts (pecans would work well too)

25 Medjool dates, pitted

2 tbs extra virgin coconut oil


4 large, ripe avocados

¾ cup full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated (the solid part!)

4-5 large juicy limes, juiced (and some zest)

1 cup maple syrup

Optional: you can use tiny Key limes (Miles) for the zest, which is more fragrant.


1, Place your can of coconut milk in the fridge for a few hours before use so that the contents separate and harden. You want to use the part at the top of the can which will be hard and white!

2, Put all the base ingredients in a food processor and process until they form a ball of dough around the blade. It might take a little while!

3, Press the base into your pan — either in one layer on the large pan or into the muffin moulds. If using the muffin pan, press the base into the bottom and up the sides too so that it forms a cup for the filling (it is easier to get them out of the pan this way). Try not to make the cup too thick. Pop these in the freezer to harden.

4, Wash your processor and then blend all the filling ingredients. Remove any brown bits from the avocados to maintain the colour of the filling! Start with four juicy limes and then taste. You might want to add the fifth if you want it extra fresh.

5, Add the filling to the base. Top with grated zest and pop in the freezer. Once hardened you can cover with foil if you need to. Freeze for an hour before serving. You can also keep this in the freezer for a while (cover to prevent freezer burn) and then defrost a little before serving.

6, If using the muffin pan, run a knife around the edge of the pies to help lift them out.

Catherine Burns is a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. For details: natural.bm, 236-7511 or, on Facebook, Natural Nutrition Bermuda

Want dessert? Catherine Burns advises that you skip the carbs with your meal
Want dessert? Catherine Burns advises that you skip the carbs with your meal