Salted Caramel Pecan Pie Tarts + Vitamix Giveaway! (Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free)
Happy almost Thanksgiving! I’ll be celebrating the holiday in earnest this week on the blog (minus drunk uncle Gary and the inevitable family drama) with delicious healthy recipes for your Thanksgiving dinner and beyond. And in the spirit of being grateful and sharing, I have something I’m super excited to let you guys in on: I’m so thrilled to share that I’ve teamed up with Vitamix to give away one of their amazing blenders (a $529 value!!)! It feels insane to even call these things blenders, as they feel like so much more than that, and definitely surpass everything else in the category. Mine is truly the workhorse of my kitchen – I use it at least once a day (and often twice!) to make incredibly creamy green smoothies, soups worthy of a fancy restaurant, nut milks, banana n’ice cream, my own oat flour and so much more. When I moved to London, I bought a £100 adapter so I could use my Vitamix overseas; I often travel with it, even though it takes up almost half my suitcase (much to my fiance’s chagrin). The Vitamix 7500 that I’ll be giving away comes in black, red and white, and the new short container fits under any countertop. It’s also much quieter than the older models – shockingly quiet for a blender of its power.
So give yourself (or someone you REALLY love!) the gift of a Vitamix for the holidays this year. Entering is super easy:
- Share this post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (I’ll be posting the image there, so you can repost directly from my account). Please tag @sproutedroutes wherever you share, and feel free to be creative with the caption – share why you love the recipe, what you like about Sprouted Routes, why you want a Vitamix, or whatever you want!
- Follow @sproutedroutes on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (whichever is your favorite social media platform is fine!)
- Subscribe to the blog (there’s an entry form at the bottom of this post), so you don’t miss when I send out the email announcing the winner! I’ll be selecting the winner at midnight on Monday, November 30, so be sure to get your entries in by then!
Now, onto the good stuff: the food. These Salted Caramel Pecan Pie tarts are a riff on one of my favorite Thanksgiving desserts, Pecan Pie. While the base of a pecan pie is actually quite healthy – the pecans – in traditional recipes, those innocuous nuts are doused in both cane sugar and corn syrup. This version of healthy pecan pie uses a simple almond meal shortbread to create a buttery, grain free crust. Atop that is the recipe’s secret, superstar ingredient: the caramel sauce.
The caramel sauce uses only dates, almond butter, vanilla and coconut oil to make something that tastes exactly like refined sugar laden caramel. I love using my Vitamix to make this, as it creates a truly silky smooth result, but if you don’t have one, I recommend using a food processor: a normal blender won’t work nearly as well.
The trick is starting on the lowest possible setting, then letting it go around a bit, scraping down the sides if necessary, until it begins to become creamy.
Then you can turn up the speed for the final few seconds, resulting in an ooey-gooey, perfect healthy caramel.
A sprinkle of Maldon sea salt takes these truly over the edge: all of the flavors of the nutty, buttery base with the toasted pecans and the sweet, gooey caramel sauce are enhanced and highlighted by those crunchy little white nuggets on top.
Topped it with cream and voila: a Pecan Pie Tart that even guests who hate traditional healthy food won’t be able to get enough of. I’m absolutely obsessed with these, and I’m sure you will be too. They also come together surprisingly quickly, and there’s something so fun and cute about perfectly portioned tarts (I’ve always preferred them to pies myself).
Remember to stay tuned for the rest of the week for more awesome Thanksgiving recipes, and don’t forget to enter to win your own Vitamix (details are at the beginning of the post). Enjoy the healthy pecan pie goodness!
- 1.5 cups almond meal or almond flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 2.5 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups dates, pitted and soaked in boiling water for 10 - 20 min, then drained
- 4 tsp coconut oil or ghee
- 6 tbsp unsalted almond butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups raw pecans
- Sprinkle of Maldon sea salt
- Whipped cream of choice (I used coconut), to serve
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix together all ingredients, pressing together with your hands, until it can be pressed into a ball. Let sit in fridge for 10 minutes, then distribute evenly between 12 baking cup-lined muffin tins, pressing the dough firmly down in the base. Use your thumbs to create an indent in the middle of each muffin tin, so that it resembles a traditional tart shape. Place muffin tin in freezer for 10 minutes, then bake for 15 minutes. Let cool completely (at least 15 minutes) before adding caramel/pecan topping.
- Spread the pecans in a thin layer on a baking sheet and pop into the oven after you take the shortbread out. Let toast until fragrant and golden brown, usually about 10 - 15 minutes, then remove from oven.
- Load all ingredients into Vitamix or food processor. If using Vitamix, start on the lowest setting and blend until all ingredients are combined, then go up to 4 or 5, scraping down the sides, until the caramel is creamy. If using a food processor, process until creamy.
- Mix together toasted pecans and caramel sauce, then press into muffin tins, pushing the caramel/pecan mixture down to really fill the space. Sprinkle with Maldon sea salt, then let firm up in for 10 minutes in the freezer before topping with whipped cream of choice and serving. Makes 12 tarts.