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Eat Dessert First: Beet and Lavender Tarts


I know what you’re thinking: “She’s gone crazy. She’s officially lost her mind. Beet and Lavender…what???”

I know you’re thinking this because when I told my husband, Jesse what I was making a few weeks ago, he said those exact words. But, then he tasted these amazing little bites of heaven, and he ate his words… along with three tarts.

And, as proof that I am not fibbing, Josie, my 11 year-old daughter left this note on the counter for everyone to see. This was an un-solicited and un-paid review, from a very tough food critic. Thanks, Josie!

 This note pictured is from my 11 year old daughter. She left it on the counter after she sampled her first tart. This was an un-solicited, un-paid review from a very tough food critic. Thanks, Josie!

I originally found this recipe from Raw. Vegan. Not Gross. But, I tweaked the recipe a bit to accommodate my (and my family’s) flavor and baking preferences. And, I wanted to make mini versions, not one large tart. That way, I can sit and eat 5 without feeling the least bit guilty.

You may also notice that I am calling my version a tart and not a cheesecake, as in the original recipe. Jesse was having a hard time with me calling it a “cheesecake” if there’s no cheese in it. He feels like it’s misleading and I get it. I also feel misled when my kids tell me they “cleaned” their rooms and all they really did was push the piles of clothes, books and food wrappers under their beds.

This recipe is super easy, fun to make and the tarts can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

The crust is moist and packed with flavor, it doesn’t fall apart or crumble under the weight of the fork. The filling is rich and creamy, and not overly sweet. I reduced the amount of the lavender in my recipe so that you just get a hint of the flavor, I didn’t want the tarts to taste like my great-aunt Rose’s potpourri sachets.

And, for those beet-haters out there, give these tarts a try! Using raw beets is nothing like the traditional boiled variety you may be thinking of. When you think of beets, do you think of the mushy, heavily salted, maroon discs under the sneeze-guard at a salad bar? If so, this recipe just might convert you from a hater to a lover (or at least a liker) of these amazing root veggies. Beets have so many amazing heart-health benefits, that I love finding ways to add them to my diet. And, using raw beets gives the top layer a gorgeous pink/fuchsia color that comes from nature, not a food-dye kit. Extra points in my book!

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These tarts are perfect for Valentine’s Day, a delicious birthday dessert or a protein packed breakfast (yup, we ate these tarts for breakfast for an entire week). Life’s too short not to eat dessert…first thing in the morning!

BEET AND LAVENDER TARTS

White Layer:

  • 2 cups coconut meat (I found this in the frozen section of a natural food market in my town, and I let it thaw before using)

    • DO NOT use coconut flakes as a substitution

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for about 60 minutes, then drained

  • 1 cup pure maple syrup

  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon or orange juice

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, softened and slightly melted

Pink Layer:

  • 2 cups coconut meat (see notes above)

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for about 60 minutes, then drained

  • 1 cup coconut oil, softened and slightly melted

  • 3 TBSP fresh squeezed lemon or orange juice

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1 tsp dried lavender (I found this in the bulk bin section in same natural foods market where I found the coconut meat)

  • 1 cup pure maple syrup

  • 1/2 cup beet pulp (wash and scrub 1 small raw beet, trim the stalks and ends. Cut the beet into chunks and pulse a few times in a food processor until a pulp forms

    • Be careful as beets stain horribly! Optional: wear gloves and an apron!

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice (available in most grocery stores in the produce section)

Crust:

  • 3 cups coconut flour

  • 1 cup almond flour

  • 1 cup beet pulp (about 1 large beet, see process above)

  • 1 TBSP nutritional yeast

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1 TBSP fresh lemon or orange zest

  • 1 tsp dried lavender (see shopping notes above)

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (room temperature, not melted)

MAKING THE CRUST:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Blend all ingredients for your crust in a food processor until a dough forms (it should resemble a play-dough consistency)

  3. Line a 12-tin cupcake pan with paper liners. Then, mush about 2-3 TBSP of dough in each liner. Make sure to reinforce the elbows/sides so they don’t crumble when baking.

  4. Bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes. You are looking for a light brown color and a firm-to-touch texture.

  5. Remove from oven and cool in the fridge while you make the white layer.

MAKING THE WHITE LAYER:

  1. Rinse out the food processor well.

  2. Combine all the ingredients for the white layer and process until rich and creamy (you are looking for the consistency of a pudding, no chunks)

  3. If it’s too thick, slowly add a bit of water

  4. Once the crusts have cooled, pour the white batter over each crust, just to about half-way, leaving room for the pink layer.

MAKING THE PINK LAYER:

  1. Rinse the food processor well.

  2. Combine all of the ingredients for the pink layer (except the pomegranate juice) in the food process and blend well

  3. Slowly add the pomegranate juice until you achieve a creamy, pudding like consistency, no chunks!

  4. Pour the pink batter over each white layer and freeze for up to 30 minutes or until set.

  5. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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Serving suggestions:

  • Remove the paper liners before serving. They look much prettier that way.

  • Decorate the tops of each tart with left-over white batter (we made hearts on ours), dried lavender or dust with confectioner’s sugar…use your imagination!

If you end up buying more lavender than you need (like I did), you can always make yourself a beautiful potpourri sachet for your sock drawer.

A delicious, healthy dessert to share with loved ones and a DIY project to make my socks smell amazing? Best. Day. Ever.

With love,

Jane


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