How Raw Blueberry Chocolate Pie Is Like a Gateway Drug… In a Good Way – The Renegade Health Show Episode #32

Wednesday Apr 16 | BY |
| Comments (30)

Remember the talk in school about how marijuana was a gateway drug…

The premise is that if you try smoking pot, it becomes an entry point into trying others drugs and then suddenly, as the story goes, you’re an addict trying everything else under the sun.

Well, I think raw food desserts are like a gateway drug–not in the morbid picture I painted above–but in a very good way.

It’s probably the best way to get Mom or Dad or Uncle Phil, to actually “give” raw food or vegan food or even just organic food a shot.

Watch how to make this “gateway” pie and then deliver the goods to your friends and family… who knows you might end up their “supplier” 😉

Your question of the day (continued from yesterday): Just didn’t get enough discussion on yesterday’s post, so I’ll try one more time… what do you think about raw chocolate (or cacao)? Just a treat or everyday food?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and post your comment!

Live Awesome!

PS. Here’s that awesome recipe…

Raw Blueberry Chocolate Pie – Filling from Shazzie and David Wolfe’s Naked Chocolate Book, Crust from Nomi Shannon’s The Raw Gourmet

Pie Crust:

1 1/4 Cup Organic Raw Almonds (Soaked)
6 Organic Dates
1 Tbsp Water
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
Dash of Cinnamon

Pie Filling:

2 Cups Organic Raw Cashews
2 Cups Fresh Organic Blueberries
2 Tablespoons Raw Agave Nectar
2 Tablespoons of Raw Cacao Powder

Instructions: Put all pie crust ingredients into a food processor or Vitamix and blend. Press into a pie dish and dehydrate for 4-6 hours. Put all pie filling ingredients into your Vitamix and blend. (Pretty simple right?) Put pie filling into pie crust once it’s dehydrated and put in the freezer for 1 hour. You can keep it in the freezer for a while, just make sure that if you don’t serve it within the hour, that you take it out and let it warm up for 30-45 minutes before serving!


Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Jacqueline Michaud says:

    Hey Kevin! I never tried raw chocolate…so I can’t comment too much…However I made a note of trying it whenever I can find it. I live in a small northern town and we have no health food store nearby.


  2. Suz Stapler says:

    This pie sounds so good. I would really love to make it. I have a K-Tec so I’m set for the filling. How do you make the crust without a dehydrator?

  3. Karri says:

    I think chocolate is definately a superfood, from all I’ve read about it. I am inclined to eat it every day though. I was convinced it wouldn’t hurt me, except I am currently gaining weight. I think it’s the nuts and the raw cacao.

  4. Mary Laredo says:

    Even though I consider raw cacao a superfood I use it only as an occassional treat. It’s a stimulant which I’m extremely sensitive to and if I have more than 2 teaspoons at a time my body reacts in a negative way. I become jittery and feel “spacey”, like a bad “high”, which is much worse than the caffeine buzz I used to get from drinking coffee. I love chocolate and used to eat the bad stuff – processed with dairy and sugar – until I was diagnosed with cancer and cleaned up my diet. Perhaps because of all the detoxing I’ve done my body doesn’t want much more than simple raw greens, fruits, vegetables, sprouts, and some nuts and seeds. I still love the stuff and use it occassionally and sparingly as a decadent treat in smoothies or raw chocolate pudding.

  5. Dorothy says:

    I have to say regular chocolate in the past has been really addictive, so I’m going to give these recipes a try. I’m just afraid of craving these recipes. I’ve had carob with avacados, dates and vanilla for a carob mousse or frozen treat. That was decent. I also have to mention I’m already wired and don’t need any help in the wired department, so I’m going to have to be careful. Note: I’ll check out Dr D’s comments a little later tonight, I came in late to the program, maybe he has some great comments about over anscious(sp) pre menopausal women.

