Serve up a plant-based menu courtesy of Laura Wright’s The First Mess Cookbook, a collection of healthy recipes brimming with the freshest of ingredients.
Makes 9-inch tart
- • ½ cup raw almonds
- • 1½ cups gluten-free rolled oats (not quick-cooking oats)
- • ½ cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
- • ½ tsp fine sea salt
- • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- • 2 to 3 tbsp unsweetened almond milk or water
- • 2 cups full-fat coconut milk
- • ¾ cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
- • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- • ½ cup liquid virgin coconut oil, plus more to grease the tart pan
- • 1½ tsp arrowroot powder
- • 1 can full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
- • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- • unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375° F. Lightly grease a 9-inch tart pan (at least 2 inches deep) with coconut oil. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper and set aside.
- To make the crust, grind the almonds in a food processor until lightly chopped. Add the oats and coconut and grind until everything is the texture of coarse sand. Add the sea salt, maple syrup and 2 tbsp of the almond milk. Mix until the crust dough starts to lump together. Use additional almond milk if necessary.
- Press the crust mixture evenly into the prepared tart pan. Prick the crust with the tines of a fork, then bake the crust until lightly golden, about 12 minutes. Let the crust cool completely on a wire rack.
- To make the filling, rinse out the food processor bowl. Then add the coconut milk to the food processor, along with the shredded coconut, maple syrup, vanilla, sea salt, coconut oil and arrowroot powder. Mix the filling on high until you have a smooth and even mixture with a little bit of texture from the coconut.
- Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Place the tart in the refrigerator to set up overnight.
- To make the topping, remove the chilled can of coconut milk from the refrigerator. When you open it, there should be a thick layer of pure coconut cream on top. Scoop this coconut cream into a medium bowl, being careful to avoid the water at the bottom of the can. Reserve the water for smoothies or discard. Add the maple syrup and vanilla to the bowl and whisk by hand until you have a smooth and light cream.
- Spread the coconut cream topping onto the tart and garnish with toasted coconut if you like.
Laura Wright grew up in Ontario’s Niagara region, eating farm-to-table – and sometimes farm-to-hand (she picked produce for her father to sell at the local farmer’s market). Now Laura is helping others put seasonal, plant-based dishes on their plates. The First Mess Cookbook -- her debut collection, named after the blog she started after finishing culinary school -- boasts 125-plus recipes, which make veggie-based eating hearty and accessible. – CHRIS DANIELS
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