Healthy, No-Bake Cranberry Jam Tarts

Healthy, No-Bake Cranberry Jam Tarts

Healthy, No-Bake Cranberry Jam Tarts

It’s only just occurred to me that many of you are probably not familiar with jam tarts. They’re very traditional in Britain and I have memories of them as a regular childhood treat, especially at birthday tea parties!

Usually a shortcrust pastry topped with a dab of jam and then baked, I always enjoyed them, especially when filled with my favourite- raspberry jam. You had to be patient and leave them to cool though as the jam would turn molten hot in the oven and you’d burn your tongue if you rushed to dig in!

Even if you’ve never tasted them I’m sure many of you have read Alice in Wonderland and might remember the scene with the Queen of Hearts and her jam tarts?

“The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts all on a summer’s day;

The Knave of Hearts he stole the tarts and took them clean away.

The King of Hearts called for the tarts and beat the Knave full sore

The Knave of Hearts brought back the tarts and vowed he’d steal no more! “

Healthy, No-Bake Cranberry Jam Tarts

My version is a little different to the norm. I went for a variation on my usual nut and date no-bake tart crust instead of the pastry, adding in some oats to cut the richness a tad. With the crust already being sweet I didn’t want a super sweet filling so tangy cranberries were the perfect choice for my quick “jam”. Lightly sweetened with coconut sugar, maple syrup and orange juice it worked wonderfully in these.

I recommend making a double batch of jam as it’s fabulous with plenty of other things: the perfect accompaniment to your Christmas meal, a lovely topper for pancakes or ice cream, swirled into non-dairy yogurt, and I recently discovered that cranberry and hummus are rather a delicious duo too.

Healthy, No-Bake Cranberry Jam Tarts

Healthy, No-Bake Cranberry Jam Tarts:

1C Almonds
1/2C Rolled Oats (not quick-cooking)
3/4C Soft Dates
Pinch of Salt

Quick Cranberry Jam:

1 1/2C Fresh OR Frozen Cranberries
2T Maple Syrup
2T Coconut Sugar
1/4C Orange Juice
1/2C (approx) Water
Zest of half an orange
1/2t Vanilla Extract

Using a food processor, blitz the almonds and oats together to form a fairly fine flour. Add the salt and the dates and process until you have a thick mixture which holds together when pinched between finger and thumb. You may need to add a couple of extra dates if it’s too crumbly.

Divide mixture between the 12 holes of a shallow cake/tartlet tin and press firmly in the base and up the sides to form 12 neat tart shells.

Refrigerate or freeze until ready to fill.

For the jam, place all ingredients except vanilla in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, stirring, until the cranberries have all popped and the jam has thickened up. Pour into a jar and refrigerate until cool. (I left mine chunky but blend with an immersion blender if you prefer yours smooth)

Runn a knife around the edges of the tart shells to loosen them and pop them out of the tin. Fill each with a couple of teaspoons of the jam.

Serve at room temperature

Makes 12

I’m submitting this recipe to the weekly link-up, Wellness Weekends.

Healthy, No-Bake Cranberry Jam Tarts

Anything red and sparkly speaks Christmas to me at the moment so I think these pretty little tarts would be a nice bite-size dessert passed round with Christmas drinks or to accompany your cup of tea on those relaxed afternoons over Christmas.

So tell me, have you had a jam tart before?!

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Healthy Christmas Cookies 2013


Whoopee it’s nearly Christmas! Less than 2 weeks to go! Sweet treats are aplenty at this time of year but just because you want to eat healthier it doesn’t mean you have to miss out.

A group of lovely blogger ladies have come together to share their healthier cookie recipes with you-18 in total- so plenty to see you through the season!