  6. Ron says:

    I think raw chocolate being the super food that it is, that we should find creative ways to eat small amounts daily! I use my little coffee bean grinder to grind it somewhat finely with a few of raw nuts (take your pick) and a tiny pinch of celtic sea salt and sweeten to taste with raw agave nectar, raw organic honey, or even a wee bit of maple surple, turning it into a small candy bar sized lump!


  7. Tracy Bordewyk says:

    Wow, you know how to ask a loaded question!!!
    I’m totally not sure, but I have read enough about raw chocolate to feel good about eating it. Not sure if I could call it a superfood. Probably just because of the stigma we have put on chocolate in general in our society. AND, I do think there is a segment of the raw health industry that still wants to make sure we aren’t enjoying our food too much!!! Otherwise it might not be healthy!!! I mean can great tasting food actually be good for you?!?!?!!!!
    Keep it comin’,

  8. Anna says:

    Fun show today!
    I think Raw organic Cacao is both a treat and a superfood. But not an everyday superfood for me. Cacao has it’s place in the diet, but only in moderation. I would say I take it more medicinally than for recreation, but then again I see all my foods as medecine…
    I have done a lot of research on Cacao, as well all the supplements I put into my body to ensure optimal health absorption and digestion.

    How I specifically use Cacao:
    1. As an super antioxidant boost in a post work-out shake.
    2. In a morning smoothie as a “pick me up” if I am really tired.
    3. I try and mix the Raw Cacao with Vitamins E and C as they work synergistically together. I especially love the flavors of raw/frozen rasberries with the raw cacao. Mmmmmmm!
    4. Also, for all you lovers out there, raw cacao and raw maca root powder taken together, help with libido 🙂

    However, I take cacao only once/twice a week because it contains high levels of theobromine, theophylline, caffeine and phenylethlamine. All of these can harm the body in excess. This puts stress on the adrenal glands, dries up the fluids in the colon, leaches calcium from the bones, creates headaches, irritability and throws the body out of balance.

    Final Note: Cacao is fun, sexy, delicious and can gives us a rush. Use it as medicine. Use it for entertainment. Just don’t rely on it!

  9. Bernadette says:

    Hi Kevin,
    I’m with Tracy on this one. I’m ‘totally not sure’ either. I’ve heard both sides of the contraversy and have just recently finished reading Doug Graham’s book, 80/10/10, in which he refers to raw chocolate as a stimulant. He’s not wrong about that. I do tend to react to caffeine and have never been able to drink coffee because of it. The first night I tried raw chocolate, which was the same night I first ate in a raw food restaurant, I was up until 2 in the morning. Since it affects me that way, I tend to stay away from it as much as possible, knowing I can get the same minerals in other foods. I have to wonder though, if that is why David Wolfe always seems to be running on ever-ready batteries. 🙂 Brandon Brazer also talks about stimulants in his book, ‘The Thrive Diet’ and warns people of the danger of using them to boost energy levels. He believes a person’s energy should come from the nutrients in a balanced whole food diet and not from stimulants. I would have to say my tendency is to agree with him.

  10. Hey Everyone!

    Thanks for posting and for all your support! I am really having a good time providing you with some fun recipes. Some are my own, some are my favorites from different sources and some are brand new. I will also be featuring your recipes as well! So keep sharing.

    Hi Suz – you can easily make the crust with out a dehydrator. Only soak the almonds for 30 mins and only add water if needed to help grind it up. Then put it in the freezer for an hour before filling it!

    I just like to soak the almonds for longer because then it is a bit easier to digest.

    Also we had a question last week about my white pot -it is a Le Creuset Stockpot
    they also make great cast iron pots which I think is a better choice. They are just extremely heavy, you can get a great workout taking it out of your cabinet and putting it on the stove 🙂

    Thanks Again and keep watching!!

    PS: My thoughts on Cacao – Yes it is loaded with great nutrients, but you should treat it as the stimulant it is. Small amount please, great thing is when you do treat yourself you don’t need to feel guilty!!

