The Healthiest Blackberry Tart & Is Natural Sugar a Poison?

by Julie on September 9, 2010

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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
Filling
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
Toppings
fresh blackberries, raspberries or strawberries
fresh stevia leaves or mint leaves for garnish
Method
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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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah, Maison Cupcake September 11, 2010 at 8:25 am

Gosh those look beautiful, such lovely pictures. I wish we saw blackberries in the shops more over here!

Julie September 11, 2010 at 9:24 am

Sarah, the black berries are pretty special and we are so lucky that they practically grow on our doorstep. But go ahead and try some luscious raspberries or glossy strawberries that will taste just divine with the lemon cashew filling. Thanx for stopping by:)

Leslie September 12, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Wow Julie!!! These tarts look amazing!!! Blackberries are one of my favorites and I like the idea of an entirely raw tart -yum. Thank you for yet another beautiful and informative post.

Annie September 15, 2010 at 5:39 pm

I haven’t been back here in a while. I found you via Decor8′s blogging your way class several months back. I need to come back more regularly. I just love this post and am sure I will find some other great ones. Thanks such a well written, beautiful, and easy to read post.

Annie

maryam July 31, 2011 at 5:14 am

thanks for your post! I agree with the whole sugar thing! I’m going to your recipes soon! they excellent and healthy !

Lucy August 23, 2011 at 12:41 am

I made these and they definitely didn’t turn out as pretty as yours :( Any tips on stopping them totally sticking to the tin? I basically just had to re-mold them with my hands after taking them out… I did use fresh dates though vs dried maybe this affected it? Thanks they were very delicious though!!
xx

Julie August 23, 2011 at 9:05 am

Lucy, I would think that the fresh versus dry was the issue. I usually chill or even partially freeze my tarts before unmolding them and have a non-stick pan so they pop out quite nicely. Where I live we never see fresh dates so it’s not an option to use them but I imagine that it tastes nice. Next time you could add a few additional nuts to make it less sticky so it will unmold better but not too many so that it won’t stick together. Glad they still tasted yummy! I love this recipe especially that lemon cream!

Jess September 28, 2011 at 12:07 am

So when you say you have eliminated sugar from your diet, does that mean you do not consumer fruit regularly?

Julie October 5, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Hi Jess, I have definitely tossed the bag of white sugar we used to consume 3 years ago. Yes we minimize our intake of any sugar, be it natural from fruit or from maple syrup as our bodies recognize the sugar no matter the source. If one is ill with cancer or has a candida over growth they must abstain from all sugar and all sugar forming food like carbs-pastas & grains etc. What we do use for our fruits is organic berries. They are low in sugar and high in antioxidants. We also juice a small apple with our greens to make the green juice more palatable for my kids. Hope this helps.

Barb October 23, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Hi Julie! I have been making these tarts once a week as a sweet treat – they are sooooo delicious! So easy to make too. Thank you so much for all your recipes and inspiration – I look forward to your new blogs!

fede May 11, 2012 at 7:29 am

hi julie, wow i loved those tarts, my husband reckons are the best thing I have ever made lol, nd my mid boy that helped out making them could nt have enough. I have found the same issue tho, they stuck on the nn sticking tray mouldy thingy nd I had to use paper muffin to be able to serve. also do nt have a freezer. many many thanks, I also have every morning your chia porridge that is lovely as ever. I am going to try all the recipes out one at the time. I promise you!!
fede

maggie September 16, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I’m allergic to almonds, pecans, walnuts and pistachios; is there a another nut or seed I could use in place of the almonds?

admin September 22, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Maggie, you can use raw brazil nuts or hazelnuts just the same:)

Janneke Lade April 16, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Hi Julie,

just a quick sugar question – I am wondering why you included stevia in the list of baddies? My understanding is that stevia is not a sugar family molecule and the body does not recognize it as a sugar. As such, it was ok for people with insulin issues and would not support candida growth. Is this incorrect?

