I was in dessert-love the first time I made these….two of my all-time favorite tropical fruits mixed with healthy coconut and rich lemony crème. To this day hubby says it’s in his top favorite creations of mine. And it’s near the top for me as well. I was swept away not just by the incredible flavors but by the golden sunshine colors Sunshine Nutrient Smoothie. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such luminous cannoli. They seemed to just glow from all the brilliant orange and yellow fruits. All I had to do was assemble them, and let their natural beauty and flavors shine through.
The concept for this recipe came to me while I was revisiting a very old recipe of mine; a simple mango coconut pudding. I looked down at my just made pudding and suddenly had notions of this pudding turned into golden cannoli filled with rich and thick sweet crème. Funny, I hadn’t thought about cannoli in years.
I ventured back into the kitchen and began to work my little vision; slowly piecing it together like the busy little bee I can be when determination gets the best of me. My first piece of the project was creating the fruit cannoli. I applied the fruit leather concept, using mainly delicious fresh mango and added shredded coconut for extra texture and flavor. I wanted my cannoli shells to hold up to the creamy filling.
On the very first attempt, the cannoli shells came out perfect. I was so proud of myself. Not only was the ingredient list small, it was a breeze to make. The color was deep sunny yellow and the fragrance was everywhere. No nuts, fillers, or flour; just delicious fruit. But my cannoli shells demanded to be filled. I was halfway there. Almost.
The filling was a blend of Sweet Cashew Whipped Crème infused with ginger and lemon. It was creamy and rich, and just the right consistency so I could use my piping bag with ease. I filled my cannoli to capacity and took a deep breath. They were ready to eat. Or so I thought. Something was still missing. Fruit topping would add a refreshing bent to this treat. I mixed golden fresh pineapple with a few ingredients, processed just until chunky, and spooned over the crème-filled cannoli. What had I gotten myself into? Just what I needed; a new addiction.
Luscious thick crème, gorgeous versatile mango coconut cannoli shells, and sweet pineapple topping with ginger and zest all around; it was even better than what my palate imagined. Fragrant, healthy and delicious. I was especially thrilled because it’s rare that a new recipe of mine comes out right the first time, in fact almost never. I’ve modified this recipe slightly since that first run with a few subtle flavor additions, but otherwise I feel I’ve reached my fresh cannoli destination and wouldn’t change a thing.
This is a great dish for entertaining, special occasions, and of course anytime you want a rich and sweet treat. Life’s too short not to treat yourself. I hope you enjoy this beautiful sunny dessert and experience the joy, warmth, and love that went into creating it.
This recipe is raw, dairy and gluten-free, and serves 2 – 4 persons.
Mango Coconut Cannoli w/ Lemon Ginger Crème & Crushed Pineapple
These cannoli shells are versatile and can be used as tacos, crepes or tortillas. I like to add orange flavoring but it’s purely optional or you can use any other additional flavoring you wish.
- 3 cups fresh mango chunks, fresh or completely thawed frozen
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/3 cup fresh orange juice or coconut water or water
- 2 Tbsp honey or other natural sweetener to taste (optional)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt (optional)
- 8 – 10 drops orange essential oil or orange-flavored stevia to taste or 1/2 tsp orange extract (optional)
- Add all ingredients to a food processor.
- Process until well mixed and smooth.
- Pour onto a solid dehydrator sheet, spreading evenly into 6 or 7-inch circles. I use a spongiform pan with the bottom removed to act as the mold. They should each be around 1/4-inch thick.
- Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 10 – 12 hours or until you can easily peel them off the dehydrator sheets. You can also bake at the lowest temperature in the oven with the oven door ajar until completely dry.
- When ready, add the filling and topping.
- Yields about 4 – 5 cannoli shells.
- Can be stored refrigerated in a sealed container up to 10 days and frozen up to 2 months.
Lemon Ginger Crème:
- double recipe Whipped Cashew Crème (enough for 2 cups)
- 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled or 1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground ginger to taste
- few drops lemon or lime essential oil or 1/4 tsp fresh lemon or lime zest to taste
- stevia or other natural sweetener to taste (optional)
- 1 – 2 Tbsp virgin coconut oil (optional if you want it thicker)
- Add the 2 cups of Whipped Cashew Crème and remaining ingredients except the coconut oil to a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Add the coconut oil and blend again just until well incorporated.
- Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate for one hour to set.
- Yields about 2 cups.
- Can be stored refrigerated up to 5 days.
Crushed Pineapple Topping:
- 2 cups pineapple chunks
- 2 – 4 Tbsp honey or other light natural sweetener of choice to taste (optional)
- 1/2 tsp fresh lemon or lime zest
- Add pineapple chunks to a food processor.
- Pulse until chopped but still with some texture.
- Remove and strain the excess liquid (reserve the pineapple juice for smoothies and other recipes).
- Transfer to a small mixing bowl or other container.
- Stir in sweetener and zest until well mixed.
- Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
- Yields about 2 cups.
- Can be store refrigerated up to 5 days.
- Roll up each Cannoli shell. You can wet your fingers to keep it rolled up (like with sushi).
- Fill with Lemon Ginger Crème, making sure to fill it all the way to just overflowing at the edges of the Cannoli. I use a piping bag but you can simply spoon it in if you want.
- Add to serving plates.
- Spooning some Crushed Pineapple Topping over each serving.
- Serve immediately.