Sunday, July 17, 2011

Today's experiments

I feel pretty successful about my two coconutty creations!  And I had fun doing them!

First, I tried Vegan Freezer Fudge!  YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I posted about it earlier in the week.  OMG how easy and delish!  Love it!

2 tablespoons coconut butter
2 tablespoons organic all natural peanut butter (no additives, peanuts only!)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 ripe banana, although mine wasn't too terribly ripe and it was more like 3/4 of a banana, baby S ate the first 1/4!
1/2 teaspoon sugar substitute
1/16th teaspoon salt

Blend everything until smooth in blender, then transfer to square tupperware and press until evenly layered, and freeze!  It is delish.  Seriously.  I'd like to try a vanilla version with no cocoa or PB and some vanilla extract.  Yum!  Easy and fun.  And no baking for me to screw up!

Later on while S was napping I tried my hand at Pumpkin Spice Bread, adapted from like twelve different pumpkin break recipes I found.  All of them call for an enormous amount of eggs and I just can't do it.  It just seems gross to me.  So I finally settled on the following:

3/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2 flax eggs (2 T ground flax meal with 6 T water, blended well and then let sit for five minutes)
1/4 cup liquified coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar substitute
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350.  Blend flax eggs and combine with real eggs.  Pour in vanilla, coconut oil, and pumpkin puree, sugar substitute and stir.  Sift coconut flour, salt, baking soda, and spices in separate bowl and combine.  Pour in wet mixture, add walnuts, and stir, then transfer to greased loaf pan.  Bake 45-50 minutes. 

The end result is good, not sweet at all, but still getting used to the mousse-iness of coconut flour baked goods.  I wonder if anything can be done about that?  And also, I wish it would rise more.  I wonder if a bit more baking soda would help?  I think only further experimentation with more/less eggs and liquid will tell.  I have seen other blogs add chocolate chunks to pumpkin bread, but I remember last thanksgiving my aunt made a chocolate pumpkin cheesecake and the flavor combos did NOT sit right with me, or anyone else really, so I'm kind eh about trying that out.

This week, I'll be trying a few more items, like this one from Spunky Coconut that I'm excited about, with quite a few tweaks, of course. 

Chocolate Raspberry Cookie Bars:

Add to bowl:
3/4 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup almond meal flour
1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
4 tbsp coconut oil, liquified
Combine and pour into lightly greased square baking dish.
Spread evenly.

Melt over lowest heat:
1/4 cup coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp sugar substitute
Combine and immediately remove from heat (so the chocolate doesn't burn).

Add to measuring cup:
3/4 cup coconut milk + 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 2 tbsp sugar sub
Pour over crust.

Drop chocolate mixture (or chips if substituting) on top of crust and coconut milk.

Drop 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar-free raspberry jam like this:

Top with 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
and 1/2 cup chopped nuts.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Refrigerate about 8 hours.

It solidifies from chilling.

We'll see how it goes with my many tweaks and substitutions!  Yikes!  The orig recipe calls for Quinoa flakes and stevia and ghee- no thanks!

Here are two other Grain-Free entrees I'll be trying this week:

Spicy Turkey Sausage with Flageolets and Cauliflower
1 lb spicy turkey sausage or kielbasa
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 can rinsed and drained Flageolet
1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets and blanched
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
salt and pepper to taste

Saute cut up turkey sausage, browning evenly.  Remove from pan and transfer to plate.  In same pan, adding coconut oil, saute onions for a few minutes until transparent, then add spices, then beans.  Cook for two minutes.  Add blanched cauliflower florets and cook 5-7 minutes.  When browned and cooked through, add turkey sausage to warm through.  Serve with arugula and lemon vinaigrette!

Coconut Flour Chicken Curry
  • 1 whole chicken cut into 6-8 piece
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil 
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder 
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup water 
Sauté garlic, onion, ginger, with coconut oil. Add the cut-up chicken, slightly brown the chicken. Add chicken stock, simmer for 15 minutes. Add salt, black pepper and curry powder. Cover the pan. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Dissolve coconut flour in 1/4 cup of water. Stir it into the pan. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
What else?  Well I'm excited that baby S is finally really embracing solid foods!  This morning she ate 1/4 of a banana with her oatmeal, and then at lunch ate cut up fruit pieces from a fruit cup!  So that is really great.  She is also way into cottage cheese, which is awesome.  And while I am not a fan of edamame or soy products in general due to their phytoestrogens (which flaxseed has as well?), she did enjoy some edamame last night at Oakwood.  Yay!  Next I want to try cooked broccoli and cauliflower.  

Have I mentioned my shortcut muesli yet?  It was pretty simple, although the flaxseed gives a somewhat odd smell and texture.  Now that I make flax eggs in baking all the time, the snot-like texture that flax gets when mixed with water is grossing me out, alas, I ate it!

This is sort of in-line with CCK's volume oatmeal, just in that I stole her trick of adding tons and tons of water.  

Lazy-ass Muesli
1/4 cup irish steel cut oats
2 tablespoons flax
2 1/2 cups water
pinch of salt

Combine ingredients in bowl and put in refridge for 2 days.  Oats will increase in volume 250%!  I ate mine with 6 ounces of yogurt.  Adding some nuts would make it more nutritious, or some sliced berries.  Yes I am aware oats are a grain and no I will not be making a habit of this- but I felt like the extra protein, fiber, and good fats from this particular combination were worthwhile.  This is, I believe, gluten-free, just not grain-free.  The cool thing about my Lazy-ass Muesli is that because the oats grow so much, you can actually end up eating half of a serving and feeling like you just ate a ton, so the muesli itself ends up being only about 100 calories.  All that water it absorbs makes it quite filling!  

Ok S is tearing up the room and needs a bath, until next time grain-free groupies!

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