Smoothie – Coco-Choco-Banana

After my P90X Kenpo X workout today (my schedule is off a bit, but I’m still working through it), I needed something good to calm my muscles. 🙂 I had some coconut water in my fridge, so decided to use that instead of almond milk, and I’m pretty happy with the result! (Why have I never really given coconut water a chance before? That stuff tastes great…)

So here’s today’s smoothie recipe! 🙂

Today’s Smoothie: Coco-Choco-Banana

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 frozen banana, cut into chunks
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I’ve been using the chocolate Performance Protein by Vega for a little while now, and I’m loving it! So yummy, and dairy/soy free!)
  • 1 scoop GREENSuperFood by Amazing Grass – chocolate flavour (pictured below)
  • 1 tbsp flax seed meal
  • Splash of pomegranate juice
Method:
  • Blend all ingredients together, and drink up! 🙂

 

coco-choco-banana smoothie

coco-choco-banana smoothie

GREENSuperFood

GREENSuperFood

Vegan Coconut-Carob Bars – No-Bake!

I’m proud of myself for cutting out meat properly this time around. I haven’t even eaten fish, dairy products, or eggs, which is a big step for me. Last time I was vegetarian, I still ingested those three things. This time around, I don’t have anyone pushing meat or animal products in my face on a daily basis, so I’ve found it a lot easier to make it through the first couple of weeks of being a vegetarian. (Brief history: I was a vegetarian for a few years, was with a big meat-eater, so it didn’t last long… Tried again, but went back to eating meat after 7 or 8 months.) (And for those of you who always ask, yes – you CAN get enough protein being a vegetarian. No, you don’t need to drink milk and eat meat. I can’t drink milk anyways…More on this coming up in a new “blog project” soon…)

One of my favourite sweet things to eat is carob. In powder form, solid form, whatever. It tastes awesome, and you don’t have to add any sugar to it! Oh, did I mention I’m also not really eating sugar? Some foods I eat have sugar in it, but not a lot… I haven’t opened up a bag/jar of sugar (white or brown) for a month, maybe longer. I was using honey, but then decided to give agave nectar a try. What a good decision! That stuff tastes great.

Anyways, here’s a recipe that I put together to satisfy that sweet tooth that pops up screaming for chocolate every once in a while! I’ve made this a few times now, one of the times being for a presentation in front of a group for a health and wellness class. The response was great, everyone loved them! 🙂 There wasn’t a single one left, which was awesome, because that means a few people had more than one…

I did a print out with the recipe for people, so instead of writing out the recipe here, I’ll just post a picture of the recipe. It’s so simple, anyone can do it! If you decide to make this, and have ANY questions or are confused, ask away! 🙂 Hope you enjoy! 🙂

Note: mix all ingredients together in a food processor!

Note: mix all ingredients together in a food processor!

 

Mmmmm....

Mmmmm....

Lemon Meringue Pie Minis with a Macaroon Crust

I’ve made these a few times now, and have enjoyed them each time. As the title says, these are mini lemon meringue pies with a macaroon crust. I find that the light taste of coconut really compliments the lemon curd used in this recipe.

For these little guys, I`ve found a way to make them just a bit healthier than the traditional lemon meringue pie. Taking away the traditional pie crust and replacing it with a tasty macaroon crust, removing egg yolks from the lemon curd recipe and increasing the amount of flavour with a few tweaks, and decreasing the amount of sugar in everything, allowed me to turn this into a dessert that`s a bit friendlier to those trying to eat healthy. Although, all treats should be enjoyed in moderation… But with these, it`s okay to have more than one… 😉

This recipe makes 8 minis. Enjoy! 🙂

Lemon Meringue Pie Minis with a Macaroon Crust

Macaroon Crust Cups Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (fine is best, but you can use larger flakes too)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I like to use turbinado sugar for this)
  • 3 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white

Lemon Curd Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fine white sugar (I usually try to avoid white sugar, but it just works really well for lemon curd…)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 2 tbsp corn starch (this is being used in place of the egg yolk)
  • grated rind from 1 large lemon
  • juice from 1 large lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tbsp butter (again, I try to avoid butter at all costs… However, it gives the curd a bit of a creamy texture just by adding in the smallest amount. You can omit the butter if you wish!)
  • 1/8 tsp orange extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Meringue Ingredients:

  • 3 egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar (you may need a pinch more if you have troubles getting your meringue to stiff peaks!)
  • 4-5 tbsp fine white sugar (less or more, judge by your own taste! Try to keep it under 6 tbsp though, otherwise you may have trouble with the egg whites…)

Method:

