Your whole food, plant-based life.

Raw Vegan Fig and Pear Tart with Lavender and Chocolate Ganache

We are ditching coconut oil in desserts. No, really. Seriously ditching it. Because I want you to be healthy. And I no longer am buying into the coconut oil is optimal (internally) doctrine. I still love it for skin and hair care. But an oil is not a whole food. It provides a ton of calories without nutrients and the fiber that is so important to our health. (see for more information on coconut oil).




It’s a bold move but don’t worry, we are not ditching coconuts all together. Coconut oil is a pretty important ingredient in a lot of raw dessert recipes. It provides much needed structure that we don’t achieve because we don’t have the chemical reactions that baking provides. Coconut oil can help solidify things like torts and “cheese” cakes.

If we eliminate coconut oil, how are we going to get things to set up? We are going to use coconut butter! Coconut butter is made from whole coconut so many more of the nutrients and fiber is intact. It is not low calorie but it is a whole food and that makes me much happier. Coconut butter can be expensive but you can find a recipe to make your own here: Homemade Coconut Butter.


This raw, vegan, gluten free fig and pear tart is delicious. And in terms of desserts, pretty good for you. My new approach to desserts is to fill them with great ingredients, like the figs and pears and use the decadent ingredients, fats and sugars sparingly. And then eat them sparingly. Even the chocolate ganache is made with coconut butter instead of coconut oil. It worked better than I expected and had a wonderful, rich taste.  Chia seeds are added to the crust for some omega 3’s and a sprinkling of lavender buds brings another depth of flavor that is unexpected but delicious. I think you will really like this tart. We also have a great tutorial on how to make cashew flour here: How to Make Cashew Flour

You can find coconut butter here: Organic Raw Coconut Butter
or make your own with this recipe: Homemade Coconut Butter


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  1. Sandy wrote on September 27, 2015

    Can I use canned figs in the off season?

    • Susan wrote on September 1, 2016

      Hi, Sandy, As long as they aren’t really wet. The extra liquid could cause problems. Cheers!

  2. Melissa wrote on July 25, 2015

    This dessert is amazing! Thank you so much for providing this recipe:)

    • Susan wrote on July 27, 2015

      So glad you liked it, Melissa!

  3. Kate wrote on July 12, 2015

    OH MY GOODNESS. These are all my favorite things in a dreamy dessert. Making it ASAP! 😀

    • Susan wrote on July 12, 2015

      Kate, me too!! Enjoy! 🙂

  4. mckenna wrote on July 11, 2015

    hi Susan! I love your site and recipes…and “food philosophy” of using whole foods whenever possible. is there a specific reason you use maple syrup instead of a whole food to sweeten, like dates? just curious, thanks! 🙂

    • Susan wrote on July 11, 2015

      Hi, McKenna, Sometimes I do use dates :-). But sometimes I can not get the results I am after with a solid vs a liquid. And maple syrup is pretty close to the source. It is the sap from a tree that is boiled down. It still retains nutrients. You would be very hard-pressed to get a smooth, tasty chocolate ganache with date paste. The goal is to try to stay as close to the source and still bring you really fantastic recipes. Coconut butter can substitute for coconut oil easily and without affecting taste or consistency. In face, I think it is actually better. So, it is a great substitution. It is harder to substitute a semi-solid (date paste) for a liquid. And just a note…we will be using more fruit pastes in recipes. But not in all. 🙂

  5. jill wrote on July 10, 2015

    I am really excited about this recipe. I am not sure where to get the figs. I see a lot of fig trees around they seem to be
    the green ones? The trees are normally picked clean before I realize they are ready to be picked. I live in Texas. Maybe
    whole foods?
    Thanks for all your recipes. You are so kind to share your work. I am new to raw eating and was so happy when I landed
    on your site. I have already tried many of your recipes all with great success.

    • Susan wrote on July 11, 2015

      Whole foods should have them soon. They are in season. And you are welcome! I am so glad that you are enjoying the recipes! 🙂

  6. kara wrote on July 10, 2015

    Wow. I made need to make this for my birthday next month. I wish fresh figs grew in PA.

    • Susan wrote on July 10, 2015

      I love having fresh figs! Can you get them at the market? Cheers!


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