Friday, November 8, 2013

mulberry lemon yoghurt tart + a giveaway winner!

mulberry, lemon yoghurt tart {grain-free}

The day after I handed in my manuscript I started running. After months of intense recipe testing (and eating) lets just say my body needed, no, demanded a good shake up. While exercise is definitely not something that's new to me (me and a group of friends have been catching up to exercise in the park a couple of times a week for the past few years), this whole running, for fun thing absolutely is. See, me and running have never really been friends. I used to love sprint races at school, I was okay at them, but running any further than 200m I'd be dying and gasping for breath. My mum is a runner, she loves it, and as a family we'd sometimes go for a 'family run' around to the end of our gravel road, but I don't remember ever enjoying it. 

Later on as a teen I got into outrigger canoeing (aka waka ama) and represented NZ at a couple of world championships (!!! hard to believe I know). As you can imagine we trained a lot and back then we were one of the only teams who cross-trained, that is, we got out of the boat and actually worked on our fitness through running and doing weights at the gym instead of just paddling for hours. It killed me. Every time we ran, I nearly cried. I loved lifting weights but anything aerobic and I'd just collapse. In my team were a family of girls who's mum was a marathon runner, they too could run for miles and miles without so much as a drop of sweat forming on their foreheads, I always wondered how they did it. Some of the training we did involved all of us running around in a line, the front person holding a ball which would get passed behind them until it reached the lucky last girl who then had to run passed everyone up to the front and start the cycle again. I swear this drill will forever haunt me. I just never had the grit and determination to keep going. Meh.

mulberry, lemon yoghurt tart {grain-free} Untitled mulberries mulberries

People say that having kids changes you. And you know what? They're right. Every time I went for a run in those tiring first few weeks as my fitness built up, that same horrible little voice that used to haunt me in my younger years would pipe up and tell me to stop and give up. I would try to override it by saying no, just a little bit longer... just keep going to that next tree then you can stop and walk for a bit. The old me would have tried with best intentions to reach that tree, but without really knowing why would have stopped 5 metres in front of the damn thing. But lately I've actually been making it to that tree and beyond! There is something about becoming a mother that just seems to give woman extra grunt you know? All of a sudden we learn to stand strong and believe that anything is possible (pushing a baby the size of a watermelon out of a very small space, will probably do that!).

I'm not going to lie and tell you that I'm the fittest person out now who sprints along at an alarming pace, running for miles without breaking a sweat. No, that's still not me and I'm not sure it will ever be. I don't run that far, I'm still gasping for breath (though nothing like I used to be), my pace is only a little faster than the average persons walk, it's more of a shuffle than a run lets be honest. And my face goes the brightest of bright pinks as I run, sweat beading down my face and arms (charming I know), but I'm doing it. And mostly I'm actually really enjoying it. Even a couple of years ago I would have never dreamt I'd be saying that. My teenage self definitely would have laughed in your face. But there you have it. I like running. I still don't love it, but yes I like it.

mulberry, lemon yoghurt tart {grain-free}

With all of this running and exercise in general there has also been a natural shift in my eating habits towards even more wholesome goodness than before.There haven't been huge changes, as you are probably aware we have always eaten a healthy diet, and I don't believe in extremes or fad diets, but lets just say I've only baked about 5 or so times since June. Which is huge for me.

If I do prepare sweet treats, they usually come in the form of raw goodies or fruit-based desserts and this tart which I made recently for Si's birthday was a pretty darn fine example of that.

mulberry picking Untitled mulberry, lemon yoghurt tart {grain-free}

It's actually just coming to the end of mulberry season here in Perth, and I really should have posted this recipe weeks ago when I first created it! But the beauty of this tart is that you really can top it with whatever fruits are in season; use any other berries you can get your hands on, thinly sliced stone fruit, sliced fresh figs, rounds of blood orange, kiwifruit... or mango!

Just before I go I've got some super exciting news to share with you guys! I'm featured in the current issue of Taste.com.au magazine! I can't tell you how honoured I am, this magazine has quickly become one of my favourites and to be in it is beyond cool. You can pick up a copy at most supermarkets and book stores in Australia, or view some of the article online here if you live out of Australia.

