Raw Key Lime Pie from the Choosing Raw Cookbook

[Don’t miss the video interview with Gena, featured halfway down this page!]


Most blog readers have their favorite blogs for different subjects: you might seek out one blog for the best desserts; another for quick and easy, allergy-friendly recipes; one for thoughtful, in-depth commentary or pithy observations; or another because you are drawn to the personality of the blogger. In the case of Gena Hamshaw from Choosing Raw, however, many of us find all of those–and more–in Gena’s blog.

Because so many people already know and admire Gena, there’s been quite a bit of excitement surrounding her new book, Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat.  Gena’s writing is not only engaging,  down-to-earth and inclusive; the woman herself is also whip-smart, warm and welcoming toward readers and colleagues, with an incisive sense of humor that punctuates her observations. I first met Gena a few years ago during a visit to her home town, New York, and as our friendship has continued and I’ve gotten to know her better, I can tell you that she is indeed just as forthright, funny, and compassionate as she seems. I have no doubt her book will open up a new world of healthful, mostly raw eating to a whole different audience that might never have otherwise considered it.

More than a cookbook, Choosing Raw is truly a reference and guidebook for living a healthier life that happens to include an abundance of raw foods. After sharing her own story in the book, Gena moves to the “Why” of eating this way (two major reasons: health and compassion); the “What” (covering vegan nutrition and an in-depth discussion of raw foods); the “How” (setting up your kitchen and stocking your pantry, how to transition easily to a vegan diet with more raw food, and a 21-day meal plan to get you started). Finally, the book moves to The Food–125 glorious recipes, with stunning photos from accomplished photographer (and blogger/cookbook author) Hannah Kaminsky.

Recipes are divided into various sections, offering vegan standards and core meal components, such as “15 Essentials” (milks, nut or seed pâté, basic kale salad, etc.); “5 Juices”; “10 Snacks”; “20 Dips, Dressings, Sauces and Spreads”; and “5 Meal-Size Salads (and Meal-Size Salad How-to)”.  These are followed by sections introducing different “levels” of raw and cooked foods, from basic and introductory (Level One)  to more daring and exotic (Level Three), with each level offering breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes. The recipe section wraps up with “13 Desserts for Everyone.”

I’ve been working my way through the many bookmarked recipes in this beautiful tome and so far, every one has been a hit. Here’s what I’ve tried thus far (these were all shared on Instagram as I went along, so if you follow me there, you may have already had a sneak peek!):

candida diet, sugar-free, gluten-free hemp power balls from Gena hamshaw

 [Hemp Power Balls from the snack section]

No-Bake Sunflower Oat Bars on rickiheller.com

[No-Bake Sunflower Oat-Bars using pumpkinseeds and coconut nectar  for my ACD variation. Another from the snack section.]

Candida Diet, sugar-free raw faux tuna salad on rickiheller.com

[A smiley face of Dilly Raw Vegan Sunflower “Tuna Salad” (also made with pumpkin seeds instead, since that’s what I had on hand). From Level 3 lunches.]

Gena Hamshaws Raw Chocolate Covered Superfood Clusters on rickiheller.com

[Chocolate Covered Raw Superfood Clusters, made in mini muffin cups, ’cause they’re just cute that way. From the dessert section.]

Other recipes I’ve got bookmarked include Dinosaur Kale and White Bean Caesar Salad; Toasted Pumpkin Granola with Homemade Hemp Milk; Avocado Black Bean Breakfast Scramble; Carrot, Avocado and Turmeric Soup; and Almond Pulp Porridge. Almost all the recipes fit perfectly into my own diet (with a few minor adjustments for the ACD). Truly, this is the way I already love to eat, so everything in the book looks appealing to me!

Do check out the book if you’re a fan of vegan and raw foods, or if you’re just curious about how you might incorporate more of these healthful meals into your own diet.

And for more insight into Gena and her views on raw and healthful eating, take a look at this Google Hangout I did with Gena earlier today. I had a blast chatting with her (though pardon the opening few seconds–techie newbie here!).

Finally, Gena was kind enough to share this recipe for Key Lime Pie from the book. Key Lime is one of the HH’s two favorite pies (the other being Coconut Cream), and this recipe delivered big time. The crust is barely sweet, while the filling is dense, creamy and a perfect combination of sweet and tangy.

Enjoy this offering from Choosing Raw. You can learn more about Gena by visiting her blog and by following her on Facebook and Instagram.

Vegan, candida diet key lime pie on rickiheller.com

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 Gena Hamshaw Raw Key Lime Pie Recipe on rickiheller.com

[Disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links. If you buy using these links, at no cost to you, I will earn a small commission from the sale.]



  1. Lovely review Ricky and I’m already so in love with this book that you’ve just fueled the fire. I really enjoyed the live cast today and enjoyed hearing more from both of you about diet ideas and nutrition. Hopefully Gena’s book will really help those who need that last push to go Vegan and / or make the transition to a mostly raw diet.
    Great job and thanks so much for that Key Lime Pie, doesn’t get much tastier than that 😉

    • Thanks s much, Angela! I’m glad you liked the review and video! It’s always so much fun to chat with Gena, and I agree–that pie was to die for!! 😀

  2. Ricki and Gena:

    Thank you for this, it was great. You 2 are my favorite everything! Are helping me so much to get to 100% Vegan, I’m still a work in progress….. Thanks again!


  3. Could you substitute coconut nectar for the maple/agave? And what size tartlets would you make to come out with 4? Is there a standard tartlet size? (I don’t have any tartlet pans, but I’m interested because my spouse & I both love key lime pie.) Oh – also – the recipe does not specifically say key limes, so – is regular lime juice just as good? Thanks!

    • Hi Gloria! I’m sure you could (I do that all the time), but it would change the color. I’m going to get Gena to chime in, though, just to be sure! And I used regular lime juice, so sure that one works. 🙂

    • Hi Gloria!

      I totally second Ricki’s response re: coconut nectar. It’ll be a darker color, but the flavor will be the same. Regular lime juice is totally fine.

      As for the tart size, it should make 4 4.75-inch tartlet shells, or 6 4-inch ones.

      Thanks for reading!

  4. I’ve always loved Gena’s balanced approach and really enjoyed hearing the interview. Totally agree on the rigidity regarding health and “healthy” foods. My health and happiness is actually far better now I’m a bit more relaxed on that front.
    I really want to make the key lime pie and the superfood clusters!

  5. Oooh but that raw key lime pie looks lovely! I’ve vegans and a raw foodist visiting soon and I’m going to try and impress them – think this will do the job nicely, thank you very much!

  6. great healthy pie!

  7. oh that pie looks so good – love the green glow from avocado – I love Gina’s blog and her cookbook sounds fantastic – she is so creative and generous that I imagine it would be joy to read

    • I’m not surprised that you like the color, Johanna!! 😉 I think this would go perfectly on your blog. . . or in your kitchen. 😀 And I couldn’t agree more about Gena!!

  8. Thanks for sharing Gena’s beautiful recipe with us! I love her bright spirit and wholesome recipes.

  9. Great review! I will check this book out for sure! I loved the video! 🙂

  10. This key lime pie looks so good! Can’t wait to try it! Pinned!


  1. […] Yesterday Ricki Heller gave the book a wonderful review on her blog, and shared my recipe for raw key lime pie, along with a Q+A. You can read the post here. […]

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  4. […] recently published book, Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat, but I found it in Ricki Heller’s review on her site over here. As soon as I saw the recipe complimented by Ricki’s beautiful photography, I knew that I had […]

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