Valentine’s Day: chocolate, wine, champagne, cards, stuffed animals, crowded restaurants, sex, dessert, dinner. Mmmmm, yes. I know what my favorite one of those would be. 😉 What’s yours?
I remember as a kid getting those big heart-shaped boxes full of different kinds of filled chocolate bites with no explanation of what’s inside. My sister and I used to take a bite of one and put it back if we didn’t like it. Although I think most kids did that (and still do!). Some of them were truly nasty, right?! Makes me giggle thinking about it. Yuck. BUT with this amazingly delicious and easy tart recipe I have for you today, you don’t have to take your chances with mystery chocolates.
This tart comes together very easily and quickly and has no added sugars. It’s also oil free, gluten free, and vegan. I recommend slicing and freezing your bananas the night before you want to make the tart.
Ingredients Yield: 8-10 slices
- generous 1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted
- generous 1/2 cup dried figs, stems removed & soaked for 10-15 minutes
- 1 cup pecans
- generous 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (Bob’s Red Mill is a good choice)
- 1 tsp real vanilla extract
- about half of 1 medium papaya, seeded, peeled & chopped
Banana Nice Cream
- 4 nicely spotted medium bananas, frozen overnight or at least 3 hours
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- slivered almonds, about 1/3 cup
- a bit of chopped papaya
- Grab a 8 or 9 inch springform pan and line it with parchment paper. If you don’t have a springform pan, you could use a cake pan, but the springform makes it easier to remove. Make sure to line either pan with parchment, bringing the parchment up and over the sides a bit. (I made the mistake of not doing this – boooo.)
- Get all your ingredients out and measure them, setting them aside in their groups. We want to work quickly so the nice cream doesn’t get runny.
- Remove your sliced bananas from the fridge and leave them out at room temp for 10-15 minutes.
- Soak your figs in filtered water while the bananas sit, about 10-15 minutes. This is important and makes the crust moist and pliable without having to add water or oil later.
- Once figs have soaked, add all crust ingredients into bowl of food processor and process until you have small-ish bits of nuts left. Don’t overdo it. We want a bit of texture left to stand up to the smoothness of the nice cream.
- Press into your chosen pan evenly and then add your layer of chopped papaya (don’t forget to set some aside for the garnish!)
- Next add your sliced, frozen bananas to the food processor with the shredded coconut and process until smooth. You may need to add a splash or two of water – do so conservatively. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to fully incorporate all ingredients.
- Spoon and smooth the nice cream on top of the papaya.
- Next, sprinkle on the slivered almonds and place a bit of papaya in the middle as a garnish.
- Place in freezer and allow to firm up for about 2 hours before serving.
- Cut and serve! Store covered in the freezer. You might need to leave it out on the counter to soften up about 15 minutes before serving, especially if it’s been in the freezer overnight.
- The best way to peel a papaya for this is to cut it like an orange you plan to peel completely. Cut off both ends and stand it up on one end. Cut downward, slicing off the skin on the papaya. Next, cut in half and scrape out all the seeds. Place inner side down and slice long ways, then turn and chop into bits.
- Always buy organic papaya whenever possible! A large portion of papaya (especially here in Hawaii) is genetically modified.
- Taste as you go! You might want to add something into the base or the nice cream to suit your tastes. There’s no raw animal products or raw flour so no worries about getting sick.
- Slightly spotty bananas are best. They’re sweeter and softer and make better nice cream. If you are in a pinch, the pure yellow ones will do, just don’t for underripe/green ones.
Enjoy your taste of the tropics on this Day of Love ♥