Sunday, January 31, 2010

Something SWEET, something RAW

Happy Sunday to one and all.  I just made my first raw dessert and I'm pretty excited because it's delicious. A blackberry tart.  It's a really fast dessert to make and with which to impress your family/friends.  The recipe called for strawberries but I didn't feel like cutting so I opted for blackberries as a substitute.  This recipe is courtesy of Gwendolyn Richie Jenkins of Southern Traditions.  Gwen is a fabulous raw food foodie whom I have had the pleasure of spending some time with last year.  Clicking on her name will direct you to her site.

Here's what you need:

  1. Food processor or mini food chopper [that's what I have]
  2. Alkaline water
  3. 2 cups of prepared almonds
  4. 1 1-lb pack of berries (experiment with your favorite).  This calls for fresh strawberries.
  5. 4 tablespoons agave nectar
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 1 pinch of sea salt [although I did not add this to my tart]

Here's what you do:

  1. Grind almonds in processor/chopper until finely ground.  [In a mini chopper you'll have to section out the almonds as they will not all chop at once].
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of agave nectar and vanilla [proportionate with the amount of almonds you are chopping at a time.
  3. Process briefly.  
  4. Press into pie plate.  [I find that the almonds tend to crumble if you don't press hard enough to the plate or if you don't have enough nectar in the mixture for the crust to hold together.  You must really use your judgement and play with agave portions.  I must tell you that agave nectar, vanilla extract and minced almonds make an altogether yummy combination for a crust.  It gives graham cracker crust a run...
  5. Wash berries in Alkaline water for 10 minutes.  Pat berries dry on paper towels.  [You actually may want to do this first while you are preparing the crust.]
  6. Slice thinly into a bowl. [I kept my berries whole - un hun, lazy].
  7. Add nectar to berries.  The recipe calls for adding vanilla to the berries as well but [I think due to the potency of extract it'll overwhelm the natural flavor of the berries [I left it out of my mixture, but you can add if you like].
  8. Note: If substituting the strawberries with blue or black, the author suggests blending half adding the others whole.  But again, too much work for moi' so I didn't do that].
  9. Toss carefully.
  10. Arrange berries in almond crust.  
  11. Serve immediately. [I put in the frige for 30 minutes because I didn't plan to eat it right away.]

Here's a photo from my blackberry phone - ironic right?
Well since it is 'raw' I used a spoon to transfer it into a bowl, I have no pie cutter or means to really press the almonds against the pie plate other than a large spoon - hands are better.  I watched Gwen make this pie.  Her version is fantastic.  I made modifications to my taste.  If done correctly, the crust cuts like a tart because of how the nectar and vanilla holds the almonds together to form a proper crust.  Regardless, it doesn't need to look perfect for it to taste good or for others to enjoy it as well.  I just realized that I didn't take photos of the process along the way - oops, next time.  All in this took about 20 minutes for me to prepare [cleaning, prepping, soaking, setting].  50 minutes including refrigerator [setting] time.  All of you two handed folks can do it in less time I'm sure.

Product Image
This is the mini chopper that I have; It's cheep $12.00 at Target but I paid $9.00 on sale.  For the money it's an impressive little kitchen gadget that works brilliantly.  If you decide to make this treat please let me know how it comes out and what berries you decided to use.  I am looking forward to using strawberries and kiwi next time because I'm visual and want to arrange the slices like the professionals do after my assistant preps them for me.  Oh wait, I have to get someone TO BE my assistant...enjoy!

[I have no monetary relationship with the manufacturer, store or Gwen.]


  1. I can't eat almonds, almond extract or almond paste. Imagine all the fun food I miss! And labels have to be scrutinized for any of that in the ingredients.

    It looks good and healthy though!

  2. It sounds really yummy but what's alkaline water?? Where do you find it?

  3. I'm not big on kitchen gadgets, but I could definitely see myself buying something like that to make something like those.

    I'd make them a lot. Oh yum.

  4. Sounds wonderful!!!!! And I love my mini chopper. I have had the same one for years and use it all the time.



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