Tag Archives: Coconut Oil

Cookie Craving Conundrum

craving

noun crav·ing \ˈkrā-viŋ\

Definition of craving

  • an intense, urgent, or abnormal desire or longing

012917

I woke up this morning with a craving for oatmeal raisin cookies! But I also knew I needed to get some work done to pad my bank account to pay for college … to which I have my Admissions Interview on Tuesday! Fingers crossed!!!

So in between work, I brought up the websites of some of my favorite health/nutrition mentors:

After reading oatmeal cookie recipes on their sites, I settled on the Gluten-Free Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Meghan’s website. I quickly jotted down the ingredients and figured I needed to hit up my local health food store for the necessary flours and coconut sugar.

I did stop by Safeway on my way to the health food store to see if they carried the ingredients and if so, what was the price point. (Un)luckily, Safeway did not carry the flours or sugar … so one more block to walk!

At the health food store, I was able to easily locate the buckwheat and brown rice flours … and it made me think I might have some at home … but I wasn’t willing to walk home to check! So I grabbed one of each, plus a bag of coconut sugar – something I hadn’t cooked/baked with before. (As it turns out, I did have both buckwheat and brown rice flour at home, but they’d been open and unused for so long, that I felt it was better to toss them and start fresh!)

I had included eggs on my grocery list, but thought I should try to follow the base of the recipe as best possible, which means using “chia paste” instead of egg (also – to keep it vegan!) … so no eggs made it into my basket.

I’m very thankful that all of Meghan’s recipes that I’ve attempted thus far have been very clear and easy to follow. In order to make the chia paste, I needed to grind some chia seeds … and I thought of 3 different “appliances” to make this happen:

  1. Electric spice grinder
  2. Mortar & pestle
  3. Vitamix dry container

Starting with the quickest and easiest … the electric spice grinder (a coffee grinder … but I don’t drink coffee, so it’s never had coffee beans in it). This tool was perfect! It took literally seconds and voila! the chia seeds were now a chia powder!

Mixing the powder with warm water quickly created the chia paste and again – it pasted up in mere seconds!

When making this recipe, I followed the base recipe (wet & dry ingredients) but was VERY skeptical as the recipe called for 1/2 cup coconut oil, softened! HALF A CUP!!! Holy Hannah!

The changes I made were:

  • Raisins instead of chocolate chips
  • Walnuts instead of pecans
  • Cornstarch instead of arrowroot starch
  • Baked 11 minutes in stead of 15 minutes

After the wet ingredients were added to the dry and thoroughly combined, I was still skeptical as the “batter” was very oily …

I scooped out 5 cookies and spaced them well apart on the parchment-lined baking tray … in case they decided to become 1 cookie! I was very pleased to see the cookies completely held their shape and didn’t spread AT ALL!

I was able to fit the rest of the batter, shaped into cookie balls, on the second tray, so not to take too long with multiple batches.

These cookies have great sweetness, but not overly sweet. The coconut sugar definitely has a different smell/taste/texture than regular granular sugar, but it’s so enjoyable!

I’ve changed the color below to show my changes:

Ingredients
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 serving chia paste*
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • ¼ buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts

*Chia Paste – 1 tbsp chia seeds, ground … mixed with ¼ cup warm water (now, 1 tbsp of chia seeds yields more than 1 tbsp when ground … I only used 1 tbsp of the ground chia seeds … not sure if that was right, or if I should have used the whole amount of ground seeds!)

Make It Like So

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mix together coconut oil, coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and chia paste
  3. In a separate bowl, mix flours, oats, baking soda, salt, raisins & walnuts
  4. Add wet into dry and stir until combined
  5. Using 1-2 tbsp of mixture, form into balls and flattery slightly and place in parchment lined cookie sheet
  6. Bake for about 10 – 11 minutes, until golden
05-oatmeal-raisin-walnut-cookies

The rest of the day was pretty lazy … for the whole household …

waszabi-baunzai-january-29-2017

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recipe Taste Off – Sweet Potato Dishes

A quick look back on contestant number 2 (“Loaded Sweet Potatoes” from the Oh She Glows Every Day cookbook) … after the “Avocado Cilantro Crema” married all its flavours together overnight, it was much more flavourful. Again, as with contestant number 1 (“Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes” from The UnDiet Cookbook), the leftover serving was quite a bit better.

Tonight I tested out a recipe from Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking cookbook …

Contestant Number 2: Thai Baked Sweet Potatoes (picture as shown in the cookbook)

thai-baked-sweet-potatoes

I’ve done my best to make these recipes exactly as detailed. One difference I had to make between this recipe and my version is the chickpeas … I substituted in black beans instead as chickpeas don’t agree well with my digestive tract.