  11. Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

    My thoughts on cacao… it has all the great things it promises, magnesium, vitamin C, chromium, etc.

    And, yes, it also is a stimulant. I ate the chocolate pudding that didn’t make the show last night and couldn’t sleep until 3:00 AM. Clearly a sign that maybe not too much is a better choice. 🙂

    Less is better in this case.

    I like Anna’s talk on it best… well put!

    “Cacao is fun, sexy, delicious and can gives us a rush. Use it as medicine. Use it for entertainment. Just don’t rely on it!”


  12. ERNESTO says:


  13. Jerome says:

    Good evening Kevin,

    yes, I am using everyday raw cacao bean as snack at work and in my green smoothie at my breakfast. I considere it as a superfood enriched in antioxydants and Magnesium.
    Jerome from Portland, Oregon.

  14. Wendi Dee says:

    You two are awesome together! Annmarie, you are so sweet and I love the videos when both of you are together. 🙂 I chuckled about the pie that didn’t quite make it to the show, too, and how Kevin ate it anyway. lol

    As for cacao, I have a theory about it. I’ve been addicted to chocolate all my life. I craved it, it soothed me, it lifted me, and never disappointed. As I grew older, my love became more intense and I moved to darker and darker chocolate. It was the cacao (or a substance within it) I was wanting, not all the stuff that was added to create the candy. However, I can not physically consume it anymore without jeopardizing my health.

    My theory is that there is a substance in cacao (I’m no scientist, so I have no idea what it is) that is actually a poison in the human body. Our bodies can withstand so much of it, but there is a critical point when it becomes almost lethal if we consume any more. Once we reach that point, I think it starts causing heart problems. Before that critical point, however, I think it can be consumed with pure joy and no immediate side effects whatsoever.

    In any case, it tastes great and gives amazingly uplifting feelings. If I wasn’t already at my maximum saturation point, I’d still be consuming it. 😛

    Lots of love to both of you!


  15. Liz says:

    Kevin, you are so right in asking this question. One raw food expert will say scientists have studied raw cacao and it is not good for you and the next will say it is so good for you. I am not a scientist so I cannot say either way. I think all we can do is judge by how ones own body feels and reacts to raw cacao as with any other food.

    My husband and I add 1 tablespoon of raw cacao nibs to our quart of green smoothie everyday. We also love the occasional raw cacao dessert. If someone were to convince me that raw cacao is bad for me, I would feel the willpower thing kicking in and that is one of the things we are not supposed to struggle with in the raw food lifestyle. Not having to feel the need for “willpower” over eating certain things is what has made me, for the first time in my life, free of the diet obsessed world! So, I guess my conclusion is that it is mostly a superfood, but one that also tastes amazing!

  16. Louann says:

    For me, chocolate, in it’s healthiest form, is still chocolate, a treat, not a necessity in our menu. I also believe that, if we are looking for superfoods, it is GREEN, not BRAUN!
    Having said that, enjoy it on any celebration. If you celebrate every day, look for other choices, for our health’s sake.

  17. Joey Zimny says:

    Wow, raw cacao, what can I say! Well, first of all I’ve met David Wolfe. He was in Beverly MA several years ago when my hubby Stu and I were there. We know Raw-burt Reid the owner, we used to eat at his raw foods restaurant (The Organic Garden Cafe) when we lived over that way. We are now in New Mexico and no raw foods places here in Albuquerque 🙁

    So, we order the raw cacao from David’s web site. I have made the Goji Lemon Chocolate bars…yummy! Though, I have to get some cacao butter, I used just raw coconut butter and it over powered it too much.

    But anyway, what do we think of raw cacao…it’s two, two, two foods in one, a treat and a super healthy food. I also have the book Naked Chocolate. I have to make more things from it, the recipes look amazing!

    My hubby and I aren’t totally raw, though we were for a while but we do try to eat some raw foods every day.

