Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts with a Sunflower Cookie Crust (Nut-free, Vegan)

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veganpumpkinpienutfree (1 of 1)

A couple weeks ago, I received a reader recipe request. Let’s call him “Jason”. Jason asked if I could create a nut-free version of my Raw Pumpkin-Maple Pie with a Baked Oat Crust (found in my cookbook, page 247) because his wife can’t have cashews and pecans. Apparently, it was tormenting her not to be able to try this pie! He wants to surprise her next month with this dessert as a special thank you because “she’s the best wife and mom ever”.

He went on to write, “Angela, I have no clue where to begin and don’t want to mess this up like I usually do.”

I immediately knew that I had to step up to the (pie) plate on this one (no pressure, no pressure!) because the world needs more love. And pie. Plus, I’ve always wondered how I could make this recipe without pecans or cashews, and now I have a nice option to share with you all. I tested multiple fillings and there was a clear winner that I’m sharing below. Spoiler alert – a combo of super luxurious full-fat coconut cream and sunflower seed butter worked so well as a replacement for cashews! It tastes so awesome.

I also paired it with a new toasted sunflower seed and oat “cookie” crust that’s a wonderful, crunchy compliment to the creamy and cool pumpkin pie filling. Pie crusts should never be boring or flavourless, and I love that this one is an easy “press-in” crust.

I meant to have this recipe up on Monday, but I ended up testing this pie about 7 times this week! I can’t sleep at night unless I’ve tested all of my options. Better late than never, I say. I’d rather not rush a recipe just to get it out on time. Anyway, I made this pie as a contribution to our Thanksgiving dinner later today (we’re in the US currently), and I’m so looking forward to the spread at my mom and stepdad’s. I hope those of you celebrating have a happy, fun, and safe Thanksgiving! And if you can’t make this pie today or this weekend, I hope you’ll include it on your holiday baking list.

Well, Jason (you know who you are) I hope this works out for you. If it doesn’t, I’d prefer that you not mention my name.

I’m joking! It’ll work out. Promise.

veganpumpkinpienutfreeglutenfree

Pumpkin Pie Tarts with a Cookie Crust

Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

By

4.7 from 12 reviews
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This is a luxurious and creamy nut-free version of my favourite Raw Pumpkin Pie from The Oh She Glows Cookbook (page 247–248). After many trials, I ended up using a combination of sunflower seed butter and full-fat coconut cream to replace the cashews in the original recipe, and it worked out so well! The pie has a light coconut flavour, but it's balanced out nicely by the earthy sunflower seed butter. As a bonus, this filling doesn’t use any whole nuts or whole seeds so you don’t need a Vitamix (or other high powdered blender) to get the filling super smooth. I used 4 tart-sized (about 4-inches diameter) "freestanding" baking cups which I found at Target, but you can also use a standard muffin tin lined with paper liners (or simply greased well) to make mini tarts. I'd imagine a 7- to 9-inch springform cake pan would work well too. The dough is a bit difficult to shape into a traditional pie crust (with high sides) so that's why I went with a flat crust for this recipe. If you don't mind fiddly things, then by all means take a stab at the regular pie crust. Also, the paper liners are easily removed if you remove them while the pies are frozen.

Yield
8-10 servings
Freeze time
3-5 hours
Prep Time
Cook time
Total Time

Ingredients:

For the crust:
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 3/4 cups rolled oats (use certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted*
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons smooth sunflower seed butter (pour off oil before measuring)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons water, if needed to bind dough
For the filling:
  • 1/2 cup canned full-fat coconut cream**
  • 1 cup unsweetened pumpkin purée
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted*
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sunflower seed butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, to taste***
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
For serving:
  • Coconut Whipped Cream or So Delicious Coco Whip

