vegan (no-bake) matcha tarts

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Oh hey friends, I am so excited to bring you something a little different today!  I'm talking about these gorgeous vegan matcha tarts!  They are dairy free, gluten free, packed with antioxidants, and just plain delicious.  I know so many people with dietary restrictions, and I love that this dessert is  inclusive.

When the lovely people from Encha Organic Matcha contacted me about a collab, I was so pumped.  It was instantly clear that they are incredibly passionate about their product, and ensure that it's of the highest quality.  Now, I'm not the biggest matcha drinker since I've always found it a bit bitter.  When I first tried a sip of the Encha Organic Matcha sample they sent over, I was pleasantly surprised!  SO SMOOTH you guys.  I knew that it would make such an incredible addition to a no-bake tart, and they turned out so wonderfully.  I also love that there is 3 grades of Encha Organic Matcha: ceremonial, latte, and culinary grade, so that you can choose the grade that's right for what you'd like to use it for.  Encha’s mission is to bring the best organic matcha directly from their farms in Japan.  Obviously the farmer in me loved hearing about their farm in the Uji mountains of Kyoto, Japan, and their "farm-to-cup" motto.

So, let's talk about these tarts!  This was my first time trying out a nut and date crust, and I was so impressed.  Once you have your tart shells ready, it's on to the filling.  I soaked some raw cashews, blended them until they were smooth, and then stirred in dairy-free coconut yogurt (amazing if you haven't tried it!), maple syrup, vanilla, and of course... matcha powder!  Top with coconut whipped cream and garnish with nuts or fruit.  Heck yeah!


vegan matcha tarts

 

recipe by: Kelsey Siemens
yields: 4 four-inch tarts (can also make into one larger tart)

Crust:

ingredients: 

1 cup (275g) soft, dried dates

1 3/4 (220g) cup raw walnuts

pinch of sea salt

directions:

1)  Place dates and walnuts into a food processor and blend until fairly smooth.  This is best done in two batches.

Press mixture into mini tart pans (alternatively, you could use one large tart pan).  Be sure to press mixture down well,

and make sure some goes up the sides of the tart pans.

2)  Chill in the fridge to help crust firm up while you prepare the filling.
 

Tart Filling:

ingredients:

1 cup (125g) raw cashews (soaked overnight, or in very hot water for at least 1 hr)

1 1/4 cup (185g) dairy-free coconut yogurt

3 teaspoon (20g) maple syrup

1 teaspoon (4g) vanilla extract

1.5 tablespoon (10g) latte grade Encha Organic Matcha powder

pinch of salt

directions:

1)  In a food processor, blend soaked (and drained) cashews with yogurt until completely smooth.

2)  In a medium bowl, mix together cashew and yogurt mixture with maple syrup, vanilla extract, and Encha Organic Matcha powder.

3)  Pour mixture into chilled crusts, and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
 

Topping:

ingredients:

1 can chilled coconut milk (must be chilled in the fridge 

1-2 tablespoon maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

directions:

1)  Open chilled coconut milk upside down so that the coconut water is at the top.  Pour off coconut water and save for later (this is great in a smoothie). Scoop out white solids into a medium mixing bowl, and use a handmixer to beat until fluffy.  Add in maple syrup and vanilla extract (adjust to taste).

2)  Chill in fridge if mixture is quite soft, or until ready to use.
 

Assembly:

Top matcha tarts with a scoop of coconut whipped cream, and your choice of nuts or berries.


I hope you enjoyed this recipe, and please let me know if you make these tarts!

This post was created in partnership with Encha Organic Matcha! All opinions are my own, as always. Thanks so much for supporting brands that help keep me cooking <3

-Kelsey

dairy-free coconut yule log

dairy-free coconut yule log

Oh hey friends!  I am super excited to be sharing a dairy-free version of the Yule Log that I make for my family every Christmas.  It's an icebox cake that's normally made by layering thin chocolate cookies with whipped cream, and then freezing.  The cookies absorb some of the moisture from the whipped cream, and it changes to a cake like texture.

Read More

apple ginger pie

Oh hey there!  I'm so excited to be part of a pie party collab again with a bunch of my blogger/instagram friends.  There are soooo many incredible pies being posted today....and I can't wait to try out some of their recipes myself!

I just love connecting with like-minded foodies, and this bunch is gold.  So much creativity and inspiration here.  Also, I know my American friends have Thanksgiving coming up, which is perfect for pies!  And everyone else...who really needs an excuse to make pie.  Treat yo self. 

(You can find all of the other pie recipe links at the bottom of this post.)

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Today we're putting a small twist on a classic.  Apple pie.  It's kind of the best Fall pie, especially for those of us lucky enough to live on an apple farm.  I added some fresh grated ginger to spice things up a bit (hehe), and it was such a lovely, warm addition.  

Also, you might have noticed by now that I always share the same pastry recipe....and that's because I think it's pretty much perfection.  I know you butter lovers seem convinced otherwise, and maybe one day I'll stray from this recipe, but it is seriously the best.

