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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Vegan Delish App: Recipe & Giveaway!

Vegan Delish sized for blog use

I’m sure many of my readers are already familiar with Carrie. But if not, here’s a little introduction:

“Carrie Forrest is a graduate student in public health nutrition, author of the popular blog, Carrie on Vegan, and creator of the best-selling app for iPhones and iPads, Vegan Delish, featuring healthy recipes using whole food ingredients. As a thyroid cancer survivor, she is keenly aware of the health benefits of a plant-based diet. Carrie has been vegan since 2010 based on her love for animals and a commitment to making the world a more compassionate place.”

As you can probably tell, Carrie’s a pretty inspirational woman. She’s doing a wonderful job in educating others about the benefits of a wholefoods, plant-based diet, and with her advice and tips, recipes and app she makes it more than possible for anyone to follow suit.

Carrie Forrest headshot

Vegan Delish is exactly as it’s described “A Dynamic Recipe App to Nourish Your Healthy Life”. Carrie has thought of everything to make it as easy as possible to eat good, healthy, vegan food.

You can see the iTunes preview page for the app here and read what other people have to say about it too.

easy recipes

A long with an abundance of frequently updated recipes, there are several snazzy features:

- You can save all your favourites in a file for later with just a click of a button. Especially useful for someone like me who’s always coming across new recipes to try and then forgetting about them.

- As well as browsing the recipes from A-Z, you can search by category. There’s a huge list of categories from the typical Breakfasts, Main Dishes and Desserts to Holiday, Party Foods, Pressure Cooker, Kid Friendly and more. I liked that you can also search by keyword- it’s always useful to be able to find a recipe when you’ve got a few things hanging around but don’t know what to do with them. A search for black beans, for example, pulled up the likes of “BBQ Baked Beans,” “Jalapeno Baked Bean Hummus” “Slow Cooker Indian Stew” and “Spinach & Black Bean Brownies”!

- You can share your top picks on social media, email to friends or print with a single click.

- Finally, another brilliant feature is the Shopping List. Again, Carrie’s made it all too easy for us. When looking at a recipe we can click the ingredients to add them individually to our list, or, if we don’t have any of them, add them all in one go. No excuses for forgetting to buy a key ingredient.

ipad-banner new recipes

ipad-banner sharing

ipad-banner shopping list

Carrie was kind enough to let me share one of the recipes from the app with you which I’ve just made and love! No-Bake PB & J Pie! It’s a delicious, decadent-tasting dessert, but as with all the recipes, it’s made using only wholefoods.

No-Bake PB & J Pie- Vegan App Recipe and Giveaway!

No Bake PB&J Pie

Published with permission of Vegan Delish


12 ounces/350g silken tofu
2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup strawberry preserves (no added sugar)
2 cups almonds
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
1 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups medjool dates, pitted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. To make the crust, place almonds in the bowl of a food processor. Process on high for 30 seconds until almonds are finely ground. Add oats to the almonds in the food processor and process for another 15 seconds or until both ingredients are finely ground.

2. With the processor running, add the dates one at a time or until all three ingredients are combined. Pulse in the water to moisten.

3. Use a spatula to pour the ingredients into a pie dish and use your hands to press the mixture evenly in the dish, including up the sides. Put the crust in the refrigerator to set while you make the filling.

4. To make the filling, combine the tofu, strawberry preserves, dates, vanilla extract, and peanut butter in a high-speed blender and process until smooth.

5. Pour the filling mixture into the pie crust and use a spatula to smooth. Let the pie set in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.

Serves 10

Note- Pictured above is my mini version ( I quartered the recipe, used raspberry preserves and also added a little fruity drizzle, just raspberry preserves thinned out with water). Most of the recipes follow the same theme as I’ve been talking about recently- quick and easy whilst still being tasty, nourishing and satisfying.

I”m submitting this recipe to the weekly link-ups: Healthy Vegan Fridays and Wellness Weekends

No-Bake PB & J Pie- Vegan App Recipe and Giveaway!

Now it’s giveaway time!

