You might have noticed that I love adding a touch of freeze-dried berries (mainly raspberries) to finish off recipes, just because it makes them look that little bit prettier while also adding a splash of colour and touch of flavour. So when the opportunity came up to work with Lio-Liocious, a European freeze-drying company specialising in fruit pieces – as well as veggies and even cheese! – I was like, yes please!
Freeze drying retains the natural goodness of the product and offers great shelf stability without the need for additional preservatives, sugars or fats. Freeze drying is a very gentle process which removes virtually all the water from foods whilst retaining the structure, flavour and the nutrition of the fresh ingredient. That’s why you get that enjoyable, satisfying crunch and crisp texture without any baddies. Even just eating a handful of the freeze-dried berries alone makes a fantastic sweet snack!
Using the Purple Berry Blend, the Red Berry Blend and Raspberry Crumb, I’ve created these super easy but gorgeous, indulgent yet healthy desserts combined with an oaty coconut base and a rich chocolate mousse filling. You can make this recipe gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan depending on your preference, or even make one large tart in a big tin rather than small ones. As the weather gets nicer and hopefully we can enjoy some al fresco dining, these little treats would be the perfect accompaniment!
For the tartlet cases –
- 200g rolled oats (I used Flahavan’s – can be gluten-free)
- 50g desiccated coconut
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil (I used Cocofina)
- 2 tablespoons smooth nut butter (I used Meridian Foods almond butter)
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup (I used Indigo Herbs)
For the chocolate mousse –
- 350g silken tofu or thick yogurt
- 4 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder (I used Bioglan)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the decoration –
- Lio Licious Freeze-Dried Purple Berry Blend
- Lio Licious Freeze-Dried Red Berry Blend
- Lio Licious Freeze-Dried Raspberry Crumb
- First make the tartlet cases: Mix together the oats and coconut in a bowl. Gently melt the coconut oil, nut butter and maple syrup then pour into the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
- Divide the mixture between 4 x loose-bottomed individual tartlet tins and use your hands or a spoon to push across the base and up the sides. Chill in the fridge,
- For the chocolate mousse, place everything into a blender and whizz up until quite thick and smooth. Scrape out and spoon between the tartlet tins to fill. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle over the beautiful, vibrant freeze-dried fruits – then pop out of the tin and enjoy!