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I shot these photos in our orchard a few days ago (hello procrastinator. haha).  The apples are all off the trees by now, but the leaves are starting to change colour, and it's pretty magical.  Not gonna lie tho....dragging everything out to the farm and into the orchard is not as glamorous as it sounds!  But I think it was worth it for these photos.  


Apple Ginger Pie

pastry recipe from Jean Pare
yields: pastry for 3ish pies - depending on your pie dish size and how fancy your tops are

Pastry Ingredients:

5 cups Flour

2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Baking Powder

3 tbsp Brown Sugar

1 lb Lard (or vegetable shortening)

1 Egg

2 tbsp Vinegar

Cold water

directions:

1)  Mix together flour, salt, baking powder and brown sugar in a large bowl.

2)  Cut up lard and add to dry ingredients. 

3)  Using a pastry cutter (or a plain old fork works as well), cut in lard until your mixture is crumbly.

4)  Break your egg into a liquid measuring cup and beat well.

5)  Add vinegar to the measuring cup.

6)  Add very cold water to the measuring cup, until the mixture measures to 1 cup.

7)  Pour liquid mixture over flour mixture slowly, and stir.

8)  Use your hands to work the mixture together until it no longer crumbles apart.  This is where experience will come in, as you don't want to overmix the dough!  Once you make it a couple of times, you'll get the feel of it.

9)  Divide into 3 or 4 equal parts.  Each part will make one pie, so you can choose to use it all at once, store some of the dough in the fridge* for up to 2 weeks, or pop some of into the freezer for later!  If you're using a deep pie dish, or want to do a lot of fancy crust stuff you'll want to use more dough.

*If you do refrigerate your dough overnight (or for a few days), be sure to take it out at least an hour before you roll out it.  Otherwise it will be too stiff!

Pie Filling:

6ish medium Elstar apples (or any tart apple of your choice)

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 cup Flour

3/4 cup Sugar

3/4 tsp fresh minced ginger (do not use dried ground ginger here - it will be too strong!)

Assembly:

1)  Once your pie dough is ready, you can peel and chop apples (the exact number will depend on the size of your apples, and how full you want to make your pie).  I used a standard dish and was happy with 6 apples - but with a deeper dish I might go with 8 apples and add a couple teaspoons more of flour and sugar! We used Elstar apples, which are nice and tart, and are wonderful for baking with.

2)  Mix all ingredients in with your diced apples, stir, and let sit for a few minutes.

3)  Roll out a piece of dough for your bottom half of the pie, and drape over the pie dish.  You want it to hang over the edge a bit, so that it's easy to crimp to the top.

4)  Add your apple mixture to the pie plate and pop the whole thing in the fridge while you get the top ready.

5)  For a simple top: roll out another circle of dough, and either slice a few slits in the top to let the steam out when baking, or use small cookie cutters to cut out decorative shapes.  Dip your finger in water and run along the edge of the bottom crust before pressing the top crust into it, and crimp the edges together.

6)  For the top in this recipe, I rolled out a large rectangle of dough, and proceeded to cut wide strips out with a pizza cutter for the lattice.  I cut very skinny strips and braided them to add a bit of interest to the lattice.  Finally, I cut out some leaves with small cookie cutters, and scored them with a paring knife to show the leaf veins.  Whenever you join two pieces of dough, be sure to wet them a bit with water and press together firmly.

7)  **Important: chill the entire assembled pie for at least 15 minutes in the fridge before baking.  This helps ensure that your crust will be flaky!  Especially if you've spent some time braiding/cutting out leaves and the dough has sat on the counter for a bit.

8)  Optional:  mix an egg with a fork and brush onto the top of your pie to help with browning and add some shine. (Can alternatively use milk).  Sprinkle immediately with coarse sugar.

9)  Bake at 425 degrees for the first 15 minutes, and then reduce heat to 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until nice and bubbly and apples are soft.  I usually cover my pie with tinfoil when I turn it down, and then remove it in the last 10 minutes of cooking and closely monitor the browning.  For intricate pies, sometimes one part will brown faster, and I'll just place a small piece of tinfoil over that part.

Best served on the first day with a scoop of ice cream on top.


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Visit my talented friends and be prepared to drool all over your screens

Brown Butter Chai Pumpkin Pie with Sugared Sage - Nate from Terminator Kitchen

Chocolate Cream pie with whipped peanut butter cream - Erin from Cloudy Kitchen

Chocolate Chess Pie - Kate from Wood & Spoon

Maple cream cheese pear & pistachio galette - Lyndsey

Apple and Persimmon Pie with Bourbon Caramel and Hazelnuts - Feed the Swimmers

Apple Apple Pies - Lauren from Harvest and Honey

Five-Spice Cran-Apple Handpies - Rebecca from Displaced Housewife

Pear Cranberry Frangipane Tart - Ruth from Cook it Delicious

Apple & Blackberry Flower Lattice Pie - Topless Baker

Roasted Pears and Marzipan Vegan Tarte tatin - Silvia from savlia + limone

 

Happy pie baking!

fraser valley favourites

Pizza at Duft & Co Bakehouse - located in downtown Abby.

