Making healthy treats is my absolute favourite thing to do in the kitchen. There’s something really fulfilling about creating something that satisfies that sweet tooth that you can indulge in that won’t leave you feeling poorly. Gone are the days where dessert meant eating refined sugars and flours and filling our bodies with empty calories devoid of nourishing ingredients!
The idea for today’s recipe popped into my head yesterday while at work. Almost immediately I called my boyfriend at home and asked to soak a cup of raw cashews for me. He’s come to know that soaked cashews usually means that something delicious is in store for him so he happily took on the first step that most of my raw desserts require.
If you are unfamiliar with making raw desserts, you might not know the magic that is cashew cream. By soaking cashews for at least a couple of hours (my preference is overnight) and blending in a high speed blender, you create an amazingly versatile cashew cream that I have used for all sorts of recipes – cream sauce for pasta, for decadently creamy smoothies, and of course my favorite: raw desserts.
Different of course from a traditional lemon tart, these lemony tarts with a swirl of raspberry are sure to satisfy and are made with ingredients you can feel good about eating.
For the Filling:
- Fresh juice of 1-2 Lemons: I really wanted these to have a distinct lemon flavour, so I started with the juice of 1 lemon and ended up working up to using the juice of 2. If you want a milder lemon flavour, you can adjust this to your own preference.
- 1/2 c of raw honey: Gently melt over low on the stove top till the honey becomes easier to pour and incorporate to the mixture. Note that you could easily swap this out for maple syrup to make this a vegan recipe.
- 1 c of soaked, drained and rinsed raw cashews: You do obviously need to plan a little bit ahead when using cashews but you can get by with soaking for 1-2 hours if you didn’t plan ahead the night before.
For the Crust:
- 1/3 c shredded unsweetened coconut
- 6 medjool dates: you’ll want enough to stick all of the ingredients together in the crust, so you can eyeball this one a little. If your dates are on the dry side and aren’t sticky, soak them in water to help soften them up for an hour or so. I happened to luck out and got the stickiest dates I think I’ve ever had before.
- 1/4 c rolled oats
Place the crust ingredients into your blender and blend on a low speed. This will help ensure the ingredients stay toward the bottom of container and don’t fly to the sides and top.
Once the mixture crumbled up like the photo above, test to see if the ingredients stick together when you grab a pinch of them. If they do, you’re good. If not, you might have to add a couple more dates to the mixture.
I don’t have proper mini tart pans, so I use parchment paper muffin liners which work great. Evenly disperse the crust mixture into approximately 12 liners and using your fingertips, press down firmly to set the crust. The more you press the crust together, the less crumbly it’ll end up being so take your time on this step.
Once you have your crusts ready, you can add your filling by taking spoonfuls of the filling and evenly dispersing over top all of your crusts.
For the Raspberry Swirl:
- 1/4 c fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1 tbsp water: you may have to add more to get a consistency that is liquid enough to swirl with.
This step is optional but I love lemon and raspberry paired together. I definitely wanted the dominant flavor to be lemon, so I only added a swirl of the raspberry. You may or may not see some layered tarts in the future for a heavier presence of my favourite berry.
I happen to have squeeze bottles intended for icing cookies that I stuck my raspberry mixture into for easy swirlability. Swirlability is totally a word by the way. At least it is now. If you want to use this method just make sure your raspberries are blended really well or the pesky seeds will clog up the opening. I topped each tartlet with a raspberry for a little garnish to bring it all together.
Once you have added the raspberry, pop the tartlets onto a tray, loosely cover and place into the freezer for at least an hour. Store them in the freezer and allow to sit out approximately 5-10 minutes before eating.
Have you ever tried a raw dessert before? What did you think? Let me know below!