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grab 4(4-inch diameter) baking paper cups, or 12 standard muffin paper liners and set aside. You can also use a 7- to 9-inch springform cake pan greased and lined with a circle of parchment paper.
  2. Add the sunflower seeds into a skillet and toast the seeds over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes, until lightly golden and fragrant. Remove from heat.
  3. For the crust: Add the toasted sunflower seeds, oats, and salt into a food processor and process until finely chopped, resembling a coarse flour. Now, add the melted oil, maple syrup, and sunflower seed butter, and process until the mixture comes together into a heavy dough. The dough should stick together very easily when pressed between your fingers. If it's still a tad too dry, add the optional water and process again until it comes together. I find that I always need 2 teaspoons of water, but it'll depend on your ingredients’ moisture content.
  4. Divide the dough equally between the liners, crumbling it all over each base. (Note: I reserved about 1/2 cup of the dough for sprinkling on the pies when serving.) Lightly wet your fingers. Starting at the centre, press the dough into the base to form a crust. If the dough starts to stick to your hands at any time, lightly wet your hands and shake off the excess water. Once the crust is all pressed in, poke the base with a fork about 2 to 3 times to allow the air to escape while baking. I place the 4 liners onto a baking sheet so it's easy to remove them from the oven.
  5. Bake the crusts for around 10 to 12 minutes until lightly golden around the edges. Place baking sheet on a cooling rack and cool the crusts for at least 15 to 20 minutes, or longer if you have the time.
  6. For the filling: Open the chilled can of coconut milk. Scoop off 1/2 cup of the white coconut cream only (not the water) and place it into a blender. (You can save the remaining contents of the can for a smoothie or other use.) Add the pumpkin purée, maple syrup, melted oil, sunflower seed butter, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice (to taste; I use 2 teaspoons), and salt. Blend, starting at a low speed and increasing the speed, until smooth.
  7. Divide the filling equally among the cooled crusts. Carefully, transfer the baking sheet (or muffin tin, if making 12 mini tarts) into the freezer on a flat surface. Chill until firm, about 3 to 5 hours. There's no need to cover it.
  8. After the tarts are solid, carefully remove the paper liners. Here you can transfer the pies to the fridge for a mousse-like texture, but I prefer the texture when frozen after sitting on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
  9. Serve with coconut whipped cream on top, if desired. This pie filling softens a great deal at room temperature, so it's best not to leave leftovers on the counter. Return them to the fridge or freezer for best results.

Tips:

  • * A note about coconut: Health Canada classifies coconut as a "seed of a fruit" and not as a tree nut, however the U.S. FDA classifies coconut as a tree nut, so as you can see there is some confusion over classification when it comes to coconut. As always, if you think you might be allergic to coconut, be sure to talk to your doctor before consuming.
  • ** Be sure to chill a can of full-fat coconut milk for at least 24 hours before you begin this recipe. When ready, open the can and carefully scoop out 1/2 cup of the white coconut cream making sure not to use any of the coconut water.
  • *** I used 2 teaspoons of Whole Food's 365 Pumpkin Pie Spice. You can also try my homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix.
  • If you want to minimize the light coconut flavour in this pie, you can use refined (flavourless) coconut oil here rather than virgin.

veganpumpkinpienutfree1

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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michelle November 26, 2015

Looks delicious, as usual :) I just realized when I saw you testing these on Instagram that I had completely forgotten about your raw Pumpkin Pie Tart recipe in the new cookbook! Every year I look forward to making your Pumpkin Pie with GF oat/pecan crust so much that I hadn’t considered other recipes. Looks like I have another one to throw in the pile of treats to make this holiday season. Hope you and your family are having a lovely Thanksgiving here in the US!

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2 Angela (Oh She Glows) November 27, 2015

The world can never have too many pumpkin pie variations, right? ;) Hope you enjoy this one if you try it out. Happy Thanksgiving!

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3 OSGMOM November 26, 2015

I can’t wait to try it!!! and of course, it’s extra special celebrating this US Thanksgiving with you, Adriana and Eric

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4 veganeatstoronto November 28, 2015

how cute is this comment. haha.

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5 Erin @ Erin's Inside Job November 26, 2015

This looks so amazing. I will have to add this to my list of amazing recipes I’ve made of yours. Thanks for sharing!

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6 Beth November 26, 2015

These look so delicious and I love how they are mini. Definitely going to attempt and bake these although I know they won’t look the same.

Beth x
http://www.hellobeth.co.uk

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7 Amanda November 26, 2015

Cannot wait to try this!! Looks delicious and stunning photography!

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8 Angela (Oh She Glows) November 27, 2015

Thanks Amanda! I hope you enjoy it :)

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9 Laura ~ Raise Your Garden November 30, 2015

I love the photo’s here too. Sometimes I too flustered if there’s too many pics, but not this time! I enjoyed picture after picture. Feeling good about being about to make pumpkin pie filling ~ and I’ve done tons of crustless pumpkin pies, but always feel deprived! So intrigued with the sunflower seeds, eat those almost every day for my snack. Thanks Angela, I will be trying this new & innovative crust.

