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Monday, January 27, 2014

Oatmeal Breakfast Tarts with Vegan Pumpkin Cream Filling & Chocolate Chips

My favorite flavor combination on the planet is pumpkin and chocolate.  (Shhh, don't tell peppermint and chocolate).  So it's not surprising that my 6 year old loves it too.  So much in fact, that he has had a bowl of oatmeal swirled with pumpkin and cinnamon and topped with mini chocolate chips every day for breakfast-for the past two years.  I was getting sick of it for him.  But that's all he ever wants.  I'm not complaining, at least he's getting a shot of beta-carotene with his fiber containing oats first thing in the morning.  But I wanted to shake things up a little bit.

I saw some pretty little tarts at a deli one day, filled with cream and topped with fruit.  I thought I could do the same with pumpkin and chocolate, minus the white flour, dairy, and excess sugar.  So I messed around a little and came up with these.  They were delicious and gone in no time!  Plus you can triple the batch and freeze some for busy mornings.   Just heat and serve.  The bonus was that even my baby loved them.....I always try to feed him oatmeal in the morning too, but he's not so hot with the spoon yet.  This makes things much less messy, just cut into little bites for the little ones. 

 For the tart:       
     1 cup oats (quick cooking or steel cut)  
     1 Tbsp. of chia seeds (optional) 
     1 banana       
For the filling:   
     1/2 cup pumpkin puree  
     1/2 cup raw cashews (ideally soaked and rinsed)  
     1/2 tsp. cinnamon   
     1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 
     1-2 tsp. coconut nectar (or use honey or  
powdered sugar) 
     1/4 cup water 
     Mini chocolate chips (1 tsp. per tart)   
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Turn on food processor, and slowly pour oats and chia seeds through the chute.  Once they have turned into a powder, add banana chunks and process until smooth.  Remove batter and rinse out food processor.  (To save time, mash a banana with a fork and mix with 1 cup almond flour). 
2.  Combine pumpkin, cashews, cinnamon, vanilla, sweetener, and water in food processor and mix until a smooth cream forms.  (There will still be small chunks of cashews). 
3. Brush a muffin tin with melted coconut oil, or spray with oil.  Press oat flour into sides and bottom of cups to create a tart shell shape.  Bake for 10 minutes. 

Remove from oven, fill with pumpkin cream filling, and top with 1 tsp. of mini chocolate chips.  Bake for 5-10 minutes watching carefully, until chocolate chips melt slightly.  Cool.   Serve while still slightly warm, or refrigerate/freeze leftovers. 

*If you are used to sweeter things, you may want to either increase the honey in the pumpkin filling, OR add another 1/2-1 tsp.  of mini chocolate chips under the pumpkin filling, as well as on top.  Most of the sweetness comes from the chocolate chips, that way you taste it more evenly throughout the tart.

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