I contributed my Chocolate Orange Goji Cookies to the party. if you haven’t made these yet, now’s the time. Or, if these don’t peak your interest there are many more to choose from…

Chocolate Orange Goji Cookies

Sugar-free Sugar Cookies, Raw Gingerbread Men, Anzac biscuits with Cranberries, Chocolate Mint Tea Cookies…You’re sure to find the perfect cookie for you :)

Here’s the full list:

1. Sugar-Free Sugar Cookies - Gluten, Dairy, Egg and Sugar Free from Candida free Candee

2. Dark Chocolate Truffle Cookies – gluten free and dairy free from Tessa Domestic Diva

3. Macadamia Coconut Cookies – gluten free, sugar free, with dairy free and vegan option from Candida diet Plan

4. Christmas No-Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies – gluten free, grain free & super versatile from Gluten free Cat

5. Jungle Balls – quick, raw & vegan from Carrie on Vegan

6. Raw Gingerbread Men – Raw, grain free, and vegan from Om Nom Ally

7. Chocolate-Orange-Goji Cookies (No-Bake or Baked) – gluten free from Coconut and Berries

8. Spiced Orange Cookies - gluten-free, vegan & oil-free from Stir, Sift & Savour

9. Gingerbread Men who like to be healthy – gluten free, dairy free & vegan from Including Cake

10. Quinoa Raisin Cookies – gluten free from Simply Sugar and Gluten free

11. Gingerbread-Cookies – Gluten free, dairy free and egg free from Sandi’s Allergy free Recipes

12. Flourless Triple Nut (or Seed) Brownies - gluten free, grain free, vegan & paleo from Gluten free Easily

13. Hazelnut and Cherry Carob Truffles - vegan and wheat-free from Bitesized Thoughts

14. Double Chocolate Paleo Hazelnut Cookies – gluten free, grain free & dairy free from the Tasty Alternative

15. Healthy Peppermint Oreo Cookies – vegan & gluten free from The Healthy Maven

16. Chewy Molasses Cookies – gluten-free and sweetened with date sugar – from Queen of Quinoa

17. Anzac Biscuits with Cranberries – from Green Gourmet Giraffe

18. Chocolate Mint Tea Cookies - refined sugar free from Spiced Curiosity

Plus a few useful conversion tips how to use Stevia & Xylitol in Baking instead of sugar.

Healthy Christmas Cookies 2013

Go check them out and share with friends and family.

A big thank you to Sandra of Candida Diet Plan for hosting!

What’s your favourite holiday cookie?

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Cabbage, Apple & Pomegranate Salad with Ginger-Almond Dressing


I called out to my Facebook followers this afternoon asking whether they’d prefer me to post a salad or dessert today and surprisingly the jury was divided! Sorry to those who wanted dessert but I went for the salad. Hopefully you won’t be too disappointed with my offering…

Cabbage, Apple & Pomegranate Salad with Ginger-Almond Dressing

I know some might not think a salad appropriate for this time of year, but I beg to differ. Salad can be satisfying all year round in my book. I love my roasted roots too but even in the winter sometimes I feel like something a little fresher and don’t want to turn on the oven. This salad uses all seasonal ingredients- cabbage, apple and pomegranate, and the rich, nutty dressing with just a touch of ginger is naturally warming. Cabbage, Apple & Pomegranate Salad with Ginger-Almond Dressing

Aren’t those pomegranate seeds beautiful?! I’ve had pomegranates many a time but each time I open one I can’t help but marvel at how gorgeous they are. Those sparkling, jewel-like seeds clustered together….perfection in nature!

I wonder if you know about the amazing technique to easily seed pomegranates without creating a gigantic mess? Remove the seeds underwater! You just crack open the fruit, submerge it in a bowl of water and gently pry the seeds out with your fingers. The seeds will sink and the pith will float so you can easily skim it off. For full details see here.

Cabbage, Apple & Pomegranate Salad with Ginger-Almond Dressing

The dressing is what really makes this salad sing. I did a lot of taste-testing while making it but luckily still had the perfect amount to generously coat everything. I added hemp seeds mainly for the health benefits but they also provide creaminess together with the almond butter. They do have a distinctive taste which I know not everyone’s fond of, so if you’re one of those people feel free to use another 2T of almond butter instead. Adjust ginger to taste as well.

