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Reduce stroke risk; delicious, healthy plant-based pear tart.

With the UK’s Express newspaper recently reporting that “those who regularly consumed apples and pears were 11% less likely to have a stroke than those who did not eat apples and pears,” based on a study in the Atherosclerosis Journal ,there is no better time to improve your health by eating more apples and pears. And, according to plant-based eating advocate, Mira Weiner who Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing, the largest exporter of South African apples and pears, commissioned to develop plant-based or vegan recipes with apples and pears, plant-based nourishment is a key to the best health.

Pear Tart with Cashew Cream Cheese & Garden Greens

Prep time: 15 minutes excluding soaking of cashew nuts

Baking time: 20 to 30 minutes.

Serves: Four to six.

Ingredients for the tart

400g vegan puff pastry

2 pears, thinly sliced

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp lemon juice

Plant based milk for brushing the pastry

Pinch of black pepper

Ingredients for the cashew cream cheese

1 cup cashews, soaked overnight or in hot water for 3-4 hours

½ cup water

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

¼ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp garlic powder

Pinch of sea salt

Serving suggestion:

Fresh rocket

Thyme sprigs

Toasted walnuts

Edible flowers

Method

1.     Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

2.     Make sure the puff pastry is defrosted and roll it out.  Fold the edges in on the sides and using a fork make patterns across the edges as well as across the middle of the rolled out pastry. Brush the pastry with plant milk and bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden.

3.     To make the cashew cream cheese, rinse the soaked cashew nuts and place into a high speed blender along with the water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder and sea salt.  Blend until a beautiful rich and silky smooth consistency.

4.     In a bowl, combine the pear slices with the lemon juice, maple syrup and black pepper.  Mix well.

5.    Remove the pastry from the oven and place the pears on top.  Bake in the oven for another 10-15 minutes.  Keep an eye on the pastry as you want it to be nice and golden.

6.     Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before decorating with generous dollops of the cream cheese, fresh rocket, thyme sprigs, toasted walnuts and edible flowers.

Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing’s Quality Assurance Manager, Henk Griessel explains how to keep your fruit fresh for longer.

“Keep apples and pears cool. They soften 10 times faster at room temperature than in the fridge. Ideally, store your apples and pears in a plastic bag in the fridge to keep them away from other foods. This will help to prevent the fruit from absorbing other tastes and odours and delay the impact of other ripening foods in your fridge”.

Griessel explains that correctly cared for fruit will also supply your body with the most vitamins, minerals and fibres that it can. “Think of it as a small investment: the care you give your fruit after buying it and before you eat it will ensure the fruit can give you the most it possibly can. Other than the health benefits of fresh fruit, over-ripe fruit can easily be avoided,” he says adding that treating fruit as a living organism will help one remember to be gentle with it to avoid bruising. “A squeeze of lemon, a little vinegar diluted in water or diluted honey will help prevent cut apples from going brown – a natural response to oxidisation.” he ends.

 www.miraweiner.com. @miraweiner.

Images by @lanaloustyle.

See Tru-Cape.com for other recipes.

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