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10 Kristina November 27, 2015

Yesss! I also have a tree nut allergy so this makes me super happy. I’ll try this out tomorrow for our second thanksgiving get-together!!! Thanks, Angela!!!

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11 Heidi Kokborg November 27, 2015

This pie looks incredible! I can’t wait to try it. & ‘Jason’ sounds like such a sweet guy – I hope he succeeds in making the pie for his wife :)

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12 Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table November 27, 2015

What a beautiful creation – and an even more beautiful story! It must feel so good, to be able to respond to someone’s request and make them as happy as the original pie made the rest of us. Now I want to make both the original and this one, and compare and contrast flavours!

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13 Lisa November 27, 2015

Thank you so much for doing this! My son can’t eat wheat or dairy and loves the pumpkin pie from your book but can’t take it to school because of the nuts – can’t wait to try this :)

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14 Jennifer November 27, 2015

I absolutely love every single recipe I have tried in your cookbook and from your website/blog which I must say is impressive. We live with dietary restrictions due to food intolerances (gluten free, dairy free, egg free and refined sugar free) so most cookbooks fall short for us. I am thrilled that you have a new recipe that doesn’t include nuts. We can have nuts at our house, but only in moderation. Therefore, it is wonderful to have a choice to mix it up some. We would love some more dessert recipes with a twist that don’t necessarily have rolled oats or nuts in them.

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15 Angela (Oh She Glows) November 27, 2015

Hi Jennifer, Thanks for your kind words! I appreciate your support so much. :) I will definitely try to feature more allergy-friendly recipes for you!

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16 Amberley November 27, 2015

Hi Jennifer, my name is Amberley. I was just wondering if you wanted to get in contact? I share almost the same dietary restrictions and have never found someone else who is almost so exact. I personally can’t eat gluten, dairy, meat, sugar, but I do eat some eggs (limited). My email is amberley@catsrock.net if you’d like to exchange resources.

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17 Kelli November 27, 2015

Wow, this looks delicious… I can’t wait to try it! Thanks, Angela!

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18 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 27, 2015

Oh WOW! Ange, this looks unbelievable! I love the seed cookie crust idea and am not sure what I’m more excited about: the crust or the pumpkin! I’m definitely going to try this, perhaps on my mum who is also allergic to nuts. (Also, gorgeous photos!!!)

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19 Paige November 27, 2015

These tarts look delicious!

Paige
http://thehappyflammily.com

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20 gloria November 27, 2015

Is the pumpkin puree raw?

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21 Annaliese November 27, 2015

I was just thinking about sunflower seeds today, and boom! This recipe. I love the sound of it, and will for sure try it out the next time a pumpkin pie craving hits/when I get through the cashew-based one I made for yesterday! I am not sure what it is, but sometimes when I make a cashew based pumpkin filling (like the one in your book), the cashews over-power the flavor of the pumpkin, so I am anxious to see how sunflower seeds compare! Nom!!

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22 Anne November 27, 2015

Will cookbook #2 be coming out in time for me to put it on my Christmas wish list??

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23 Petra November 28, 2015

Oh, these look absolutely stunning!

https://crumblesandkaleblog.wordpress.com

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24 veganeatstoronto November 28, 2015

This looks seriously good! at first i thought it was a peanut butter pie.
sweet of you to help ol’ ‘jason out — i’m sure his wife will be pleased! ;)

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25 Avi November 29, 2015
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We were thinking about making a vegan pumpkin cheesecake for our customers. Thought it might be a good idea from October to November with Halloween and Thanksgiving. Your pie version came out really good. Thanks for sharing.

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26 Sheena Yap Chan November 29, 2015
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this looks so good. i just recently tried pumpkin pie for the first time and it was the total opposite of what I had imagined. will have to try this recipe out. thanks

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27 Wan December 1, 2015
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You went this long without having ever tried pumpkin pie?! I’m so sorry…

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28 KJ | Omnomherbivore November 29, 2015

I wouldn’t have thought to use sunflower butter and coconut! Nice take on it!! Looks super good :)

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29 Elle November 29, 2015
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Angela, you have a sixth sense. Or maybe it’s some cosmic kismet at work because I wanted to make the OSG raw pumpkin pie as I did last year, but ran out of dates for the crust. As much as my family and I enjoyed the cookbook version, I have to say that the coconut cream in this one is a very lovely alternative, as is the sunflower oat crust (tasty enough to eat on its own!). I hope Jason and his wife enjoyed their pie too!

