Did you know that the Hazelnut is rich in unsaturated fats, you know the kind of fat that is actually good for the heart? Much of this fat is called oleic acid, which has been shown to lower "bad" cholesterol and raise the "good" kind.
They're also packed full of magnesium and vitamin E, which has been proven to protect your skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation, such as skin cancer and premature aging.
This is just the tip of the iceberg!
They contain a huge amount of fibre, ensuring your digestive system is in tip top condition (which we're all grateful for), as well as being high in B vitamins, which are used throughout the body, particularly for the health of our nervous system (including helping with stress, anxiety and depression), as well as improving our memory.
So in basic layman terms, you simply can't go wrong enjoying this little tart, especially as I've also provided you with a gluten-free AND fructose-free version. Yay me!
Salted Spiced Pumpkin Tartlets
(recipe originally from My New Roots Blog)
For the Crust | 85g rolled oats (or quinoa flakes) | 100g toasted hazelnuts | 1 tsp. ground cinnamon | 1/2 tsp. sea salt | 1 tbsp rice malt syrup (or maple syrup) | 1 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
For the filling | 1 cup pumpkin puree | 1 tsp ground cinnamon | ¼ tsp ground nutmeg | ¼ tsp ground cloves | ½ tsp ground ginger | 1 tbsp coconut oil | 2 tbsp rice malt syrup (or maple syrup) | 1 ½ tbsp arrowroot powder | pinch sea salt
Makes 12-15 mini tarts
- Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.
- For the Pumpkin Puree: Slice pumpkin in half, remove seeds and rub with a little coconut oil (or olive oil) and roast in the oven for approximately 30-45 minutes, until soft. Remove from oven and let cool. Puree with a stick blender or in an electric mixer. Set aside
- For the crust: Roast hazelnuts in the oven with the pumpkin. Remove when toasted and fragrant, about 15-20 minutes and set aside to let cool. Remove skin by rubbing nuts together. Reserve 6 or 7 hazelnuts for garnish.
- In a food processor, pulse hazelnuts until they resemble sand then remove from food processor and set aside.
- Place oats (or quinoa flakes) in a food processor and blend on high until you have a rough flour.
- Add all other ingredients and pulse to mix. Dough should resemble a sticky, rough sand and hold together when pressed.
- In a patty pan,, press a golf ball-sized amount of dough very firmly into each form.
- For the filling: In a food processor, puree all ingredients together until smooth. Season to taste.
- Fill each crust with pumpkin pie filling to the rim and bake for 30-40 minutes until the filling is dark brown and set.
- Let cool completely before attempting to remove from pan.
- Garnish with flaky sea salt and a sprinkling of chopped roasted hazelnuts.
Surprisingly, you really can't taste the pumpkin in these little tarts as the hero is the hazelnut. They're almost caramel like in flavour, which makes it very hard to just stop at one.
Note 1: Placing and forming the crust into the patty tin can be a little fiddly. Just be patient and don't be too delicate with it. Once they're baked and cooled, the crust will be quite strong and hold together.
Note 2: Keep refrigerated once cooked as this keeps the crust firm. These little babies become a little too soft to hold when left at room temperature.