Featured Recipe: No-bake fruit tarts
Cathy O’Shea, a registered clinical dietitian for 18 years at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Ill., says that a balanced diet can include desserts, especially those made with healthy ingredients like using silken tofu in place of a higher saturated fat custard.
“Topping your tart with fresh fruit can also boost the nutrition value of your dessert,” comments O’Shea. “Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, called anthocyanins, that may help keep your memory sharp as you age, and raspberries contain ellagic acid, a compound with anti-cancer properties.”
- 7-12 pitted dates
- 2 cups walnuts
- Optional: 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 12 oz firm silken tofu (patted dry & gently pressed in a towel for 15 minutes-up to 1 hour)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cups mixed fresh fruit, divided (blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, mango or whatever you prefer)
- Soak dates in warm water for 10 minutes and drain. Wrap tofu in a reusable towel and press for 15-20 minutes by lying a heavy pan on top of the block.
- Add walnuts to a food processor and pulse until a semi-fine meal.
- Drop dates one at a time through the processor’s spout until mix becomes doughy and holds together when squeezed between fingers (more or less dates may be needed depending on size).
- Line a pie or tart pan or several 4 3/4-inch tart pans with parchment paper. Divide crust between pans and press using your hands to form a uniform crust. Set in freezer to chill.
- For the filling, add drained tofu, lemon juice, vanilla and sweetener of choice to blender & blend until creamy and smooth. Adjust flavors to desired level of tartness/sweetness by adding more or less of the above liquids.
- Remove crust from freezer and top with filling.
- Chill to set (2-4 hours) and top with fruit just before serving.
Nutrition Facts per serving: (6 servings)
Calories: 375, Fat 26g, Carb 27g, Fiber 4.6g, Sugar 19g, Protein 14.5g, Sodium 119mg
About the Author
Jennifer Benson, health enews contributor, is manager of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin. She has 10+ years of community development and communication experience for non-profits in the Elgin area and has a BA in Architecture from Judson University. Outside of work you can find her planning the next adventure near water or rocks, re-organizing spaces, entertaining two needy cats, defaulting to curry or taco dinners, and growing green things wherever she can find room.