Christmas has been celebrated and the New Year’s been heralded with hope. My family’s visit ended so suddenly, as they all flew north the same afternoon, that I’m left somewhat bereft. Time spent together was so precious, quite rare, in fact, as I’m unsure if we’ll ever all be together again. I guess now there’s time to relax and renew fitness goals, sew cute overalls for my crawling grandson and weed our garden.
With the exception of tomatoes and spinach, zucchinis grow quite rampantly in our organic garden. Each summer, I visit the garden often, keenly watching for the blossoming of the zucchini flowers. They’re a delicacy for our dining table, to make zucchini flower tarts or to stuff the delicate flowers with fragrant stuffing. I feel quite pampered as Hubby grows several plants just so I can make these treasured treats.
Eating a vegan diet doesn’t mean you miss out eating vegetable tarts. Chickpea flour (besan flour) creates a delicious filling for tarts, especially flavourful when nutritional yeast and spices are added. If you don’t have a supply of zucchini flowers, cut spheres of zucchini to top the tart would taste equally delicious and also looks quite pretty. Like in previous posts, I use Bio Buttery to make the dough for this tart.
· If you are looking for a way to lose weight in a healthy way, it’s time for you to learn about the health benefits of zucchini. Zucchini is well known to reduce weight, yet boost the nutrient value of your diet. Moreover, it helps to enhance vision and prevent all the diseases that occur from vitamin C deficiency like scurvy, sclerosis, and easy bruising. It helps to cure asthma and has a high content of vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein, and fibre. It contains significant quantities of potassium, folate, and vitamin A, all of which are important for good health.
· Chickpeas also called garbanzo beans are a great source of protein and a healthy addition to your diet. Naturally low in fat, they are also high in dietary fibre and rich in vitamins and minerals. Eating chickpeas on a regular basis can help you lose weight, boost intestinal health and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
ZUCCHINI FLOWER TART W CHICKPEA FLOUR
Makes a 28 cm tart (11 inches)
V, DF, GF option
For the crust:
1½ cups spelt flour
OR GF option – 1 cup brown rice flour & ½ cup buckwheat flour
1/3 cup unsalted vegan butter, Bio buttery
2-3 tablespoons chilled water
For the filling:
2 cups chickpea flour (besan flour)
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2½ cups water
2 zucchini, medium sized
For the topping:
9 zucchini flowers
OR circles of zucchini if flowers aren’t available
½ cup grated vegan cheese
To make the crust, add flour and salt to a bowl and stir. Using a knife, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture becomes crumbly. Alternatively, rub the butter through the flour with your fingers until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add a little chilled water and bring the mixture together to form a ball of dough with your fingers. Add only enough chilled water until the mixture comes together without being crumbly. Wrap the dough with baking paper, and place in the fridge for ½ hour.
Preheat the oven to 200’C (400’F/ Gas Mark 6). Combine the chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, baking powder, smoked paprika, garlic salt, Himalayan salt and pepper in a bowl with water and whisk to combine. Grate the zucchini, add to the mixture and stir to combine. Set aside to roll the dough.
Cut a circle of baking paper to fit the base of the tart pan. Grease the sides of the tart pan with coconut oil. Remove the dough ball from the fridge and place between two pieces of baking paper. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a disk that’s 3 mm thick and about 30 cm (12 inches) in diameter. Take the top layer of baking paper off the disk, slip your hand under the disk and lay on the tart pan. Fit the dough into the tart pan and cut the excess off the edges. Pour the zucchini mixture into the tart pan until nearly to the top (I had a small amount left over). Gently prize open the zucchini flowers and arrange around the tart, and sprinkle grated vegan cheese over the tart. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden in colour. Remove from the oven and slightly cool on a rack. Serve warm with vegetables or salads.