Whenever I eat sugar it wrecks havoc on my body. My blood sugar spikes and then drops, the next day I will feel like I’ve been hit by a bus (I call these sugar pains), and I literally feel like all of my energy has been sucked out of me. This is what happened to me just last weekend when I got in the Christmas spirit, put on some Christmas tunes, poured myself a glass of wine and had a baking frenzy going all out with a sugar battle – sugar one this round.
I’m not perfect. I try to eat my healthiest most of the time and fuel my body with foods that nourish me and make me feel good. But, every once in awhile I will “treat” myself (I put that in quotation marks because is it really a treat if it makes you feel like shit?), and every time I do I end up asking myself, “Why did you do this? Was it worth it?” I can assure you after the way I felt this passed week it was definitely not worth it.
So, this weekend when I was in charge of baking for my family’s Christmas dinner I made the conscious decision to bake something that is refined sugar-free and vegan. Bonus points for this recipe because it also happens to be gluten free! It’s a simple recipe with minimal ingredients where the base for the crust is almond flour and oats, and a blackberry filling.
For the filling
- 2½ cups fresh blackberries
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons tapioca flour
For the crust
- 1 cup blanched almond flour
- ¾ cup gluten-free rolled oats
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons coconut oil solid
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Add blackberries, maple syrup, vanilla extract and tapioca starch to a medium bowl and toss until coated.
In another medium bowl, add the almond flour, oats, maple syrup, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and mix with a spoon until well-combined. Add the coconut oil and with the spoon work it in until coarse crumbs form and the mixture holds together when pressed.
Remove a heaping ½ cup of the crumbs for the topping and pour the remaining crumbs into the bottom of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly into the pan. Pour the blackberries over the prepared crust.
Add the sliced almonds to the remaining crumble and sprinkle evenly over the top of the berries.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is lightly brown. At around 20 minutes, tent the tart with foil to prevent it from getting too brown. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.