To prepare the pie crust: Slice the bananas and layer on the bottom of the pie crust. With moistened fingers, press the banana slices into a firm, solid layer.
To prepare the Choconot Mousse: Soak the dates in 11/2 cups fresh water for 5 to 10 minutes to soften. Drain the water and set aside. In a food processor, blend the dates, vanilla, maple syrup and coconut butter or olive oil (if desired) into a smooth paste.
It may be necessary to add a few tablespoons of date soak water to blend smooth.
Cut the avocados in half. Insert the blade of a chef's knife into the pit. Twist the knife to extract the pits. Scoop the avocados into the food processor with the dates and blend until smooth.
Spoon in 2/3 cup of the carob powder and cocoa powder, and blend until smooth.
For darker Choconot Mousse, add 2 more tablespoons of carob powder or cocoa powder.
Spread the mousse evenly over the banana slices.
To make the Vanilla Cream Frosting: Soak cashews in 1 1/2 cups fresh water for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain and rinse. Soak dates in 1/2 cup fresh water until very soft (about 5 to 10 minutes).
Drain water and set aside. In a blender, blend cashews, softened dates, maple syrup or honey, coconut butter or olive oil (if desired), and vanilla.
Add date soak water 2 tablespoons at a time as needed to blend smooth. With a rubber spatula, spread the frosting evenly over the mousse. For garnish, layer sliced strawberries decoratively on the frosting and place a mint leaf or two on each piece.
The pie serves best after it is chilled in the refrigerator for an hour or two. It keeps fresh for several days.
Makes one 10-inch mousse pie.
Source: "Living Cuisine: The Art and Spirit of Raw Foods" by Renee Loux Underkoffler (Avery, $21.95).