Raw vs Real Challenge: Key Lime Pie

Hi guys! I’m Lesli — I work with Elle and I blog over at fit & happy. I’m thrilled that Elle has let me do a guest post for her on one of my favourite things: food! I love my fitness but I also love baking, so I’ve been playing around with whether or not I could make healthier sweet treats with less refined sugar and fats. Today’s comparison is two delicious recipes for Key Lime Pie. Hope you enjoy it and that I’ll see you over at fitandhappyonline.com soon!

As you probably already know, I love my various types of fitness and being active. What you may not know is that I also LOVE baking. So part of what fit & happy is all about is balancing out the two. 
Now, a lot of my recipes involve huge amounts of sugar, butter and all those other ‘baddies’ that make things sooo delicious. And I’ve wondered if I could make raw recipes that would taste just as good but be better for me (and all the friends I ‘force’ my baking onto). So when I came across the recipe for raw key lime pie, I knew what I had to do. 

I used a recipe from Kimberly Snyder for the raw version and the Hummingbird bakery version for the real pie. Other than limes there wasn’t a single ingredient that was the same. I couldn’t imagine how they would both end up like a key lime pie. 

First, the crusts: 

Real, on the left was crumbly and buttery while the raw one was actually nice and moist and tasty. It tasted a bit like a raw fruit snack bar (yum!). 

Next came the fillings. 

So, on the left we have the raw. I tried this filling straight out of the bowl and it was delicious!! I could’ve eaten the whole thing. Real? Well, it had 8 raw egg yolks in it so–no tasting before cooking! Ew! (That said, I have no problem at all eating raw cookie dough. Go figure.)

For the taste test I invited International Key Lime Pie Expert and wonderful friend Shahla over to weigh in on how they compared. 

Here’s her expert opinion. 
Real: ‘So good I wouldn’t change a thing about it.’ And ‘I could actually picture this in a Hummingbird Bakery’. 
Aww! Love this girl! 

Raw:It’s not as limey.’ And (when there was some left on her plate that clearly wasn’t going to be eaten) ‘The texture was a bit much after a while.’
Oh dear. 

My opinion? The real was definitely lime-ier but the creamy, gelatiny filling was a lot for my taste buds after a bit. The raw wasn’t as citrusy but it had a hint of coconut from the coconut oil in the filling which gave it a really nice tropical feel. 

In the end, when you compare them beside each other only one is clearly a key lime pie BUT as a stand-alone dessert I actually really liked the raw version and would confidently serve this if I needed a vegan-friendly dessert. Health-wise I’m not sure there’s much advantage to the raw since there is sooooo much maple syrup and so many nuts in it, but if you’re vegan, have egg allergies or are trying to cut down on refined sugar and dairy, it’s a delicious treat. 

The winner: REAL

With Shahla’s vote and some other opinions factored in, this Raw v Real challenge goes to the traditional pie.

And here’s the raw recipe (from Kimberlysnyder.net)


*Organic if possible

  • 1 cup raw walnuts, soaked for 15 minutes and rinsed well
  • ¾ cup raw pecans
  • 4 dates, pitted
  • 2½ Tbs. coconut nectar or maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp. high quality sea salt


  • ¾ cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • ½ cup coconut nectar or maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • ¾ tsp. vanilla extract


Put all the crust ingredients together in the work bowl of a food processor with the blade in place and process until the ingredients form a ball. Press into a 9-inch Pyrex pie pan.

Wash and dry the food processor bowl and blade. Add the filling ingredients to the bowl with the blade in place. Blend the filling ingredients together in the processor, and pour over the crust. Place in the freezer and allow to set for at least 3 hours or overnight. Take out and let rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes, or as long as it takes to soften, before serving.

Do you have a favourite raw alternative dessert? What should I do for the next Raw v Real challenge? 




  1. Alysia @ Slim Sanity
    February 13, 2015 / 16:28

    Ooooh my gosh. This sounds seriously amazing! I'm not usually one to go for pie as a dessert, but this looks like a good one.

    • Elle Linton
      February 13, 2015 / 21:04

      I love a bit of pastry! haha! I would defo give this ago myself or if I saw it on a menu 🙂

  2. Pragati
    February 13, 2015 / 15:43

    have you tried raw cheesecake? That is my all time favorite!

    • Elle Linton
      February 13, 2015 / 21:03

      I have! Had it the other day at Redemption Bar (in my Ell About Town, Feb post) was sooooo yummy!

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