Pizza at Duft & Co Bakehouse - located in downtown Abby.

My favourite floral shop in downtown Abby - Confetti Floral.

My favourite floral shop in downtown Abby - Confetti Floral.

Browsing through the books and records at Hemingways is always a favourite.

Browsing through the books and records at Hemingways is always a favourite.

Hey friends! I had the opportunity to collaborate with "The Fraser Valley" on this project, and it was so much fun meeting and working with their team of lovely humans.  Photos are by the ever so talented: @artandthearealist - Kat Grabowski, unless otherwised tagged.

They asked me to share a few of my favourite spots in the valley, and it was tough to narrow them down!  There are so many incredible local places that have been popping up in recent years, and they've affirmed my decision to continue to make the Fraser Valley my home.

So, if you were visiting the Fraser Valley for a couple days....this is what I would say to you:

Day 1

Start your morning off in the quaint town of Fort Langley, with breakfast at Wendel's Bookstore and Cafe (I would recommend the French Toast or Avocado Benny), and be sure to browse their book selection as well.

Treasure hunting at Spruce Collective - photo by me.

Treasure hunting at Spruce Collective - photo by me.

Walk over to the Village Antique Mall, which has an amazing assortment of treasures, including vintage records, postcards, jewelry. furniture, books, and more.  You never know what you might find....maybe even a replacement gravy boat that matches your Grandma's original China set (true story!).  There are so many other sweet antique shops in the area, as well as candy story, cranberry store (life-changing cranberries!), hat shop, gelato and ice cream shops, and more.

Head over to Abbotsford in time for lunch at Duft & Co Bakehouse.  You truly can't go wrong in this bakery, and deciding what to order might be the toughest decision you make all day.  My go-to sandwich is their smoked turkey, bacon & cheddar sandwich, which is served on the most delicious, flaky butter croissant.  For a sweet treat I would recommend a seasonal danish, or their sour cream doughnut if you go on a Saturday!  (They also have gluten free options!)

Next, pop over to Spruce Collective and their sister store The Market (located directly across the street) where all of your home decor dreams will come true.  Half of my home is from Spruce, from furniture, to pillows, to soap, and more.  They have so many beautiful locally made items, as well as gorgeous vintage pieces.  This is a great place to find unique gifts for friends, family, or for yourself!

Explore the rest of downtown Abbotsford as well, where there are so many local shops (Confetti Floral, Montrose and George, Hemingways Used Books, The Kindred Clothing Co, etc).

For supper, visit Duft & Co Brickhouse for the most delicious pizza you've ever had in your life!  Cooked in a traditional brick oven, the crust on these pizzas really makes them stand out.  I always order the Bianco (looks unassuming, but is unreal), and usually try whatever special they have. Don't miss out on their housemade chips for an appetizer, and the salted caramel chocolate tart for dessert.

To end the night, head over to Field House Brewing for a local beer, and maybe even some live music depending on what night you visit.

Day 2:

Grab coffee and some breakfast eats at Oldhand Coffee in downtown Abbotsford.  Their nitro cold brew is incredible, as well as any of their scones, and please don't leave without trying the Cinnamon Brioche (warmed up of course!).

The perfect latte from Oldhand. Photo by me.

The perfect latte from Oldhand. Photo by me.

Cinnamon Brioche - photo by me.

Cinnamon Brioche - photo by me.

Fall Activities:  If visiting in Fall, check out some of the amazing Fall activities that many of the local farms offer.  U-pick apples, pumpkin picking, hayrides, hot apple cider, corn mazes, petting barns....the list goes on!  Willow View Farms, Taves Family Farm, and Maan Farms are just a few great options.

Apple and pumpkin picking at Willow view farms - photos by me.

Apple and pumpkin picking at Willow view farms - photos by me.

Hazel Springs Bakery in Chilliwack. Photo by me.

Hazel Springs Bakery in Chilliwack. Photo by me.

Then head over to Chilliwack for some outdoor fun.  Stop at Hazel Springs Bakery on the way for lunch, which has an eclectic feel and such good eats.

One of the best hikes I've ever done is Mt. Cheam.   Breathtaking views, wildflowers in bloom (if you're lucky) and such a diverse landscape as you ascend, and the best panoramic view of the Fraser Valley, this hike will be sure to impress you.  Important things to note:  must have a rugged 4x4 vehicle, as the drive to the trailhead is not for the faint of heart.  Also, this hike is intermediate level, and not for beginners.
 

For an easier adventure, visit Bridal Veil Falls, walk along the Fraser River, or visit Cultus Lake.

Shandhar Hut in Chilliwack. Photo by me.

Shandhar Hut in Chilliwack. Photo by me.

End the day with supper at Shandhar Hut for delicious Indian Cuisine.  Everything is served in beautiful copper servingware, and they have too many good dishes for me to try and choose a favourite.

That's really just the tip of the ice berg!  There are so many amazing things to experience here in the valley, and I do hope you'll visit one day!

-Kelsey

Mt Cheam in Chilliwack. Photo by me.

Mt Cheam in Chilliwack. Photo by me.

Confetti Floral

Confetti Floral