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Necessity is the mother of invention.

Let me explain.

This past weekend I was hanging out with all my herbie friends for another herbal weekend in the mountains. We usually do potluck meals, and let me tell you, potlucks with herbalists are the best! Some of our weekend eats included, kale salad with lemon vinaigrette,  pumpkin ginger soup, thai red curry soup, spaghetti squash with home canned tomato sauce, beet salad, gluten free chocolate cupcakes, and so much more! Even with all the food everyone brought, we didn’t have anything planned for breakfast on Sunday.

I saw someone brought dates and coconut that could be made into a crust, someone else brought a half of a sweet potato, and someone else brought apples. We found some cinnamon and all of a sudden a breakfast tart was in the making! This is my favorite part about cooking. Using what you have to meet the need. 

I didn’t take any pictures of my creation on Sunday, but I happened to have a huge sweet potato at home (a generous gift from my friend’s garden) waiting to be cooked, so I made another tart for Chris and I to eat for breakfast this week. This time I also measured things; which comes in handy when trying to write up a recipe.

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First I chopped up my sweet potato to boil. You could bake your sweet potato instead of boiling it. But this sweet potato was 3.6 lbs and I wasn’t about to wait for 4 hours for it to cook.

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While my sweet potatoes were boiling, I softened some dates. Again, I was impatient and wanted them soft NOW. So I put them with some water in a saucepan and simmered them for a few minutes.

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Until they looked like this.

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Then I added the dates and cooking water to the food processor with coconut, oatmeal, coconut oil and some salt and cinnamon.

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I blended into a paste and pressed it into a 9X13 pan.

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In less than 30 minutes my sweet potatoes were cooked. So much faster than baking. I had a lot…  so I took some from the big pan and put it into a smaller bowl to make my filling.

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To the cooked sweet potato I added coconut oil, cinnamon, salt and a splash of coconut milk to make it creamy.

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Then that got dumped in the pan and spread out.

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Finally, I sliced 1 1/2 large apples and layered them in the pan.

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Of course, more cinnamon was sprinkled on top. One can never use too much cinnamon.

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Then it was baked until the apples were soft.

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A large piece was consumed the next day at breakfast and kept me full until lunchtime. So yummy!

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If you have lots of extra cooked sweet potato, you should take the rest and mash it with some chopped fresh garlic, butter, salt and a splash of coconut milk and eat it with dinner. This made a quick and easy dinner paired with some braised oxtail from the freezer, and sautéed kale. Have I convinced you to cook up a big pot of sweet potato yet?

Now for the recipe you have been waiting for.

Sweet Potato Apple Tart (sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)

Crust:

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup oats

12 dates, with the cooking water reserved

1/3 tsp salt

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tsp cinnamon

Filling:

4 cups cooked sweet potato

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup coconut milk

2 tsp cinnamon

Topping:

1-2 large apples or 3-4 small apples

cinnamon, for sprinkling

Steps to do ahead: cook sweet potato, soften dates

1. Put dates, coconut, oatmeal, coconut oil, cinnamon, salt, dates and cooking water in a food processor and blend until it forms a paste. Scoop into a 9X13 pan and press down to make the crust.

2. Mix cooked sweet potato with coconut oil, coconut milk and cinnamon, scoop over the crust and spread it evenly.

3. Slice apples and lay over the sweet potato filling, and sprinkle with cinnamon.

4. Bake at 375 degrees F until the apples are soft.

Note: if you want to make this grain free, replace the oats with 1/2 cup more coconut and 1/2 cup of your nut or seed of choice. I made it with a mixture of pecans and pumpkin seeds and it turned out really good.

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