Tag Archive | coconut

fruit overload

I eat a lot of fruit.  A lot.  Perhaps a little too much?  How much is too much?  I don’t care, I love the stuff.  Today I had an apple, a pear, 2 bananas, 6 prunes, and sculled a bunch of the fruity beverage featured below.  That’s a pretty normal fruit day.  Viper hardly ever eats fruit.  I don’t get it; I don’t feel right if I don’t get in at least a couple pieces of fresh fruit a day.  Misty is working on a couple of chompers at the moment, so apart from the grizzlies, he is off his usual solid fare.  Bring on the smoothies – he is guzzling back a tasty combo of banana, pineapple and coconut milk as I type.  Chunks of frozen watermelon seems to be helping those sore gums too.

My thing is pineapple at the minute.  Oh yes, we have entered the pineapple-kick territory.  As the pattern goes with my fruit consumption, I tend to go too hard, too fast.  I get excited and go overboard.  With pineapple in particular, this can have horrible results.  Enter the sliced and diced mouth and tongue.  Those tasty fibres are sharp.  I have found blending it up helps this problem, and opens up a new world for pineapple creativity without the bleeding mouth.

I made this for Misty and me the other day… and am now looking at other ways to use up copious amounts of pineapple juice and puree I have hanging around.

The beauty of these recipes are that canned pineapple if just fine to use if you don’t have access to tropical fruit as I do… just try to use the varieties that don’t contain added sugar.

 Photo from week in Sydney… this was at an amazing water front cafe called the Boathouse at Palm Beach (for those in the know, near where ‘Home and Away’ is filmed.  No, I didn’t run into Alf… ‘stone the flamin’ crows!)

Use for Juice:

Pineapple and Mint Kombucha

I’m totally digging home brew Kombucha… so delicious and ridiculously easy once you have the appropriate fungi.  Thanks to Kaitlyn from The Tie Dye Files for the how-to guide.

  • 1/2C pineapple juice
  • 2t lime juice
  • 1 litre of brewed Kombucha
  • Handful fresh mint
Combine all ingredients and store in the fridge.

Purpose for Puree:

Pineapple Fluff Sprinkle

I use this sprinkle to add texture to things like tofu pudding, yoghurt, ice cream or oatmeal/cereal combos.  Love the crunch of buckwheat, and the coconut flour is so good when it soaks into any kind of liquid.  You could use any kind of fruit puree if pineapple is not your thing – apple, mango, peach, pear, apricot.  All good.

  • Pineapple puree (225g pineapple blended with 1/4C water)
  • 1C raw buckwheat groats
  • 1/2C coconut flour
  • 1/4t sea salt
  • 2t coconut oil, melted
  • 1-2T liquid sweetener, depending on your sweetie preference (I used apple juice syrup concentrate –  agave, rice syrup, even maple would all be fine)

Combine all ingredients, either place in a dehydrator or do what I did and spread on a lined baking tray for 1 hour at 120 degrees C.  Lower to 100 degrees C for another 30 minutes.  Turn off oven, leaving tray inside until it has cooled down completely.

Pineapple Fluff Sprinkle with toasted pepitas and Green Monster Tofu Pudding (recipe coming).  Crap picture as this was a night time snack, and there is no light.

Fruit consumption?  Big, non existent or in between?  Fresh/dried/canned frozen?  Fruity thoughts?

