Tag Archives: coconut

Grain free faux-meal, topped with toasted coconut-macadamia nut butter

Hey everyone! I have to unique recipes to share with you today, but first I want to a do a little life recap / word vom!

This last weekend, my friends Zoe, Hayley, Anna and I drove up to Petaluma for the annual Butter and Eggs festival. The Petaluma area is home to many agricultural big names, like Strauss creamery, Clover dairy, and Lagunitas beer! Mmm. One day each year there is a festival with tons of local food stands, a parade, and a Cutest Chick Contest. The feathery kind, of course. We stayed at Anna’s mother’s home on Friday night and woke up at the crack of dawn on Saturday for a delicious, homemade breakfast. A fennel salad and buttery strata were perfect fuel for the day. We pounded some screwdrivers and hit the streets!

me, Anna, Zoe, and Hayley

We had a blast, but day drinking always leaves my body confused. I guess it is nice to shake things up sometimes though! Or stir ;)

Sunday was a day of recovery, studying, and Crossfit. I am loving CrossFit more and more by the day. The WOD was hard.

  • 300 m run
  • 300 ground to shoulders (cleans)
  • 300 m run
  • 30 shoulder to overhead
  • 300 m run

It wouldn’t have been so hard if I had gone with an intermediate weight, but no, ohhhhh no. I had to go heavier. I have been leaving some WODs feeling like I could have gone harder or lifted heavier, and that almost destroys the point. I do think it is a good idea to go with a “safe” weight when you are still learning all the movements, but there comes a time when staying at that weight isn’t going to bring you the improvements that you likely want. While some people finished the WOD in just over 10 minutes, I finished last at around 20. With 75 pounds to lift over my head 30 times, I needed stop and recover every couple reps of the overhead presses. But you know what? I am so glad I went for the “heavy” weight. I know I worked hard and I AM SORE, and that never happens. Moral of the story: Challenge yourself, because finishing a workout in the least amount of time does not equate to the greatest personal reward.

On Monday, I received some Total Body Consultants whey protein in the mail! I have been a long time customer of their Cinnamon Bun flavor, but have been too content to try another flavor or brand because it is that good. They were kind enough to send me a freebie of Alpine Vanilla so that I could branch out a bit. It has the same smooth, creamy texture that I have come to expect, and a light, vanilla-y flavor. However, I still prefer Cinnamon Bun! ;) If youre looking for a delicious, no carb, whey protein isolate, look no further than Total Body Consultants. 

my fave protein shake: Blueberry PopTart!

And finally, today, I started out my day with some paleo-friendly oatmeal fauxmeal. Actually, it depends on what form of paleo/primal diet one follows, but if you are down with flax then you can get down with this breakfast! It is PACKED with ~30 grams of protein and fiber. It is so filling that if you aren’t used to eating bulky breakfasts, you may want to reduce the flax by a tbsp.

I have post in the works all about Paleo and saturated fats and grains, but I want it to be perfect before posting, so bare with me!

Primal “Faux”meal

Recipe: Serves 1

  • 1/4 cup freshly ground flax
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash cinnamon + pinch salt
  • stevia, optional (or honey/maple syrup)

toppings: nuts, nut butters, shredded coconut, butter, drizzle of maple syrup, honey

Directions – Whip the eggs and almond or coconut milk together. Whisk in the flax and coconut flour. Let sit for at least 5 minutes. Stir in the eggs, any sweetener, spices, and vanilla. Microwave (or bake) until the desired consistency has been reached. For me, about 2 minutes was perfect. Check it every 30 seconds or so AND STIR IT UP. The length of time depends on if you want it more liquidy or more custardy.

Note: You can make this in the morning and eat it nice and hot OR you can make it the night before and refrigerate it and eat it cold in the morning. I have done both, but because my home is a sauna, I prefer it nice and cold! Also, you may want to add more coconut or almond milk to reach the desired consistency.

And what did I top it with?

The best nut butter I have ever made. Or will ever make.

