Last year I had quite the love affair with making coconut cream pies/tarts filled with all kinds of berries. Seriously, I couldn’t get enough and neither could anyone I served it to. So this year, I decided it would be a great idea to actually write down the tart recipe and make them personal size. I also had the genius idea to make one of the coconut creams chocolate flavoured, because chocolate makes everything better, am I right?! By using coconut milk, I kept these bad boys dairy free and I don’t think you will miss the traditional cream one bit. Vegan berry tarts that are gluten free and refined sugar free, so you can have your cake and eat it too!
Letting Go of perfectionism
I really love to be honest here and I feel that I can write whatever I want because this is a safe place so here it goes. I am currently about halfway finished reading Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly and I have to say it has made quite the impact on me. Having been someone who always tries to be perfect, have everything together (or look like it) is exhausting. More than being exhausting, it holds you back from doing things you really want to do, such as writing a blog, putting all your thoughts out there into the world and not fearing the outcome. For so long, I was afraid to even start an Instagram account, putting my pictures out there next to huge accounts with the most perfect pictures was terrifying to me. I feared what people would think, but mostly I feared that no one would care. There are soooooo many amazing food blogs and picture perfect Instagram accounts out there, what was the point in adding mine? Slowly, I am starting to realize that although there may be thousands of recipes out there for the same thing (chocolate avocado pudding anyone), there is only one me. And what I say and what I do matters. What doesn’t matter is the amount of likes, comments or follows. The fact that I have put my true self out there is so much more important. I may never have 10,000 followers and that is ok, but the satisfaction of knowing that I went after what I wanted is worth it.
I know that I can do more though, there are still nagging thoughts in the back of my mind all the time telling me that what I am creating isn’t good enough, or creative enough and I am working on it. Because these thoughts don’t do anything except make me more self conscious and more apprehensive about putting the real me out there. They hold you back both creatively and spiritually and whats the point in living like that? Life is far too short to be afraid to live life on your own terms and then spend your days wondering what could have been. Living a life full of regrets is far worse than the occasional misstep or criticism. You have one great life, what are you going to do with it?
If you find yourself having these same thoughts just know that you are not alone. But try and move past them, acknowledge what you are feeling is vulnerability and that in order to live a full life, you have got to put yourself out there. Whether this is in regards to your job, career or relationships, only you are holding yourself back. Being vulnerable does not make you weak, it makes you strong.
If you want to listen to Brene Brown speak, have a listen here at her Ted Talk, it’s a great one.
Vegan Berry Tarts
Ok, back to these insanely delicious tarts now! The coconut cream is so good and you are going to have extra, but that’s no big deal, because you can use that on everything. Seriously, on top of overnight oats, in your smoothie, as a decadent fruit topping…the possibilities are endless. When you store the leftover in the fridge, it will thicken and harden, but you just re-whip it or just mix it really good with a spoon (that’s what I do, because I am lazy haha). I made two different types, vanilla and chocolate and if you only want to make one, I HIGHLY suggest making the chocolate, it really is the only way to go. As for the sweetener in the coconut cream, I used raw honey, however if you don’t want to use raw honey, you can add a bit of coconut palm sugar or maple syrup, but it may turn the colour an off-white, which is no big deal if you are making the chocolate flavour. I wanted to keep the white colour so that is why I used raw honey, plus raw honey is just delicious and has some wonderful nutritional properties as well. For the coconut milk, I always find using the Thai Kitchen brand results in a good coconut whip, ensure it is full fat and not lite.
This recipe makes 4 tarts and I used these mini tart pans from Williams Sonoma. You will have a little bit of the crust leftover, like maybe 1 tbsp or so, so no big deal. You could make this into one large tart, but you may need to add a little bit more flour to it as it may not be enough. Or you could just do the bottom and not the sides with it. No matter what you do, just make these and then enjoy every bite because they are awesome. Berry season doesn’t last forever here in Ontario, so I am taking full advantage now!
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (gluten free) plus 1/4 cup added later
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 cans of coconut milk (chilled overnight in the fridge, or in the freezer for about 20-25 minutes)
- 3 tsp. raw honey (divided between the two flavours, so 1 1/2 tsp per can)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract (for the vanilla flavour)
- 2 tbsp. raw cacao powder (for the chocolate flavour)
- Washed and dried berries (whatever is available to you)
- Raw cacao powder (sifted) or shaved chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Grease your tarts with coconut oil.
- Make the crust by placing the 1/2 cup of rolled oats into your food processor and blending until a fine flour is formed.
- Then add in your almond flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon and sea salt and process until the mixture comes together.
- Add in your 1/4 cup rolled oats and pulse 5-6 times to combine them with the paste.
- Using your hands, pat down the flour paste into your tarts and flattening it and evening it out, working from the centre out to the sides.
- Poke a few holes with a fork on the bottom of the tarts.
- Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
- Take out your cold coconut milk from the fridge and open them, carefully scooping only the hardened part from the top of the can and place it into a chilled bowl.
- Discard the water/liquid but don't throw it out, this can be used in smoothies if you want!
- Take your chilled bowl and add in the 1 1/2 tsp raw honey, vanilla or chocolate and beat with a hand mixer or stand mixer until combined and fluffy.
- Carefully remove your tarts from the pans (after they have cooled for about 15-20 minutes) and place them on a plate.
- Fill them with the coconut cream and top with your washed and dried berries and other toppings.
- It is best to place your mixing bowl and the whisk attachment in your freezer ahead of time, you can leave it in there for about a half hour or more.
- If you forget to chill your coconut milk, put it in your freezer for about a half hour or so and this may help, I have done this in the past and it has worked.
- Ensure that your berries are washed and then dried, because if they are wet, they will bleed onto your coconut cream filling and just wont look as pretty.