This dessert is not only fun and easy to make but is also vegan, gluten-free and sugar free. The wonderful thing about making raw desserts is the quick clean up and minimal use of tools. All you need is a food processor, a spatula, a muffin tin or tart form, and some bowls for soaking. However, the most satisfying aspect of raw desserts is the ability to make something super delicious and satisfying that is made out of whole food ingredients--ingredients that not only provide you with energy but also contain a whole host of additional nutrients. You alone are the sole processor of the dessert from start to finish.
So you might be asking yourself, what is a whole food? And what is a whole foods diet? Here are some great questions to ask yourself in order to understand if the foods you are eating are in fact “whole foods” (1).
- Can you imagine it growing?
- How many ingredients does it have?
- Have any of the original parts been removed?
- What has been done to the food since it was harvested?
- How long has this food been known to nourish humans?
- Yes I can imagine growing.
- Only 1 ingredients, itself.
- Nope, the whole blueberry is still there.
- The blueberry is stored either fresh or frozen.
- Blueberry has been around a very long time.
If you can answer all these questions about your food with the same answers, then YES, it is a whole food and it is apart of a whole foods diet.
However, there are also some whole foods that may have been processed or refined prior to your consumption. In reality there are only minimal foods that require zero processing or refining prior to eating, for instance an apple. An apple is usually eaten just as is with the skin and all. However, an orange does need a little bit of refining. We peel the thick skin in order to eat the juicy, sweet orange flesh. However, the orange itself is still considered a whole food.
In order to understand processed vs. refined I will define the words for you below.
Processed: When a food is changed from its original form. For instance steaming asparagus, baking a potato, or chopping an onion (1).
Refined: When one or more original parts of the food is removed and discarded. For example juicing an orange or extracting oil from an olive (1).
The examples listed above are simple processes or refinements, ones that you yourself could do in your own home. However, today most foods we consume have been processed and refined multiple times over prior to its consumption in your meal. Food items sometimes no longer even resemble their natural form, losing their natural color, taste, texture, and aroma and not to mention their nutrients and phytochemicals. Instead additives, such as starch, sugar, salt, or fat, replace what has been removed from the initial whole food. Meanwhile the physical properties of the foods are altered, causing potential health problems.
So today I made tropical blueberry kiwi tartlets out of 90% whole food ingredients, which were processed or refined only by myself.
Blueberry Kiwi Tartlets
Whole Food Ingredients:
2/3 cup Almonds (raw)
1 cup Cashews (raw)
1/3 cup Sunflower Seeds (raw)
1 Tbsp Whole Flax Seeds (raw)
6 Medjool Dates
1 cup Frozen Wild Blueberries (Trader Joes)
1 Vanilla bean
¾ tsp Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
Minimally Processed or Refined:
2 Tbsp Coconut Milk (without added guar gum, Natural Value is a good brand)
1/4 cup Almond Milk (homemade)
1 ½ Tbsp Organic Maple Syrup
1 tsp Ginger Powder (could use freshly grated ginger to taste)
Don't let the long list scare you from trying to make this recipe. I just tried to be very clear with each step. Also, this recipe can be tailored to your liking. Its easy to swap nuts or use what you have on hand. Feel free to get creative and use what you have available at home!
- Pit the Medjool dates and coarsely chop them. If they seem really dry you may want to soak them for 5 minutes. However, if they seem fresh and gooey then toss them into the food blender and skip the soaking.
- Use a coffee grinder and grind the 1 Tbsp of flax seeds. Place the ground flax seeds into a bowl and mix with 3 Tbsp fresh water.
- Place cashews in separate bowl and cover with fresh water.
Making The Crust:
- If dates needed to be soaked, drain the water, and place the dates into a food processor along with the almonds and sunflower seeds. Add ½ tsp of pink sea salt and zest of 1 lemon. Process until mixture resembles a coarse dough. It will naturally form a ball.
- If making individual tartlets, form 14 individual small balls and place 1 into each mini cupcake form. Using your thumb and finger tips press the ball down into the tin and up the walls to form a “crust”. If making a single large tart, use all the “dough” and form a crust bottom and wall.
- After pressing the “dough” into your cupcake tin or tart form place it into the freezer while making the “blueberry mousse”.
Making the Mousse:
- Drain the water from the cashews and place the cashews into the processor. Peel the kiwis and add into the processor. Finally add the ground flax mixture, the 1 cup of frozen wild blueberries, juice of 1 lemon, 1 vanilla bean (scraped inside only), 2 Tbsp coconut milk/cream, ¼ cup almond milk, ¼ tsp salt, 1 tsp ginger, and 1 ½ Tbsp maple syrup.
- Process until smooth. Taste and adjust flavors if needed. Here you can have some creativity. If you like things very gingery, add more ginger, if you want to have more lemon, add more lemon….you get the idea. If you like it as is, great!
- Transfer the “mousse” into a 2 cup liquid measuring cup. Pull out your frozen crust and slowly pour enough mousse into each crust until they are very full. You should have about 1 cup of mousse left over. Pour the remaining mousse into a mason jar and seal for later use. Place into refrigerator.
- Put the dessert tins back into the freezer. Allow the dessert to freeze at least an hour
- If making tartlets remove the cupcake tins from the freezer and allow to unthaw about 5-10 minutes. Then using a butter knife cut the sides loose of each mini tart and scoop out the mass with a small spatula. Place all the mini tarts into a an airtight container and return to freezer.
- If making a whole tart, place into an airtight container or into a plastic bag until you are ready to serve.
- When serving, pull the dessert out of the freezer and allow to sit at room temp 5-10 minutes to soften the texture. Use the remaining mousse as pretty “glue” by placing a spoonful onto each plate where you plan on plating the tartlets or tart slices. Enjoy!
1. Lair, C. Whole Foods Production. 12 April 2012.