Berry Christmas

Don’t let your festive dessert table be a disappointment to friends and family who suffer food allergies or are following a wholefood lifestyle. This recipe, created by Dawn Beeslaar, founder of Nutrichologist, certified Eating Psychology Coach and Culinary Nutritionist, is gluten, egg and dairy free. It will not only delight the picky eaters, but can be enjoyed by everyone around the table.


This takes about 10 minutes to prep, and bakes for 10 to 15 minutes. It makes one large tart, six medium tarts or 12 small tarts.

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For the crust you will need two and a half cups pecan nuts, one and a half cups cranberries.  Preheat the oven to 180C, then combine pecans and cranberries in a food processor for one to two minutes, depending on the strength of your processor. The mixture will be coarse, but stick together when pressed. Test by pinching the mixture together to see if it stays together.  Press mixture tightly into your tart pan, making sure you go up on the side about one to one and a half centimetres. Pop into the oven and bake until it begins to brown. Remove and allow it to cool.

For the filling you will need six cups of berries, either frozen or fresh, one quarter cup maple syrup and a quarter cup balsamic vinegar. In a large skillet, add berries, maple syrup an balsamic vinegar and simmer on medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half and forms a glaze. (If you are using frozen berries or a lot of raspberries you may need to remove and set them aside halfway through, as they tend to breakup.)  Set aside and allow to cool.

Once the filling and crust have cooled a little, scoop the berry mix into the crust and drizzle with the glaze.

Chef’s notes:

Delicious served with coconut ice cream/yogurt or whipped coconut cream . You can also spice it up by adding a teaspoon of your favourite holiday spice to the crust mixture (ginger/ all spice / nutmeg) for extra flavour

If you aren’t keen on berries, try these alternative fillings (prepared as above):

  • 6 cups diced apples, ½ cup water, 3tbsp coconut blossom sugar, 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • 6 cups oranges (peeled, pips removed and diced), 2/3cm grated fresh ginger, ½ cup water, 3 tbsp coconut blossom sugar

OOPS! The crust didn’t bind properly? Turn it upside down and make it a crumble. If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, store in an airtight container for up to three days in the fridge. It can be served cold.

You will find all the ingredients at Founder Foods in Kloof. Dawn will be holding some incredible cooking demonstrations at Founder Foods in December of this year and into 2020. Find out more on the Founder Foods website:

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