Untitled

Lastly, the winner of the cookbook giveaway I ran recently is... Amy! Congratulations love, your lucky last entry won you the book! Please email me at emma(at)mydarlinglemonthyem(dot)com and I'll make sure your copy of Wholehearted Food is sent straight out to you! 

mulberry, lemon yoghurt tart {grain-free} mulberry, lemon yoghurt tart {grain-free}

mulberry, lemon yoghurt tart
If you're pushed for time, use a good quality natural Greek yoghurt in place of the strained yoghurt. If you don't have access to fresh medjool dates (or live in NZ where they are priced like gold!) you can use 1 cup firmly packed dried pitted dates instead. Simply soak them in warm water for 20 minutes and squeeze really well to get rid of any excess liquid before using. To make this nut-free, use sunflower or pumpkin (pepita) seeds in the base. To make this vegan you could always use whipped coconut cream in place of the yoghurt if you like.
Serves 8

strained yoghurt
3 cups plain natural yoghurt
the finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup (125ml) lemon juice
3 tablespoons runny honey

base
15 fresh medjool dates* see headnotes
2 cups raw nuts or seeds (I used a mixture of cashew, sunflower seeds and walnuts)
3 tablespoon virgin coconut oil, melted if solid
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
a good pinch fine sea salt

A couple of good big handfuls of fresh mulberries (or other berries of your choice)

Place the yoghurt into a muslin-lined (or use your nut milk bag if you own one) sieve that's been set over a deep bowl, gather up the sides, twist them to lightly secure and place a little bowl on top to lightly weigh down. Transfer the whole lot into the fridge and leave for 2-3 hours to drain. Periodically check the bowl and empty the whey out when it comes close to reaching the sieve. Obviously, if you have a really good deep bowl and space in your fridge this won't be a problem! Reserve whey to add to smoothies or freeze for later use.

Place lemon zest, lemon juice and honey into a small saucepan and bring to the boil over med-high heat. Continue to boil 3-4 minutes or until reduce to a syrup. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. 

Blend all the base ingredients in a food processor until roughly ground and sticky. Line the base of a 9 inch/23cm loose-bottom cake tin or pie dish with a round of baking paper and press the base mixture evenly over the base and a few centimeters up the side of the tin/dish. Use the back of a spoon to help get things smooth if you prefer. Place in the fridge until needed.

When ready to serve, transfer strained yoghurt into a bowl and swirl through half of the lemon syrup. Spoon yoghurt into the base, top with berries and drizzle over remaining lemon syrup. Serve immediately or return to the fridge where it will keep happily for a few hours. 


37 comments:

  1. I hear you about running my excuse has always been I don't have a runners body, too short not petite enough bad knees. Excuses. Maybe one day I will get over the excuses and go for a run...
    This tart looks divine, I love how simple it is. Bring on the summer berries!

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    1. It helps that both my kids are at full time school this year though, I'd run out of excuses!

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  2. I started running last year after having my first baby too. And now I love it - I find it very liberating to just get out...and run. But when I first started, I really struggled - I could barely run five meters. I have been using this app called runmeter - which is absolutely brilliant - it pushes you just that little bit further. And now I'm training for a half marathon - which for me is huge!
    Stunning pie, by the way - and really beautiful photos...

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    1. Wow that's so inspiring Skye! Well done you. Not sure I'll ever get to the half marathon stage, but good to know it can be achieved! Good luck xx

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  3. I will have to try this seeing though you have set me on the path to medjool date love. I even had a salad for dinner with them featuring in a starring role. I see a recipe with medjool dates and now just can't hold back!

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    1. :-) haha, I'm so happy you love medjool dates as much as me! xx

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  4. Yay! Your post gives me hope that I could enjoy running at some point in my life. I've always wanted to like it but just don't. Like you, I'd much rather be lifting weights or doing yoga.

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    1. I think I still prefer lifting weight or yoga myself too! But it's nice to finally give running a shot xxx

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  5. this post was the most perfect morning coffee companion. i love your writing!!! and i too have never been able to understand those champion marathon runners. running is nice, but not toooo much of it :)

    this tart looks amazing. ever since i discovered how easy it was to use dates as a sweetening paste, i have a whole new appreciation for them. and i don't know if i've ever had a mulberry before, but they look sooo cool!!

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    1. Yeah they're a pretty cool berry, nothing as flavoursome as a raspberry or a blackberry. But they grow on trees which get laden and are really easy to pick. It also helps that we know of a tree that overhangs council land, so we just go help ourselves... for free! Nothing tastes better than free food :-)

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  6. OMG that looks so delicious!

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  7. gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. i froze a bunch of mulberries from my Summer berry picking sessions (i.e. wild yard scavenging) and this is a great way to use them! mostly I've made mixed berry pies w. them & i throw them in pancakes, but i really want to do something with mulberries where they're the STAR. this recipe is right up my alley. thanks!

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  8. I'm another one of those late-blooming runners...I doubt I'll ever be the fastest one out there but there's something about finishing a run successfully after years of thinking you are "just not the running type" that is kind of amazing.

    That tart looks lovely also!

