For many people who’ve lost their moms, Mother’s Day can be a melancholy experience. Like spending New Year’s Eve on your own, or being the only girl in your group of friends without a boyfriend to take to the prom (thank you, HS, for stepping up to the plate even though we hardly knew each other), or sitting with the ladies at book club unable to partake of the wine and food (thank you, candida), Mother’s Day can elicit all kinds of emotions about loss and missing out.
For me, Mother’s Day is more an opportunity to remember and honor my mom, setting aside a dedicated chunk of time to pore over memories or reflect on our relationship and what she meant to me. If I’m feeling particularly “woo-woo,” I’ll light a candle and say a little something directly to her while I watch the flame flicker. I like to think her spirit is part of the energy within that dancing, twitching flame.
This year, I had an early opportunity to commune with my mom in honor of her day (and amplify the “woo-woo” quotient at the same time), via a reading with a talented young psychic. Wait!!! Don’t run away!! Before you dash off rolling your eyes, let me state that I have always been, to put it mildly, skeptical about other-worldly interpreters. I do believe that true psychics exist in the world, but I’m just not sure that they’re the ones with TV shows or Vegas-style advertising. In this case, as part of her professional training, the woman with whom I spoke was completing a set of complimentary readings as part of her training–and I was lucky enough to be the recipient of one of them!
In our 30-minute session, Megan relayed a few messages she received from my mom. And while I won’t share specifics, I will say that at least two of them were specific messages, unique to my relationship with my mom–and they resonated deeply with me. In the end, I felt reassured that my mom is doing well on the other side. (I’m dying to know if any of you have had experience with readings or communicating with loved ones from the afterlife. Were your experiences positive? Do you even believe in this kind of stuff? Please share in the comments!)
Whether or not you’re into conversing with spirits, these Lemon Cream Tarts are a great way to show your mom that you love her this year. Believe it or not, these confections are entirely suitable for anyone on an anti-candida diet (even stage one!), and since they’re also sugar-free and grain-free, they’re both diabetic-friendly and Paleo-friendly as well.
The cookie crust is soft and chewy, like a tender macaroon, and the filling offers a perfect blend of tangy lemon in a rich, creamy base. If you prefer, bake the crust in a pie pan and make pie instead–and it would be perfect topped with some vegan meringue. Or just make the filling on its own and eat with whipped coconut cream as a mousse!
This year, my time reflecting about my mother will be a little more focused, based on the things I discussed with Megan. I’ll definitely light a candle, and–who knows? I may even leave a lemon cream tart out on the table for her, too.
Lemon Cream Tarts (Vegan, Grain-Free, Sugar-Free)
A rich yet not-too-heavy treat that combines a light, chewy crust with a tart and smooth lemon filling. For an extra treat, top with a dollop of coconut whipped cream.
1 cup (155 g) raw cashews
1/4 cup (60 ml) virgin coconut oil, preferably organic
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp (15 ml) grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp (15 ml) unsweetened almond, soy or cashew milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) xylitol
1/8 tsp (0.5 ml) ground turmeric, optional (the filling won’t be yellow without it)
pinch fine sea salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) xylitol
3/4 cup (75 g) raw walnut halves or pieces
1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut flour
2 Tbsp (30 ml) whole psyllium husks
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1 ml) baking soda
pinch fine sea salt
3 Tbsp (45 ml) virgin coconut oil, preferably organic, at room temperature (soft but solid)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) unsweetened almond, soy or cashew milk
1 Tbsp (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup (30 g) shredded unsweetened coconut
For Garnish (optional):
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Line six 3-inch (7.5 cm) tart pans with parchment circles and then grease with coconut oil. (note: you can omit the parchment, but I found that the tarts stuck to the pan that way).
Begin the filling: Place the cashews in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for 15 minutes, then drain and place in the jug of a powerful blender.
Meanwhile, make the crust: Grind the xylitol in a coffee or spice grinder until powdered, then add to the bowl of a food processor with the walnuts, coconut flour, psyllium, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Process until powdered and there are no visible pieces of walnut. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until a soft dough is formed.
Divide the dough evenly among the tart pans and press into the sides and bottom. Dock the crust by pricking the bottom of each tart 4-5 times with a fork. Bake for 10-15 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through baking, until the crusts are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool before filling.
While the tarts bake, complete the filling: To the blender with the cashews, add the remaining filling ingredients and blend until perfectly smooth; you may need to scrape the sides and re-blend several times to accomplish this. Taste and adjust sweetness with more stevia if necessary.
Divide the filling evenly among the tart shells and smooth the tops. Refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours. If desired, garnish with whipped cream and mint leaves. Will keep, covered in the refrigerator, up to 4 days. May be frozen (without the cream).
Suitable for: ACD All stages; sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, yeast-free, vegan, low glycemic.
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