Toasted Coconut-Macadamia Nut Butter

Recipe:

  • 1 cup roasted, unsalted macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup coconut shreds, toasted
  • pinch salt, to taste

optional: couple drops vanilla extract (try it plain first, which is how I prefer it!)

Directions – Combine the nuts and coconut in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add salt if desired.

After that bomb breakfast, I went to my physiology lab and dissected a frog. We stimulated the vagus nerve to induce bradycardia and cardiac arrest. We also completely removed it from the frog and it kept beating. Pacemaker cells are crayyyy! I will leave you with this:

Cheers!

Flawless Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles

You’re going think I am lying, but I’m not.

I have eaten a Belgian waffle every single day for breakfast since January 29th. (Thanks to a wonderful birthday present from Pace the day before!)

That is over 50 belgian waffles. Seeing as my recipe can only make 5 at a time, that means I have made this recipe about 10 times now. I have perfected it and it is my child. I wanted to create a waffle that was healthy enough to eat on a daily basis, but decadent enough to induce salivation at the mere site or smell.

I am so obsessed with these waffles that I make 5 at a time and freeze them. That way, in the morning, all I have to do is pop one in the toaster oven and in about 5 minutes, I have a perfectly crisp waffle hot and ready for me. If I have 8am class, then I smother half of it in peanut and the half with almond or cashew butter and wrap it up in foil to take with me. And then I  proceed to chow down on it as the students around me give me dirty glares and wistful glances. They see the peanut butter flowing over the delicate walls of the waffle. They can smell the faint hint of vanilla and the earthy goodness of the whole grains. They can see the maniacle pleasure in my eyes as I carefully take each bite, ensuring to ingest only one nut-butter filled crater at at time for maximal waffle enjoyment.

Proof of said madness:

Now that I have thoroughly creeped you out, here is the greatest, most useful recipe I have ever created.

Flawless whole wheat belgian waffles

Recipe: Makes 5 giant waffles

  • 1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (option: sub in 1/4 cup wheat bran)
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • 1/4 cup sugar or NuNaturals baking blend stevia
  • 3 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups nonfat milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (do not reduce!)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions – Combine flour, flax, bran if using, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, vanilla, and eggs. Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and stir until well combined. Add the coconut oil and mix again. Pour ~1/2 cup batter into a preheated waffle maker and let cook until the steam rate slows and the waffle is browned.

The serving options are endless! So far I have tried…

  • MY GO TO: A couple tablespoons of nut butter; like peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, black walnut butter, sunflower seed butter, and vanilla tahini!
  • Greek yogurt mixed with nut butter and/or maple syrup
  • Cream cheese + cinnamon or chopped nuts
  • Coconut butter + maple syrup (pictured below… in class)

I wanted the waffles to have a high fiber content, protein, and be relatively lower carb than normal waffles. The nutrition facts per waffle:

  • Calories – 307
  • Total fat – 12 g
  • Carbs – 38 g
  • Fiber – 9.2 g
  • Sugar – 4.8 g
  • Protein – 13.4 g

Because I have had so many opportunities to play around with this recipe, I have tried versions with peanut flour, protein powder, more bran, less oil, etc. The only alternative version of this recipe that I adore is slightly lower in calories and carbs and higher in protein. It has about 260 calories per waffle and 17 grams of protein. This version is the exact same as the version above, except: 1 cup of white whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup of wheat bran, 1/4 cup of flax meal, 1 scoop (25 grams protein) Total Body Consultants whey protein powder in Cinnamon Bun, 2 tbsp baking powder, and 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil.

I’ve got to give photo cred to my new friend from CrossFit (!!!!!), Elliot for these mouth watering pictures. It has made me want to invest in a DSLR… perhaps for graduation ;) Mom ;). And, by crazy chance, he and his friends own a website that I have been using for ages! Its an interval workout timer online so that you can do body weight workouts at home without having to mess with stop watches and whatnot. Check it!

Benefits:

Flax * high in B vitamins, magnesium, and f-f-f-fiber! It has more omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants than any grain!

