Thursday, October 2, 2014

Raw Crusted Vanilla-Cardamom Yogurt Tart

Guys!  I have fallen in love!  Don't worry, I'm not leaving my Hub's, its with another blog;)  My current blog fascination and admiration goes to the beautiful Farm on Plate.  Medha, a classically trained chef, is the genius behind the delicious creations of this well-written blog, and resides just one province over, in my home province of British Columbia.  Right now, Medha is travelling her own homeland in Western India.  The pictures she has been sharing while in India, along with the stories, are absolutely mesmerising, and completely engaging.  I implore you to give her blog a read.

I perused this Raw Crusted Vanilla Cardamom Tart from Farm on Plate, about a month back, and have been experimenting and substituting ingredients, and thoroughly enjoying each incarnation.  I had been wanting to try a strained yogurt dish for sometime now, as I have been reading many Middle Eastern Cookbooks, looking for inspiration for the spices my mom gifted me from her travels to Turkey last year.  The strained yogurt, is also referred to as Labna, or yogurt cheese, and can be traditionally served either sweet or savory.   
Playing with the original recipe of Medha's as a guideline, I've used Chia seeds in place of Hemp Hearts, different combinations of nuts for the crust, and topped the tart with berries, and both peaches and nectarines.  Every which way results in a winner, you simply can't do wrong!  

I couldn't call is a Raw tart though, because yogurt is not raw, as it has been pasteurized.  However, creamy Greek yogurt is packed with B12, which can be a common deficiency amongst raw foodies. The essential vitamin is typically derived from animal sources, making it hard to get enough of on a raw diet.  I used the 0% president Choice brand of yogurt, in honey or vanilla flavour (or a combination of the two!).  If you use a higher fat content yogurt, you would get even cream cheesier results (that's a thing!).  Or,  for a true raw or vegan option try using soaked cashews, pureeing them to a creamy consistency, before adding the additional spices and flavouring. 

Raw Crusted Vanilla-Cardamom Yogurt Tart
Recipe adapted from:Farm On Plate

Raw Tart
2 cups raw almonds (or mixture of raw nuts - I used 1 cup almonds, 1/2 walnuts, & 1/2 pecans)10 dates, pitted1/4 cup flaked or shredded coconut
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1 1/2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
pinch of sea salt

Grease either a springform pan or pie plate with coconut oil or line with parchment or cellophane, and set aside. 
Place almonds, dates, coconut, hemp hearts, & salt in food processor.  Pulse until thoroughly broken down.  Add the melted coconut oil, and pulse again, until mixture becomes sticky when pressed between fingers, you can add a bit of cold water if you still find it too dry.  Place mixture into the prepared dish, and press out with your fingers or back of a spoon. Cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Yogurt Filling
3 cups Greek yogurt ( I used 0%)
1 tsp cardamom powder
vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 cup honey(agave or maple syrup would do in a pinch)
Healthy pinch of sea salt

Mix the Greek yogurt with the pinch of salt. Place yogurt in double layer cheesecloth/muslin cloth, gather up the sides and put the bundle into a strainer or colander, and place the strainer over a bowl.  Put the yogurt contraption in the fridge overnight to drain. 
Combine the drained yogurt, vanilla beans, cardamom, & honey, in the blender or food processor, blend.  Taste, and adjust for sweetness if desired.  Pour the yogurt mixture over the crust, and smooth out the top with the edge of your spatula, or bottom of a spoon.
Note: ** Original recipe states: Put the pan in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to set. Before serving, take the pan out of the freezer and thaw for 15 minutes.**  I have been simply chilling the tart in the fridge, skipping freezer step, and have been enjoying the results!  
Top the tart with your choice of fresh fruit or berries before serving.


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