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birthday cake bender

I’ve been experimenting with ideas for what I’m going to use for Misty and Mopsy’s 1st birthday cake.  I’m probably going to cop flack for it, but I’m sticking to my guns and am going to make a healthy (yet hopefully delicious) birthday treat for the kidlets.   People seem to think I’m weird for usually skipping the usual white sugar, butter, cream based desserts.
  1. I don’t really dig heavy cream, especially whipped cream, I never have… just find it too full on.
  2. White sugar and me ain’t mates.  If I want a break out, or break down (sugar hangover = depressed Lou) a sugar overload will give it to me, toot sweet.
  3. Yes, they may be delicious, but traditional desserts make me feel like crap.  What’s wrong with creating something that is both delicious plus actually nutritionally beneficial?
It always makes me feel uncomfortable saying, ‘no thanks,’ to dessert.  I’m not trying to be rude, I’m sure it’s delicious, but I just don’t want the consequences.  Of course, every now and then I will indulge but a few moments of deliciousness on the tongue doesn’t really make the after effects worth it for me.  I think I just have to get used to people rolling their eyes at me or questioning my eating habits.
How do you deal with people questioning your eating habits?  I would love to hear your thoughts/experiences.
I’m a really sensitive person, and I hate feeling like I’m offending someone… saying ‘no thanks,’ to a food offering always makes me uncomfortable, like I’m doing something wrong.
Back to the job at hand – the cake.
Or rather, some sort of brownie-type thing. Not really sure what I’m going for here.  I know I want something different from the usual dry sponge with sugar-loaded frosting that is some obscene fluro colour, all covered with 10 tonnes of lollies.  Crack for kids?  Most definitely.
The first trial was pretty good, considering I was fumbling around in the dark with the recipe.  I had a heap of brown rice flour on hand, so decided that would be good.  Also, if anyone has a gluten sensitivity, it’s always nice to oblige.   I know I don’t want too much sugar, so bananas are my go-to ingredient for adding sweetness and moisture.  I decided I want to use this as an icing (frosting) amd this folded through for some delicious chunk action:
It’s not chocolate.  Close, but no cigar.  It’s tahini chocolate.
  • 1T tahini
  • 1T agave or brown rice syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2t coconut oil
  • 2t cacao powder (or regular cocoa)
  1. Mix everything together, pour into a plastic container or mould lined with glad wrap and freeze.
  2. Easy.
This is more like a truffle than chocolate; it doesn’t go solid – it reminds me of the cookie chunks in cookies and cream ice cream.  Now that’s always a good thing.  It’s really good crumbled over hot oats, or folded through banana soft serve ice cream.
I left it out of trial #2, because I think I’m going to use it as a decoration, rather than in the cake itself.  Trial #1 was good, but not quite there – it was a little too gummy; needed a little more dry in the mix.  I added in some coconut flour and cacao, and something pretty darn yummo was the result.
Woah.  Woah.  I can’t believe this doesn’t have any sugar, butter or anything bad in it.  The texture is amazing (I love coconut flour).  It doesn’t look very pretty as is,  but just you wait until I have gone to town with decorating.  It is fudgy, dense, sweet and really filling.  It’s like a cake, but a bar at the same time, if you get my drift?  With the tahini chocolate folded through it as well would be crazy crazy good.  I’m amazed, I’ve acheived the exact texture of these guys:
I eat these a lot, especially when I’m out and about and need something to tide me over.  They used to make a vegan chocolate version which was incredible… then they took it away from me.  Ha ha! I have recreated it without even trying… the similarity is uncanny.
I’m really really happy with the result of my kitchen play time – Misty approves too.  These bars are excellent for kids – they hold together enough for your little one to grab onto and nosh away at leisure, yet they are still soft enough for a gummy wonder to be included in the feasting.
I promise I will post recipe after the party – I just want to see/hear the reaction from the unknowing party goers first.

blueberries for Babe, not bacon

*Warning* The follow post contains content that may disturb/offend vegans or vegetarians.  Sorry.

I’m not a vegan.  I would really really like to be, but there are a couple of things in my way.

  • Yoghurt (tastes delicious)
  • Salmon (tastes delicious)
  • Leather (couches, handbags and shoes.  No comparison)
  • Honey (tastes delicious)

Only 4 things, so it’s not all bad – but it doesn’t help my conscience.

I stopped eating pigs because I had a childhood obsession with them – countless stuffed animals, trinkets, books – name anything pig related, and I probably had it, or was pining for it.

la la laaaaaa

My old boss and manager (see picture below) also loved pigs – so much so they called themselves the “Pig Sisters,” and committed themselves to eating pig every.single.day.  Not quite the same philosophy I had, but I couldn’t penalise them for their dedication.  My boss even created a fictional character “Piglet Swiggins,” whom she painted fairytale-esque portraits of and penned whimisical tales of his adventures.  Bacon was renamed ‘strips of Piglet Swiggins’ on the menu, which needed to be explain every time.

Yes, that is a pig on a spit.  It took 11 hours to cook.  It was amazing.  For the first time in oh, probably 15 years I ate pig (I was 4 months pregnant here, and it was my birthday, can I blame it on either of those somehow?)

This is the creator of Pigglet Swiggins; that is the actual snout.  She later ATE the snout too.  Bless.

I went back to eating meat when I was pregnant.  I’m not really sure why, it just kind of happened.  I craved meat, and I was severely anemic, so I just went with what my body was telling me.  I don’t feel bad about it; I had a pretty much perfect pregnancy, labour and birth.

I made this recipe today (maybe I needed to create something vegan to make myself feel better.  Who knows?)

A variation, naturally.

  • 1/2C coconut milk
  • 1/8t guar gum
  • 1/2 vanilla bean pod, scraped of it’s seeds (vanilla extract is fine)
  • 1T agave syrup
  • Pinch of pink sea salt
  • 1/3C frozen blueberries
  • 1 date
  • Splash of water for blending
  • Toasted coconut shavings (optional)
  1. Blend together blueberries, date and water.
  2. Combine coconut milk, salt and vanilla in a small saucepan.  Bring to the boil.
  3. Reduce to a simmer, add guar gum, stirring until it thickens.
  4. Add in blueberry paste, reserving a little for topping off the servings.
  5. Pour into bowls and chill in fridge.  It gets to a yoghurt sort-of consistency.
  6. Garnish with reserved blueberry, and toasted coconut shavings if desired.