Wheat bran * contains TONS of iron, B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorous and antioxidants! 1 cup has 25 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein!

Whole wheat * when you choose white flour over whole wheat flour, you are losing over half of the B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, copper, and iron. Whole grains (versus processed) reduce your risk for diabetes and have also been linked to weight loss and maintaining a lower BMI.

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism.

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Milk * a key source of vitamin D and calcium, as well as protein.

A surprising ingredient…

Three days off of working out, loads of vitamin C, and a pot of Tom Yum later, I am no longer sick! Getting back into the swing of things was harder than anticipated though. I felt so weak back at the gym and had to remove weight from several lifts, though I don’t think that too much of that was due to actual strength loss. When sick, I try to get in plenty of calories and extra protein, to give the body what it needs to fight the infection and prevent muscle loss. Did you know that when you have a fever, for every 1 degree above ~98.6 you are, your basal metabolic rate is increased by 8%? Your body has to synthesize all the antibodies, B cells, and T cells, to fight off whatever it is – and those are all made from protein!

Since veggies are the least appealing when sick, I made a huge stirfry once I felt better. I tossed everything in a peanut-coconut sauce. I swear that combo can do no wrong. Coconut milk + peanut butter = gold. Howeverrr, I did something a little cray and used vanilla coconut milk for the sauce – and it was out of this world. You must try it!

Chicken and vegetables in a vanilla-coconut peanut sauce

Recipe: Serves 2

  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked
  • 1 cup quinoa or brown rice, cooked
  • cilantro, for garnish

For the stir fry -

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp grated garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 baby bok choy
  • 2 handfuls brocoli florets
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 5 green onions
  • 6 stalks dino kale
  • 1 tsp chopped chili pepper (or pinch cayenne pepper)

For the sauce -

  • 2 tbsp chunky peanut butter
  • 3-4 tbsp So Delicious Sugar Free Vanilla Coconut Milk beverage (or sub in coconut milk and add 4 drops vanilla extract)
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cooked winter squash (or sub canned pumpkin or cooked sweet potato)

Directions – Place a pan on the stove on medium heat. Add the oil, garlic and ginger and let cook until fragrant, a minute or two. Chop all the vegetables and pull the kale leaves from the stalks and shred. Add all of the veggies to the pan except the kale and stir fry. Once they are about a minute from being soft to your preference, add the kale. Once the kale has wilted, remove from heat.

Slice the cooked chicken breasts into small strips. Combine the chicken and veggies in a bowl. Prepare the sauce by mixing the PB, coconut milk, tamari, and squash in a little bowl. Stir until homogenous. Pour the sauce over the veggies and chicken and toss until coated. Serve with grains.

Benefits:

Peanuts * a great source of manganese, Vitamin E, tryptophan (calming!), niacin, folate, and copper! Peanuts also contain lots of healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants! They have been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and have been shown to significantly lower your chances of getting colorectal cancer.

Chilies * filled with capsaicin which can help fight inflammation. They have also been shown to reduce cholesterol and blood triglycerides, and thus can be considered heart healthy. The heat that you feel after eating chili peppers has to come from somewhere – that would be your metabolism! Also, a recent study showed that eating just a little chili pepper a day helped participants sleep better that night.

Garlic * packed with antioxidants that fight aging, cancer, and heart disease. Garlic can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and eliminate free radicals (which cause cellular damage). It is also used to treat asthma and certain unpleasant infections.

Bell peppers * an extremely potent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and antioxidants. They also contain fiber, B6, folate, and vitamin K.

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Love me some Tom Yum

I’m sick :( .

It started with Liz about three days ago. She said she felt a little under the weather and wasn’t as insanely happypeppyfabulous as she normally is. She kept to her bed a bit more than usual. Then, last evening, I started to develop a slight wheeze. I sounded like an old man trying to fight off consumption. I think Ive got the black lung, Pop. Then, early this morning, Anna’s boyfriend emerged from her bedroom and declared “Anna’s sick.” He wandered into the kitchen and stared blankly at a canister of Quaker rolled oats. “What do I put in oatmeal?” he asked. A non-instant newbie, I instructed him: Milk. Cinnamon. Raisins. Almonds. Almond butter. A pinch of salt.

