Lime is such a refreshing taste, which is why it’s in many of my favorite summertime recipes (like this iced lime and dandelion tea). Key lime pie is one of my favorite desserts, and when made this way, it is healthy enough to eat for breakfast.
The History of a Pie
Key limes are different from the limes we typically find in the grocery store. Key limes are tarter and more aromatic, making them a great choice for baking. Since they are more perishable too, they are harder to find outside of the Florida Keys.
The exact origin of key lime pie is a bit unclear, though it’s thought to have originated in the late 19th or early 20th century in the Florida Keys.
One theory is that key lime pie originated from fisherman using shelf-stable foods on the boat. These would include sweetened condensed milk, limes, and eggs. There would also not have been an oven for baking, so the original no-bake version of the recipe would fit this possibility.
But key lime pie may not have been created in Florida at all. According to author Stella Parks, key lime pie may have originated from the Borden Condensed Milk Company in the 1930s. In any case, it’s become a staple pie in the south for it’s creamy and citrusy taste. (And there is no condensed milk in mine!)
How to Make Key Lime Pie Healthy
Traditionally key lime pie is made with egg yolks, key limes, and sweetened condensed milk. The egg whites would be whipped into a meringue for the top.
The earliest recipes were no-bake as the chemical reaction between the proteins in the eggs and the acidic lime juice caused the thickening. Today, concerns about uncooked eggs have made baking the standard. Baking the pie also continues to thicken the filling, making it more like a firm custard than a soft pudding.
But to make this recipe healthy, I’ve replaced some of the ingredients. The crust is made with nuts instead of grains and calls for a combination of coconut flour and coconut milk in place of the sweetened condensed milk. I also use just a taste of honey or stevia to sweeten it.
This recipe contains:
- lots of healthy protein from eggs
- healthy fats from nuts, coconut oil, and coconut milk
- not too much sugar (you can choose how much honey you add or use stevia for sugar-free)
So, eat it for breakfast if you like!
Here’s the recipe:
Healthy Key Lime Pie Recipe
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Make the crust according to the almond flour pie crust recipe instructions.
- Meanwhile, put the eggs in the blender and beat until smooth and frothy.
- Add the lime juice and zest, vanilla, coconut flour, coconut milk, and sweetener to taste.
- Blend until smooth.
- When crust is baked, pour the filling into the crust and bake 30-35 minutes or until the center is set.
- Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.
- This is the hardest step… put in the refrigerator and do not eat until it has cooled completely.
- While you are waiting, whip the cream or chilled coconut cream and vanilla or stevia if you are using.
- Top the cooled pie with whipped cream.
- Enjoy… even for breakfast!
- I didn’t actually use key limes in this recipe…they take forever to juice and I don’t think they taste any better, but feel free to use either. Also, fresh limes really make the difference! I’ve tried this with organic lime juice and it just isn’t the same!
- For the crust, please note that this will not make a sweet crust. If you prefer a sweeter crust, you can use my homemade energy bar recipe as a crust. It works really well! Also, you can use strips of foil to prevent the crust edges from over-browning.
- Optional whipped cream is not included in the nutrition facts.
Are you a key lime pie person? What’s your favorite healthy dessert? Let me know below!