Great website, really enjoying exploring it :)

admin April 24, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Hi Janneke, you do understand correctly thus that’s the reason that I do use it in many of my recipes. It is the best sweetener IMO but… it can leave an after taste so many people are not keen. I tend to use it very sparingly or combine it with a smidge of maple syrup. On it’s own it’s fine in small amounts esp if you buy the alcohol free one. It also doesn’t work for every recipe since it has practically no volume as you only use a few drops.
The tricky things about stevia are 1. it is still a processed food if you use the drops which are the most convenient and blend in many foods the easiest and is easy to find, but you can find the green unprocessed powder and use it in place if it works for your recipe.
2. The main reason it may be considered a baddie is that conditioning your body to continue to enjoy sweet may lead you to want more or make it more difficult to truly appreciate vegetables if you often satisfy your taste buds with sweetness. Ideally to trim or extremely limit your sweetness intake will allow you to really notice and taste the sweetness in fresh veggies and your sweetness sensor will be much more sensitive and you will be less inclined to want the sweet things that are acid producing at least until you are settled into an alkaline lifestyle.
However, that said, it’s still a viable way to work towards reducing your sugar intake. Thx for your question.

Jocelyn June 9, 2013 at 4:49 pm

I may have a candida problem, I am a big fan of fruits and dates. How might one do a candida cleanse, what did you follow?

admin June 21, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Jocelyn, fruits and dates are the part of the root of your problem if you eat lots of them. Yeast loves sugar. You probably have leaky gut too if you have yeast problems and you can cure this all with an alkaline lifestyle. Be strict, do a juice feast here and eat 100% alkaline for 30-60 days and you will cleanse and balance. Read The pH Miracle book or listen to the audio book. All the best.

Betty December 28, 2013 at 8:10 am

Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe! Please could you tell me if I can freeze any left over tart shell mix? Many thanks :)

admin January 8, 2014 at 12:56 pm

HI Betty, sorry so tardy:( Yes I have frozen the tarts fully made up and empty and they freeze quite well:)

anna January 11, 2014 at 11:41 pm

Hi, Thank you for your blog! I love your recipes! What is your recommendation for a breastfeeding mom with candida overgrowth?

admin January 17, 2014 at 10:28 am

Hi Anna, I highly recommend using a high quality probiotics and to assist in beginning to balance the yeastie beasties! I would also use full spectrum digestive enzymes with all my meals to properly digest my food. Avoid all sugar including that from fruit. I suggest eating as alkaline as you can (80/20) and also avoiding starchy grains and vegetables like potatoes. Quinoa is fine and so is buckwheat. Green juice, green smoothies, blender greens (see recent detox post) and lots of salad and tonnes of water will help to over come it slowly. If your baby has a bum rash, skin rash, or thrush it’s most likely coming from you so it’s very important that you get it under control. I also really like a product called Candidase which is an enzyme formulation that will specifically digest the waste matter that the yeast leave behind as well as digesting the yeast as it dies and this will minimize the die off symptoms of the yeast that can be uncomfortable for you. Hope this helps.

Marta@What should I eat for breakfast today March 11, 2014 at 3:16 am

It looks so beautiful.

Valerie Shatto April 21, 2014 at 6:23 am

Hi there! I made this recipe for my family at our Easter gathering this past weekend. Everyone loved them and couldn’t believe the ingredients!! My only issue was that my shells didn’t hold their shape after 3 hours in the fridge and I was stuck having to dig the mixture out of the muffin pan with a knife and reshape onto the platter. Did I do something wrong? Has anyone else had this same experience? Should I put for some time in the freezer?

Julie April 21, 2014 at 10:03 am

Hi Valerie
this recipe was done long long ago (I was inexperienced at recipe writing) and I only indicated to “chill” back then without saying “freeze”! I haven’t noticed that I needed to edit this. Freezing makes it much easier to remove them from the tray before filling them. My apologies. So glad they enjoyed them. Happy Easter:)

Sandra October 15, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Hello,

Thank you for te fabulous pictures and your article. I was wondering if you could give me the model of the pan you used for these tiny little tarts by any chance? I would live to try making those.

Thanks a lot!
Sandra

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