As I prepared my own breakfast, I felt it. The body aches were sprouting from the center of my upper back and unraveling into my shoulders and limbs. I felt chilled and searing hot at the same time. And I couldn’t taste my belgian waffle. Pissed.

So, all I have done today is lay in my bed and study and waste time on the internet. I left the house once to go to Reproductive Nutrition and pick up some fish sauce from the local Asian market. It is the one ingredient that has evaded me for years. Damn that fish sauce. Of course it only comes in monstrously large bottles, because it is such a cooking staple for a significant portion of the world. I also picked up some lemongrass and thai chilis. I’ve got Tom Yum on my mind.

Thai food is not something I ever crave, unlike “New American” cuisine, Tex Mex, hippy food, and the occasional sushi and Chinese food. However, every time I do encounter Thai food, I love it. It is incredibly nourishing while still being full of flavor. The creamy coconut milk, spicy chilis, salty fish sauce, aromatic spices, and sweet rice come together in a symphony of deliciousness.

Tuesday, in my MCAT class, my friend Jacqui brought Tom Yum soup to class and taunted me with it for the following three hours. A drop of saliva literally fell onto my Ochem book. It was disgusting.

So, tonight I finally made my own Thai food and I would just like to say

it was superb.

And the perfect remedy for a sneezy, sickly college kid.

Traditional Thai Tom Yum Soup

Recipe: Makes 2 large servings

Prep time: 15 minutes *  Cook time: 30 minutes * Difficulty: Low

from Thaifood.com

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, lower 1/3 finely minced
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (fresh or frozen at Asian stores)
  • 20 raw shrimp, shelled (about 40-50 g protein worth)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (I used 1 1/2)
  • 1-2 small red chilies, minced (I used 1)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Handful shiitake mushrooms (I used 2 crimini)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 can coconut milk (USE FULL FAT, YA HO!)
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • optional: additional vegetables (I used 2 baby bok choy and a handful of mung bean sprouts) additional chilies, chili sauce, brown sugar, or lime juice

Directions - 

  1. Pour the stock into a deep cooking pot and turn heat to medium high. Add lemongrass to the pot, including the upper part you didnt mince. Boil 5-6 minutes, until fragrant.
  2. Reduce heat slightly to a simmer. Add garlic, chili, lime leaves, and mushrooms to broth. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add shrimp, bell pepper, bok choy, and bean sprouts. Simmer 5-6 minutes, or until shrimp are pink.
  4. Turn down the heat to low and add 1/2 can of coconut mlk plus the fish sauce. Taste test the soup for spice and salt, adding more chili or fish sauce as desired. If too sour, add 1 tsp brown sugar. If too salty, add a squeeze of lime juice. Add more coconut milk for a creamier soup (I added the whole can).
  5. 5. Serve in bowls with fresh cilantro (aka coriander) sprinkled on top. Enjoy!!

Seriously, just put on your big girl panties (or briefs?)  and go buy the “exotic” ingredients. This is a recipe worth repeating again and again. You can freeze the lime leaves and the fish sauce stays good…. forever.

Benefits:

Chilies * filled with capsaicin which can help fight inflammation. They have also been shown to reduce cholesterol and blood triglycerides, and thus can be considered heart healthy. The heat that you feel after eating chili peppers has to come from somewhere – that would be your metabolism! Also, a recent study showed that eating just a little chili pepper a day helped participants sleep better that night.

Garlic * packed with antioxidants that fight aging, cancer, and heart disease. Garlic can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and eliminate free radicals (which cause cellular damage). It is also used to treat asthma and certain unpleasant infections.

