Coconut Love!

Coconut Love.

So, the other day I ventured into Whole Foods as I normally do.

I was minding my own business when BAM! I came face to face with a coconut.

Now, I have ALWAYS wanted to crack open a coconut (don’t we all), but only until recently did I want to cut out the flesh and make my own coconut butter.

In short, I walked out of Whole Foods that day with my friend, the coconut.

As soon as we drove into the driveway, I scrambled out of the car like a madwoman and grabbed a hammer and a screwdriver and got to work on draining the juice and cracking open my prize.

Then, I took it inside and started to cut out the flesh.

I was so excited…until my mom tasted a piece. And spat it out.

The horror! Turns out my beautiful coconut was rancid. Rancid, I tell you, rancid!

Disappointed, I dumped out the juice and flesh into the trash can. And dreamed of coconuts…

A few days later, I went to Whole Foods again (are we seeing a pattern here?) and talked to a cashier about my coconut mishap. She told me to simply grab another coconut and I could have it…free of charge! I happily skipped out of the store holding yet another coconut.

I went home and cracked it open, drained the juice…then the moment of truth.

My mom tasted a piece. And she didn’t spit it out! My coconut was perfect, no disgustingness here.

Dissembling a coconut is a lot easier than you think. You’ll be a pro in no time! 😉

How to Disassemble a Coconut

You will need:
Hammer
Screwdriver
2 bowls
1 plate
1 plastic bag
Cutting board
Knife
Jar

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Note: I advise you to do this outside unless you want

1. This picture is of the three “eyes” on a coconut. To drain the juice, you put the screwdriver through the softest “eye”. Tip the coconut upside down and drain the juice into a bowl. Transfer to jar.

2. Next, place the coconut in the plastic bag. Take the hammer and hit the coconut several times until it cracks open.

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3. Now, take all your supplies inside to begin cutting up the coconut. Place one half of the coconut on a cutting board.

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4. Designate one plate/ bowl for the coconut skin and one for the flesh.

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5. Cut the flesh off of the skin and place in bowl. Wash all the pieces off before transferring to a clean bowl. Coconut flesh should be white. Save for use in a jar or container.

I apologize for the informal dishware, we’re renovating and we don’t have many things out…

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Peanut Butter & Co

Peanut Butter & Co.

I have been sitting here, trying to think of a way to describe this peanut butter.

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Rather, these peanut butters.

I received them from Peanut Butter & Co.

Before I talk about the butters themselves, I’ll give you a little backstory.

Peanut Butter & Co is a little sandwich shop in New York City that serves PB&Js and other PB-themed desserts.

Peanut butter swirl brownie, anyone? 😉

They also have an creative line of nut butters & spreads which you can view here.

As you all know, I love peanut butter. So basically reviewing peanut butter is a dream come true for me!

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Today, I will review 2 different kinds of peanut butter, both by Peanut Butter & Co. Mighty Maple and The Bee’s Knees.

First, The Bee’s Knees.

In order to not have a biased opinion, I enlisted my family to help me taste test. They described this peanut butter as tasting like a peanut butter and honey sandwich. I gave them each one spoonful and they came back for more! The Bee’s Knees is a very creamy peanut butter and the honey balances out the saltiness of the peanuts perfectly. I loved it. It would taste great in Mama’s Peanut Butter Shake or my PB Cookie Dough No-Bakes.

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The next one is Mighty Maple, a very nice maple peanut butter. Again, I asked my family to taste test along with me. They described it as crunchy (because of the maple sugar crystals) and sweet. To me, it was perhaps my favorite. The crystals gave it a slight crunch and the creaminess of the peanut butter contrasted with that crunchiness and made it taste so perfect. This would go great on top of pancakes, waffles, french toast, crepes, ect. You could even mix it in with oatmeal. It’s great for breakfast.

After everyone had finished licking the peanut butter off of their fingers and secretly trying to dip their spoons back in without me seeing, everyone voted which one was their favorite. It turned out to be Mighty Maple, which prompted me to create a recipe with the winning peanut butter.

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I figured that in order for the maple flavor to truly shine, I couldn’t use it in a baked good. All the other flours and ingredients might dull the flavor.

So, I settled on a raw dessert.

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Using my recently purchased measuring cups and spoons, I created a peanut butter treat.

“Might Maple” Peanut Butter Balls
4 tbsp Might Maple peanut butter
4 tbsp gluten free oats
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/8 cup dairy free chocolate chips

1. Combine peanut butter, oats and maple syrup in a small bowl. Roll the dough into balls.
2. Pour the chocolate chips into a separate bowl. Roll the balls of dough into the chocolate chips until they are covered. Enjoy!

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The finished product…

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Tada!

Where to Buy

Peanut Butter & Co can be found at most Whole Foods, Walmart, on Amazon (visit their amazon page here.), and on their website www.ilovepeanutbutter.com.

Note: I was not sponsored by Peanut Butter & Co to write this review. I only encourage people to buy products I myself have tried and believe in. Peanut Butter & Co represents quality, something that I try to present on this blog. Thank you! 🙂

Banana Bread Muffins

Banana Bread Muffins.

During these past few weeks, due to a kitchen renovation, we’ve been scrapping together breakfast.

We have no oven, no stovetop…just a crockpot and some mixing bowls.

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Thankfully, one of our friends has been letting us use their kitchen to bake and cook some of our meals. Without them, I’m pretty sure we would be living off my mom’s granola!

