Healthier Pop Tarts! Say what?!
It’s the breakfast I used to fantasize about as a little kid, walking hand-in-hand with my mom in the grocery store. She would always lovingly shoo me away from the sugary cereals and snacks, so these pre-packaged frosted hand pies were a rare treat for me.
Until college. Then, anything was game! Ever heard of the freshman
15 30? Yeah, that totally happened to me. Pop Tarts helped make it happen. That’s why I decided to give a Healthy Indulgences make over to Kellogg’s best selling junk food-for-breakfast product. My low carb version of the iconic pastry is gluten-free, no sugar added, and equally yummy!
The rich, flavorful low carb tart crust is made from almond flour and a little oat flour.
You can make a sugar-free icing to decorate the tarts using powdered erythritol, xylitol, clear vanilla extract, and a little lemon juice. I don’t usually make the icing though, to be honest. These rich, buttery crusted treats with a sweet raspberry filling don’t need it. If you’re familiar with the sweeteners I use, you probably know that erythritol and xylitol can have a “cool” aftertaste in excess quantities. That’s why I’d skip the icing if I were you.
To make paleo pop tarts, I’m guessing you could easily substitute tapioca starch for the oat flour, and coconut oil for the butter. A little honey could replace the erythritol.
To make dairy-free pop tarts, you can substitute non-hydrogenated shortening for the butter.
If you’re curious, the sprinkles are made of erythritol mixed up with Wilton food colorings. I mixed a drop of coloring into a little erythritol with a toothpick until it clumped. Then, I grabbed a little of the mixture and rubbed my finger tips together to distribute the “sprinkles” all over the tarts. Pretty cool, huh?
Healthier, Homemade Pop Tarts (Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free!)
Makes six 3.5″ by 4.5″ tarts
1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour OR 5.25 ounces sliced, blanched almonds
1/4 cup (0.75 ounces) oat flour
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter OR non-hydrogenated shortening
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 egg white, beaten
For Fruit Filling:
1 cup (4 ounces) raspberries
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon good-tasting pure stevia extract powder
2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon erythritol
Pinch sea salt
1/16 teaspoon xanthan gum
For Pop Tart Dough:
If using sliced, blanched almonds, grind almonds in a Magic Bullet blender or food processor into a fine meal. If using blanched almond flour, simply add it to the rest of the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk the mixture. Remove butter from fridge and cut into chunks. Use a fork to press butter into the dry mix, cutting it in so that you get pea sized chunks of butter throughout the dough. Whisk egg white in a separate small bowl. Drizzle in egg white a little at a time until the dough comes together. I ended up using just over half an egg white from 1 large egg. It’s better that the dough be a little dry rather than too moist! The dough should be crumbly, so you should have to press it together into a ball before refrigerating it. Chill dough for 15 minutes to 1/2 hour. If the dough is too crumbly to roll out, add a little bit more egg white and knead it through. Divide dough into 3 or 4 balls. Roll out a ball of dough into thin, square pieces between 2 pieces of parchment paper. I like to roll the dough a few strokes, then flip the parchment-dough-parchment package over. Peel off the top layer of parchment, then repeat the process, continuously flipping and rolling out the dough to make sure you can still remove the top piece of parchment from it. The technique is the same for my Sugar-Free Sugar Cookies. When the dough is thin enough, remove the top piece of parchment and use a pizza cutter to cut rectangles out of the dough. I use a big metal flat spatula to transfer the rectangular pieces to my parchment-lined baking sheet. I can usually get three 3.5″ by 4.5″ rectangular pieces of dough from one of the dough balls.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the tops of the bottom halves of the tarts with left over egg white from the dough. Spread a tablespoon of filling over dough, leaving a 1/2″ margin of dough around the edges. Take spatula and transfer a matching rectangular piece of dough to cookie sheet, flipping it over onto the bottom tart piece. Press together the edges of the tart with your fingers to seal it. Use the tines of a fork to create a more decorative seal, if desired. Generously poke holes all over the top piece of the tart with a toothpick to avoid exploding pop tarts! Bake for 15 minutes if you’re going to toast the pop tarts later. If you want to eat the pop tarts fresh out of the oven, bake ‘em for 20 minutes, or until browned around the edges. Remove tarts from cookie sheet to cool on a wire rack.
For Fruit Filling:
Add raspberries, lemon juice, stevia, erythritol, xanthan gum, and salt to a blender. I use my Magic Bullet. Blend until pureed. Transfer fruit puree to a microwaveable glass measuring cup. Microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes. Remove cup from microwave and allow mixture to cool. Whisk together the puree to even out the consistency before spreading on top of the tart dough. Makes enough filling for 6 tarts.
~6g net carbs, 204 calories per pop tart