Monday, 3 December 2012

Tarts for Breakfast

Or perhaps some pudding instead?
As someone who doesn't eat sugar (including many natural fructose sources) or almost any flour, it can be pretty hard for me to create treats, sweet breakfasts, or desserts that will not contribute to my health problems. That said, it's pretty fracking exciting when I find or develop a sweet treat that fits into my diet.
The following recipe is something I created this past weekend to bring to my dear friend's family's holiday gathering. I can't tell you how good it felt to be indulging in dessert along with the family  - there is something so affirming about eating alongside with people, and especially when other people are eating the same food as me (and, needless to say, the opposite is also true: it's very isolating and sad to be unable to enjoy food with the people I love, or to have everyone else indulging in one thing while I have a compensation prize).

the amazing spread! my tarts are the ones in paper

If you've read other posts in which I mention the principles of food combining, you will notice that this recipe does not comply with those guidelines. I have realized that my mental and emotional health (intrinsically related to physical health) are so enriched by having 'treats' and eating with people that the minor slowing of digestion caused by 'improper' combining is barely worth blinking at.

SO! here's my recipe for gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free squash tarts/squash pudding:

Squash Pudding:
-enough for one 9" pie OR 12 tarts, plus a little extra to bake as pudding
3 cups purreed sweet meat (or other sweet) squash
3 tb xylitol (more if you eat a lot of sugar, I do not so this tasted plenty sweet to me)
3 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ginger powder (or fresh ginger)
1 tsp 5 spice
1 tsp salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup kefir*
12 frozen/fresh cranberries (optional - to decorate tarts)

*I use goats milk kefir that I make, because it is the only creamy product I can digest (the fermentation converts lactose into lactic acid which makes it much more digestible, but also gives it a tart flavour). Coconut milk or whole cream would offer a sweeter flavour, so feel free to use whatever works for you.

Tart/Pie crust:
-enough for a 9" pie or 12 tarts
3/4 c quinoa flour
2/3 c millet flour*
1 tb xylitol
1/2 c very cold butter
cold water

* I couldn't find any at a store so I just put some millet through a coffee grinder which I don't use coffee in.

Preheat oven to 450 F
First, cut your butter into small chunks and put it in the freezer. Mix all the pudding ingredients together and set aside. In a food processor, combine flour and xylitol. Take your butter from the freezer and add to food processor. Pulse until it is mixed and crumbly, with small bits of butter throughout. It will look very dry, and perhaps only be a doughy texture at the bottom of the processor bowl near the blades. I added some cold water (only about a teaspoon) and pulsed a bit more. Dump out 'dough' (will still look very dry) onto a plate or directly into your 9" pie plate if you're making it a pie. If you grab a handful of the mixture, you should be able to press it into a clump in your hand (if not, add a tiny bit more cold water and mix in). Press dough into pie plate or into muffin cups. Try to make sure it's evenly distributed without any super thick or super thin spots.
Take your pudding and poor into pie/tart crust(s). Fill them as high as you can without spilling. Add a cranberry to the top of each tart if you like. Pour remaining pudding into an oven safe dish.
Bake for 10 minutes at 450, then reduce heat to 350 for another 25-30 minutes. If you put a clean knife into the center of a tart, it should come out clean. Depending on what size/shape of dish you put your extra pudding into, it may cook faster or slower.

they should look something like this, but nicer in better lighting
Enjoy as a dessert, a healthy sweet snack, or as part of a lovely breakfast. I the pudding would be extra delicious with some warm carrot cranberry lime sauce on top! Yum.

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