that's forking good

adventures in a culinary neophyte's kitchen

Posts Tagged ‘coconut’

paleo mocha chocolate chip cookies

Posted by culinaryneophyte on December 10, 2014

paleo mocha chocolate chip cookiesFor the last few years, I’ve been participating in a cookie exchange with the same group of girls — past and present soccer teammates who have become good friends. And while I love catching up with them, I have to admit, it’s become a biz (yeah, that’s short for biznatch) coming up with a new recipe each year to top the previous year’s cookie.

This year, I went with the cookies I made for my fantasy football draft a few years back. In searching for an idea, though, I realized I don’t have all that many cookie recipes on here, so here’s a new one — paleo mocha chocolate chip cookies.

Now, they’re gluten free and made with natural ingredients, but they are still cookies. Please don’t think you can eat 100 and be chiseled. (Challenge accepted!)

From Paleo Spirit
♦2 1/3 c. almond meal/flour
♦1/2 c. cocoa powder
♦1/2 tsp. sea salt.
♦1/2 tsp. baking soda
♦2 tsp. instant espresso powder
♦1 tbs. vanilla extract
♦1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
♦1/2 c. coconut nectar
♦3/4 dark chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Add in chocolate chips. Form dough into 1/2-inch balls and place on parchment paper. Press each ball down to form a disc. (They do not flatten on their own.) Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Total time? 20 minutes prep and bake.
Cost? $9.98 almond meal, $7.99 coconut oil, $2.99 chocolate chips, $7.49 coconut nectar
Overall success relative to expectations? 10 out 10. Whenever something is labeled #paleo or “clean” or whatever, people assume it won’t be as tasty as the “real” thing. (Funny to put that in quotation marks when it actually means real, but is referring to what everyone has come to accept as real… which is fake. How meta.) These are legitimately good. I brought them to a tailgate, and no one could tell they were “caveman cookies.” This recipe is very simple and the mix goes a long way, but the ingredients are on the pricier side. If you aren’t on a strict paleo diet, it may not be worth the investment; but if you are or you don’t care about budget, see what you think.

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on Sunday morning

Posted by culinaryneophyte on September 29, 2014

chocolate coconut pancakesThis weekend, we held a surprise retirement party for my dad, who’s retiring early and moving to NC to play golf all day, erryday. In catching up with family friends whom I have not seen in years, I got a lot of questions about whether or not I’m still writing — for work (barely) or in my blog (embarrassingly little). It is one of those things I think about almost on a daily basis, but life has been flying by — more so this year than ever before — and so many things have been pushed aside if they are not of the utmost priority.

(And yes, pretty much every post I publish here now is some sort of apology and/or promise to write more. This is no exception.)

To be honest, Instagram has taken the place of my blog because it’s “Twitter for people who can’t read,” and I can post from my phone while I’m laying in bed worrying about all the things I didn’t get done today and all the things on the horizon for tomorrow. If you are interested in checking out my latest creations, please follow me on IG, @thejerc. I will also try to make a better effort to post them here to at least keep you drooling.

In other news, these are the pancakes I made yesterday morning using AboutTime chocolate coconut protein as part of the sauce and these fancy new little brownie thins from Mrs. Thinsters. I tried them at a festival in Philly this weekend, and they’re delicious. I can’t wait to use them on top of my “protein ice cream” and other assorted goodies. (Also, big thanks to them for the recent shout out on social media!)

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bejeweled breakfast

Posted by culinaryneophyte on December 27, 2013

This year, most of my gift giving and Christmas revelry took place in advance of the actual holiday, leaving my Dec. 25 all to myself. I did not let this opportunity go to waste. I set my alarm for a rare “late” start (10 a.m.), donned some mismatched sweats, put on a little Ke$ha and got to work in the kitchen. What emerged was a a glorious breakfast of coconut vanilla waffles with vanilla protein “fluff” and homemade pomegranate syrup.

coconut pom waffles

I had this idea saved on Pinterest for weeks, but wanted to make it paleo/clean, so I made some alterations and thankfully ended up with a beautiful and tasty plate. Frankly, I was giddy over it. While everyone on Facebook was posting pictures of their presents, their babies, their dogs, their dogs with presents, their babies with presents, their babies with dogs as presents…  I was posting pictures of waffles.

I have been obsessed with pomegranates for awhile now. Once I had my first taste of those  juicy little jewels, I couldn’t get enough. I already had my pomegranate deseeded, so that saved time because it’s a slight process. There are a few ways to get into that baby, but I use the water bowl method: cut pomegranate in half, submerge in water for 10 minutes, then pull apart the rind and allow it to float to the top of the water while the seeds (arils) sink; strain arils, then dry on paper towel.

The genesis of the protein “fluff” was initially for aesthetic purposes (I wanted to brighten it up a bit before adding the dark pom syrup), but I dug the creaminess it added, plus it’s always nice to sneak a little extra protein into a meal that may not otherwise be that rich in it.

This was a fabulous start to my day. I ran around cleaning and organizing the file cabinet I bought for myself (oh yeah, be jealous), then spent the next five hours marathoning the hell out of season two of “Girls.” Pretty much the best Christmas ever.

coconut pom waffles 2makes two waffles
inspired by foodiecrush
♦1 egg, whisked
1/8 c. coconut milk
3/4 c. almond meal
1/8 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 tbs. coconut flour
1 tbs. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Heat waffle iron. Whisk egg, then add milk. Combine almond meal, coconut, coconut flour and baking soda, then add to wet mixture. Add honey, vanilla, sea salt and cinnamon. Put batter into iron and cook for three to four minutes or until golden.

for protein fluff
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Cellucor)
about 2 tsp. almond milk
(play around with these measurements until the consistency is correct; you want it somewhat liquescent, but not runny)

for pomegranate syrup
1/2 c. pomegranate arils
1 c. POM Wonderful juice
1/8 c. organic coconut sugar
1/2 tbs. coconut oil

Heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add arils, juice and coconut sugar. Heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture has reduced by half. (This took a bit longer than I thought it would, so start it going before you start cooking waffle mix.)

