No-Bake Vegan Blackberry Tart

Who doesn’t like the idea of mouth-watering desserts that are quick-n-easy to make and packed with nutrients? This tart takes no more than 15 minutes to prepare, is light and delicious, and has many health benefits (see notes below). What I also like about it is that it’s so versatile. You can replace walnuts with pecans or almonds, blackberries with your favourite fruit, add other ingredients to suit your taste and decorate to your liking.

I made this beautiful tart using whatever ingredients I could find in the kitchen. If you want to surprise your guests and get a “wow” instead of “it’s nice”, this is the dessert to make. I hand-picked the blackberries and I advise you to do the same if possible…this simply gives you more satisfaction.

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup walnuts, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup soft prunes

Filling:

  • 200 g chilled vegan cream cheese (try to use trans-fat-free)
  • 3 Tb powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 10 ripe blackberries

Preparation

Step 1: Blend the prunes into a smooth paste. Mix the walnuts and coconut in a bowl and add the prune paste. Mix by hand until just combined.

Stept 2: Form a ball, place in a 7″ (18 cm) sandwich tin, flatten it and then pat down with your fingers to form an even layer, covering the edges as well.

Step 3: Spoon the cream cheese into a glass bowl and whisk for a few seconds to make it smooth. Add the powdered sugar and lemon juice, and mix until just combined. Crush the blackberries (just a little) with your fingers and add to the cream. Mix with a spoon until your get a nice light purple colour. Fill the prepared crust with the cream and refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove from the fridge and, using a wet knife, cut into slices. Run a small knife under the slices for easy removal. Place on a serving plate and decorate with blackberries.

Tips:

  1. Due to their fat content, walnuts are highly perishable. To get the best of them, do not refrigerate this tart for more than 1 hour. You can serve it as soon as it’s made, but if chilled it tastes better.
  2. Desiccated coconut is dried shredded coconut meat. During the time it spends in the fridge, the crust hardens, as the coconut absorbs part of the moisture.
  3. The more powdered sugar you add to the cream, the softer it will become and harder to maintain a beautiful shape when sliced.

Did you know…

Blackberries are top ranked among fruits for their health benefits. They contain high levels of vitamin C and E (antioxidants), vitamin K, manganese and folate, and good amounts of calcium, magnesium, copper, potassium and beta-carotene. Blackberry seeds are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, dietary fiber and polyunsaturated fats. Regular consumption of blackberries helps boost the immune system.

Prunes cannot be praised highly enough. Apart from being a great snack and a fantastic addition of natural sugar to breakfast and desserts, they are known for their powerful antioxidant qualities and overall health benefits. They are fat-free and constitute a good source of beta-carotene, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron and copper. Prunes are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber. For those who don’t know, insoluble fiber is a great remedy for constipation, it speeds up the digestive process and flushes toxins out of the body. Soluble fiber mixes with water to form a gel and slows down digestion. It acts as an appetite suppressant, thus preventing overeating and weight gain.

Coconut contains less fat than most nuts and seeds, however 90% of it is saturated. It is an excellent source of iron, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, selenium, zinc and copper, and has good amounts of B vitamins, vitamin C, folate and dietary fiber, while being low in sugar and carbs. Fresh coconut water is the best known source of electrolytes and can be used to prevent dehydration. While coconut milk provides about 550 calories per cup, coconut water packs about 50 calories and is fat-free. Health benefits of coconut include: lowers cholesterol, increases metabolism, promotes healthy thyroid function, weight loss, skin, hair and nail health, stress reduction, mental acuity, heart health, acts as energy booster, fights ageing, and cleanses kidneys. It also has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.

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