Cabbage, Apple & Pomegranate Salad with Ginger-Almond Dressing:

1/2 Medium-sized head of green cabbage, shredded
1/4 Red Onion, very thinly sliced
1 Medium Eating Apple, thinly sliced (tossed in juice of 1/2 a lemon)
1/3-1/2C Pomegranate Seeds


2T Almond Butter (mine is unsalted, if you’re is salted you may like to decrease or omit salt listed)
2T Hemp Seeds
1T Agave Nectar
1/4C Fresh Orange Juice
1t Apple Cider Vinegar
1-2t Minced Fresh Ginger
1/4t Salt
Black Pepper

Combine cabbage, onion and apple in a large bowl. Tossing the apple in lemon prevents browning and adds a touch of tang to the salad.

Blend all the dressing ingredients together until smooth. If using only almond butter than you can whisk this together by hand.

Add the dressing to the salad and toss well. I used all of it but, depending on the size of your cabbage, you may not need it all.

Remove to a serving dish, top with a few grinds of black pepper and scatter over the pomegranate seeds.


Do you eat raw salads all year round? Favourite uses for pomegranate seeds? I’ve got plenty of seeds left!

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Review: Raw Foods Festivities Workshop, London


Sorry I haven’t posted for a little while. End of term busy-ness crept up on me and I had a lot of work to get done. Thankfully I’ve handed in all my assignments now, and with just a few classes to go I’m ready for the Christmas break and lots of kitchen time!

I should really have been working on Saturday but naughty me snuck off to London last minute to take part in a Raw Foods Workshop run by Tanya Alekseeva of Better Raw. I’ve talked about Tanya before and reviewed one of here other e-books, “Nourished: Raw Foods for winter”, but this class was focused especially on Christmas recipes!

Tanya demonstrated a whole raw foods Christmas menu, right from drinks through to desserts, and showed that you definitely don’t have to miss out if you want to eat raw or even partially raw this Christmas. We’ll be at my brother’s for Christmas Day this year where the menu won’t be raw or even vegan but my sister-in-law is very kindly insisting on cooking a special vegan dish for me and everyone else to share. All the same,  I’m hoping to make some of the raw recipes we tried at the workshop for my family to enjoy over the Christmas period too.

All the recipes came from another of Tanya’s e-books “Festive: The Best Raw Food Christmas Recipes” which has 30 recipes in total.

Tanya Alekseeva, Better Raw

Tanya in action with the nut loaf before its time in the dehydrator

I thought I knew a lot about raw food already but found I learnt so much in the two and a half hour class. It was so lovely to be in the company of like-minded people too- passionate foodies who care about their food being both healthy and tasty. I’ve been in touch with Tanya for some time too but hadn’t met in person before Saturday.  She really has such a wonderful energy and enthusiasm for what she does and her passion for raw foods is certainly infectious. I came out of the workshop simply buzzing and excited to eat more raw meals!

Raw Christmas Feast

Each dish was prepared in front of us in the lovely kitchen while we sat on comfortable sofas and sipped spiced Christmas tea Smile

So what did we eat?

Sorry for the poor quality pictures. The lighting wasn’t the best in the workshop space and I was keen to get my plate of food!

For the main meal there was:

Nut Loaf
Mushroom Jus
Caramelized Onions
Cranberry Chutney              and
All the Trimmings Salad

Wow! I loved how all the components had been carefully considered to reflect the flavours of a traditional Christmas dinner but in a raw and much healthier form. Unlike the heavy, sleep-inducing food you might be more used to eating on Christmas Day, this meal will leave you with energy for a long afternoon walk (or even a run!).

Raw Mince Pies

A celebration always calls for dessert! There are several options in the e-book: traditional Christmas Pudding, Cinnamon Cookies, White Chocolate Orange Cream Berry Cake, Ginger Crunch Cookies, Very Berry Raw Food Trifle….but we got to try the Christmas Mince Pies. These were unbelievably delicious and far superior to the baked kind in my opinion. We were fighting over the last ones! Tanya’s kindly shared this recipe on her website, along with some other raw Christmas recipes gathered from other chefs. None of these require a dehydrator.