I’ve got three free codes for the app so we’ll have three winners. Unfortunately, the codes only work in the US so this is open to US readers only. I’ve got a few other giveaways lined up for UK readers though so stay tuned! The app itself is available to iphone/ipad users worldwide for just $2.99 or £1.99. You’ve got until Monday to enter- details below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’ve somehow managed to narrow down my selection to just a few recipes to go on the “must try soon” list: the Pumpkin Spice Muffins (gluten-free, grain-free and sugar-free!), Curried Stuffed Mushrooms, Ginger-Hemp Dressing and the Zucchini-Corn Fritters. How good does that all sound?

Good Luck!

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O is for…


I almost skipped posting today but knew I’d be disappointed if I missed a day of Vegan MoFo.

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen that I graduated from university today! I actually took my finals way back in May/June but had to wait until now for the ceremony. Having only just moved to a new city a few days ago I hopped on the train back to Oxford last night for the occasion. It’s been a lovely day- lots of reminiscing with friends, chatting, enjoying the sunshine, photographs, and clapping!

Another reason I had to post today is so you can make this recipe over the weekend!


I’m highlighting oats today. First and foremost a breakfast staple. I love a good bowl of porridge, plain and simple or “fancied” up with lots of mix-ins and toppings. Just yesterday I came across two great looking porridge ideas from A Vegan Obsession. I’ve also got into overnight oats this summer- oats soaked overnight with non-dairy milk and other goodies and eaten cold from the fridge. Oats are a great way to bulk up breakfast smoothies too.

Granola bars, flapjacks, pancakes, waffles, muffins…oats are great in them all. Have you used oat flour in baked goods yet? If you have oats of any kind on hand and a blender you can make your own in an instant.

On the savoury front, I’ve learnt that oats work brilliantly as a binder in veggie burgers and loaves. I haven’t yet got into savoury porridge, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time!

The quintessential English dessert has got to be crumble and although It doesn’t traditionally use oats, I much prefer it with an oaty topping.

Crumbles aren’t much to look at, but make up for their rustic appearance with their heart-warming flavours. Simple to prepare, they are outstanding desserts that anyone can make, and they require only a handful of basic ingredients and no fancy kitchen tools.

My Maple-Oat Plum Crumble is perfect for this time of year. It’s getting colder, so warm, comforting dishes are very welcome and plums are still in season here into October.

Maple-Oat Plum Crumble

Our own garden plums were finished long ago but I’ve just come home to find a big bag of plums gifted to us by a neighbour! I might just have to make this dessert again this weekend….

Maple-Oat Plum Crumble

I made a mini version just for one yesterday and it was no effort at all. I simply tossed a couple of chopped plums in a little maple syrup in a ramekin and cooked in the oven for a short time, then sprinkled over the oaty crumble topping and baked for a few minutes longer.

Crispy, crunchy topping, juicy maple-kissed fruit.

Maple-Oat Plum Crumble

Maple-Oat Plum Crumble:

2 Medium plums, quartered
1t Maple syrup
2T Oats
2T Wholegrain flour (I used rye as that’s what I had to hand)
1/2T Coconut sugar
1/2T Coconut oil, solid
Dash of cinnamon (optional)

Preheat oven to 180C/350F

Toss the plums with the maple syrup in an oven-proof ramekin and bake for 10 minutes

While baking mix together oats, flour and sugar. Rub in coconut oil using your fingers until crumbly. Add a dash of cinnamon if you like.

Sprinkle crumble mixture on top of fruit and bake for another 15 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.

Serve with non-dairy yogurt, ice cream, cream, or custard if you’re a purist (!)

Serves 1


Maple-Oat Plum Crumble

It has oats and fruit so you can definitely eat this for breakfast! Top with non-dairy yogurt to cool it down so you can dig in straight away!

Maple-Oat Plum Crumble

Maybe not if you top it with ice cream though….

This was a big one I made a little while ago. Just scale up the ingredients and cook in a large dish.

What are your favourite crumble variations? Blackberry and apple is another firm favourite here.

Any other uses for oats I’ve missed?

Have a fabulous weekend everyone, and make this dessert!


Review: Ombar Raw Chocolate

If you know me in real life, you’ll know that I’m a chocolate fiend. Chocolate to me is how coffee is to many people. A daily necessity. Religiously I have a little piece of dark chocolate after lunch,  and I need that cacao boost to the extent that I’ll carry a bar of the dark stuff with me when travelling, for fear I won’t be able to get my fix!

