fresh fruit tart with citrus banana cashew cream on a buckwheat crumble crust
today, i loved colors. well, more than usual, and in my food. i am fully aware that it is much hotter and muggier in other parts of the world than it is here in minnesota, but today was our first really hot day. my one-block walk to work left me uncomfortably hot and sweaty, which was an unfortunate follow-up to the morning of fun food-making.
i had some soaked cashews waiting to be used in the fridge and a bunch of bananas on the counter, which i thought would pair well together to make a rich and creamy topping for the buckwheat crumble (again, from living cuisine) crust i’d made over the weekend. and though i love bananas and have been adding them to smoothies and eating them plain, i thought they might work well with some citrus flavors for variety. at work i have to bake these (unfortunately not vegan) citrus pistachio shortbread cookies that smell SO good. until i feel inspired to turn my oven on and veganize them, i thought i’d borrow the intoxicating trio of lemon, orange, and lime for this little creation.
most of my raw eating has been from cookbooks because i am far less familiar with the concepts and i wanted to learn new ideas and techniques. this time, however, you’re in luck if you’re jonesing for a homemade recipe! i’m going to go out on a limb and say you could probably make this with all bananas and no cashews if you can’t eat nuts, as well as subbing avocado for bananas if you’d like to keep the creaminess but skip the banana flavor. it works equally well as a pudding with granola and fresh fruit. or you can do it like i did.
citrus banana cashew cream filling (makes enough for a 10″ deep pie crust, maybe more):
1 ½ cups cashews, soaked 6-8 hours
2 bananas, peeled and broken into chunks
8 dates, pitted*
1 whole orange, zest and juice
½-1 lemon, zest and juice (start with 1/2)
½-1 lime, zest and juice (start with 1/2)
2 teaspoons vanilla, or vanilla bean
water, as needed
Place soaked and drained cashews in a food processor or blender and process into a meal. Add remaining ingredients (except water), and blend thoroughly, scraping down the sides as needed, until as creamy and smooth as possible. Add water as needed to adjust thickness (how much juice you get out of your fruits will affect this too). This may take 5 minutes depending on the strength of the processor/blender (but if you choose the no-nuts route, far less time). Taste and add more zest if desired. Use as a pudding or pie/tart filling with fresh fruit, eat, and pass out from creamy deliciousness.
*the dates do darken the cream up a bit, so you can use agave to taste if you prefer, or leave it out if you just want to rock the banana.
why yes, i did have a piece for breakfast!
after a quick rinse in the sink, the bowl went back on the food processor to whip up some pea mole (that’s the guacamole kind of mole) for a “torta” i was planning to bring to a dinner party later. however, that’s when i had to get creative. the “torta” crust i had made the day before out of sprouted wild rice and some other things didn’t smell quite right. i noticed this about the wild rice the last time i rinsed it – it smelled off in a way that made me worry it had gone bad. i rinsed it really really well and the smell seemed to go away, but after dehydrating it the smell was back and i just couldn’t risk sacrificing perfectly good fillings on a crust that might make me (not to mention my friends) sick. painful as it was, i tossed it and hoped i could come up with some sort of elaborate new dish. but i had no good ideas, and not much time. luckily my eyes landed on the massive container of rosemary crisps sitting innocently on the kitchen table, and i found my purpose. the summer manitok torta from living cuisine became, instead, spicy pea mole with avocado and tomato on rosemary crisps:
i actually added garlic (and some cayenne for kick) to the mole, since that flavor was meant to be in the wild rice crust, but otherwise kept it the same. instead of a torta, i had individual servings with a slice each of avocado and tomato, and parsley for garnish. despite a slightly less crispy cracker from being prepped in the morning, these were well received as my somewhat self-conscious contribution of raw. since i sadly couldn’t partake in the delicious-looking quinoa and garbanzo salad, i had three mini tortas!
i don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but i do have a small bowl of leftover mole, tomatoes, and avocado, so they will likely end up in something. that, and i have half of the fruit tart left (yep, it was all me). perhaps i’ll conjure up an appropriate vehicle during my haircut after work tomorrow?