The Healthiest Blackberry Tart & Is Natural Sugar a Poison?

by Julie on September 9, 2010

Ooooh the black berries are sooo yummy right now I can hardly resist popping every other berry into my mouth- one for me one for the bowl, one for me……no actually I am sooo strict that I tend to pick til the bowl is full then sample a few.  But not my kids.  But that’s okay, these berries are packed with antioxidants so I was pleased to see them gobbling up handful after handful.

The nice thing about this blackberry tart recipe is that in the heat of the summer you don’t even have to turn the oven on!  These raw tarts are incredibly delicious and will have your guests asking for 2nds and even 3rds!  You can whip these up in no time at all or just prep the mixtures and fill the cups and top with berries just before serving.  Aren’t they gorgeous looking?  I found it hard to bite into one of these pretty things cuz I didn’t want to ruin it.

The ingredient in these tarts are nutritious starting with the fresh berries that are one of the highest sources of antioxidants.

The cashews in the fillling are rich in “heart friendly” monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic and palmitoleic acids that help to lower LDL or bad cholesterol and increase HDL or good cholesterol and a rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.

Raw lemon juice in the filling is also a super ingredient as it is known for it’s antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Lemons are rich in Vitamin C that is essential for our immune and digestive systems and assists the body in absorbing calcium and cleansing the kidneys and the digestive system helping the body to get rid of toxins.

The tart shell is packed with raw organic almonds that are high in the alkalizing minerals like cashews including magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, and manganese.  They also contain fiber, iron, potassium, phorphorus, vitamin E and manganese.  With all these nutrients almonds protect against gall stones, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and they can lower cholesterol and normalize blood pressure.  Soaking almonds increases their nutritional value as the nut sprouts and comes alive providing your body with living energy.  Soaking also allows your body to  absorb the nutrients more easily.

Dried dates are a also good source of potassium, iron, mangesium, copper, manganese, and B vitamins.  They are low in fats and cholesterol and high in dietary fiber and carbohydrates.  Though their sugar content is high 63.4 grams/100 grams,  it is still considered a healthy snack, owing to its plentiful vitamin content.  However, I highly recommend consuming natural sugars in moderation and explain in further detail after the recipe.

Blackberry Tarts
Yield: 16 mini tarts
1 cup raw cashews (soaked for min 1 hr)
5 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
5 tbsp filtered water + one tbsp
6 drops liquid stevia or 2 tsp agave syrup
Tart Shell
1 cup raw almonds, optionally soaked over night
1 1/4 cup dried organic dates
1 tbsp filtered water, if needed for combining the above
fresh blackberries, raspberries or strawberries
fresh stevia leaves or mint leaves for garnish
For the Filling; Combine cashews, lemon juice, zest, 5 tbsp water and stevia or agave and blend in food processor with S blade until smooth and creamy, adding last tbsp of water for consistency if needed.  Transfer to a small bowl and refridgerate while preparing tart shells.  Wash your food processor bowl and S blade.
For the Tart Shells; Combine almonds, dates and blend in food processor with S blade until the mass begins to clump together adding the water if needed to combine the mixture.  Take a generous tablespoon and roll into ball and place in mini tart pan.  Using the end of a wooden spoon gently press in the center and push mixture towards the sides lining the tart shell and leveling off the top edge as per image below.  Repeat until pan is full. Chill these for 15 minutes.  Remove from fridge and run a butter knife around the edge and lift each tart out on to a plate.  Continue making last few tart shells until mixture is finished up.  Chill these as well and then remove from pan.
To complete the tarts place the filling in each tart, heaping it up in the center, using up all the filling.  Top each tart with berries and a garnish of fresh stevia or mint leaves.  Enjoy!
Tarts are best eaten same day but will keep in the fridge for one day.  The separate mixtures will keep for 1-2 days in the fridge.

The cashew cream will be smoother and creamier depending on how long you soak the cashews in filtered water.  If you don’t have the time to soak, don’t worry, it will just be a slightly more textured filling that is just as delicious.  However, the benefit of soaking the cashews for at least an hour allows their beneficial nutrients to be more easily absorbed by your body.  Don’t soak them over night as cashew have a tendency to go rancid rather quickly.  To fill the shells I used 2 demi spoons to scoop and drop the filling carefully into the centers without messing up the edges, if you wish to be fussy about this process.

This tart shell process was quite simple.  I did however find that the mixture is a little sticky so rinsing and drying the end of the wooden spoon between each tart was helpful.  These tarts are so yummy you won’t mind the bit of fussing here to make them look great.

