Monday, May 13, 2013

Coconut Butter

Coconut butter is an excellent alternative to butter for anyone sensitive or allergic to dairy. It's also just a great way to add more coconut into your life!  I'd heard about coconut butter while reading some blogs and after months and months of thinking about it I decided to give it a try and I'm sold.

Coconut Butter
2 cups dried unsweetened coconut flakes (I used Bob's Red Mill)

Process coconut flakes in a food processor for about 10 minutes. The coconut will break down into mushy little clumps of coconut and eventually turn into a thicker paste consistency. Scoop into a jar and your done. Seriously, its that simple! Store in the fridge and microwave a bit before using (or store it on the counter if you're lazy like me and hope you can finish it before it goes bad). 

Serve on toast, pancakes, vegetables, or anywhere else you would use butter.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Walnut Banana Bread

Everyone loves banana bread. amirite? Having a restricted diet is sometimes frustrating when you see all these comfort foods that you remember in a specific way and you think youll never be able to enjoy the same again.
Last year when went on a no sugar for one month challenge I found a recipe for banana bread which used dates in place of the sugar. It was amazing. But back then I was also still eating wheat and dairy. Then the other day I was thinking about banana bread and nut flours and realized that using walnut flour in a banana bread was the most incredible idea! So armed my ideas and a few recipes for reference I came up with this brilliant banana walnut bread. The recipe may seem like there is a lot to it, but if you prepare ahead of time it's so easy to mix up the batter!

Walnut Banana Bread

3/4c dates, pitted
1/2c boiling water

3 ripe bananas
6 eggs, separated

1/4c coconut oil, melted
1/4c almond (or coconut) milk
2t apple cider vinegar
1 1/2t vanilla

2/3c walnut flour
1/2c coconut flour
1t baking soda
1/2t baking powder
3/4t salt
1t cinnamon

Prepare your ingredients:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a bread pan, set aside.
Pour boiling water over pitted dates in a bowl, set aside.
Mash bananas with a fork and set aside.
Grind up about 1/2c walnuts to make flour if you don't have it already made.

In a bowl combine flours baking powder and soda salt and cinnamon.

Process dates and water into a food processor until it forms a paste.

Whip egg whites in a medium bowl until bubbly. Whisk in bananas, milk, vinegar, vanilla, date paste and oil. Pour dry ingredients into the bowl and stir to combine. Pour batter into pan, cover with foil. Bake covered for 30 minutes, uncover bake another 20–25 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the pan sit in the oven for an additional 30 minutes to allow the center to finish cooking.

Monday, March 11, 2013

DIY Lace Bowls

Doilies are my (not so) new obsession. I love lace in general but I'm slowly discovering how many beautiful uses there are for doilies (thank you Pinterest). Stay tuned for more doily themed projects in the future.
But for now Lace bows: I was originally planning this as a Valentine's Day post, but fortunately as with many DIY projects this project is very versatile and also oh so simple! It is a simple project really taking only a short amount of active time, the hard part is waiting until the next day to unveil your bowl! The options are endless for what you can do with these bowls, I gave my mom a small gift inside one for Valentine's Day and made one for myself for my jewelry. I imagine they would look so sweet with some easter eggs too! 

Lace Bowls
lace doilies of various sizes and shapes and colors
fabric stiffener

Pour the fabric stiffener into a bowl, saturate the doily and squeeze off the excess. Drape the doily over the bottom of a bowl (the fabric stiffener will wash off so don't worry about ruining any bowls). Let dry overnight and carefully peel the doily off the bowl. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Toasted Coconut Cashew Almond Butter

Do you know how simple it is to make your own nut butter? It is, I promise. It's also a lot less expensive than buying a jar. Customizing the flavors and the choices of nuts leave you with endless possibilities. This is a recipe using coconut cashews and almonds but if you're feeling adventurous change it up, even the ratio of nuts can change, I chose the amounts based on what I had at home.

Toasted Coconut Cashew Almond Butter
1 1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup raw almonds
3 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
1 tbsp raw honey
salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix together cashews, almonds, coconut flakes, chia seeds and honey in a bowl. Pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread out in a single layer. Bake in oven for about 12-15 minutes, stir every 5 minutes so they don't burn.

Cool for a few minutes on the pan then transfer into the bowl of a food processor. Blend until creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times. This can take up to 15 minutes, so be patient. Add salt to taste and process a bit longer to mix it in. Transfer to a jar and store in the fridge.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Chocolate Blueberry Tartlets

I miss the spring. That fact probably explains my recent blueberry jam eating spree. This past summer my sister and I made blueberry jam while she visited from Texas. As we rarely get a chance to see each other we like to create a huge mess while she's here with our countless DIY ideas. We both enjoy tackling projects we've never tried before and luckily she shares my enthusiasm for kitchen experimentation. Our jars of jam leave us with reminders of each other for the rest of the year and have proven themselves worthy during gift giving season.

Well, all this jam eating had me thinking of what I could do with the it aside from finding excuses to eat more toast. The idea for these tarts came from a few different desserts I'd made over the last year.

The sweetness of the jam compliments the dark unsweetened chocolate very well. The tartlets are grain and dairy free and depending on the jam used could be made refined sugar free as well.

Blueberry Tartlets
Almond Flax Tart Dough (recipe below)
Blueberry Jam (store bought or homemade)
Two Ingredient Chocolate (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. After preparing the tart dough, press the dough into the tartlet pans using your fingers. Fill each tartlet with blueberry jam. Place the pans onto a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool a little while preparing the chocolate.
Pour the liquid chocolate onto the top of each tartlet. Allow chocolate to set before serving.

Almond Flax Tart Dough
3/4 cups almond flour
1/4 cup flax seed meal
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 large egg

Pulse the almond flour, flax meal, and salt a few times in a food processor. Add the egg and and coconut oil until the dough forms a ball.

Two Ingredient Chocolate
3 1/2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
3 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Melt the coconut oil and stir in the cocoa powder until a liquid chocolate is formed. Use immediately. 
This can be used to top granola bars or fill with nuts and coconut flakes to make your own chocolate bars. The ratio is 1:1 for oil and cocoa power making it simple to make more or less chocolate depending on what you are making.