Shrimp * extremely high in protein and low in fat! Contains selenium, tryptophan, vitamin D (key for bone health), B12, iron (needed for a healthy thyroid), phosphorous, B3, and zinc. The fat that shrimp does contain is the healthy monounsaturated kind.

Bell peppers * an extremely potent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and antioxidants. They also contain fiber, B6, folate, and vitamin K.

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

I baked my first cake (and I accidently made it gluten free).

Life has this weird ability to speed up slow down simultaneously. I finished summer school on Friday after taking my Genetics final, but I don’t really have a break before school starts (in just a week and a half!) because sorority pre-recruitment has begun. It still creeps me out that I joined a sorority, but as false and cliche as it sounds – it really is different here. Essentially all of the girls are intelligent, hilarious, down to earth, and each bring something unique to the table. I mean, just look at these quality texts!:

get yer geek on at a frat party – why not?

obsessive use of emojis <3

There isn’t much drama (at least not that I’m aware of – which I guess isn’t saying much) and there aren’t any condescending rules or mandatory obligations. I see it as a nice little social safety net. After my experience at UCSB, I definitely can use a little backup support… I missed the first week of pre-recruitment due to summer school and my internship, so today was my first full day. Full day meaning 10am to 5pm.  The goings-on are all under wraps, but I can tell you that the days most hilarious task was bleaching rocks. Apparently the rocks that line our gardens have to be a pristine and sparkly white to wow the potential new members –  bahaha! Fine with me though, seeing as the alternative was crafting, which I am bizarrely incapable of.

Also – I started a new paying job a few weeks ago! I am the sample girl at Nugget and Food 4 Less, two local grocery chains owned by the same company. So far I have sampled organic, ready-made salads by Earthbound farms and a probiotic drink called Yakult! All nerded out:

would you like to try a blueberry quinoa salad with organic greens? 

or how about some probiotics?

In regards to the title of this post, last week was my friend Thibault’s birthday. He was throwing a potluck style BBQ and I had no idea what to bring. I had never baked a cake before, so it seemed meant to be that I bake a birthday cake to bring. I had been itching to use my stash of coconut flour and I have been on a peanut butter kick lately and thus..

[Gluten free] Coconut layer cake with coconut vanilla cream cheese frosting

was born! The secret ingredient is 2 tablespoons of peanut butter in the icing. It adds such a light flavor of peanut that some people couldn’t discern its presence. A peanut butter scented coconut cream cheese frosting, if you will. It was a hit. People had no idea that it was gluten free and really seemed to enjoy it. Many people asked for seconds, and some even got thirds! Which is probably the most flattering thing to me – ever. The recipe is also very easy to make dairy free. I used this recipe to figure out the ratio of egg to coconut flour needed for a successful flourless cake. Also worth noting is that

this cake has 80 grams of fiber in it. and we all know I like fiber.

Recipe: Makes 1 double layer cake

Wet ingredients - 

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar (I used a mixture of white sugar, homemade vanilla bean sugar, and coconut sugar – but it doesn’t really matter)

10 eggs (at room temperature; DO NOT USE LESS EGGS)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups coconut milk

1/3 cup milk (you can use more coconut milk, I just didn’t want to open another can)

2 droppers full of NuNaturals liquid stevia

1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Dry ingredients - 

2 cups coconut flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut + plus 1 cup more for layering over the icing

Directions – Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-9 1/2 inch cake layer pans with coconut oil. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar and mix vigorously (or use an electric mixer, which I don’t have). Add in the eggs one at a time and continuously mix. After all the eggs have been added, add the vanilla extract, stevia, and coconut oil and mix for another minute or two, until well combined. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients together and add alternately with the coconut milk to the sugar/butter mixture.  Beat batter for about 5 minutes, until smooth. Divide batter into the two pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the tops are light brown and they pass the toothpick test. Place pans on wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before removing the cake. Let them cool completely before frosting the first layer. Add a layer of sweetened shredded coconut over the top of the icing and then lay down the next layer of cake. Ice the entire cake. Sprinkle and press coconut shreds all over the cake, into the icing.