    I love your videos, especially the food related ones because I love to play in the kitchen. So, Kevin and Annmarie, please keep up the good work in the kitchen and please do more raw cacao videos… and have a wonderful day.
    Joey 🙂

  18. Lauren says:

    I’ll be the oddball and say that I actually…*gasp*…don’t like chocolate! So for me it would be a superfood and not a treat. There are a number of studies that have actually suggested that a small amount of caffeine added to the diet may actually strengthen the blood-brain barrier and help prevent age-related mental decline.

    And may I make a suggestion for future recipes…some of us cannot afford things like raw cacao, loads of raw nuts, berries, etc. Out of the ingredients in today’s recipe, the only ones I can actually afford are the dates, vanilla and cinnamon…raw nuts are expensive and hard to come by, as are the other ingredients. I saw blueberries in the farmer’s market today for £2, and you only got a little container that perhaps held 1/2 cup. Not in my price range! Some more recipes that don’t require those types of expensive ingredients would be much appreciated. The vegetable wraps a few shows ago were fantastic.

  19. Dennis says:

    I actually have the book Naked Chocolate and I have tried the Blueberry chocolate pie and I love it. I have raw chocolate almost every day. I like to mix it in my smothie or just chocolate milk with my own hemp milk a little coconut milk and agave and raw chocolate. The antioxident value is over 95,000. You can’t afford not to try it.

  20. Hi Kevin and Annmarie…I just love watching the two of you in the kitchen and interacting. So great question you raised! I also loved how you described raw cacao as the gateway drug to raw foods. That was definitely true for me. After I had the pleasure of being present for a David Wolfe lecture, I ran out to buy some. The way he explains the experience of dipping a whole cacao bean into raw honey was enough to put it on the top of my shopping list. 🙂 Well for a year it was everything to me. It helped me while I cleaned up my diet and for the first time I ate chocolate treats without any guilt. I was in love!
    I had so much fun experimenting with recipes and even started making these “truffles” to share with everyone. For the Holidays that year, I brought them to parties and gave them out as little gifts to my clients. They were a huge hit. I had requests to make more and more of them, and started adding more super foods to get different flavors (like gogis, maca, spices and even green powder). It was amazing how people reacted to these little balls of heaven.
    Personally my diet evolved into an all-raw diet and of course I kept eating raw cacao. I put it in my smoothies almost daily, but here’s where I started to run into problems. As my diet got cleaner, my system was becoming overly stimulated and I had to cut back. I also found that my body, and mind weren’t ready to be 100% raw just yet. I now have cacao as an occasional treat. I will say that it is still a love of mine and I was thrilled to get raw Valentine’s treats this year, from my honey. I still have some in my cupboard though. Not something that I could have ever been so refrained with when eating regular chocolate. Cleaning up one’s diet is such an individual process and I know that everyone reacts differently to all foods, not just the controversial cacao.
    All that said the biggest response I received this year was when I posted the above mentioned recipe on my website as a suggestion of a healthy treat to make your loved one. So I welcome the dichotomy of cacao being both a gateway “drug” and a super food. It helped me personally and it continues to help me introduce more people to the pleasures of a healthier lifestyle. Thanks for opening up this discussion!

  21. simm says:

    I am looking for answers actually –
    I was really into making waht i called raw chocalate balls – and i mixed the raw cacao beans with agave and Maca and Goji berries and pumpkin seeds – Now i thought that my raw cacao truffles – as i called them – tasted great – But they looked weird and most people said – Nah – i don’t think so –
    So i gave up – on my idea of medicinal desserts – so – now –

    Here is the question – I still have a few bags of cacao beans broken that is a good year old – that i came across and I also found a bag of the unbroken cacao beans with the skin still on them -that I left in the freezer – the last month – after finding them … after I gave up – & got depressed that the raw balls looked funny and no body liked them – So – I just gave up and forgot about the raw cacao beans -for the past 10 or 12 months.