Again, this recipe was easy to follow. It called to rub the sweet potatoes with grape seed oil before baking, but given how the other sweeties turned out without oil, I opted to omit this oil.

thai-baked-sweet-potatoes-3

The book lists a sub-recipe for “Ginger Tahini Sauce” inside the main recipe and it was also very easy to follow. It called for 1 – 4 TBSP hot water to “thin” the sauce and I used 2 TBSP, but honestly, it didn’t really need any water. The tahini & ginger created quite a bit of sediment, so I ended up using a sieve to make it smoother. An after-thought would be to throw these ingredients into the Vitamix to get it mixed up well, and next time I think I’ll use the suggested tahini alternative of peanut butter.

thai-baked-sweet-potatoes-4

There was the perfect amount of beans to cover each of the servings, and just the right amount of sauce, too.

thai-baked-sweet-potatoes-5

As I posted this picture, I realized I opened my bag of sesame seeds but totally forgot to put them on the dish!!! #BlondeMoment #IWasStarving

This was a very nice dish. I prefer this one over “Loaded Sweet Potatoes” (contestant number 2), but I think I still prefer “Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes” (contestant number 1) overall!

I had a couple of observers that seemed pretty interested in all 3 recipes!

thai-baked-sweet-potatoes-1

This first batch of Recipe Taste Off has been VERY successful and I am looking forward to the next batch which will consist of Soba Noodle recipes!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Recipe Taste Off – Sweet Potato Dishes

The other night I made the 1st of 3 sweet potato dishes (“Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes” from The UnDiet Cookbook). I had the second serving for lunch the next day and it was almost better than fresh the night before!

Tonight I’m on to the next recipe by Angela Liddon and her Oh She Glows Every Day cookbook …

Contestant Number 2: Loaded Sweet Potatoes (picture as shown in the cookbook)

loaded-sweet-potatoes

This one looks great … let’s see how the recipe turns out!

This recipe was easy to follow. It called for EVOO to saute the garlic & onions, but I was low on it, so I used coconut oil (as I have a huge “tub” of it from Costco!).

Loaded Sweet Potatoes - 1.jpg

Inside the recipe is a sub-recipe for “Avocado Cilantro Crema“. This was easy as well, but I had to use 3 TBSP more water than the 1 TBSP it called for as it was just a little thick, but light, for my Vitamix and wouldn’t stay down with the blades to become creamy.

loaded-sweet-potatoes-2

I cooked the sweet potatoes for a full hour and they were perfect this time. Now to assemble this dish!

The amount of crema that was made seemed like a lot, but the recipe didn’t indicate that you only use a portion of it, so I used half per serving. Same went for the black bean mixture … the recipe called for a whole can, whereas the other recipes call for 1/2 can.

loaded-sweet-potatoes-3

Ok … so there was a LOT of toppings on this spud, and it was a bit over-powered by the crema. But it was tasty.

It’s got a different taste than “Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes” (Contestant Number 1) but it’s also got a completely different dressing being avocado instead of tahini/tamari.

I would recommend this recipe, but suggest making or only using half the crema and beans. Also – the cookbook picture has the sweet potato topped with a white substance, but it was not mentioned in the recipe.

At this point, I’m a bigger fan of “Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes“.

Friday I’ll likely make up the last of the 3 recipes in this Recipe Taste Off and provide my comments and suggestions!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recipe Taste Off – Sweet Potato Dishes

Last week I attended the Vancouver Sun’s annual book sale and snagged Meghan Telpner‘s “The UnDiet Cookbook” for a whopping $2.00!!!

Then after work on Friday, I stopped by Indigo on Granville Street to view a couple other cookbooks. I ended up spending a few tens of dollars and picked up Dana Shultz‘s “Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking” and Angela Liddon‘s “Oh She Glows Every Day“.

I spent a great deal of time on Saturday morning looking through each of these cookbooks and found that on a couple, possibly a few occasions, they had similar recipes. So what else is one to do but a Recipe Taste Off!

The first match up features the following 3 recipes:

  • Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes ~ The UnDiet Cookbook
  • Loaded Sweet Potatoes ~ Oh She Glows Every Day
  • Thai Bakes Sweet Potatoes ~ Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking

So I make a list of the ingredients for all 3 recipes, determine what I already have on hand, and reduce my list to the few items I have to pick up. Turns out, 6 medium sweet potatoes can run a person upwards of $10 LOL

One of the recipes is already set to serve 2 and since there is only one of me, I decided to make all three recipes to serve 2 …

Contestant Number 1: Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potatoes (picture as shown in the cookbook)

dressed-to-the-nines-sweet-potatoes

Damn, right!? Ok let’s get this show on the road!!

The recipe was very easy to follow. The amount of coconut oil that is called for to cook the onion and garlic seemed like a bit much, but it worked out perfectly.

I also had to make the “Tahini Dressing” in this cookbook as it was called for as the drizzle on the sweet potato. And this also super easy recipe is absolutely DELICIOUS!!! Holy Hannah it’s got flavour!!!

The sweet potatoes could have cooked for another 10 – 15 minutes longer, but I’d already cooked them the “maximum” 60 minutes as outlined in the book … and I was starving! Plus it all smelled so good, I couldn’t wait any longer.

dressed-to-the-nines-sweet-potatoes-1

Once assembled, and photographed – of course!, I dug right in. I’m really glad I started out with this recipe as it lived up to its typed hype!

dressed-to-the-nines-sweet-potatoes-2

I would absolutely recommend this recipe (& cookbook) and cannot wait to try some of the other recipes!

Just a couple of nights from now I’ll dig into the next Recipe Taste Off contestant! Stay tuned …

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,