For the icing:

16 oz cream cheese, softened

2 cups sugar (I used a mix of homemade vanilla bean sugar and white sugar – you could also use a bit less sugar and add in some stevia)

1/4 cup butter

2 tbsp peanut butter

1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions – Combine everything except the sugar in a bowl and whip until creamy. Gradually add in the sugar, mixing it well. Ice the cooled cake

The pictures do not do it justice! I was in a rush to get to the BBQ and obviously I had to wait until the cake was cut to take a picture of the inside. The lighting was shameful.

so good he ate the secretly-stashed slice for breakfast and lunch the next day!

the innards, filled with coconut shreds and cream cheese frosting

BENEFITS:

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Coconut flour * 1 cup contains 40 grams of fiber and 16 grams of protein. It is one of the lowest carb flours you can use!

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!

I’m out!

Superfood dark chocolate chunk cookies

Good morning! There is nothing better than waking up early on a Saturday morning feeling energized and content. I love that I have the entire day ahead of me to be productive and relax. I plan on taking this little one for a walk, possibly to the farmers market…

And cooking and baking some things for the upcoming week. And studying, obvs, at the library with Dina and Jacqui.

Last night, I went to my friend Stefani’s house for a nice wine night with friends. She made the most amazing baked brie. It was stuffed into a puff pastry with walnuts and brown sugar and the whole thing was coated in egg to make it crispy on the outside. The picture does not do it justice!

Anywhos, these are the cookies that I made for the team of people trying to aid me in passing my biochem lab. They are awesome, if I do say so myself. No one would know they are lower carb and low sugar. I am calling them superfood cookies because compared to a typical cookie, they are packed with nutrients. Be sure to read the benefits at the bottom!

Dark chocolate chunk superfood cookies

They went so fast. Too fast. 

Recipe: Makes 19 cookies

Dry ingredients - 

1 cup almond flour

1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup whole wheat white flour

1/2 cup coconut sugar (can sub in regular sugar)

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (or your favorite kind)

1/2 tsp baking soda

dash salt

Wet ingredients - 

1/2 tsp molasses

1 tbsp imitation vanilla extract (word on the street is that imitation is better for cookies)

10 drops stevia

2 eggs

1 tbsp butter, melted

3 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp Apres Vin 5 Spice Chardonnay grape seed oil (optional)

Directions – Preheat the oven to 350. Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl and mix well. Combine all the wet ingredients in another and mix well. Pour the wet over the dry and mix with a spatula. Divide into 19 cookies on a cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Easy as that!

These are seriously delectable. The almond flour and coconut oil make the flavor more complex than your typical chocolate chip cookie. It just occurred to me that you could make these into salted dark chocolate chunk cookies. Oh god. I think that is what I will make today, instead of, you know, actual food for the week. If you want to do that I would try adding 1/4 tsp kosher salt to the dry ingredients.

my precious…

Benefits:

Almond flour * by subbing almond flour for regular flour, you are getting more healthy fats and less carbs in your cookies. These are monounsaturated fats, which raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels! Almonds also have fiber, manganese, vitamin E (another antioxidant), tryptophan, copper, B2 and phosphorous!

Oats * A prime source of soluble fiber which has been proven to help lower total cholesterol levels. They also contain a unique antioxidant called avenanthramides which prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This is good because the oxidation of LDL cholesterol is part of the atherosclerosis process. Basically, oats help prevent heart disease. They also contain selenium, potassium, phosphorous, pantothenic acid, and magnesium.

Whole wheat flour * unlike refined white flour, whole wheat flour has more B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, copper, and iron. Whole grains reduce your risk for diabetes and have also been linked to weight loss and maintaining a lower BMI.

Dark chocolate *  has been shown to reduce blood pressure. Dark chocolate contains lots of antioxidants called polyphenols which help prevent heart disease by preventing oxidation of LDL cholesterol, just like the avenanthramides in oats (above)!

Coconut oil * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism. It is great to cook with because it is stable at high temperatures!

