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Summer Sweets

coconut cake
This is the finished product I made in a sunflower baking form.

I thought I would share my favorite cake recipe: coconut pound cake. It’s an airy cake that’s perfect for the summer and just the right amount of coconut flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Heat oven to 325° F. Grease and flour pan. In large mixing bowl, mix sugar and butter until very light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix until very light and lemon colored, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add coconut milk and coconut extract; mix well. Add flour, baking powder and salt; mix well. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of the cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on rack. Serve with some vanilla ice cream!

Buttermilk Pancakes are the Best!

buttermilk

In a pinch and you’ve run out of buttermilk?

Lemon and Milk 

In a 1-cup measuring cup, add 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.  Top the lemon juice with with skim, low fat or whole milk.  Stir and let sit for two minutes.  After two minutes, your milk is both acidic and curdled.  Perfect!

Yogurt and Milk

Mix 3/4 cup plain yogurt with 1/4 cup of milk.  Stir and make it a quick substitution for buttermilk.

Milk and Cream of Tartar

Mix 1 cup of milk with 1 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar.  To ensure that the mixture doesn’t get lumpy, mix the cream of tartar with 2 Tablespoons of milk.  Once mixed add the rest of the cup of milk.  Cream of tartar is an acid and will simulate the acidic environment of buttermilk in a pinch.

There’s lots of ways to substitute ingredients when you’ve run out of things. What’s an easy substitute you like to use?

Mislabeled Food Leads to Allergy Risk

 

By Breanna Bellatti

A popular Starbucks pre-packaged food wrap, the Edamame Hummus Wraps, were mislabeled for allergies, as they might contain pieces of Thai Style Chicken Peanut Wraps. This means the Edamame Hummus Wraps might contain peanuts, despite their lack of peanut-allergen labelling. The products that are affected by this mislabelled were assembled on 16 February 2016 and expired three days later, so they should no longer be in Starbucks cafes.

However, despite the danger being gone, this sort of mislabelling raises the question: If you have food allergies, how can you be sure you’re safe when eating food made by others?

Raw Twix Bars!

Do you ever feel hungry for a snack, perhaps candy, but can’t stomach processed food or refined sugar? Look no further! Here is a recipe for raw Twix bars that are oozing gooey caramel with a crunchy ‘shortbread’ base surrounded by a coating of velvety smooth chocolate — and they’re 100% raw! So get your chef hat and enjoy these (healthier) treats!

twixbars

Here’s the recipe and procedure:

VANILLA COOKIE BASE
1/2 cup of cashew nuts
1/2 cup of ground almonds
1/4 cup of brown rice syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or extract
Pinch of pink Himalayan salt

GOOEY CARAMEL
1/2 cup of pitted dates
1/4 cup of peanut butter
1-2 tablespoons of filtered water
Pinch of pink Himalayan salt

DARK CHOCOLATE SHELL
1/3 cup of raw virgin coconut oil
2 tablespoons of raw cacao butter
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or extract

METHOD

  1. Prepare a small brownie pan by lining it with a piece of parchment paper. If you find it sliding about too much, you can lightly grease the tin with coconut oil which will act as a slight adhesive and hold the paper in place. Please note that this recipe will make twelve small chocolate bars.
  2. First make the vanilla cookie base by placing the cashew nuts and ground almonds in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the three until a coarse, dry crumb is achieved, before scooping in the brown rice syrup, vanilla, and salt, and blitzing once more until well combined and a consistent texture.
  3. Press this vanilla mixture into the base of the brownie pan, ensuring that you have spread it evenly and left no gaps at the bottom (which has the potential to ruin the rectangular appearance of the final product). I like to use wet fingers, or the back of a metal dessert spoon. Once sufficiently flattened, slide into the freezer and allow to set whilst you set about readying the other components.
  4. Next make the gooey caramel by placing the pitted dates in a bowl and covering them with warm water. Allow these to soak for ten minutes, or completely soft, then drain, squish, and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add the peanut butter, water, and salt, and blend continuously for around 2 minutes or until a smooth, sticky consistency is reached. You may need to stop the processor and scrape the sides down every once in a while as this is a rather sticky mixture.
  5. Take the vanilla base out of the freezer and check if it’s solid – if so, scoop the date caramel on top and proceed to smear evenly atop the creamy white cookie base. Again, I find using wet fingers or a hot spoon the most efficient at this task. Keep in mind that this is fiddly work, but the end result is most certainly worth the tugging and sculpting! Once you’ve wrestled it into an even layer, return to the freezer for around two hours, or until almost completely solidified.
  6. Once you’ve reached this stage, use a hot, clean knife to cut individual finger-sized sticks of cookie caramel slice. You’ll need to wipe the blade clean between each slice to avoid any sticking and ruin the rectangular aesthetic. Return these sticks to the freezer on a fresh piece of parchment paper atop a wide plate to set whilst you get about making the chocolate.
  7. To make the chocolate, heat the coconut oil and cacao butter in a small saucepan over a low heat until just melted. Once liquefied, add the cacao powder, maple syrup, and vanilla, and whisk vigorously until smooth and glossy. Pour this molten chocolate into a wide dish, and prepare for dipping!
  8. There are many ways of coating a bar in chocolate, but my personal favourite is to simply get in there with mucky hands and do it myself, one by one. I cradle the bar in my fingertips, baptize it in the tepid chocolate liquid until an even layer forms, then place back on the parchment paper and repeat with the others. A quick flash in the freezer, another dip, freezer, dip, and one last time in the freezer will leave you with the most luxuriously crisp and shiny twix bars you’ve ever had. As they say, if you want it done right, do it yourself! You can store these bars in the freezer in an airtight container for up to a week before they start losing their lovely texture and shine (although they’ll still taste wonderful).

Find more raw and vegan treats at http://www.thecoconutgoddess.com/