I want to go to the beach. Is that too much to ask? Is anyone going anytime soon and wants to take me with them?….I’m craving warm weather, sunshine, laying out on a towel and sipping fruity cocktails in glasses with cute little umbrellas. Really, I’m just craving a vacation if I’m to be truly honest. I want to explore some new city! See new sites! Or relax on a beach with absolutely no cares or worries in the world! The beach vacation is always my first choice–if I can eventually move or even retire near the beach my life will be complete.
The last time I actually go to enjoy a vacation near a beach was when I went on a road trip with Wade down to Destin, Florida in Winter 2012. We stayed with his grandparents that live near Destin. It was, however, during the Winter time so it wasn’t actually the warmest of beach vacations. I’d much rather go back when the sunshine is out in full force, the highs are near 85 degrees every day and I can actually get a tan! No tan to come back with from that vacation…but I did have a great time with Wade. We made a lot of memories on that trip and I had a lovely vacation with that handsome man. Now I just have to convince him that we ARE moving near a beach someday. No matter how much a “beach” setting isn’t quite his idea of the perfect place to live.
Since I can’t up and leave my responsibilities behind right at this moment and head to a beach, I’ll just settle for dreaming of it while indulging in this decadent toasted coconut banana cream pie. It has a very tropical and beachy theme in my opinion.
This pie was so damn good! Definitely one of the best pies I’ve ever made and I’m keeping this recipe handy to use when I”m in need of an easy and quick pie recipe in the future. Plus the best part is, this is a slimmed-down version too so the calories, fat, and sugar are all reduced and yet you’d never be able to tell!
Toasted Coconut Banana Cream Pie
For the Crust:
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbsp. mashed banana
3 Tbsp. Stevia (or sugar)
For the Pie:
1 box (1 oz.) sugar free, fat free banana cream pudding mix
1 box (1 oz.) sugar free, fat free vanilla pudding mix
1 box (3.4 oz.) coconut cream pudding mix
1 1/2 cup cold milk
1 container (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed
1/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained
3/4 cup shredded unsweet coconut
First, start on the crust. Use a food processor to crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs. Combine 1 1/4 cup crumbs to the mashed banana, melted butter, and Stevia. Mix well then place mixture into glass or ceramic pie plate and push it down with a spoon until it forms a well-put-together crust on the bottom of the pie plate. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 12-16 minutes, until firm and golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Spread the shredded coconut out onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven until it’s nicely toasted. This should take about 8-10 minutes, depending on how hot your oven gets. Be sure to toss the coconut and move it around every couple of minutes to assure an even toasty goodness throughout. Remove from oven and allow to cool. That is a happy toasted coconut face because it knows how delicious it’s going to be when added to that pie.
Combine the pudding mixes into a large bowl. Add the cold milk and stir until the mixture thickens. Mix in the Cool Whip and crushed pineapple. Once the coconut you toasted in the oven is cool, add in about 1/2 cup of it to the mixture and stir to combine. Spread this mixture out onto the cooled pie crust. Top with remaining beautifully toasted shredded coconut. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
I know…the waiting might kill you–you just want to dive right into that gorgeous tropical pie, but trust me when I tell you the waiting is worth it. It has a better texture if the pie has time to set for a while. Go occupy yourself with creating a Pinterest board of dream beach vacations or perhaps setting up a lawn chair and changing into a cute sundress so you’re ready to properly enjoy a slice of the tropical pie–relaxing and dreaming of a beach getaway.
Healthy Recipe Tidbits
- I used sugar-free, fat-free pudding mixes for the vanilla and banana cream. This lightens up the sugar, fat, and calories for the pie.
- Mashed banana in the pie crust replaces some of the butter to reduce the fat. It holds the crust together quite well too, once baked.
- Stevia is used in the pie crust to reduce the sugar content and also makes this pie more diabetic friendly.
- I used Cool Whip Free for the Cool Whip in the pie–it has less sugar and fat than regular Cool Whip, although any type of Cool Whip would work just fine.
- Coconut has some great health benefits! Coconut contains short- and medium- chain fatty acids that are heart healthy and help increase good cholesterol. Coconut is also high in dietary fiber and is a great food for a quick energy boost.