GF: Chai Spiced Coconut Pancakes with Macadamia Nuts, Toasted Coconut, and a Creamy Coconut Sauce

Oh my soul.

Heaven.

This morning I decided to break out of my oatmeal rut and make pancakes. Not gonna lie… It took me two rounds of failed pancakes to get the recipe down, but in the end I was rewarded with crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, chai kissed-coconut pillows. :) The macadamia nuts are a perfect compliment to the chai and the creamy coconut. I must warn you though, if you make these, follow the recipe! My first two batches fell apart, stuck to the pan, didn’t cook all the way through and basically just spat in my eye.

Chai Spiced Coconut Pancakes with Macadamia Nuts, Toasted Coconut, and a Creamy Coconut Sauce

Recipe: Serves 1

1/2 tbsp coconut oil (to fry in. This is so important. Do not skimp on oil! They will stick!)

1 tbsp toasted coconut (for topping)

Dry ingredients –

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

4 macadamia nuts, roasted and crushed (save some for topping)

pinch salt

Wet ingredients -

1 egg

1/2 cup milk (you could try subbing coconut milk, I used regular though)

couple drops vanilla extract

1 tbsp chai concentrate

Creamy Coconut sauce –

1 tbsp Artisana coconut butter

2 tbsp coconut milk

(optional: if you want a maple flavor, add 1 tsp maple syrup)

Directions:

1. Beat the egg in a mixing bowl until fluffy, about a minute. Add the milk, chai, and vanilla and beat again.

2. Combine all the dry ingredients in another bowl and mix until there are no clumps of coconut flour. Pour the dry onto the wet ingredients. Stir with a spatula until the batter is homogenous.

3. Melt the coconut into a pan on the stove at medium-low heat. Mine was set to 3 of 9. Spread the oil evenly around the pan.

4. Pour the batter into 3-4 pancakes. Let them cook slowly. Only flip them when the tops have some bubbles and the bottoms are light/medium brown. Make sure that when you flip them there is oil on the pan for the other side.

5. When they are cooked through, transfer the pancakes to a plate. Prepare your coconut sauce by stirring together 1 tbsp melted coconut butter and 2 tbsp coconut milk. Drizzle over the pancakes. Top with crushed macadamia nuts and toasted coconut. Enjoy!

And they are gluten free!

Benefits:

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Coconut flour * 1 cup contains 40 grams of fiber and 16 grams of protein. It is one of the lowest carb flours you can use!

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!

Questions: How are y’all? What are your favorite pancake flavors?

Send me your absolute favorite recipe to try!

Gluten, Dairy & Sugar Free: Purely Coconut Muffins!

I, personally, am very tolerant of gluten. You could even say I love gluten because ingredients that contain gluten often have a high fiber content… and we all know I love fiber. However, I have been interested in gluten free and lower carbohydrate baking lately. My biochemistry class has emphasized over and over again how our bodies do not need dietary sugar (glucose). We can make glucose from lactate (from weight lifting or heavy drinking…), amino acids (dietary or – hopefully not – muscle protein), pyruvate, or glycerol (from fat). So, I have been wanting to make more gluten free muffins (like my Lemon Poppyseed) and ever since Heather introduced me to coconut flour, I have had coconut flour muffins on the brain! With a few trials, I have created a gluten free coconut muffin that I have been enjoying every morning with some greek yogurt and shredded coconut!

*Recipe has been updated and improved! 9/10/2011*

GF Coconut Muffins


Recipe: Makes 6-8 muffins

Dry ingredients:

1 cup coconut flour

1  tsp baking soda

(optional: 1/2 cup sugar)

Liquid ingredients:

4 eggs

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 cup coconut milk

sweetener of choice (1 mashed overripe banana, 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup coconut nectar, the sugar listed above, or just the stevia listed below – I recommend a combo of liquid sweetener and stevia)

1 tsp vanilla extract

stevia drops, to taste

coconut oil to grease muffin pan

Directions – Preheat the oven to 350. Combine all of the dry ingredients in one bowl and mix. Combine all of the wet ingredients in another bowl and mix. If possible, use room temp milk so that the coconut oil doesn’t harden when you combine them.) Pour the wet over the dry and combine with a spatula. Grease a muffin pan with some coconut oil and add the batter. If you wish, you can sprinkle some shredded coconut over the tops for a pretty effect. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test.

