Festive Fruit & Nut Chocolate Tart. Healthy Holiday Dessert.

Holidays gatherings are often centred around cookies, cakes, and chocolate, usually made from less healthy ingredients. However, we CAN indulge in sweets and enjoy holiday desserts in a healthy way. Using whole food nutritious ingredients like nuts, dried and fresh fruit, citrus zest, spices and teas, one can create a rich and flavourful holiday dessert that everyone will enjoy. This recipe for my Fruit & Nut Tart, is packed with vitamins, minerals, healthy un-saturated fats, and plant-based protein. A rich and indulgent tasting dessert that you can feel GOOD about eating and sharing with your friends and family!

INGREDIENTS

Crust

– Almonds, 2 cups (if allergic to nuts, use a mix of lightly toasted sunflower & pumpkin seeds)
– Dates, 2 cups (soaked in earl grey tea)
– Cacao, 2 tablespoons
– Cinnamon, 1 tsp
– Sea salt, a pinch
– Zest from 1 large orange (if not buying organic, make sure it’s well washed)

Filling

– Avocados, 3 small (soft to the touch but not too soft)
– Cacao, 1/4th cup (adjust quantity depending on how rich your cacao is. The colour when blended with avocado should be quite dark, taking over the green of the avocado)
– Maple Syrup, 1 cup (adjust quantity to your preferred level of sweetness but you should not taste the avocado, just benefit from its creamy texture which serves as the dairy replacement in this tart)
– Natural almond butter, 1/4th cup (if allergic to nuts-use tahini/sunflower seed or pumpkin seed butter)

Garnish

– Ground cherries, fresh blueberries & raspberries (or other fresh fruit of your choice!)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Start by making the tart base: Add the almonds to a food processor along with the cacao, cinnamon, and a pinch of sea salt. Pulse into a crumb-like texture. Set dry mix aside in a bowl while you process the wet ingredients.

2. Add the chai tea soaked dates (minus soaking liquid) and orange zest to the food processor and mix into a chunky paste. Now add the dry ingredients back in with the dates and pulse until it comes together into a dough. Press the mixture into a plastic-lined tart pan and place in the freezer while you prep the filling.

3. lice the avocados in half, remove the pits and add the creamy fruit to a food processor, along with maple syrup, cacao and 1/4 cup of almond butter. Blend until smooth! you will have to scrape down the sides of the processor with a spatula to ensure there are no small chunks of avocado. Taste the mixture and adjust maple syrup (sweetness) & cacao (bitterness) to your liking.

4. Remove the tart base from the freezer and spread over the avocado chocolate mousse using a spatula. Place back in the freezer to set for an hour or so.

5. Once firm but not frozen – remove the tart from the freezer and decorate with fresh raspberries, blueberries and ground cherries. Eat immediately or refrigerate until serving. ENJOY!

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