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That’s why these muffins are so great. They are a quick and easy breakfast.

It doesn’t hurt that everyone loves them either.

Banana Bread Breakfast Muffins
gluten & dairy free

1-1/4 cups GF flour blend (oat flour would work wonderfully)
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
2 mashed bananas
1/2 cup gf oats
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, spoon batter into muffin tin, and stick them in the oven for 18-20 minutes (this depends on how hot your oven runs).

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It’s so nice to know that my sister is here to eat protect the muffins for me! 😉

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Wholesome Chow

Introducing Product Reviews!

When I first started this blog, I had in mind to help those with intolerances by whipping up delicious gluten dairy free creations. I also had it in mind to help my own family, as most of them are allergic to gluten and dairy. I started emailing companies asking them for samples of their products so that I could review them on my blog.

It worked.

Within a week, I received this lovely All Purpose Baking Mix from the folks at Wholesome Chow.

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When I asked them for a sample, they happily obliged and were very kind. It shipped here within 3 days! I was so excited when I received it.

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It doesn’t hurt that’s its Non-GMO, organic, corn free, and vegan either.

This mix contains xanthan gum and sea salt, so there’s no need to salt your baked goods or even add xanthan gum to make it all hold together.

You can find Wholesome Chow on their website at www.wholesomechow.com or, you might be able to find them at Whole Foods. They offer a couple of mixes on www.amazon.com.

Today, I made some griddle cookies with the mix and they turned out perfecto!

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I made them with my happy face spatula. 🙂

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Griddle Cookies
gluten & dairy free
vegan
Note: I liked how these tasted, but my mom likes things sweeter than me. So, maybe add 2 tbsp of granulated sugar to the mix to make it a little sweeter if its what you prefer.

1 3/4 gluten free all purpose baking mix
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup stevia (or 1/4 cup more coconut palm sugar)
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 + 1/3 cup almond milk

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, coconut sugar, stevia, ground flaxseed, baking soda and nutmeg. Mix well.

2. Using a fork and knife, cut in the coconut oil until coarse crumbs form. Stir in the raisins.

3. Add milk to the dry ingredients and stir together until moistened and dough holds together.

4. Heat griddle to 400 degrees. Grease with coconut oil. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto the griddle. Flatten with spoon. When brown, flip over and cook the other side. You can serve hot or freeze cookies for later.

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Bottom line: This baking mix may require a little bit more liquid than the average recipe, so if you recipe calls for 1 cup of milk, maybe add 1/2 cup or more if necessary. Overall, a great mix! No need for eggs, which is a plus for vegans.

Note: I was not endorsed by Wholesome Chow, I only choose products I believe in.Thank you 🙂

Maple Donut in a Bowl!

Maple Donut in a Bowl.

No, I did not take a donut, mash it up, and put it in a bowl.

Tsk, tsk. That would be ridiculous.

Besides, donuts aren’t vegan. Or gluten free. Unless of course you make a gluten free vegan donut…

And this tastes better than a donut, darn it!

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And it’s 100 times healthier, too.

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In case you’re wondering, what’s in the ramekin in the pictures is not 1 cup of granola. For myself, I did 2/4 cup. But I figured normal humans would like 1 cup.

Maple Donut in a Bowl!
gluten & dairy free
vegan

8 cups gluten free oats
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8 maple syrup
1/8 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup honey
1 cup oil
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment or aluminum foil.

2. Combine the oats and almonds. Stir together the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat. Spread the mixture evenly on the baking sheets.

3. Bake in the preheated oven until crispy and toasted, about 20 minutes. Stir once halfway through.
Remove from oven. When cooled, break up granola into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Ok, now for the maple donut twist!

1. Put 1 cup of the granola in a bowl, drizzle with maple syrup, and pour almond milk over the whole thing. Enjoy!

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Enjoy your granola breakfast. Or shall I say donut? 😉

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Coming off of my cookie dough kick I am not.

I will admit that this was not my idea, though.

It was my sister’s.

Seems we might have another baking/cooking extraordinaire in the family, eh? 😉

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls
gluten & dairy free
vegan

For the cookie dough:
2 tbsp earth balance
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/8 cup sugar or other sweetener
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/2 tbsp flaxseed plus 2 tbsp water or 1/8 cup applesauce
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup oat flour or other GF mix
1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips

1. Cream earth balance or coconut oil and sugars together. Mix in flaxseed and vanilla, then oat flour and chocolate chips.

For the chocolate:

4 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp cocoa powder (or cacao)

1. Mix powder and oil together in small bowl.

2. Pour chocolate on top of the cookie dough balls. Place in fridge or freezer until chocolate shells are firm. Then you can take them out and enjoy! 🙂

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Happy Peanut Butter Day!

Ha! You thought I was joking?

No, it’s real. Legit real. There is a real day devoted to peanut butter.

But why are you surprised? Yesterday was “Pie Day”, the day before that was “Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day” and the day before that was the classic “Beer Can Appreciation Day”.

But I must say, out of those, “Peanut Butter Day” is clearly the winner. 😉

So, in honor of today, I am compiling all of my peanut butter recipes.

I like to call it…

Maddie’s Peanut Butter Palooza

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Peanut Butter Honey Fudge

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Mo Peanut Butter Cookies

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Peanut Butter Cookie Dough No Bakes

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Chocolate Peanut Butter

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Mama’s Peanut Butter Shake

Have a peanut-butter-licious day! 🙂