I’m a big fan of the acai berry. It’s a bright, fresh flavor, and when the frozen puree is combined with other fruit it can be one of the best things you’ve ever eaten. (Not to mention that acai is said to be full of antioxidants, minerals and B-complex vitamins.) I wanted to incorporate it into a dinner party dessert, and that’s how this recipe came about, though I think the novelty of a fruit pizza would also appeal to kids. It could even be a super-healthy alternative to a birthday cake.
This recipe was inspired by a photo I saw online of an acai fruit pizza. I used a gluten-free almond butter dough adapted from the Oh She Glows cookbook, instead of the sugar cookie dough, which is commonly the base for a fruit pizza. It is crispy and holds up well beneath the acai and coconut mixture, and if you’re going to make a healthy dish, you might as well make the whole thing good for you. Go healthy or go home! This does not apply to some of my other recipes, but I think the only way we develop healthier eating habits successfully is to do it gradually. Sometimes you need a piece of pie, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s important to find healthy recipes you can put into your regular cooking rotation that you love and look forward to eating.
There’s really no end to the ways you can arrange the fruit to be decorative on top of the “pizza”. I opted for an ombre pizza in Valentine’s Day tones, but f you’re going for a more authentic look, jumble the fruit all over like it’s an everything pizza and spoon some of the coconut cream over the fruit, to look like melted cheese. And feel free to add any of the fruits you love best – if I had fresh peaches or plums this would have been a whole different kind of delicious. Who doesn’t love pizza?
Crust adapted from the Oh She Glows cookbook.
Prep time: twenty minutes for the cookie crust, 20 minutes to cut and place fruit
For the crust:
- 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 3 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup vegan butter or coconut oil
- ¼ cup roasted almond butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup coconut sugar or cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup rolled oats, blended into a flour consistency
- 1 cup almonds, blended into almond meal
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flaxseed and 3 tablespoons of water, and set aside to thicken for five minutes.
- Beat vegan butter and almond butter in a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment. Add sugars and beat for one minute. Beat in the flaxseed and vanilla until combined.
- Then beat in baking soda, baking powder salt, oat flour and almond meal, one at a time. The dough will be sticky.
- Place dough on a baking sheet with a silpat sheet, and form with your hands into the desired shape. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. (Dough will spread, so allow enough space around outside of crust for it to expand.)
- Bake for 15 minutes. Allow crust to cool before putting other ingredients on dough.
For the acai sauce:
- 1/3 cup Acai reduction
- 1 13.5 ounce can of coconut cream (found in Asian markets – or liquor stores for making pina coladas)
- Mix acai and coconut cream together and set aside.
For the fresh fruit:
- 1 cup each of six different kinds of fruit of your choice
pink grapefruit, cherries, red raspberries, watermelon, pomegranate seeds and red grapes.
- When all the fruit has been cup up and ready to be placed, spread the acai sauce across the top of the cookie crust.
- Layer fruits in any design and serve.