Did you know that November is World Vegan Month? For those of you who don’t know, I’m not actually vegan or veggie myself BUT I eat 90% plant-based out of choice: I live off wholegrains, fruit and vegetables, veggie protein sources like Quorn, tofu, pulses, lentils and nuts, with some dairy products and occasionally eat meat and eggs. When it comes to baking and creating sweet treats, most of them are naturally vegan as I tend to use flax eggs in place of eggs, maple syrup or agave instead of honey and almond milk rather than dairy milk – they are just some of the many alternatives I use which are just as simple and cost effective!
I was challenged by The Groovy Food Company to have a go at re-creating a classic vegan style dessert using their latest product, Organic Creamed Coconut, to celebrate World Vegan Month. You may have seen me feature it in this chocolate donut recipe here – it’s made from unsweetened coconut meat to create a creamy and delicious paste. You can use it to make your own coconut milk and coconut cream at home by combining it with water.
So with it being autumn and with the current seasonal obsession being pumpkin, I went down the route of making a spiced pumpkin pie but combining this flavour with coconut which let me tell you, is an absolute game changer!! This thick creamy filling is encased in a simple fruit, nut and oat mixture – which means there’s no cooking involved, just keep this insanely delicious dessert in the fridge and serve up when you’re ready for it!
For the tart base –
- 200g dates, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes (I used Whitworths)
- 75g almonds (I used Indigo Herbs)
- 75g walnuts (I used Indigo Herbs)
- 25g desiccated coconut
- 50g rolled oats (I used Flahavan’s)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (I used The Groovy Food Company)
- 1 tablespoon The Groovy Food Company Agave Nectar
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice
For the pumpkin coconut filling –
- 150g cooked pumpkin or butternut squash
- 6 tablespoons The Groovy Food Company Creamed Coconut
- 6 tablespoons The Groovy Food Company Agave Nectar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Large pinch of nutmeg
- Large pinch of ground cardamom
- Pecans and walnuts, to decorate
- First make the tart case: Place the nuts into a blender (I use my Ninja Kitchen Nutri Ninja) and whizz up until roughly broken down. Now add in the drained dates, oats, coconut oil, honey or syrup and mixed spice. Pulse well until combined and the mixture sticks together.
- Tip into a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin and use your hands to press across the bottom and up the sides. Chill while you make the filling.
- Allow the creamed coconut to melt in 50ml boiling water, then place in a blender along with the other ingredients and whizz up until completely smooth.
- Pour this into the tart case to fill just to the top, then smooth out evenly. Chill for at least 2 hours to fully set.
- Decorate the tart with walnuts and pecans then remove from the tin onto a chopping board. Slice into 8-10 pieces then enjoy!