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30 Maria M. November 29, 2015

This looks and sounds so delicious. And they turn out so pretty, too! Thank you for sharing with us! :-)

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31 Bella B November 29, 2015

Oh wow that looks so yummy I love tarts!!

http://xoxobella.com

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32 Drumles Den Haag December 1, 2015

You are so creative with vegan recipes. I love pumpkin pie, my mom used to make it with home grown pumpkins, but I have to try this recipe without eggs/nuts. Thank you so much!

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33 Hair wonderful day December 2, 2015

Wow, this looks absolutely amazing, the only thing I would add is almond milk cappuccino or ginger tea and then I am in heaven!:)
http://www.hairwonderfulday.weebly.com

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34 Julie Berg December 2, 2015

I am just so impressed that you went out of your way to create this pie after the request was made. You are so kind! This in itself makes me want to try this creation even though I can eat nuts without problem. Wow, thank you for your kindness.

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35 https://twitter.com/ December 3, 2015
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Create a lead era.Potential leads coud grow to be tired of
you for those who trry to get at them along with your generation efforts.

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36 Aria | Purrfectly Inspired December 3, 2015
Recipe Rating:

Oh, I love these! You were so kind to do the recipe request! I’m sure it was greatly appreciated! I know what’s it like to not be able to eat nuts – my brother has a severe nut allergy.

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37 Liv Faye December 4, 2015

I love the story behind this pie recipe, Angela! Thanks for doing this, it’s awesome! I will definitely have to try it now that I bought a new food processor… imagine the despair of not being able to try a lot of your recipes because I didn’t have a food processor! :O

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38 Krista Williams December 4, 2015
Recipe Rating:

I’ve been looking for recipes to try with family to bring in some vegan eating to the group! This ones perfect, thank you for sharing such wonderful recipes!

Krista
http://www.hundredblog.com

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39 Margaret December 7, 2015
Recipe Rating:

I just made them tonight for a birthday party and was so pleased how they turned out. I made 12 using muffin tin cups… next time want I will make them even smaller ….one bite size for Christmas. I have made many of your recipes but have never posted a comment. Thank you for your awesome recipes.

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40 Emma December 7, 2015

These look amazing, I need to get a new food processor mine just isn’t up to this any more.
Recently received your cook book – it’s wonderful. Just a quick question. I recently read that it is important to peel almonds after soaking them, but I notice that you don’t. Peeling is rather time consuming, so i’d rather skip it – do you have any thoughts on this. Thanks.

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41 Gabriela December 7, 2015

Does the toasting prevent the sunflower seeds from turning green when baked? I made a similar crust last weekend from raw sunflower seeds and the crust turned green :) I was aware that this is what happens with sunflower seeds but in the back of my head I knew I saw a crust with sunflower seeds on your site. I Did not remember that you toasted them first.
My crust was fine just green :)

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42 Winnie December 7, 2015

Hi Angela,

If I don’t have any sunflower seed butter on hand, what can I use as a substitute? Thank you so much.

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43 Elizabeth Nitz December 9, 2015

Thank you for sharing !

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44 Kimberly Taylor December 9, 2015

Thank you for sharing !

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45 Gabriela December 9, 2015

So does roasting the sunflower seeds prevent them from turning green in the crust after they are baked? I made a similar crust with sunflower seeds and it turned green after baking. I understand that it is a common reaction of the chlorophyll in the seeds.

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46 Janine Henderson December 10, 2015

Looks so delicious. With a dollop of whipped coconut cream on top, how could i not try this recipe :-) Thanks for sharing!

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47 Amelia Littlejohn December 10, 2015

Yum! Looks so tasty and indulgent!

Nourishing Amelia | Food, Health & Lifestyle Blogger

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48 Lou December 10, 2015

Oh wow! These look amazing and I bet they taste so good.