I’ve talked about the Nutribox on here before, and my first taste of Ombar Raw chocolate was via my monthly snack box. It was love at first taste and since I’ve been trialing a new option with the Nutribox to have more say in which products you receive, I’ve been requesting Ombars! I’d only tried the Coconut 60% and the Cranberry & Mandarin so jumped at the opportunity to try the whole range of flavours.

Ombar Raw Chocolate review

Before I tell you what I thought of the individual flavours I thought I’d talk a little about raw chocolate for those of you unfamiliar with it. You might be wondering “What’s the difference between raw chocolate and ‘normal’ chocolate?” or “What’s better about raw chocolate?”

Well, there are 2 main aspects: the first is low temperature. To make standard chocolate the ingredients are heated to high temperatures, 2, 3 or more times in the bean to bar process, destroying nutrients. Raw chocolate, on the other hand, is made from unroasted cacao beans and any heating that takes place is done at low temperatures preserving the flavanols responsible for its antioxidant properties. The 2nd aspect is that there’s no added junk. Raw chocolate doesn’t contain any of the junk generally added to conventional chocolate- no dairy, refined sugars, added fats or fillers.

Ombar Raw Chocolate review

Ombar raw chocolate bars only use high quality ingredients: raw cacao, coconut sugar, fruit and bio live cultures (probiotics!), all of which are organic and sustainably sourced. You’ve probably heard about the darker side of chocolate production, with workers on huge plantations around the world being poorly treated and receiving far below acceptable wages, but Ombar explicitly state that they work with independent farmers and pay them a significant premium over market price to ensure that they are fairly compensated for their hard work. This does mean that Ombar raw chocolate is a bit more expensive than the chocolate you might be used to buying, but, in my opinion, it’s worth it!

Ombar Raw Chocolate review

Coconut 60% – This bar was what first got me excited about Ombar. It’s very creamy and has a really smooth texture due to the coconut cream in the ingredients. The coconut flavour is quite pronounced, which I love, but it isn’t overpowering.

Açai & Blueberry – This one is darker in colour with a fruity fragrance. The fruit flavour didn’t come through as much as I would have liked though.

Dark 72% -  I’m typically a fan of dark, dark chocolate, 90% being my favourite, so that might be affecting my judgment on this one. It just wasn’t chocolatey enough for a plain bar for my tastes. You could tell it had a higher cacao percentage than the others though, with its darker colour and firmer texture.

Strawberries & Cream – YUM! I really loved this one. Like the coconut bar it has coconut cream in the mix so it has the same super smooth, melt-in-the-mouth texture. The strawberry flavour is pleasant too. Perfect for this “Coconut and Berries” girl Smile

Coco Mylk – If I thought the previous bars I tried were creamy, this one was even more so. It’s very reminiscent of milk chocolate from what I can remember- sweet and milky. I’m sure if you’re a milk chocolate fan but are avoiding dairy then you’ll love this one. it was just a little too sweet for me.

Cranberry & Mandarin – This was another of my favourites. It has a darker chocolate base (no coconut cream) and a lovely zinginess from the fruit which balances out the sweetness nicely. The cranberry and mandarin is a great flavour pairing too.

Green Tea & Lemon – I liked this one, but didn’t love it. It’s a unique taste certainly and I was surprised that the lemon complemented the chocolate so well. I couldn’t really taste the green tea in this chocolate, but it is rich in antioxidants so at least I was getting a health boost!

Goji Berry – I was surprised that this was another one of my top picks. Goji berries are not something I eat by the handful, although I do like them occasionally mixed with other fruits and nuts in trail mix. Unlike the açai berry & blueberry bar this one had whole pieces of berry in, as well as fruit powder, which added a nice texture and infused the whole bar with fruity fragrance.


I’m really impressed with Ombar raw chocolate. I’ve tried a few other raw chocolate brands and none of them have compared. The texture has either been a little grainy, or they’ve been too “buttery” with not enough chocolatey flavour for me. I’m really pleased to see that Ombars are certified Vegan too. This is chocolate you can feel good about eating!

Ombar raw chocolate is available in various independent health food stores and larger stores such as Wholefoods, as well as online retailers including The Raw Chocolate Company and Planet Organic. (EUROPE only at the moment)

Have you tried Ombar or other raw chocolate before? What did you think? 

Note: These products were sent to me for review purposes, but the opinions expressed are my own.