Benefits:

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Coconut flour * 1 cup contains 40 grams of fiber and 16 grams of protein. It is one of the lowest carb flours you can use!

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!

Next up: Chocolate Coconut Muffins and COCONUT RUM MUFFINS!

Give it another tri

Hello! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. Seeing as this is finals week, I should have been studying the entire time, but Delta Gamma had other things in mind. For whatever reason, they chose this weekend for Presents (where you get presented to your families as a DG by your Big ;)), so my mom flew in from Texas on Friday. We ate at a few superb restaurants in Davis and Sacramento and went to the Presents luncheon on Saturday.

The new members, I am top middle

After she left on Sunday, I studied, went for a run, and studied some more. Today was more studying and a swim! I have decided that I want to get back into triathlon training… I think. I don’t plan on ever being as hardcore as I used to be, but I miss swimming and cycling. Mainly swimming. Plus, joining the UCD triathlon team would be a great way to meet more people. Triathlon seems to attract people who are pretty intense and unique, and UCSB’s team offered me some good friendships. Today’s workout was extremely simple:

Getting Back Into It Pool Workout

1500 swim

10 x 50  fast, 10-15 second break

100 swim

300 kick

100 cool down

And what powered this workout? Why Chocolate Coconut Oatmeal of course!

Recipe: Serves 1

1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup water

2 tsp cocoa powder (quality is key!)

pinch salt

a few drops vanilla extract

dash cinnamon

1-2 tbsp Artisana coconut butter

1 tbsp coconut shreds

Directions – Combine all the ingredients except the coconut butter in a bowl. Microwave for 90 seconds. Top with coconut butter and more coconut shreds and enjoy.


Once again, Im sorry for all the bowl food. I swear I have been eating things off of plates too… I will post some real recipes soon!

Chocolate Muffins with a hint of coconut

With finals coming up, I have been depending on super easy recipes for all my meals, hence all the bowls of food you have been seeing lately. The only final I am worried about is Biochem. I need to know what happens when you eat carbs all the way until it has been transformed into H2O and CO2. So digestion, absorption, glycolysis, the malate shuttle, the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, the TCA cycle, then oxidative phosphorylation and ATP synthesis. Mmhmm. So when I am eating these effing delicious chocolate muffins, I know E X A C T L Y what is going down in ma’ belly.

I usually don’t like anything chocolate unless it is quality ice cream or straight up chocolate bars because I feel like chocolate cakes and cupcakes just taste fake. Not strong enough. So I am not sure what possessed me to make these muffins, but I am so glad that I did! They are perfect: Not too sweet, like a cupcake. Not bland at all. Chocolately, with a hint of coconut. And filled with whole grains, fiber, and flavor.

Chocolate Muffins

Recipe: Makes 4 muffins

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 tbsp shredded coconut

2 tbsp oat ban (totally optional, I just wanted so extra fiber!)

1/4 cup raw sugar

[Note: Use more if you want a sweeter muffin, like a cupcake. I have also done a low sugar version with 1 tbsp sugar and 12 drops of stevia - it was delicious as well.]

2 tbsp quality cocoa powder

pinch salt

shake cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp coconut oil, melted

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375. Place all the dry ingredients in one bowl and all the wet in another. Stir each individually. Pour the wet over the dry and stir with as few swipes of a spatula as possible. Divide batter into 4 greased muffin tins. Bake at 375 for about 12 minutes, or until passes the toothpick test.

Benefits:

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Whole wheat flour * The outer bran layer in whole grains is where the fiber, vitamins, and minerals are, which is why you should ditch the white.

Cocoa powder * A surprisingly potent source of antioxidants!