Lou
http://www.LoveHappinessYoga.com

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49 Eszter December 10, 2015

When my 4 year old daughter was eating the pumpkin pie I made from your book, she said “Mommy, you make the BEST pie ever!”
I try this one next. Is it always better to pour off the oil from the sunflower seed butter, or is it OK to stir it in and use that way?

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50 Sarah December 10, 2015

I’ve had a can of pumpking puree for the longest time and this looks like the recipe to try it on. Only thing is I”m not sure I’ve seen sunflower seed butter in Dublin, would peanut butter be an o.k. substitute?

thanks!

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51 Pippa Clark December 11, 2015

Great! I’m going to make the pie for my sister, she’s a vegan and I’m sure she’ll like it!

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52 Nicole December 17, 2015

Thanks Angela
My niece has sever nut allergies and doesn’t tolerate gluten so I have been stressing about WHAT THE HELL TO MAKE for Christmas. I can’t wait for your new cookbook!

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53 Shayda Yazdanmehr December 20, 2015

Would stevia or liquid stevia work as a replacement for maple syrup in this recipe? (Someone who can’t have “regular” sugar sources”

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54 Amy M December 21, 2015
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These were seriously THE BEST pumpkin pies I’ve ever made! I didn’t have sun nut butter so I used almond butter, but everything else was the same. I used muffin tins and it was fun to each have our own mini pie. I think this would also be good in a large springform pan and cut into slices. This recipe will be replacing my traditional pumpkin pie next Thanksgiving. Thanks so much, Angela, for all of your work on this blog and your cookbook. The way you cook feels like the way I cook so I always have great success with your recipes. :)

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55 Ian December 23, 2015

Can’t wait to try this!
Tip about coconut cream that I read on the internet (not my idea)… Put the can in the fridge upside down. Then when you open the can (right side up) all you have to do is pour off the liquid and you’re left with just the cream. Save the liquid for another use.

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56 Sophie December 27, 2015

A wonderful amazing recipe that I have made yesterday for guests! Everyone loved them so much & so did I! xxxx

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57 queenoffitness December 27, 2015
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Made these for Christmas brunch along with the chocolate espresso hazelnut torte from your OSG cookbook. Ridiculously easy. Angela, your recipes are always a cinch and I have yet to make something that doesn’t turn out awesome. I hope the original requestor also loved them. I had a bag of plain unroasted sunflower seeds from Big Lots hanging around in my cupboard for months and this was the perfect recipe to use them in.
Any tips for getting the whip super fluffy? Mine never gets that voluminous and I follow your directions to a T.

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58 Dr. Challotine Cius-Bonds December 29, 2015
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This looks awesome. I’m definitely sharing this with my clients. Great dessert for the holidays!

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59 Julie December 30, 2015
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I made this for xmas dinner desert! It was great! I have been eyeing it in the cookbook but my mom is allergic to nuts and couldn’t do it so thanks for making this version!!

Also…

I simply love your recipes. They always work out which is awesome!!

I have a request! Actually a whole group of us form facebook are requesting it!

We follow an eating pattern… Phase 1 Monday-Tuesday Phase 2 Wednesday-Thurdsay and Phase 3 for weekends.

I am sending you a link than includes the ingredients we are to use each Phase. The vegan options are also included.

If you could design some dishes that would fit into the phases so we don’t have to tailor them it would be very helpful. Especially phase 2!

Thanks,

Julie and the people that live the fast metabolism life!

chewfo.com/diets/the-fast-metabolism-diet-by-haylie-pomroy-2013-what-to-eat-and-foods-to-avoid-food-list/#phase1avoid

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60 Airyfairycelt March 14, 2016
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So good!
Congratulations on your book by the way. It seems to be going ever so well!

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61 Angela Liddon March 17, 2016

Thanks so much!

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62 Rachel April 27, 2016

Hi there!

I was wondering if the crust you used above for the shell would work as a tart shell. I have a mini lemon tart recipe and looking for an alternative for the shell…. again its mini, so not sure about the crumble factor.

Thanks so much!!

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63 Angela Liddon April 28, 2016

Hi Rachel, I didn’t have any problems with crumbling, so I can’t see why it wouldn’t work with another filling or size! Just be sure to press it in firmly. I’d love to know how they turn out!

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64 Marianne June 30, 2016

This looks amazing!

This may be a dumb question, but aren’t sunflower seeds nuts? I desperately need a gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free dairy-free dessert!

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