Get To Know: The Naked Tart

If you've stopped by our café recently, you may have noticed a few tasty-looking newcomers in our cold case. These would be the healthy & delicious creations of Diane Hughes (pictured left), also known as The Naked Tart. Based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, Diane & her team at The Naked Tart specialize in making raw, organic tarts, or as they call them, "a yummy blessing in disguise." And believe us when we say it, they are a yummy blessing, indeed. We're sure that if you try even a single bite of one of these delectable desserts, you'll be as completely hooked as we are! We currently offer chocolate, coffee, lemon, pecan, raspberry, & vanilla tarts, and have plans to carry seasonal flavors as they become available.

We recently had the chance to catch up with Diane & find out a little bit more about her & the inspiration behind The Naked Tart. Read on below to discover her story.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  
I grew up in upstate NY, studied graphic design in college and later ran a successful photography business for 20 years.

How did you get started making these tarts? 
After over coming health issues related to gastrointestinal problems, I became fascinated with the idea of using food as medicine. I realized that by eating organic whole foods and staying away from gluten and processed sugars that I just felt better. I wanted to package that goodness in a dessert and share it with the world. After 20 years as a photographer I was ready for a new adventure.

Why is it so important to you to keep your tarts raw, organic, gluten-free, etc.?  
When something is cooked or heated over 118 degrees, the enzymes are destroyed and the vitamins and minerals in the foods are altered. Enzymes are what digest our food.  If they are destroyed, we have to rely on our own body's enzymes. As we age and if we are not healthy, our enzymes are lacking and therefore, our food is not getting properly or completely digested and we are not getting the nutrients from it. When food is raw, it remains in its natural state, full of all the healthy goodness. It's easy to digest and therefore it's easy on the tummy. You're not left with that "oh I'm so full" feeling.

What are some of your other favorite things to bake or cook?  
I have a great recipe for raw chocolate pudding and and raw thai rolls. I can also make a yummy raw lemon dressing.

What inspires you?  
Helping people feel good. I love the emails and Facebook messages I get from my customers thanking me for creating these tarts and how addicted they are to eating them. Some people get really upset when the tart they want is not on the shelf. The change of seasons has also inspired me to create new flavors. Fall is my favorite time of the year and I am inspired to make sweet potato, pecan and fig tarts.

*Images courtesy of Diane Hughes*

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