Pop Tart – not really, not at all

How embarrassing, did I post earlier this with basically no content!? I’m off my blogging rocker.  You mean, when you hit “post” accidentally, it actually posts! Whoops. I don’t think I’ve lost my mind. And, okay, this recipe is not really a pop tart at all. I’ve never purchased Pop Tarts nor have I consumed more than a few in my day. But something about this quick tart reminds me of a Pop Tart. So here’s a quick and healthier version of a Pop Tart. We often eat this tart for breakfast, so that may be the true influencing factor behind the name.

Before the recipe, let me briefly update you on running. Admittedly, I’m tired of this cold-spell. What happened to “El Nino” warmer winter temps?? So far this winter I’ve only run on the treadmill once in my parents’ treadmill chalet, sporting my beanie from the French Alps. I felt like the run was justified. Not that one needs to justify running on a treadmill. Not at all, you GO treadmill runners! When I own a treadmill again, I’ll be on it, that’s for sure. Anyway, since I had run 18 miles the day before, outside in 3˚ F weather, I felt I’d earned the cozy recovery run. So other than that one treadmill run, I’ve been outside on the roads or inside on the Grinnell College indoor track, which I love, love, love. And there was even one anomaly of a 39˚ day in the past few weeks where I took my goose-bumpy legs for a 7mi noon run.



Beyond the arctic temps of late, winter has been good and my strength has been coming back. We’ve been hitting the home-remodel hard, consuming a large amount of sauerkraut and learned to juggle our new schedules (since I’ve started working full time). I’m still creating new recipes; I just find less and less time to share them with you.

So on to the Pop Tart recipe.  As I said, I can’t really call this a recipe because I didn’t measure anything. Ha! Such a mystery. I’ll give you the “generally-this-is-how-I-make-this-tart” version, but first, I want to enlighten you on a “key” ingredient. I have been dying to test Generation UCAN in baking because I’m just not sold on it as a pre-run fuel source. Sorry. Really, I am. I know many, many people love it and swear by it. And when I say many, I mean many people love it! It seems like half  all of the fairly serious runners I know use it. I’ve tried it to fuel workouts, but I just don’t see a difference for me between it and a banana with peanut butter or almond butter and coconut jasmine rice.  The first thing that gets me is how expensive it is. And what else gets me is the mystery behind it. It’s called a “superstarch.” Uh…What the heck does that mean? As a self-trained chef, to me it looks like cornstarch, it tastes like cornstarch and is made of some sort of “super” starch? Humm? I don’t know? I’m not trying to debbie-down-it but… Sorry, Meb (Meb Keflezighi is sponsored by UCAN), I love you as much as the next runner, but I’m not sold on Generation UCAN.

Source: cbsnews.com

So I’ve made a lovely tart out of it. Superstarch with superfruits! The mysterious cranberry and blueberry, plus tart cherry juice thickened with mysterious superstarch. The berries are all wonderful for you and wonderful together holding hands in this topless tart. The fruit filling is sweetened by the blueberries and cherry juice concentrate, topped with a drizzling of honey just before serving.

Here’s what you’ll need (roughly speaking):

The crust is similar to my Rustic French Tart Crust, but again, not quite.

With a fork toss together:

  • 1 3/4 c flour
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 1 t apple cider vinegar

Then add enough cold water to get the dough to hold together ~a few tablespoons. Press this evenly into the bottom of a tart pan or pie pan. The tart pan I use is about 10-inch diameter.

For the filling: I used a heaping cup of each: fresh cranberries and frozen blueberries. Place them in a small saucepan on medium heat. Add water, (lets say 1/4 cup) to reconstitute the tart cherry juice concentrate, about an equal amount 1/4c. Get the berries and juice nice and warm and stir in a little vanilla 2 t. or so. And add a scoop of Generation UCAN. Wait! If you don’t have any on hand, don’t go out and buy it, just use cornstarch 2T or arrowroot powder 3T to thicken the berries. Cornstarch thickens better than arrowroot powder, hence why I’d add more arrowroot. Stir. If you find it’s too thick for your liking, add a bit more water and/or cherry juice. I didn’t overcook these berries either. If anything, the cranberries were probably just barely “popped” open like cranberries get when you cook ’em. We like it like that, but you may want to cook yours longer. If you do, you may need to adjust the water if the superstarch gets too gooey and thick.

Spread the berries over the prepared crust and bake at 350˚ for about 20 minutes. I think it tastes best cooled and *ahem* served for breakfast with a nice Earl Grey. But do what you’d like. I would drizzle a little honey over it before serving. I don’t like to heat up honey if I don’t have to. A drizzle will do ya.


And sorry if you are one of the majority who loves UCAN. It’s not so much that I don’t love it, it’s that I cannot afford it and I’m not willing to spend the money when other food sources seem to work just fine *for me*. If you’re curious about UCAN’s efficacy, I enjoyed this podcast by Runners Connect on UCAN. It answered lots of my suspicions about it.

No matter how you fuel, enjoy a slice of Pop Tart in the morning (or maybe for dessert)!

And feel free to send a comment this way:

What’s your favorite pre-run fuel?

Have you tried Generation UCAN? Thoughts?

Who else is banking on Meb in the top three at the Olympic Trials Marathon? 


2 thoughts on “Pop Tart – not really, not at all

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