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Posts Tagged ‘Coconut’

It’s been a while since my last entry, but I’m slowly recovering from post-holiday blues…That doesn’t stop me from reminiscing though – which is exactly what this Carrot Cake is about! My mum’s friend and I had planned to make this to keep us going on our long car ride to Croatia (7 hours!), but it never lasted that long – we ended up having to bake a replacement at the last minute. Turns out my Dad has a strict ‘No eating in the car’ policy, so the Carrot Loaf came all the way to Croatia with us and ended up a blessing amongst the lack of veggie food…My family agreed that this was the best Carrot Cake they have ever had, and couldn’t believe it was made without Eggs or Butter. This recipe is based on one from Ricki Heller’s book: Sweet Freedom: Desserts You’ll Love without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar, which I absolutely LOVE as all the recipes are without refined sugar or wheat – my kind of Dessert book! The combination of Carrot, Cinnamon, Lemon & Coconut is heavenly, and the Lemon Glaze on top (suggested by my Dad’s girlfriend) adds just the right amount of tartness…

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups finely grated Carrot, unpacked

1 Tblsp. ground Flax Seeds

1/4 cup Agave Syrup

1/4 cup Maple Syrup (or 1/2 cup of Syrup of choice)

3/4 cup Soy Milk

1/3 cup Canola Oil

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tblsp. grated Lemon Zest, fresh

1 1/2 cups Whole Spelt Flour

2 tsp. Cinnamon

2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1/4 tsp. Salt

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded Coconut

 

Method:

– Preheat oven to 180C/350F, and spray a 8″ loaf pan or 9″ square pan.

– In a medium bowl, combine Carrots, Flax Seeds, Agave, Maple Syrup, Soy Milk, Oil, Vanilla, Vinegar and Lemon Zest. Set aside for atleast 2 minutes.

– In a large bowl, sift together Flour, Cinnamon, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Salt. Add Coconut, and stir to combine.

– Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir just to combine. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top.

– Bake in preheated oven for 35- 45 minutes (the loaf pan takes longer than a square pan), or until a tester inserted in centre comes out clean.

– Allow to cool completely until removing from pan, and covering with Lemon Glaze.

For the Lemon Glaze:

1 cup sifted Icing Sugar

juice of 1 Lemon (add half first, then more if needed)

 

– Slowly add Lemon Juice to Icing Sugar until the right consistency is achieved. Pour over Carrot Loaf and allow to set.

*Warning: Will make a mess if eaten in the car…

PS: This would be delicious with the inclusion of Nuts, too!

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After a long break from Peanut Butter, all of a sudden I have found myself craving it like crazy in just about any form – but this has been my favourite…I can honestly say that I’ve had this smoothie almost every day for the last few weeks, I’m hooked! For the liquid I use Coconut Water, which has some amazing benefits – it’s hydrating, full of electrolytes & has even been used in blood transfusions due it being identical to blood plasma! I realise that most of you are not living in Asia, and therefore probably don’t have access to an abundance of (cheap) Coconuts, so in that case you can easily swap it for a Milk of your choice. If you do use a Coconut scrape out the meat from inside, using a spoonful of it for your Smoothie, and keep the rest in a tupperware for your next one. I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s very important to use frozen Fruit in Smoothies if you want the right texture – so the next time you have some spotty-brown Bananas lying around, just peel them, wrap them up and pop them in the freezer for this yummy Breakfast (or Snack…)!

Ingredients: (about 2 servings)

Water from 1 young Thai Coconut OR about 500ml of  a Milk of your choice (eg: Soy Milk/Almond Milk/Rice Milk)

1 and 1/2 medium Bananas, frozen & chopped

2 Tblsp. Peanut Butter (Use unsalted with no Sugar added if you can…Crunchy or Smooth, up to you)

1 Tblsp. Flax Meal or Chia Seeds

1 Tblsp. Brown Rice Protein Powder (optional)

For some Chocolate goodness: 1 Tblsp. Cocoa/Carob/Cocao Coconut Butter (Yummm…)

 

Method:

You know what to do for this one: Pop it all in your blender and turn it into smooth, creamy, nutty Heaven…!

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For the last 2 years or so I’ve become accustomed to a light breakfast of Fruits or Smoothies, but every Sunday I like to treat myself to a nice hearty Brunch (because I have the  whole day free to recover from my food coma!) – and I’ve had this recipe in mind for a few weeks…It comes straight from Dreena Burton’s Eat, Drink & Be Vegan: Everyday Vegan Recipes Worth Celebrating, which has some fabulous recipes! I used Whole Grain Spelt flour for these, which produces quite a ‘wholesome’ texture, so I would suggest that you maybe try it with Light Spelt if you have it on hand – I’m sure Wheat flour would make a fine substitute too, if it’s not a problem for you. Even though they contain Coconut Milk, the pancakes don’t have an obvious Coconut flavour, so adding dessicated Coconut or an extract would be good if that is what you’re looking for…The overripe Banana adds enough sweetness, so that there is no need for extra Sugar. These are not South African style pancakes (which are more like Crepes) – they come out thick & small, perfect to stack on top of eachother and cover with Maple Syrup & Bananas!