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  9. I can't believe how similar my story is to yours. I too began to run after the book was submitted for the same reason of needing a shake up after intense recipe testing. I never thought that I could run, although I too was very good at running sprint races at school. Both of my parents were serious athletes, while I am a total wimp when it comes to any intense exercise. Anyway, I started with 1 minute of running and 29 minutes of walking, increasing the ratio towards running by a minute a day. This method really worked and I almost enjoy my 30 minutes of running now. Almost.
    I miss mulberries so much, we used to have mulberry trees all around our house back home. They make the best jam ever! I love your writing and beautiful photos. Congrats on the feature and good luck with running!

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    1. Thanks Anya! How funny that we were both drawn to running after finishing our books!! Great minds think alike eh? xx

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  10. I look forward to mulberry season each year but they are certainly hard to find without my own tree. What a lovely recipe to show them off, and congratulations on the write up- awesome!

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    1. Thanks love! We don't own a mulberry tree but we know a great one to raid ;-)

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  11. Congrats on the feature in Taste! I almost bought that today, will definitely have to go back and grab a copy now! Meanwhile, this recipe sounds delicious.

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  12. Amazing! Last time I ate mulberries I was seven. Means, some 30 years ago...My aunt had two huge trees, one with yellow and one with blue(red) mulberries.
    Thank you for this recipe
    d.

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    1. Ah cool, I've only heard about the yellow/white ones, but have never seen them before!

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    2. I know of a white mulberry tree in Palmyra, not too far from Freo, which is on council land...

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  13. My attitude to running is very similar to yours (minus the illustrious sporting past!); I'm getting to find that I have a new appreciation of it and the break that it gives me from work/life/everything.

    This tart is really perfect Emma, I love the idea of the sharp yoghurt filling with the crunchy seeds of the base. So pretty too!

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    1. Yeah that's what I love about running too, it's a break from the busyness of life!

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  14. I am no runner either but did get into it once because I needed to increase my stamina to do a scuba diving course. But after that, I never did it again so I admire your perseverance. This tart looks simple and super healthy.

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  15. Oh my goodness, I haven't eaten mulberries for years! There was a tree in the house that we rented for a while… beautiful recipe!

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  16. I love this recipe! I didn't have an occasion or a crowd to make a whole tart for, so I made 1/3 of the mixture and used a muffin pan to make mini-tarts. The base is so delicious. I used macadamias and almonds for the base and it was insanely good. This will make an appearance on my festive table. Thank you!

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    1. Love that you've tried this recipe already!! xx

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  17. I am so with you on the running (minus the illustrious sporting history ...) - while I don't love running per se, I love what it has given me. I have now been running for 10 years and it is the best way for me to unwind, to escape, to have some me-time, to get myself back on track after a rather too indulgent weekend and it is the one exercise I have consistently been able to do when travelling and living abroad because it requires so little. And the experiences of running my first half marathon with my sister or running along the beach in Bali right after the sun had gone up when it was still pleasantly fresh out and it was just me and a few other people crazy enough to get up at 6 to go running while on holiday are things I will never forget and I am incredibly grateful for.

    As for that tart - it looks so so beautiful. I had my first mulberries only last year - they are not common in Germany but there are trees here in Rome (although I have yet to see anyone sell any). So delicious and pretty at the same time.

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    1. Ah I can imagine how beautiful it must have been to be out running in Bali at that hour! xx

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  18. Congrats on the feature! I got into shuffling (that's actually what I call it so I love your pace :)) a bit a year ago, unfortunately I just can't stand getting up in freezing wet weather so it does rather die off in winter here, but in warmer sun shiney weather I'm all for it and it feels great. One day when I'm back in Perth perhaps we can shuffle together.

    PS tart looks AMAZEBALLS, I miss the mulberries from our 'free tree' up the laneway in Perth.

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    1. Haha sounds like a plan, although to be honest it might be more fun to just catch up for a coffee or something ;-)

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  19. Mulberries...oh how I love them. They always remind me of my grandparents in Germany as they have mulberries growing in their garden. Sadly, they are quite expensive here in Finland :(

    And CONGRATS on the feature! How exciting!

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  20. I love mulberries, I had some today, so hard to find here! Beautiful tart, you should enter it in Sweet New Zealand, Mairi from Toast is November's host, info here http://www.toast-nz.com/2013/10/sweet-new-zealand.html

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  21. What gorgeous mulberries! I absolutely love these pictures. So artistic and gorgeous. Oh and that tart looks amazing, obviously.
    Pinning!

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  22. the mulberries look wonderful. what a great pie!

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  23. Oh this looks so good! Do you know though, I don’t think I’ve ever tried mulberries. I need to fix that!

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Thanks so much for stopping by, arohanui xx Emm

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