So, I have all of these lemons at the moment. Thanks to my Dad’s burgeoning tree, I am lucky enough to get the odd delivery of a GIANT bag of lemons. Luckily, I love lemons. Not only for their taste, but their health benefits and pure versatility.
Lemons are super high in vitamin C. This is wonderful for our antioxidant status and immunity in particular. Lemons are also alkalising to the body, creating a supportive environment for good bacteria – tick. But my favourite thing about the humble lemon, is their effect on digestion. Because of their bitterness, lemons encourage the release of digestive juices and the production of bile from the liver, making them an extremely inexpensive and accessible tonic for your health. They are also a fantastic addition to salad dressings, increasing the absorption of iron from those leafy greens that you are eating.
There is some concern that the acid in lemons have potential to corrode tooth enamel. If you are eating lemon with a meal, this is not going to be too much of a problem, as the saliva produced while eating helps to neutralise the acid. If however you plan to drink lemon water, you may like to either use a straw, or rinse your mouth out with water afterwards to prevent any potential problems. From the research that I have read, it is excessive use that seems to be an issue, and the odd lemon water when you feel like you need a little digestive support shouldn’t present an issue.
Needless to say I have embarked on a lemon cooking frenzy this last week. First up was this FANTASTIC lemon vanilla granola, which I posted along with the recipe on my Instagram and Facebook accounts just recently.
Next were these beautiful little chewy lemon tarts. I’m so in love with them! The are lovely and tangy, which is just how I like them, and have a chewy base with the occasional surprise crunch from the buckwheat. The filling was inspired by the wonderful David and Luise from Green Kitchen Stories.
Tangy Lemon Tarts
Gluten Free, can be lactose free
For the base:
1 cup nuts (I used cashews and almonds – use sunflower seeds if nut free)
1 cup desiccated coconut
2 tbs maple syrup or rice malt syrup
1/3 cup buckwheat (I used Loving Earth Activated Buckwheat, if you can’t find it or don’t want to make your own, feel free to substitute with sunflower seeds, or a seed of your choice)
1 cup medjool or soft dates, pitted
2 tsp lemon zest
A pinch of sea salt
Blitz the nuts and coconut in a food processor until fine. Add all other ingredients and blitz to combine.
Press into mini muffin or cupcake tins lined with baking paper, or make one large tart by pressing into a lined spring form tin. Set aside.
For the Filling:
70g unsalted butter (or ghee if lactose free)
1 cup coconut milk, full fat
1/3 cup milk of your choice (rice, oat, nut, etc)
1/2 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/2 tbs tightly packed lemon zest (from approx 2 lemons)
1 vanilla pod, sliced lengthways and scraped
Just under 1/2 cup of maple syrup or brown rice syrup
1 free range egg plus two yolks
4 tbs cornflour (cornstarch)
A pinch of turmeric (optional) for added colour, although you will notice that you probably won’t need this if you’re using organic eggs – they are gorgeous!
Heat the butter, coconut milk, milk, lemon juice and zest, maple syrup and vanilla pod & seeds in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it has just started to bubble, turn the heat down to a low simmer and cook, stirring frequently for around 5 minutes. Set aside to cool – I pop mine in the fridge to hurry it up!
Whist together the egg, egg yolks and cornflour using a hand held whist, or electric beaters if you like, but they won’t give you the same awesome arm work out. Whisk for a good couple of minutes.
Once the lemon mixture is just cool / room temperature, pour it into the egg mixture, whisking while you do this.
Pour the mix over the base/s, and pop into the oven at 175C / 347F for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the filling is just set in the middle.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing form their tins – they will firm up once cool.
Make a cup of tea and enjoy! xxx