26 Jan 2015

MEYER LEMON COCONUT CREAM TARTS with MINT + LAVENDER


These are divine, and they are reppin' the world of desserts that don't include chocolate. The non-cocoa players need love too! I'm just mentioning this because a lot of my recipes lately have included that brown powder we all secretly kiss when no one is looking. This time, Imma be kissin' my Meyer lemons instead. Honestly when I eat chocolate I usually think something along the lines of "I NEED YOU IN MY LIFE ALWAYS AND FOREVER." But in reality, I go days without it and hardly notice (cacao, please don't be hurt, you're still in my heart). My point is: ya don't need cocoa or cacao powder to make a kick-ass dessert; raw, vegan, or otherwise. This recipe proves it. 


What we've got is a gluten-free crust made with buckwheat groats and almonds. That's filled up with a creamy, decadent cream of coconut, cashews, sweet lemon juice and garnished with mint leaves, lemon zest and dried lavender flowers. AH, that sounds SO PRETTY when I type it out. 

I'm really happy with how this came together; namely, with my new Blendtec. I know, I know. You Vitamix die-hards are probably gonna hate me now but I have to admit: when it comes to making nut butters and coconut butter, the Blendtec rules. I still prefer making smoothies and soups in the Vitamix, but my whole world changed today when I made the crust and filling for this recipe in the Blendtec mini twister jar (they have a normal size one too). It instantly turned into powder, and then quickly started turning into paste! I only added a handful of frozen almonds to some buckwheat groats but in seconds the mixture was on its way to almond butter. I've tried making nut butters and coconut butter in the Vitamix before but it took ages and the best I'd get was a powdery paste even with added oil. The Blendtec twister jar is specially designed for blending thick stuff into creamy butters in seconds, and it works damn near perfectly. I am SO EXCITED to actually, finally, *successfully* make my own nut butters and coconut butter. For the filling, I threw some cashews and coconut shreds into the mini twister jar and in just a few seconds I had something like cashew coconut whipped cream! I still cannot get over it. The reason I have a Blendtec now is because an engineer who works at Blendtec apparently loves my blog and she got them to send me a special blender with accessory jars she knew I'd love for making my raw vegan recipes. Thank you SO MUCH, Kristin! You da bomb. 

I feel like I am in a second honeymoon with raw food. I mean of course I always eat predominantly raw, but I do let myself get into routines, which become kinda boring after a while. To elaborate: for the past year or so my diet has been mainly fruit smoothies and green smoothies all day, then a huge bowl of baked vegetables and rice for dinner. It got a little uninspiring and too predictable. I love routine, but I also need to be passionate about that routine, and my passion had seriously decreased. I needed something new. Or rather, something old. I am back in love with the kind of raw food diet that I found so attractive a few years ago. Of course this time around, I don't have a militant mindset. But I am having fun with juices again, superfood shakes, and gourmet raw dinners. I am returning to my love of the simplest ingredients. I used to like to throw everything into the pan or blender at once, but since going vegan (5 years ago), my appreciation for individual plants has grown. Now I adore having a three-ingredient smoothie, salt- and oil-free baked veggie dinners, and simply eating an avocado all by itself. Another thing I am getting back into: colourful food! It's not that I have been eating a bland diet, but my smoothies tended to be mustard or dirt coloured because of all the stuff I'd put in them, and my dinners would usually be beige-ish because it'd be baked potatoes, pasta and/or rice with some tahini; my smoothies would sometimes be beige too because I'd just blend bananas with water. Now I am remembering how sexy it is when my smoothie is bright green, pink or purple my juice is glowing orange, and my dinner looks like a rainbow. The way you get your food to be so colourful is when you leave it raw and only use a few ingredients, so I am really into that right now (again). I might get bored of this too and then reunite with my giant baked potato dinners, but at the moment I'd rather go for a moderately-sized bowl of a little quinoa topped off with raw shredded veggies, baked yam, a half avocado and tons of green herbs (that's what I had tonight). Oh, and one of these tarts for dessert? 

Yes, please. 


MEYER LEMON COCONUT CREAM TARTS with MINT + LAVENDER
Makes two huge tarts; four servings

Crust:
1/2 cup buckwheat groats
1/2 cup almonds
1 teaspoon maple syrup (if desired) 

Lemon coconut cream: 
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup cashews 
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/4-1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (preferably from Meyer lemons since they're sweeter) 

Garnish:
A few mint leaves
1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup (optional) 

To make the crust: put the groats and almonds into a high speed blender and blend until it turns into a thick, slightly crumbly paste. If needed or desired, add a little maple syrup, then press into two tartlet molds or whatever shapes/molds you like. Put in the fridge.

To make the lemon coconut cream: put the coconut and cashews into your high speed blender and blend until it turns into a thick paste/butter. Stir in a 1/4 cup lemon juice and the maple syrup until evenly combined (or blend it in). If you'd like more lemon flavour, add more lemon juice! I like mine quite tart - no pun intended, seriously - so I used a full 1/2 cup. Spread this mixture evenly into your crusts, then let them sit in the fridge overnight or for at least a couple hours so the flavours can get to know each other. Garnish with mint, basil, lemon zest, maple syrup or whatever else you like! Life is good! 

Did you like this post? Then *subscribe to my blog* and get all my posts by email!