    Do you have to peel the skin off of the cacao beans or can you throw them in the blender with the skin still on them ??
    OOoops that is not the real question… yet –
    – Supposedly they have the skin on them – like a peanut – so that they don’t start collecting aflatoxin molds on them ???
    Is this true ???

    HERE’S THE QUESTION – How long before these RAW cacao beans are no longer good ??? – How can you tell – How old they are ???
    Basically – I want to know – how long can you keep them ?
    or when is it time to throw them out ??? Should I throw away about $20 worth of cacao beans – since they are about a year old now ?
    thanks for your input ! IOf they are in the freezer now after being room temperature for about 6 months are they still good ? can you freeze the beans and preserve them ?

  22. Stacey says:

    Hey there!
    I have loved raw cacao since I found out about it last fall. I’ve been drinking green smoothies for a year every morning & now I just put some in there!
    I always get to work with energy and feeling great. Others are still grumbly & just waking up.
    Superfood & treat!
    (tho, I think they are getting tired of me saying I feel awesome on a daily basis!)
    I can’t believe how much nutrition I get in me at the start of the day!
    Yes, it can be more expensive to eat organic & raw; I don’t eat a lot & choose what I do eat carefully so it doesn’t cost so much. (I hope)

  23. Amy says:

    I buy raw cacao nibs from Whole Foods, and use them in order to make my own trail mix, which I bring to work for lunch regularly. I find that raw cacao goes really well with cashews, almonds, and dried goji berries. Personally, I would only eat raw chocolate bars as a treat, as they include sugar, and are pretty calories dense. But, I enjoy raw cacao on a regular basis!

  24. Portland Vegan says:

    I guess I’m considered allergic or sensitive. I’ve tried raw cacao nibs from Whole Foods a while back and ended up with a reaction on my outer skin. Who knows what my insides looked like.

    My sensitivity could be due to an overdose occurring in my childhood. When I was a child I had chocolate everyday, then one Christmas I received a big box of chocolates which I promptly ate in one sitting. The result was getting very sick (for almost two weeks)and being told that my liver was sick due to eating too much chocolate. I wonder, can too much chocolate cause liver damage?

    Thanks for the great videos. 🙂

  25. Darlene Partain says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I enjoy reading the information you provide and find it very helpful. I am learning about raw foods and would like to learn more about raw desserts. A good starting place for me. I have experimented with the carob, avocado recipe, but can’t get it quite right. I have had a wonderful apple, nut, oat dessert also but haven’t found the recipe for this yet and would like to find raw dessert recipes. Do you have any more carob, nut, coconut and apple raw recipes you can share? I also just purchased a VitaMix and love it and learning how to use it more. Thank you.

  26. Charissa says:

    I love your shows, you guys are so upbeat and vibrant! And fun, you just make me smile!!!

  27. ida margrethe says:

    i made that pie aaaages ago, and i loved it! my family thought it was a bit weird, but i think thats cuz i made a personal twist to it ;]

    cacao – well, i love it, have nibs on my brekky every day (a raw concoction of sorts of things)
    ive read and listend to alot of david wolfes material, and im convinced thats its a brilliant superfood. and its healthy and yummy, and u can eat it all the time, guilt free! :]

  28. louise says:

    Mmm, I think I am becoming a raw chocolatarian… probably not the best person to ask as seriously considering a mono raw chocolate diet!

  29. louise says:

    Mmmm, raw chocoalte. See, it’s dangerous. Should be ‘Roar’ chocolate just to remind us. Sorry, I’m suffering the after effects of Shazzie’s Goddess bar. Oh dear, it’ sgetting harder to type… Hmm, think I’m leaving my bod

  30. Alisha says:

    Just made this and it is yuuuuuuuuum! Going to feed it to my family tomorrow night…so we’ll see if it really does work as a gateway drug…mwahahaha

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