Raw Nut Nog

Since I’ve been back home I couldn’t resist making the final recipe we tasted on the day- the Nut Nog. This rich, sweet and perfectly spiced drink is a real treat and the perfect way to celebrate finishing my work Smile. It’s made using homemade hazelnut milk so it’s extra creamy. Can you spot my little robin in the background? I think he wants to dive in!

As a special Christmas treat, Tanya’s offering a 25% discount on all her e-books (before December 31st) and has also collaborated with a whole load of companies to bring us discounts on their products. Some of my favourite companies are featured, including Detox Your World, The Raw Chocolate Company and Teapigs tea.

There are also massive savings to be had on kitchen equipment- Vitamix blenders, dehydrators, the Tribest personal blender (this is the one I have and love!), and much more.

There are no upcoming workshops listed at the moment, but keep your eye on the teaching page as I’m sure more will pop up soon. Tanya is, however, holding a very special event in the new year- a seven-course raw supper club! It sounds like a must if you’re interested in raw food and can get to London for the 29th of January.

 Have you attended a cooking (or “un-cooking” class before? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

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Kabocha, Spinach, Brown Rice & Miso Broth


In case you didn’t see on Facebook or Twitter- the winner of “Super Healthy Snacks and Treats”, picked out of 101 entries using a Random Number Generator, was…number 7- Janet from The Taste Space! Congratulations to Janet and thank you to everyone for taking part. I’m sorry I couldn’t give you each a copy! If you want to buy yourself a copy or ask for it for Christmas, it’s available from, Amazon UK or through the author’s website.

Now on to today’s recipe!

Kabocha, Spinach, Brown Rice & Miso Broth

So my plan to try all the different varieties of squash out there this winter rather failed. I haven’t made it to the Saturday morning farmers’ market as much as I’d have liked, and when I have picked up squash I haven’t been able to identify them anyway! Recently I spied one I did recognize but hadn’t yet sampled- Kabocha!

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Kabocha is an Asian variety of squash, commonly called Japanese pumpkin. I think they’re rather cute, all short and squat, and cutting through the dull green skin revealed a brilliant orange flesh.

As I said, this was my first time trying it, and much as I’d read it described it had a very sweet, almost chestnut-like flavour and was softer and more starchy than other squash- quite similar to sweet potato in texture.

Considering its Japanese roots I thought I’d go that direction with it. I had seen a recipe in The Asian Vegan Kitchen for a side-dish of kabocha simmered with tamari and mirin, and turned it into a complete meal with chewy short-grain brown rice and greens in a soupy miso broth. A bowl of pure, nourishing, comfort food.

Kabocha, Spinach, Brown Rice & Miso Broth

Kabocha, Spinach, Brown Rice & Miso Broth:

1/2C Short-grain Brown Rice
220g/1/2 lb Diced Kabocha Squash (approx 1 1/2” pieces)- Simply remove the seeds and stringy fibres from the squash and dice, leaving skin on.
1T Tamari
1” Fresh Ginger, finely minced/grated
1/2T Mirin
1T White Miso
2 1/2C Vegetable Broth OR Water
2 Green Onions, thinly sliced
100g/4oz Spinach
Red Chili & Squeeze of Lime (optional)

Cook your brown rice first (You could also use other hearty grains like barley or farro) per package directions. Set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together tamari, ginger, miso and mirin until smooth and gradually whisk into the broth in a large pot.

Add the kabocha and simmer for approx 10 minutes (don’t boil) until the squash is soft but not falling apart. Add the brown rice to warm through and the green onions and spinach to wilt.

Finish with a squeeze of lime, and a little sliced red chili (optional).

Serves 2

Other squash recipes I’ve made this season:

Butternut, Barley & Lentil Pilaf

Linguine with Pumpkin & Chard

Warm Butternut & Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing

Miso Curry Roasted Squash with Crispy Chickpeas & Kale

Chocolate Pumpkin & Cranberry Muffins

Pumpkin Pie

I’m keen to try spaghetti squash too but it sadly remains elusive…

Do you have a favourite variety of squash?

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