Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘coconut oil’

I’m not sure what it is, but I am obsessed with coconut right now.

Maybe all this winter weather is simply too much for me, and, in response, I’m making things that remind me of the light and airy days of summer.

Whatever the reason, I’m okay with it.

IMG_1179

First there was the Banana Pina Colada Muffins. Then German Chocolate Cupcakes.

And now…something I’m calling German Chocolate Cookie Bars.

But I guess they could also be called “I made too much German Chocolate icing and need something else to use it in” bars. Or “those cupcakes disappeared too quickly and we need a new sweet treat in the house” bars.

IMG_1175

Even if you don’t have a good reason to make these, do it anyway. You won’t regret it.

 

German Chocolate Cookie Bars

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Icing (see this post for icing directions):

  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Earth Balance
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/2 –1 cup pecans

Chocolate Topping:

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

 

IMG_1156

Cream Earth Balance/butter and sugar.

IMG_1157

Beat in flour, vanilla, and salt.

IMG_1158

The crust will be ready when the mixture is combined but still crumbly and when it clumps up when you press it together (like above).

IMG_1159

Dump crust into 8×8 baking dish and press into an even layer.

IMG_1160

Bake crust at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until set and golden around the edges. Let the crust cool completely.

IMG_1163

Once the crust is cool to the touch, spread on your cooled icing into an even layer on the crust.

IMG_1166

IMG_1168

To make the chocolate topping, put your dark chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute, stirring every 20-30 seconds or until chocolate is melted and smooth.

IMG_1169

Dump chocolate on top of icing and smooth out, covering the entire dish.

IMG_1171

Let sit at room temperature until chocolate layer is set.

IMG_1172

I cut these into 16 pieces (from an 8×8 dish), and I’m glad I didn’t cut them any bigger!

These bars are delicious, but very rich, thanks to the coconut icing.

IMG_1173

But the richness didn’t stop me from having two of them right away.

Read Full Post »

Winter is not leaving anytime soon. I normally don’t mind this season but this winter is not getting any better.

I am ready for a break.

The snow is pretty but I hate when it gets slushy and murky.

Cold weather itself isn’t horrible, but I would like the –4 degree wind chills to be gone.

Basically, I need a little warmth and there’s only so much hot tea I can drink.

IMG_1060

Thankfully, I had some bananas waiting on the counter, just for this reason!

If I can’t get to the tropics this winter, I’m going to bring them to me.

Banana Pina-Colada Muffins – Vegan!

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil (I used Tropical Traditions)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened, but either type would be fine)

Streusel Topping:

  • 1 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Earth Balance
  • 2 Tbsp coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In large bowl, mash bananas.
  3. Stir pineapple, coconut oil, and vanilla into bananas.
  4. Add brown sugar to banana mixture.
  5. Mix in dry ingredients (flour through coconut) until just combined.
  6. Fill muffin tin 3/4 full.
  7. In small bowl, mix together streusel topping and sprinkle streusel on top of muffins.
  8. Bake 25-27 minutes or until golden on top and toothpick comes out clean.

I knew these would be good as soon as I smelled the bananas with the pineapple and coconut oil.

IMG_1062

IMG_1063

And I’m not sure about you, but I’m a sucker for a streusel muffin. I don’t know what it is about that crumbly, buttery topping, but it’s addicting in the best way.

IMG_1065

If you can’t make it to an island this winter or have no plans to lay on a beach until June, you probably need these, too.

IMG_1066

IMG_1071

It may still be winter outside, but your kitchen will smell like summer.

IMG_1078

Read Full Post »

IMG_0705

As soon as I was finished making the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins with the Tropical Traditions coconut oil, I knew I needed to make something savory with it – and soon.

IMG_0706

Thankfully, the season for soup is here! While we’re having some unreasonably warm weather this week, last week had a few evenings that were practically begging for a big pot of soup, bubbling on the stovetop.

When it’s already dark once we get home from work…I want soup.

And this, being my first time ever using red lentils, may be my new favorite.

Red Lentil, Couscous, and Kale Soup

  • 1.5 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat couscous (I used Israeli – it’s doughy!)
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  1. In large pot, heat coconut oil and olive oil.
  2. Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook until softened, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in seasonings and tomato paste and let cook 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add in lentils, broth, and water and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and let cook 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in couscous and kale and let cook 10-15 minutes more or until lentils and couscous are cooked.
  7. Stir in coconut milk.
  8. Serve, topped with cashews or peanuts.

IMG_0708

I loved how the soup had great spice but wasn’t too hot. If you love hot and spicy foods, it would be delicious with a sprinkling of crushed red pepper or Sriracha hot sauce.

And while Nick doesn’t normally add the peanuts or cashews, I love the added crunch they gave to the thick soup, tender lentils, and soft couscous.

 

Have you ever cooked with red lentils?

Read Full Post »

What’s better than a fun giveaway on Monday morning?

Especially when it’s the week of Thanksgiving, there’s a short work week ahead, and…just because it’s Monday.

IMG_0690

After my muffin trial last week using this Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil – I want to share the fun!

And Tropical Traditions wants to share, too ; )

The prize? Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil, just like the jar seen above.

To Enter:

Tell me what you’re looking forward to most about Thanksgiving. Easy!

For additional entries:

Subscribe to Tropical Traditions’ email Sales Newsletter

– Follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter @troptraditions

*For these additional entries, leave another comment letting me know you did so!

 

I’ll be picking a winner Monday, November 29th.

Read Full Post »

How in the world did I wait so long to try coconut oil?

IMG_0690

A week or so ago, I got a fun package in the mail – a huge jar of coconut oil from Tropical Traditions.

I know I’m like months behind on this trend, but I’m so happy I finally had the chance to try it.

IMG_0692

Coconut oil is…strange. But a great strange!

It’s solid at room temperature, so it’s hard for me to call it an “oil”. But seriously – opening that jar brings up summer time memories of playing at the beach and the smell of my mom’s suntan oil (that stuff was not solid at room temp).

And while I would have loved to make something with limes and pineapple or something else completely tropical, I found a muffin recipe on their website that I knew I had to try.

IMG_0698

I made this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffin recipe, and only made a few changes – I cut everything in half (only making 12 muffins) and used all whole wheat flour and skim milk.

Yeah…I was thinking the same thing after opening the jar.

Pumpkin and coconut? Won’t this be too strong? Will the coconut flavor overpower the subtle spices and dark chocolate chips?

Turns out I had nothing to worry about.

Sure, the batter smelled a bit like coconut after adding the melted oil, but after baking, these were simply some of the best pumpkin muffins I’ve ever had.

IMG_0703

Nick even liked them, and he’s not a huge fan of pumpkin anything!

 

Have you ever used coconut oil? What’s your favorite way to use it?

Read Full Post »