I seriously think I must have the most amazing in-laws ever. I always love going to visit them with the rest of the family, relax and spend some good quality time with everyone.
But something that appeals to my food-loving brain even more, is that Gareth’s mum always cooks such delicious, healthy food whenever we go visit.
On top of that, she always tries to meet everyones dietary requirements and preferences when we all go visit too. No small feat! So last time we went, as Gareth and I had given up sugar, she made us an amazing strawberry and banana tart.
And you should be.
Well, unless your my brother in law that is. You see, he hates bananas. Can’t keep them down. And in an endevour to make a dessert that everyone could eat, Gareth’s mum forgot that one of her sons hates bananas. Now that in and of itself was amusing. But it gets better.
A week later, we went to Gareth’s brothers mother-in-laws house for dinner (did you follow that?). And she too made a lovely sugar free dessert for us (I am seriously surrounded by the most amazing people). She too also forgot that her son-in-law doesn’t eat bananas. Yep. Twice in one week.
I mean, it meant more dessert for us (and I’m not complaining about that at all), but Gareth’s poor brother probably isn’t thinking too highly of sugar free eating right now (we’ll have to make it up to him in a non-banana dessert way).
But that aside. Unless you really, really don’t like bananas, this dessert is for you! It’s simple. Delicious. Fancy. Amazing. And so perfect for an Australian summer! Or any summer for that matter.
The fresh strawberry gives you bursts of sweet juicy flavour, contrasted against the rich nutty base, complemented with the banana that almost seems to taste custardy against the other flavours.
You can’t get much healthier than that.
Fresh strawberry and banana tart
Makes two medium tarts (serves 8), Adapted from Rip Esselstyn
3 bananas, sliced into rounds
About 500-700g fresh strawberries, slice half into rounds
1/3 cup almonds
1/3 cup cashews
1/3 cup walnuts
1 cup medjool dates, pitted (about 18) – you may need to soak for around 10 minutes if they are particularly hard
Place all the nuts and dates in a food processor until it forms a sticky dough. Press down onto a pie pan. Optional: lightly bake (or dehydrate if raw) if a little wet (from soaking the dates) or to achieve a toasted nut flavour (about 10 minutes 180C/320F) then let cool. Layer slices of banana on top of the crust. Then layer the sliced strawberries on top. Puree the remaining strawberries in a food processor and pour this over the top to fill in the gaps. Serve with cashew cream or plain on its own. I sometimes even eat this for breakfast.
Notes and suggestions: change up the nuts with other similar nuts (pecans instead of walnuts, brazil nuts instead of almonds, macadamia instead of cashews) to a slightly different flavour. Decorate with mandarin or orange pieces. Top with raspberries or blueberries. Make the base ahead of time for an easy dessert (the rest of it doesn’t keep very well).
A quick aside, this will probably be my last post for the year so Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and safe holidays for you all. I hope you all have a restful holiday period filled with delicious and nourishing food!