Freezer tarts and chocolate hearts
(Before we go any further though, I'd just like to thank you all for your recent comments - I do love hearing from you!)
You'll forgive me for the rustic look of this tart, I could have made a prettier second batch for photographing this weekend, but I don't think you'd want to have to wait till next week for a recipe like this one! These raw treats are only slightly adapted from a recipe by my friend and colleague Julie Daniluk from her debut book Meals that Heal Inflammation. Be sure to zest your lime before you slice it open for juicing!
1 cup raw walnuts and/or cashews
1 cup shredded coconut (plus a little extra for garnish)
1/2 cup packed pitted dates (they need to be soft like fresh honey dates or medjool dates)
1/4 sea salt
3 avocados (not overripe)
1/2 cup raw agave nectar and/or raw honey
3 tbsp. lime juice (from 1 or 2 limes)
1 tsp. finely grated organic lime zest (from 1 lime)
Put the nuts and coconut in a food processor and pulse to a coarse meal. Add the dates and salt and whirl again until you get a uniform mixture that begins to stick together. Transfer this mixture into a 9 or 10-inch pie plate, or portion evenly into a dozen muffin cups. Press the mixture to make a compact crust using your fingers or the back of a spoon (or both). Slide it into the freezer for 15 minutes to set.
Rinse out the bowl of the food processor so it's ready to use again. Put the avocado flesh, agave nectar or honey, lime juice and zest in the food processor and whirl until smooth. Remove the crust(s) from the freezer and pour this creemy filling into it, ,smoothing it out as desired, and sprinkling with some shredded coconut if you like. Return to the freezer to set for at least 15 minutes. You may defrost them for 10 minutes before serving if you like. To remove the tarts from the muffin tray, simply run a paring knife around the edge and they should release with ease.
Makes 1 pie (about 8-12 servings) or 12 little tarts and about 1/2 cup leftover lime mousse. Store any leftovers in the freezer.
The trick to gluten-free baking really is a blend of various flours. The banana and coconut oil add lovely tropical fruity notes to these little love cookies.
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/3 cup amaranth flour
1/3 cup corn or tapioca flour
1/2 tsp grey or pink sea salt
1/2 ripe banana
1/3 cup fair-trade cocoa powder
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated coconut oil (recommended) and/or sunflower oil
1/2 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
1/2 raw cacao nibs (optional - you could also use finely chopped nuts)
Preheat the oven to 350oF. Line 2 baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set aside.
Whisk together the flours, cocoa powder and salt in a large bowl. Mash the banana in a medium bowl and then cream it with the oil and syrup using a silicone spatula until a uniform mixture is achieved (it's okay if you can still see like beads of coconut oil). Scrape this mixture into the bowl of flours, add the cacao nibs and stir just until all the flour has been absorbed.
Portion the dough by the heaping-tablespoonful out onto the prepared baking sheets. I choose to form some of them into hearts with my fingers, but is you can find your collection of heart-shaped cookie cutters, by all means, use them (though you may still want to manipulate each one to give it a personal touch).
Slide in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, until tops look relatively dry (be sure not to overbake them!). Allow to cool completely on a rack before storing in an airtight container.
Makes 30 smaller cookies.
PS. Remember the culinary Valentine paraphernalia I mentioned 2 years ago? I predict they're going to be dusted off Saturday morning. You know, now that Ryan and I live together and all, I don't think he needs to pretend he doesn't believe in romantic gestures anymore. I'll let you know how it goes!