Sunday, December 6, 2015

No Bake Chocolate Pomegranate Tart

Undeniably, I am a nerd. B tells me this all the time when I read "weird things" and sprout out random facts (my "fun facts of the day").
My first introduction to pomegranates was the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades. Because she ate 6 seeds of the pomegranate from the underworld, she remains there for 6 months while her mother Demeter, goddess of the harvest, mourns, hence giving us seasons.

Another story is that the forbidden fruit, plucked and eaten by Adam and Eve, was not an apple, but the pomegranate. As the fruit originates from Iran, and the word "pomme garnete" literally means seeded apple in French, it makes sense. As lovely as apples are, pomegranates are probably the most beautiful fruits in the world, tempting anyone walking by.
The reason my eyesight is terrible is (according to my mother) all my years reading in the dark or in the car during elementary school. Since the end of high school, I've kept a to-read list, now going over 7 years, ranging from art to history to science to religion. Alas, while in medical school the ratio of "to-read" vs "already-read" books has grown alarmingly, during interview season I've been voraciously knocking books off the "to-read" list. 

Even on vacation, I can't help but read about medicine, which by far comprises the majority of the list. The last few weeks I've tackled women's health (Half the Sky), error in surgeries (The Checklist Manifesto), and most recently - my favorite so far given the topic - the history of cancer (The Emperor of All Maladies).

Cancer and nutrition is such a hot topic today - the buzzword "superfoods" certainly was nonexistent when we muddled our way through cancer treatments centuries, or even decades, ago. Antioxidants are one of those terms we like to throw around despite have little knowledge of how it works (much like everything in cancer). Pomegranates, in particular, have been aggressively marketed as offering protection against heart disease and cancer.

I cannot promise you eating dark chocolate and pomegranates will reduce your rates of cancer, but I can promise you eating No Bake Chocolate Pomegranate Tarts will make you happier. 
Eating pomegranates is tricky, but the best way is to scoring it in a 5 pointed star with a knife and carefully breaking it open. I love the color of the arils, or seeds, and how the juices burst as you open the fruit. Here's a great step by step picture guide, so more juices end up in your mouth, rather than on your hands. That gorgeous ruby color and delicious sweet-tartness is something your eyes, belly, and maybe even your DNA molecules, can all enjoy. 


No Bake Chocolate Pomegranate Tart


Ingredients
CRUST (adapted from my No Bake Granola Bars recipe)
1 cup packed pitted dates pitted, chopped
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (the less sugar the better)
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats, toasted
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup dark chocolate chips

FILLING
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup honey
fresh pomegranate arils

Directions
CRUST (full recipe details here): Use a food processor or blender to blend the dates to form a dough, adding water as needed (I used about 1/4 cup water, depending on how dry your dates are). Mix dates, honey, peanut butter, oats, cinnamon in a large bowl to make the dough. Add in chocolate chips.

Use the dough to form the crusts in round removable bottom tartlet tins. Place in the fridge for 1 hr or freezer for 30 min to set.

FILLING: Combine the yogurt and honey. Fill the chilled tarts with the honey Greek yogurt, then top with the pomegranate arils. Serve immediately or place in the freezer for 20 min if you want your yogurt firmer. Enjoy!

18 comments:

  1. These tarts look fantastic; definitely will give them a try.
    I loved The Emperor of All Maladies! Our book club just recently finished Being Mortal (highly recommend).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah it's on my to-read list! Alas, all the library's copies of Being Mortal was checked out, so I just have to wait!

      Delete
  2. i was introduced to pomegranates about 8 years ago and i've loved them ever since! this is a beautiful and delicious way to use the seeds!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, I stumbled upon pomegranates much more recently. Seems like I've missed out!

      Delete
  3. I've been putting pom in evvvverything lately. Salads get boring. This is a beautiful way to use them!

    -Phillip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I have a salad recipe with pomegranates too (my Autumn Arugula Salad), but these lovelies just beg for a dessert recipe

      Delete
  4. You make just about the cutest tarts ever! These little guys look delicious

    ReplyDelete
  5. These are so pretty! Love the little pomegranate seeds on top!
    Kari
    www.sweetteasweetie.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. These look so delicious! Give me those antioxidants! I love pomegranates. My dad would always being them to me for my birthday (it's in October) when I was little so they have a special place in my heart :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, what a touching story ^__^ My dad struggles with eating them haha

      Delete
  7. These look AMAZING! Loving the chocolate-pomegranate combination! I love your story about your introduction to pomegranates. I can't remember anything special about them in my own experience, but when I made some pomegranate chocolates for the first time this past week, it was my husband's first time trying pomegranates. Like, first time EVER. In Norwegian, pomegranates are called granateple which literally would translate to something along the lines of "garnet apple." So going into it, my husband thought he was going to be sampling some sort of apple. Imagine his surprise when I opened it and insisted he eat the seeds!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What an interesting name in Norweigen! Grenade stems from "pomme grenade" in French, as the tiny shrapnel balls inside the grenade mimic the pomegranate’s seeds. I do love etymology.

      Haha, I bet it was a shocker for your husband opening it up. It's like kiwis and dragonfruit - a surprise!

      Delete
  8. Always intimidated to use fresh pomegranates and de-seed them myself. In Dubai, we were so spoiled that you can buy fresh pomegranate seeds from the supermarkets.

    Hey I noticed the last name change. Congratulations? ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can only find frozen seeds that are de-seeded, but those are plenty good enough for me. What a nice find.

      Very astute notice on the name change! I still am engaged (fear not, I haven't eloped) but I changed my last name on Facebook for some anonymity - nothing major :) trying to create some space with my online / real world life

      Delete
  9. I looove pomegranate,and I love these delicious looking tarts. Any recipe that combines pomegranate and dark chocolate is a winner in my opinion. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. These are beautiful!
    Great flavor combination!

    ReplyDelete
  11. The first time we tried a pomegranate at home, Mom was very confused. She thought the hard, leather like white part was the part you were supposed to eat while the plump, juicy, red seeds were supposed to be thrown out. Needless to say she did not enjoy her first bite of pomegranate haha

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love this idea! Not only the no-baking part for something fast and easy, but they are pretty healthy especially compared to the alternative tart options. Great idea!

    ReplyDelete