I wanted it to look fun – I think it’s important for kiddies to be excited by their food – nature provides us with so many amazing colours, why not milk it?  Beetroot, pumpkin, peas – beautiful colours that just jump out and smack you in the head with their vibrancy. I don’t know if Misty gets this quite yet (he’s more into eating cardboard, mmm) but it makes cooking creative for me.

I’ve found my thrill.

It’s not on a hill, but it IS blueberry.

Oh so pretty.

Kind to the creatures too.  Hooray.

i eat sunshine for breakfast

I know I keep going on (and on) about the glorious Spring time weather (and the delicious produce that comes with it) that I am experiencing in sunny Queensland at the moment.  I love warmth.  I love sunshine.  I love the beach.  I do not like being cold.  I get angry when I am cold (half the reason I left New Zealand; it sure is pretty –  but damn it’s nasty in the Winter).

I even wear these in Summer

If you are like me, and need a little sunshine in your life, I can help.
For those who are in the middle of “Fall-Fever,”  or you just live in a cold place (NZ anyone?) you can still experience a taste of the tropics.
With the right accessories (see end of post) you can even create a complete tropicana-style experience.
It all started when I found these in my local bulk health food store:
Organic dried pineapple and mango.  Not those horrible ones that are soaked in sugar, pumped up with fake colours and dried, these are the real deal.  So amazing.  I think I need a dehydrator so I can make my own.
Inspiration tweaks… I decided to make some sort of roasty toasty cereal.  I wanted to make a quinoa style granola again, but alas was completely out of quinoa.  I was actually considering bundling myself and Misty into the car and doing the mission to purchase some more, when I reminded myself to practise what I preach.  Use what you have on hand – scrape that fridge/pantry.
Sunshine Cereal:
  • 2/3C coconut flakes
  • 2/3C buckwheat groats
  • 1/2C hulled millet
  • 1/3C sunflower seeds
  • 3/4C whole oats
  • 1/4C oatmeal
  • 1/2t sea salt
  • 1/3C sesame seeds
  • 1/4C dark agave syrup (or honey, rice syrup etc)
  • 1T coconut oil
  • 1/3C orange juice
  • 1 mango
  • 1/2C chopped dried pineapple and mango

  1. Mix dry ingredients together, except dried fruit.
  2. Blend together mango and orange juice.
  3. Melt coconut oil, combine with agave and mango mix.
  4. Mix everything together and place on lined baking trays.
  5. Bake at 140 degrees C for 50 minutes, rotating trays and stirring every 10.
  6. Turn oven off and leave trays in there to cool down completely.
  7. Mix in dried fruit.
Set the scene.
It’s more fun when you eat out of a pineapple too.
On a stolen (from Misty) Haiwaiian themed bunny rug/quilt thing.  I didn’t have any ukelele luau music which was disappointing.  Viper made me a grass skirt once (out of bamboo, which doesn’t make sense and was really scratchy and uncomfortable, even when worn over clothes).
Don’t even ask.
I’m just going to eat the cereal.

you CAN do it

I’ve got issues.  Sweet potato and mango issues.  I’m just going crazy with both of them.  Soon I will go over the edge and start COMBINING the two (hmmmmm).

I know that most of you will not have access to mangoes right now, but I don’t care.  I have mangoes and I’m going to eat them, cook with them and smear them all over myself.

The lovely thing is (apart from me, ah the lovely Lou) that you can sub pretty much anything into these two recipes.   I think berries (fresh or frozen) would be delish, and canned fruit would work just as well.  I love apricots from the can, especially on cereal – it makes the milk at the bottom of the bowl go all sweet and tangy.  Sometimes, I hate to admit it, I think I almost prefer canned apricots; fresh are amazing, but they are always so hit and miss.  Either too hard and bitter, or way too soft and floury.

What fruit or vegetable do you prefer frozen or canned?  Or am I the only one willing to admit to it?

I really hate those little cherries. The grapes make me gag. Fruit salad from a can? Not so much love from Lou.

Coconut Mango Custard (Serves 3)

(Gluten free, dairy free, nut and seed free, soy free, egg free, vegan)

  • 3/4C coconut milk
  • 1/2C mango puree + additional puree for topping if desired (a few T per serve)
  • 1t lime juice
  • 1/4t sea salt
  • 2T agave (or to taste, depends how sweeeeet you like it)
  • 1/2t vanilla extract
  • 1/4t + 1/16 guar gum
  • Toasted coconut and mint for garnish
  1. Combine all ingredients except guar gum in a small saucepan.
  2.  Bring to the boil.
  3. Reduce to a simmer, stir in guar gum until thick.
  4. Pour into glasses or bowls and put in the fridge to chill and “set.”
  5. If desired, top with additional mango puree, toasted coconut and mint.

Mango Cashew Cream 

(Gluten, dairy, egg, soy free.  Vegan)

  • 1/4C raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1/3C mango puree
  • 2 dates, chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt (approx 1/8t or to taste)
  • 1/2t lime juice
Blend all ingredients together.  Chill and use however your imagination sees fit.
I piped it into a little oaty crust I made (single serve – none for you Viper – ha!)