A delicious, rich, and creamy vegan and no-bake tart that will put you in a summer mindset without the hassle of baking a pie!
After taking almost 18 months off, I have returned to doing yoga twice a week. Why did I ever stop? It’s a lame excuse, but we moved to a new neighborhood and I was simply too lazy to check out yoga studios in our area. Well that, and I was exhausted from managing a bakery. BUT, I am back to practicing yoga again, and it feels so great. I forgot just how strong I feel after going to a class, both physically and mentally. Let me be clear, I am still at a beginner’s level – I’m not even able to do a crow pose! But for me, it’s all about how my body feels after going to class. The mental boost is really important and powerful. Some teachers spend more time on meditation than others, and I find myself drawn to the teachers who dive a little deeper into the mental/spiritual work at the beginning and end of class.
One of the wonderful things about yoga is how connected you become to your body. As you move through the sequences, you are taking deep breaths and are completely present in how your body is feeling. At times, the poses are so difficult that it is almost impossible to think about anything other than how uncomfortable you are in that moment. But then the moment passes and you move on to the next pose; it’s a great metaphor for life. As I’ve reconnected to my body over the last few months of yoga, I’ve also worked at accepting my heavier body. As I’ve discussed on previous posts, I’ve gained somewhere around 15 lbs. over the last two years, and it’s been a real struggle for me to accept this. I have tried lots of different diets and workout regimens but nothing seemed to work. It affected my relationship with food and cooking, and as a result I didn’t spend much time in the kitchen last year. But I’ve decided to change that. Food is one of my great passions, and cooking and baking are really important ways that I express and nurture myself and others. I don’t want an extra 15 lbs. to hold me back from experiencing pleasure in life.
A few nights ago, I had an old friend over for dinner. As I thought about what to make for dessert, I pulled a recipe that I have been wanting to try for some time now but always told myself I would make when I was more deserving. Making this tart for no other reason other than inviting a friend over (and knowing there would be leftovers in my refrigerator the next day!) was so liberating – it almost felt rebellious. Screw you, social construction of attractive female bodies! Who knew making a tart could feel so simultaneously empowering and unruly?? I made a mental note to do this more often.
Now, this tart is no joke. If you love coconut like I do, you will really dig this dessert. It’s super simple to make, and it’s very healthy given that the crust is made from almonds and dates, and there is only a small amount of refined sugar in the cream filling. The original recipe, found in Food & Wine magazine, called for hazelnuts in the crust, but I substituted almonds. You can really use any nut that you prefer! This tasty little nugget put me in a summer mindset, with the berries and coconut combination. Making pies can be a bit of a pain, so this is a nice alternative for a summery pie without the hassle of making the real deal. Enjoy!
Blackberry - Coconut Cream Tart w/ Raw Almond Crust
- 3/4 lb. dates
- 2 cups almonds 1/2 lb.
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- sea salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil melted and cooled
- 1 cup 2-12 oz. cans chilled* unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 tbsp. confectioner's sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 12 oz. blackberries or berry of your choosing
- In a medium bowl, cover the dates with water and let soak for 2 hours; drain. Pit the dates.
- In a food processor, pulse the almonds until coarsely chopped. Add the dates, almond flour, a pinch of salt and 6 tablespoons of the coconut oil and pulse until the dough just comes together.
- Press the dough into a 9-inch pie pan (about 1/4-inch thick), pressing the mixture all the way up the sides of the pan. Freeze the crust until firm, at least 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, remove the coconut milk from the fridge without tipping or shaking and remove the lid. Scrape out the top, thickened cream and leave the liquid behind.
- Place hardened cream in your chilled mixing bowl. Beat for 5 minutes with a mixer until creamy. Then add vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until creamy and smooth - about 2 more minutes.
- Spread coconut cream mixture all over the tart shell, leaving a 1/4-inch border, and top with berries.
- Loosely cover the tart, and refrigerate for one hour to allow cream to set up. Serve cold.