Archive for June, 2013

We interrupt this Coconut Butter Fest for a Chia Pudding

I am happy to be the owner of a huge bag of chia seeds at the moment. They do not always feature in my store cupboard as they are not cheap but that said,  a little goes a VERY long way.

They are VERY filling, contain all the Essential Amino Acids (read- COMPLETE PROTEIN- HURRAY!) and are generally uber-nutritious, and versatile.

Left in liquid, the seeds soak up huge amounts of said liquid, rendering themselves into a slightly dubious-looking (but tasteless) gel, not unlike frogspawn. (I wish I could whisper that part)

So for example, you whizz up an orange with 3 frozen strawbs, leave a tablespoon of chia in it overnight (stir very well to avoid clumping) and in the morning you have a “set” pudding. Slice some bananas on top and  maybe a cheeky sprinkle of dessicated coconut and hey presto!

You can also leave them in water, and add the gel to your smoothies or oats for an extra protein punch.

But today I am directing you to Dreena Burtons CHCOLATE COCONUT CHIA PUDDING. Made in 2 minutes flat in the blender and – wait for it- IT PASSED THE CHILD TEST!!!! (Although I think they would appreciate a little extra sweetness in order to devour a whole bowl…..She adds chocolate chips- I am sure this would help also…just an inkling…)

chia choc

 

It is delicious, easy and very filling. I am still very full after a small bowl (+1 banana) over 3 hours ago and I have been exercising and all sorts.

So here it is: Follow this link!

Happy creating!

What I did with my home-made coconut butter: Part 1

Firstly friends, I should warn you.

That oozy dreamy butter that comes out of the processor, warm and inviting, goes ROCK hard when cold. That’s the first thing. Before working with it you will need to bring it to room temperature, cut off a portion  and then heat gently over a water (like you would when melting chocolate) until it becomes runnier.

Bear in mind that coconut butter contains both the OIL and the FLESH, and as such has an amazing natural sweetness. A while ago, when I discovered Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, I created some Bounty Bites (click here) using Extra Virgin coconut oil and dessicated coconut, but it occurred to me that this is basically almost the same. In fact it’s cheaper, and in addition, while it is a rich treat anyway , the Bounty Bar bites have more fat in because they contain the cold-pressed oil PLUS the fat within the dessicated coconut.

So, inspired by this post here that showcases some simple coconut delights , with NO sugar OR honey (Heather Pace, Raw Desserts Chef) I simply melted down the coconut butter and put into itsy-bitsy silicone cases. I played with a few flavours as she did….Lemon and coconut- HE-LLOOO! It tastes amazing, and with a pinch of dessicated coconut and a few bits of lemon zest on top, it looked the part too. (The actual coconut butter had zest and lemon juice in too) No photos sorry……

And today, I simply melted down the coconut butter, put them into a mould, leaving a small gap at the top, and with my last handful of cacao butter (sniff!) I whipped up some home-made chocolate (cacao butter, honey, cocoa powder) to go on top…which will obviously be the bottom when they are turned out.

The texture is crumblier (in a dreamy way) than the Bounty Bar bites, which are more, shall we say, silky.(Also dreamy)

I especially like these because they have no added sweetener in the coconut portion, and because they are way cheaper than buying coconut oil, bonus.

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They were truly delicious, and I will be sharing them with a good friend very soon, because they taste even better that way. 🙂

In part 2, I hope to make a miniature version of this: Raw Lemon-Lime Cheesecake with Fresh Mango sauce, we love you Dreena Burton.

Oh.My.Heaven: Home-made coconut butter

It’s no secret to you if you read this blog that I am in love with my mini chopper.

Nor will it have passed you unnoticed, if you read this blog that I love making home-made nut butters in it. I have made cashew, almond, peanut, pistachio, hazelnut (hello home-made Nutella!), Brazil, macadamia, sunflower seed. I think that pretty much has most of them covered!

The things to bear in mind when you make nut butters are the following:

  • The nuts must be dry.
  • You do NOT need to pre-roast your nuts before processing into butter.
  • However, pre-toasting them (in a non stick pan) makes the process quicker. This may be useful with almonds that tend to take a bit longer.
  • Toasting them gives a different flavour obviously. Raw almond butter is creamier, the roasted kind is -not suprisingly, “toastier” tasting.
  • All you need to do is food process them until they release their oils- that’s all!
  • I fibbed…sometimes you need to open up the mini chopper and give it a stir if it is stuck on the sides.
  • Add any liquid sweeteners (honey , maple etc) AT THE END or it will never work.
  • PS Unroasted sunflower seeds make a grey nut butter, but I have often said that grey foods need love too. 🙂 (Hello chia! Hey mushrooms! )
  • If you are losing patience towards the end you can droozle in a small amount of a neutral tasting oil to get a slicker more spreadable butter.

I am so excited to announce (as per the title) that I have now done COCONUT BUTTER!!!!

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Simply throw in 200grams of dessicated coconut and whizz whizz whizz!  It took under 5 minutes!

Attention:

Go for UNsweetened desiccated coconut, free from preservatives. I noticed the organic version costs almost the same as the other kind, hurrah! Coconut is SO sweet, I cannot believe they sweeten it! Kind of like putting glucose syrups on dates….??!!

What is the difference between coconut butter and coconut oil?

I have often used coconut oil to make “alternative chocolate”, also known as green chocolate on here . 🙂 I have not had any in my store cupboard for a little while.

Coconut butter contains the FLESH as well as the OIL. As such, it is SWEETER but also thicker. It may not work for making silky chocolate but I will be experimenting  with this shortly, watch this space!!

(I may take a while, so maybe, don’t sit and watch the space literally……but I promise I will return!)

What nut butter will you be making today??

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