Can you smell that? It is the sweet smell of spring, that breath of fresh air that we all crave following the dreary, dark months of winter. Drops of dew dangle upon the budding flowers, birds begin to chirp happily outside your window in the wee hours of the morning, tempting your desire to skip out of bed and greet the day with an oh so satisfied grin on your face. If you don’t feel like this when you first wake up, and in fact you despise the very idea, I can at least hope that the one thing you look forward to about spring is the sunshine and the birth of a new gardening season. Fresh tomato and strawberry plants hang from balconies, soaking in the sunshine, slowly blossoming and soon to be eaten. The promise of fresh juicy produce hanging in the air, sweet upon my lips, I decide that I simply cannot wait. With sweet, almost guilty satisfaction, I decide to take matters into my own hands and buy everything I need to celebrate the arrival of spring by making Sweet Mixed Berry Tarts. I knew I would have to buy frozen berries, but a girl simply cannot wait until summer!
Now it may sound silly, but a bag of frozen berries truly is a guilty treat for me. I have so many other guilty pleasures that I indulge in every week, that an average student simply cannot afford to buy all the food riches that we crave. But, the first day of spring only comes around once a year and that deserves to be celebrated, don’t you think? I’ve been trying to make more raw goods lately, as my stomach has so many issues with so many foods that I try to walk a very natural, thin line. Using delicious (and very unexpected) ingredients like Agave Nectar and Cashews, I made some Sweet Mixed Berry Tarts. Adapted from a post by Sweetly Raw http://www.sweetlyraw.com/2010/07/sweet-tooth-summer-berry-tart.html I was very satisfied. I got lazy when melting my coconut oil, so the tarts weren’t as “put together” as desired, but they were delicious. If you’ve never visited Sweetly Raw, and love raw food, you must dedicate a night of clicking endlessly on her many blog posts as they are all so intriguing and seem delicious.
Mixed Berry Tart
1 1/4 Cup of Mixed Frozen Berries
1/2 Cup of Cashews
2 Tblsp Agave Nectar
2 tsp Lemon juice
1 Tblsp Melted Coconut Oil (melt in a small pot submerged in a bigger pot of boiling water)
In a food processor, add in your agave nectar first and then add in the berries, cashews and lemon juice. Blend until smooth and then add in the melted coconut oil. Blend a few quick times again, hoping that by the time it begins to solidify, it has successfully absorbed your tart mixture. When this occurs, it will be a thick mixture, yet it will still need to sit for about an hour in the fridge. So place it in a glass container and place in the fridge. As this sits you can make the crust!
Macadamia Nut Mango Crust
1 Cup of Macadamia Nuts
1/2 Cup of Shredded Coconut
2 Tblsp Finely Chopped Dried Mango
2 Tbsp Agave Nectar
Put everything in a food processor except for the agave nectar. Make sure that the nuts are ground, but not too finely as your risk them becoming too oily instead of sturdy. Add in the agave nectar to your mixture and blend a few times. This allows your mixture to become sticky, so make sure that all ingredients are stuck well together when you pick it up in your hand. I used a muffin pan and lined it with the crust mixture. When this is done, you can place the muffin tray in the fridge for about an hour or two so that the tart crust hardens.
Now the waiting period can sometimes be full of joy itself and not hateful anticipation. Allow yourself to indulge, as there are just some moments in life that deserve to be sweet with no regrets or strings attached. If you’re anything like me, you will take this time to eat the entire bag of the frozen berries..yummm. Or perhaps you’ll place the frozen berries in some white wine and forget all about your tarts. Either way, enjoy the sweet taste of a Mixed Berry Tart and crack a smile, because spring has officially sprung.