Ingredients: (makes 12-15 pancakes)

1 1/2 cups Spelt Flour or Whole-wheat Pastry Flour

1 Tblsp. + 1/4 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon or Nutmeg (I prefer Cinnamon…)

1/8 tsp. Sea Salt

1 1/2 cups Light Coconut Milk (OR mix 3/4 cups Full Cream Coconut with Milk of choice) – you may need to add a bit more to get the right consistency

1 cup overripe Banana (about 1 large Banana), sliced

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Canola Oil Cooking Spray, or Oil of choice to coat pan

sliced Banana, Maple Syrup & dessicated  Coconut to serve

 

Method:

In a large bowl, add Flour and sift in Baking Powder. Add Cinnamon & Salt, and stir to combine. In a blender combine Coconut Milk, Banana, and Vanilla Extract and blend until smooth.

– Transfer wet mixture to dry, and stir just until well combined (don’t over mix), adding more liquid if needed to reach desired thickness (if mixture is too thick, pancakes will be very doughy). Set aside.

– Spray a frying pan with Oil (spreading it with a paper towel), and heat on medium-high heat until very hot. Reduce heat to medium-low, and using a ladle or Ice-cream scoop, pour batter into pan to form pancakes. Let cook on one side for a few minutes, until bubbles start to form, then flip and lightly brown other side for 1-2 mins. Repeat for the rest of the batter, re-spraying pan if needed.

– Top with Maple Syrup, sliced Banana & dessicated Coconut…

*Set your oven to 120C/250F and keep Pancakes warm on a foil-covered plate or tray until ready to serve.

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I bring you the secret to perfect Vegan Ice Cream: Coconut Milk & Agar Agar! Thanks to re-discovering an old Cookbook burried amongst my collection (The Ice Dream Cookbook), I am now churning sublime frozen dessert with this combo. Agar Agar, derived from Algae, is a vegetarian substitute for Gelatin (which basically comes from the boiled bones, skin, tendons, etc. of animals). It helps to improve the texture of the Ice Cream mixture, and stops it from icing too much once you freeze it. You should be able to find it in most Health Stores – it can be found as powder or flakes, but the powder form dissolves much faster and is used in this book. You can choose any Berry you like, but Blackberry & Blueberry blend well together…There’s a definate hint of Coconut due to the Milk used, but it works well with the flavours and creates a smooth, velvety texture. This honestly tastes like genuine Gelato!

Ingredients:

1/3 cup Water

3/4 tsp. Agar Agar powder (or 4 1/2 tsp. flakes)

1 cup Blueberries

1 cup Blackberries

1/4 cup Agave Syrup

1/4 tsp. Stevia OR 1/4 cup Sugar/Agave Syrup

1 can Coconut Milk

1/4 cup Soymilk

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

juice of half a Lemon (optional)

 

Method:

Add Water to small saucepan, sprinkle with Agar Agar and let stand for 2 minutes to soften. Warm on medium-low heat, without stirring, until Agar Agar dissolves.

– Scrape mixture into a blender or food processor, and add Agave & Stevia/Sugar. Process until smooth. Add Berries, Coconut Milk, Soymilk, Lemon juice & Extract and blend until combined & smooth. Taste and adjust to desired sweetness.

– Cover and chill in your refrigerator for atleast 6 hours (or overnight), then churn in your Ice Cream maker according to instructions. Serve immediately, or cover and freeze for a few more hours for a firmer texture.

Creamy, dreamy Bliss…

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Mmmmm…There’s nothing better than the smell of a batch of cookies baking in your oven filling your apartment (or house, if you’re lucky!). These aren’t actually Coconut cookies, but they both have coconut in them – as you can see, I’ve been on a bit of a Coco-hype lately since my holiday in Thailand… This is my favourite cookie recipe from a book called Simple Treats: A Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free Guide to Scrumptious Baked Goods, and I usually just modify it depending on what I feel like. You’re welcome to play around with it, there are so many possible variations! I like that it uses Maple Syrup instead of Sugar (which can be a bit pricey, but totally worth it), as well as Barley & Oat Flours in place of Wheat – making them easier on your digestive system. Incidentally, I just found out today that I have a Wheat intolerance, so I guess I’ll be making these more often! This particular batch was photographed in the plane on my way to visit my dear friend in the Philippines, and was made especially for her, as she is a fellow Vegan 🙂

Lemon-Poppy Seed-Coconut Cookies (makes 18 cookies)

Ingredients:

1 cup Rolled Oats

1/4 cup Canola Oil

1/2 cup Maple Syrup

1/2 tsp. Vanilla

2 Tblsp. fresh Lemon Juice

1 cup Barley Flour ( Spelt or Whole Wheat Pastry Flour will do too, if you prefer)

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 3/4 Tblsp. Poppy Seeds

1/2 cup dessicated Coconut

1 Tblsp. Lemon Zest

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F/180 C.