  • Pre heat the oven to 350.
  • ***Make the macaroon crust cups:
  • Mix all macaroon ingredients in a bowl.
  • Divide the mixture evenly into 8 paper muffin cups (about 2 tbsp per cup)
  • Dip your thumbs in a bit of water, and press the mixture into the bottoms of the muffin cups, and a half way up the sides. Make sure the mixture is smooth.
  • Once you’ve done this with all of the cups, bake in the oven for 15 minutes. The edges should be golden brown.
  • Note: check the cups half way through. If they start to puff up in the middles, you will need to use a wet spoon to press the middles down.
  • Once done, remove from the oven, and set aside to cool while you make the lemon curd. Keep the oven on.
  • ***Make the lemon curd:
  • In a sauce pan, combine the 1 cup of sugar with the 1/4 cup of corn starch.
  • Set the sauce pan over medium heat, and slowly add the water while whisking until everything is smooth and combined.
  • Whisk in the 2 tbsp of corn starch.
  • Continue to whisk over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. This may take 10-15 minutes. Just keep whisking!
  • Once you’ve reached a boil, continue to whisk and boil for about 1 minute. If you stop whisking, the mixture will burn. Once the mixture has become thick, you can remove it from the heat.
  • Add in the rest of the lemon curd ingredients, and stir until combined.
  • Spoon the lemon curd into the macaroon crust cups. (About 2 tbsp per cup. You will have curd left over, so if you like you can put it in a glass jar once it cools and use it for another recipe!)
  • Set the filled cups aside in the fridge to cool while you make the meringue.
  • ***Make the meringue:
  • Put the egg whites into a clean bowl that has not come into contact with anything greasy. Grease/fat is an enemy of whipping egg whites into meringue.
  • Add the cream of tartar and vanilla extract, and using a hand mixer on a medium-high speed, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. When pulling the whisk away from the egg whites, soft peaks will pretty much look like a bird’s beak at first, but then the egg white falls back into itself. The egg whites won’t hold their shape fully, and won’t be that glossy. I also talk a bit more about meringue here, so check it out if you like!
  • Once the egg whites are at the soft peak stage, you can slowly add the sugar while whisking. Set the speed on the mixer to high now.
  • Continue to whisk until the egg whites are at stiff peaks. When pulling the whisk away from the egg whites, stiff peaks will maintain that “bird beak” shape. Also, when you hold the bowl upside down, the egg whites will stay where they are. (Although, you may not want to use that as a method to test what stage the egg whites are at…)
  • ***Prepare the cups for baking:
  • Once the egg whites are at the stiff peak stage, remove the filled macaroon crust cups from the fridge, and top each cup with 2-3 tbsp of the meringue. What you want is a nice puffy “cloud” of meringue on top of each cup. Using a spoon, you can spread the meringue on each cup to make sure the meringue covers the whole top of each cup.
  • Sprinkle the tops of each cup with some flaked coconut, and bake in the middle rack of the oven (which is still at 350) for 10-15 minutes.
  • When they are done, the meringue will be lightly browned at the edges, the coconut flakes will be lightly browned, and when you touch the meringue it won’t stick to your finger.
  • Allow to cool completely before eating.
  • These can be stored in the fridge over night, but should be eaten within 2 days.

    Finished product! :) Mmmmm...

    Finished product! 🙂 Mmmmm...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home made lemon curd :)

Home made lemon curd 🙂

Coconut Banana Cream Pie – Raw & Vegan

Here’s something a little interesting, and it’s (sort of) raw. I say “sort of”, because a few ingredients such as maple syrup and carob powder aren’t considered “raw” by everyone. There are “truly raw” carob powders available, however it’s not always guaranteed that the temperature was kept low enough during processing. Either way, if you eat raw foods, the carob powder and maple syrup can easily be substituted for more “raw friendly” items such as agave nectar and raw chocolate. (I’ve been interested in raw recipes in the past, and I was actually inspired recently to try out another raw recipe by an old highschool acquaintance, Elena. She’s got her own blog going on, and has some pretty cool recipes for raw food lovers!)

So here’s my tasty recipe for a coconut banana cream pie! This recipe makes 4 small servings. It’s a very rich and decadent pie that’s slightly higher in calories, so I suggest keeping the servings small. Enjoy! 🙂

Coconut Banana Cream Pie – Raw & Vegan

Ingredients:

Base

  • 1/2 cup pitted honey dates, soaked for about 5 minutes.
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnut butter (home-made is best!)
  • 1/4 cup carob powder (tastes similar to cocoa powder, but a little sweeter)

Filling

  • 1 banana (I used a frozen banana, it may be a better idea to use one that’s not frozen though, as it causes the coconut butter to harden…)
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter (to make: blend/process 1 cup flaked coconut for 5-10 minutes until a liquid forms. It may be slightly grainy still. Pour into a jar/cup, and allow to harden slightly for about 15 minutes. It will be creamy and smooth in texture. This does not need to be refrigerated.)
  • 2 tbsp almond butter (again, home-made is best, but store-bought is alright too)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (real, not that artificial stuff!)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk

Chocolate Sauce

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 4 tbsp coconut butter
  • 1 tbsp carob powder

Method:

  • For the base, stir all ingredients together in a bowl until mixed well. Press into the bottom of a plastic wrap lined bowl, and freeze for 30-60 minutes.
  • For the filling: using a blender, food processor, or immersion blender, mix all filling ingredients together. Pour the mixture on top of the semi-frozen base, and return to the freezer for another 20-30 minutes.
  • For the chocolate sauce: mix all ingredients together, and drizzle over the finished pie prior to serving!
  • To serve: Simply remove the pie from the bowl by pulling the plastic wrap carefully, and cut into four slices. Serve with chocolate sauce drizzled on top, and enjoy! 🙂 If the pie is too hard, allow to soften for a few minutes before serving.
Here's the pie! :)

Here's the pie! 🙂

And now for a "fancy picture" :)

And now for a "fancy picture" 🙂