You might want to experiment with a variety of berries because most any berry tastes delicious with these raw ingredients.  Now it’s time to put the kettle on for some herbal tea to enjoy with these divine tarts you’ve just made!  Your guests will be amazed that they are raw,  healthy and of course that they taste so delish!

If you really want to earn brownie points with the neighbors take them a tray of these tarts and they’ll be happy to watch Fido for the night when you need!

Now for the tricky question; What natural sugars are good for us to consume?

Perhaps you might answer…. natural fruit sugars, agave syrup, maple syrup, pure raw cane sugar or stevia.    The real answer is none of them. The reason is that once the sugar is metabolized our body recognizes sugar as sugar regardless of it’s original source.  Sugar is a poison.  Too much sugar is suicide.  And how hard is it to resist sugar?  Very difficult, especially if you have an abundance of yeast in your system which most of us do.  It is this yeast that feeds off the sugar once we metabolize it and induces a craving, causing us to go in search of satisfying this cry for something sweet.  Sweet things are soooo tasty and hard to resist even if you don’t have a yeast issue.  It is just simply so satisfying to enjoy a sweet treat.  But that’s the thing.  It’s not just an occasional treat for most people.  Take a minute and see if you can calculate how much sugar you consume in a day.  Include all fruit, any sweetened yogurts, juices, granolas, muffins, salad dressings, coffee with sugar, –you’d be surprised at even the things you don’t think have sugar like beer, carrots, beets and corn.  Can you imagine eliminating all sugar?  It’s tough but I’ve done it and guess what?  I had no craving for sugar anymore.  Zap, gone, vamoosh!  I was amazed.  So it is possible to conquer.  I feel very much in control of my sugar intake these days and I choose accordingly.  I enjoy tarts like this one above in great moderation even though it has many healthy benefits.  As soon as I feel like I can’t say no to a 2nd slice of dessert then I know that I need to manage my yeast levels and perhaps stay clear of any sugar or any foods that turn into sugars like pastas and grains, for a while or do a green juice feast.  What I love is that I am completely aware of what my body is saying to me and this keeps me in check.  What I know is that yeast issues also referred to as candida are the root of many, many diseases.  If you can manage your yeast you will avoid most diseases.

Sugar is a poison is a bit of a harsh statement you might say but Dr Robert O. Young says this….  “Sugar is an acid and causes cancer! All sugars including agave, stevia, maple syrup, cane sugar, corn syrup, fructose, glucose, destrose, sucrose, and all artificial sweetners as well are acidic and toxic to the human or animal body. Sugar is a drug. Sugar is an acid. Sugar is a neurotoxin. Sugar is a posion. Sugar is a metabolic waste product. Sugar is a metabolite of cellular degeneration. If you eat sugar in any form it will make you sick, tired and fat and eventually kill you.  There is no such thing as an alkaline sweeter. They are all acidic and toxic to the body.”  Read more here

That said, I still believe in moderation but… can you do moderation?  Some people can and some people can’t because they have never cleansed their body of yeast, so they still crave it and can’t say No to the craving.  If this is you, you’re not alone.  Maybe it’s time to consider the facts and do something to gain control.  If you or a loved one are regular beer drinkers, this is you too.  The sugar is what you unknowingly crave and what makes it difficult to only have one, or just say no to having one at all.  The yeast is crying out to be fed.  Sugar is addictive but it can be conquered with simply alkalizing the body, minimizing and then eliminating most and then all sugar until the addiction is manageable.  Then you just maintain a balance of super alkalizing when you have the odd sugar treats even if they are natural sugars.  Drinking the super greens in your water is an excellent way to alkalize if you indulge!

You are probably wondering why would I post a gorgeous recipe above and then go on about NOT eating sugar.  It’s because I hope to make a point here that just because this tart is healthy in many ways doesn’t mean you should eat the whole tray alone.  Nor should you make this recipe every week.  If you hope to have high energy and live a vibrant life it’s important to have a good handle on your understanding of what sugar does to the body and your ability to control your sugar intake- and then if you over do it- how to recover.   That’s it.  That’s the message!  So really, if you get this all, and reach a point of healthy control, then go for it… eat the whole tray…. but then take responsibility and clean up the mess!

For further reading on sugar check out this book Suicide By Sugar: A Startling Look at Our #1 National Addiction by Authors Nancy Appleton & G. N. Jacobs

I hope after all this sugar talk you are still brave enough to try the recipe and enjoy these tarts.  It isn’t my intention to take the fun out of enjoying delicious sweet treats.  My intention is to be sure that you are well aware of the benefits and the concerns of eating certain foods so that you can maximize your daily energy levels and steer clear of disease.

I hope you can find some local wild blackberries to pick or that your local market has some juicy ones for you to top these tarts with.  Until next week, enjoy these gorgeous September days.

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