– Process Oats in Food processor or Blender until they are the consistency of coarse flour.

– In small bowl, mix Oil, Syrup, Lemon Juice and Vanilla.

– In a separate bowl, place ground Oats, Poppy Seeds, Coconut and Lemon Zest. Sift in flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, and Salt.

– Pour wet ingredients into dry, and mix with a spatula until well incorporated.

– Using 2 spoons, scoop out 1 heaped Tblsp. of batter onto lined cookie sheets. Flaten cookies slightly with bottom of a cup or glass (Dip in warm water before).

– Bake for 11 mins. then rotate cookie sheets a half turn (to ensure even baking), and bake 5-6 mins. more – until cookies golden around the edges.

– Let them cool on the cookie sheet 5-6 mins. and then remove onto a cooling rack.

 

Chocolate Chip-Oatmeal-Coconut Cookies (18 cookies)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup Rolled Oats

1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp. Canola Oil

1/2 cup plus 2 Tblsp. Maple Syrup

1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1 cup Chocolate Chips

1/4 cup dessicated Coconut

1 cup Barley Flour

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Cinnamon

dash Nutmeg

 

Method:

Follow method for previous cookies (Lemon poppy-coconut), only processing 3/4 cup of Oats, and adding the rest whole to the dry ingredients.

* Enjoy with a cuppa

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In keeping with my Thai surroundings, I decided to go for a Sago Pudding as every Supermarket here seems to be stocked up with different sizes of Tapioca Pearls in their Dessert section…My mum’s Sago was always made with Evaporated Milk, and baked for about 2 hours – so that was out of the question! I really wanted to try and make a Chocolate one, so I decided to use some Chocolate Soymilk I had found in one of the better Supermarkets in place of Cocoa and Sugar. The Coconut Cream, as always, gives it a rich & luscious taste, without being too sweet. Very simple, with just three ingredients, this recipe takes a bit of time as you need to stir constantly. The longer you soak the Tapioca, the less time it will take to cook. Don’t use unsweetened Chocolate Soymilk, as you will then need to add extra sugar for sweetness…

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Tapioca (small pearls)

2 cups Chocolate Soymilk

1 1/2 cups Coconut Cream

Dried Coconut for garnish

*If you don’t find it sweet or chocolatey enough at the end, swirl in 1-2 blocks of Dark Chocolate

 

Method:

Soak the Tapioca in Soymilk for 30mins. or more (a few hours is ideal)

– Add Coconut Cream and bring everything to a low boil in a saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer. Stir constantly for 20 -30 mins. until Tapioca becomes translucent. Add more Coconut Cream while cooking if it gets too thick.

– Serve hot, or for a cold pudding put in a container and refrigerate for 2 hours. Then spoon into bowls, drizzle with Coconut Cream and sprinkle with Dried Coconut.

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With the excitement of my Thailand trip coming up, i got into a bit of a coconut frenzy!  The Ice Cream is meant to be Vanilla-Bean flavoured, from the book Lick It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love, but as the recipe uses Coconut Milk there is a lovely undertone of Coconut that comes through – and it also makes it deliciously creamy! The cluster idea came from a strong craving for my favourite little Carob-coconut bombs that I scoff on when I’m in South Africa. These didn’t come out quite the same, but were tasty none the less. Just be careful not to burn the Carob Chocolate, as it can get a strange flavour & gummy texture. Who would have though Vegan Ice cream could be this decadent?! I will definately be making this recipe regularly…If you don’t have an Ice cream machine, i recommend you invest in one asap – it’s my favourite Kitchen gadget!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Soymilk

1 Vanilla Bean

1 can Coconut Milk

1/2 cup Agave Nectar (or Unbleached Sugar)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

 

Method:

Cut Vanilla Bean pod in half and scrape seeds into Soymilk, along with the pod. Bring to a boil in saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer 15mins. Remove from heat and let steep for 5 mins.

– Remove vanilla pod, along with any skin that may have formed. Whisk in Coconut Milk, Agave/Sugar, and Extract and place in the fridge in a glass jug/bowl for atleast 8 hours or overnight to chill.

– Pour into Ice cream maker and follow instructions according to your machine. Once frozen, place in freezer to harden up a bit more if desired (depending on your preference of texture).

Coconut-Carob Clusters:

1 cup Carob Chips

1 Tblsp. Soymilk

1 cup Coconut, dessicated

1 Tblsp. Agave/Maple Syrup

 

Method:

Melt Chocolate Chips with Soymilk in a double boiler over hot water, stirring constantly. Do not burn.

– Once melted, fold in Agave & Coconut. Using a Tablespoon scoop mixture into small clusters, and place on a lined tray.

– Freeze for 30 mins. and then place in refrigerator until ready to eat.

Easy Chocolate Sauce:

1/2 cup Cocoa

1/2 cup Maple Syrup

1 – 1 1/2 Tblsp. Soymilk

1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

 

– Whisk together. If you like your sauce warm like me, then heat on low.

* How delicious is this Ice cream…?!

 

 

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