Total time? 20 minutes (without deseeding of pomegranate)
Cost? $3.99 POM, $1.50 pomegranate, $6.99 almond meal, $8.99 coconut flour, $3.99 organic coconut, $4.98 organic coconut sugar, $5.99 coconut oil
Overall success relative to expectations? My first bite of the waffle on its own was underwhelming. I thought it was a little bland and moderately dense. (I may separate the egg first next time.) The good news is all the toppings help sweeten and moisten up the dish, and the combination is perfect — like a holiday in my mouth.

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it’s like a heat wave!

Posted by culinaryneophyte on July 20, 2013

Remember a few weeks ago when it wouldn’t stop raining, like, every day on the east coast? I would gladly take that over the however-many straight days of 100+ degree temperatures we’ve had this week. It really hasn’t seemed that bad to me, though, mostly because I spent the greater portion of the summer refusing to turn on my AC. The thermostat in my condo would sit anywhere between 85-87 degrees, and I grew accustom to the high heat. The only thing I can’t get used to is basically driving into a tree every day after eight hours of work because I can’t touch the steering wheel without leaving welts on my hands. I am really considering trying that ‘baking chocolate chip cookies on the dashboard’ thing. Worst-case scenario: The cookie aroma forces out the gym locker smell that has overtaken my car thanks to multiple sweaty sporting events per week.

mocha coconut frapp cleanAs a means to cool down one night, I tried this mocha coconut “Frappuccino” I saw on The Gracious Pantry (one of my favorite clean eating sites). I think I enjoyed this even more because I served it in a mason jar. There’s just something about a mason jar that makes you feel shnazzy (…snazzy? …schnazzy?). The flavor is on the mild side because you don’t have all the processed sugar involved, which was perfect for me. It’s just a nice, frothy, COLD treat that doesn’t take long to make and won’t hurt your diet (like a “real” Starbucks beverage would). You can brew coffee in advance and keep it in your fridge to make this even more convenient.

slightly adapted from The Gracious Pantry
makes 1 drink
♦1 c. brewed coffee, chilled
2 tsp. unsweetened coconut powder
1/2 c. coconut milk (I used Silk)
♦4 tsp. coconut nectar (or 3 tbs. honey)
3 c. ice cubes

Blend all ingredients together in blender. Serve immediately.

Calories? About 170 calories
Total time? 5  minutes
Cost? $3.69 coconut milk, $7.49 coconut nectar
Overall success relative to expectations? 9 out of 10. I only deducted points because the end of the drink becomes almost completely ice slush with no flavor if you drink it too fast, which is exactly what I did because it was so good (and because it was 100 degrees in my house and I was trying to bring down my body temperature). Quite the conundrum. If you’re patient and can slowly enjoy this frothy treat, then 10/10 for sure.

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POM Coconut

Posted by culinaryneophyte on June 23, 2013

POM Coconut

POM Wonderful’s new juice blends caught my eye in the market the other day, and because I am obsessed with POM, I didn’t think twice about paying $3 for a tiny bottle.

At this point, I’ve tried all three, and would highly recommend the POM Coconut (“the sporty one” as they call it, I’m assuming for its hydrating powers). The POM Hula (pineapple) and Mango (mango, duh) are good, but a little too sweet for my liking.

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sometimes you feel like a [health] nut

Posted by culinaryneophyte on June 17, 2013

almond joy smoothie

For some reason, I had the new [terrible] “Family Feud” on in the background one day, and I overheard a round regarding the least used kitchen appliance. Survey says: the blender. Are you kidding me? I use my blender, like, three times a day. I guess I’m smoothie obsessed? For all you inactive blender owners out there, give this Almond Joy smoothie a go and maybe you’ll see the light.

It’s not the lowest-calorie thing, so treat is at a treat, but I’ve provided the “clean” version so you can at least feel better that there’s nothing processed in it. You can make substitutions if you don’t have some of these on hand or want an extra-indulgent treat (whole milk/ice cream, sugar, milk chocolate, actual pieces of Almond Joy…)

“Clean Eating” Almond Joy Smoothie
Makes one big serving

♦3/4 c. coconut milk
4 ice cubes
3 large pitted dates
♦1.5 tb. almond butter
1 tb. of coconut nectar
shredded coconut
carob chips (or dark chocolate chips)
slivered almonds

Combine all ingredients in the trusty blender (use your judgment on the last three — depends on what sort of texture you’re looking for).

Calories? About 400+ calories
Total time? 5 minutes
Cost? $3.99 coconut milk, $2.99 dates, $6.99 almond butter.
Overall success relative to expectations? 9 out of 10. I can’t say this smoothie tastes just like an Almond Joy, but I love how the flavor of the almond butter comes through. If you’re not a texture person with your smoothies, this may not be for you; the last sip is my favorite — a big gulp of chopped dates, carob chips and shredded coconut. Obviously this isn’t an everyday sort of thing, but this smoothie has become one of my favorite mid-week, warm-weather treats.

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