Category Archives: Coconut

Coconut Hot Chocolate and Favorite Recipes from 2015

coconuthotchoc3_dec2015

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Another hot chocolate recipe? But you posted one last year and said it was the best?! You’re right. I did. And it is the best hot chocolate recipe! So why another recipe? Because that recipe is the best for everyone. This one is for coconut-lovers specifically. (And it’ll probably convert non-coconut lovers, too; yeah, it’s that good!)

I made this hot chocolate a couple weeks ago while studying for finals. I photographed it as part of a “study break” (my study breaks > average study breaks). And now I finally get to share it with you all! Especially since the weather is finally cooperating and below 70°F

coconuthotchoc4_dec2015

This recipe ‘process’ is very similar to my other hot chocolate recipe. First heat up the milk; next mix the dry ingredients + coconut oil in a mug and then stir in about a teaspoon of the hot milk. Add in the rest of the milk, sprinkle with coconut flakes, grab your favorite book, and enjoy!

coconuthotchoc5_dec2015

Talking about books, I have five books and counting that I’m hoping to read (and finish!) during Christmas break.  Oh, and I need to work on a few essays for a summer program I’m applying for. And they call it Christmas “break.”

Anyways, find the recipe for this hot cocoa below (hot chocolate vs hot cocoa, is there a difference….?) and then keep scrolling to find some of your favorite recipes from this year!

Coconut Hot Chocolate
 
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Author:
Serves: 1 mug
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 4 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of vanilla
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • coconut flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat the coconut milk and milk until it begins to boil.
  2. In a mug add the cocoa powder, honey, cinnamon, vanilla, and coconut oil.
  3. Once the milk is heated, remove it from the stove and add a teaspoon of it into the mug. Mix well.
  4. Add the rest of the milk into the mug and stir. Add coconut flakes on top (optional) and enjoy!

 

And now, let’s highlight a few of your (and my!) favorite recipes from 2015!

sweetpotatocrust3_april2015

I’ve used this sweet potato crust in so many recipes and, trust me, it does not disappoint!

crepecake7_feb2015

Crepe cakes are definitely staying on my menu in 2016!

brownieswhippedcoconutcream18_may2015

You guys LOVED these brownies! And so did I :) Especially since they’re sweetened with maple syrup and we skipped the butter and used coconut oil!

roastedchickenandveggies4_nov2015

Forget boring, tasteless salads. This salad takes salads to a whole new level of yum! So much love <3

almondjoysmoothie2_august2015

And last, but certainly not least, smoothies. Specifically this almond joy smoothie bowl. What’s not to love? It’s like dessert for breakfast. But the dessert is healthy. And delicious. And chocolatey. And coconuty. And beautiful. (Yeah, smoothies can be beautiful)

So now that we’ve reminisced about deliciousness, sip your coconut hot cocoa and ponder the meaning of life.

Or what your next meal will be.

coconuthotchoc7_dec2015

Almond Joy Smoothie Bowl {Vegan, Gluten-Free, and No Refined Sugar}

almondjoysmoothie2_august2015 You know what’s really embarrassing? Planning on posting a recipe in August before college starts and then two months later you still haven’t posted it. And add to that the fact that you only shared one recipe in summer…But summer was amazingly busy–visiting family and friends all over Europe (Serbia, Croatia, Germany, and Greece), making road trips with my family, and going to a leadership camp–  now that’s my kinda busy, even though it also kept me away from food blogging. But now with college in full-swing  I’m turning back to food and photographing it in a desperate attempt to forget the fact that I actually have assignments due soon.

almondjoysmoothie1_august2015 Oh,  and back to our discussion of how awkward I can be, I’m posting a smoothie recipe in October (in my defense, it was totally applicable in the August-summer heat).

Even though I don’t think smoothies can ever be outta place. There’s nothing better than waking up in the morning and looking forward to starting the day with a tastes-like-dessert-but-it’s-healthy smoothie.

almondjoysmoothie3_august2015 And this smoothie bowl fits the bill. It’s my new favorite smoothie–EVER. Toasted coconut: check. Almonds: check. Chocolate:check. No sugar: check (yes!!). Tastes like dessert but it’s healthy and filling: double check!! It’s like your hopes and dreams in a bowl–and you can eat it. Which is always a major plus :)

You seriously can’t go wrong with this recipe. Add more or less of the ingredients based on your taste (this goes especially for the milk: I used 3/4 cup because that yielded the consistency I like. If you like thicker smoothies, try adding 1/2 cup; if you’re more into thinner smoothies, add 1 cup)

almondjoysmoothie4_august2015 Can we just take a moment to admire TOASTED COCONUT through an insanely-close-up shot? It’s life-changing. I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to untoasted coconut.

(You don’t HAVE to toast the coconut, but, you guys, it takes like 5 minutes and it adds so much YUM to the smoothie. If you’re really against it, though, fine. Be like that 😉

almondjoysmoothie5_august2015 So, since you absolutely cannot go wrong with this AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS dessert-breakfast-in-a-bowl, what are you waiting for?? Nothing, that’s what!

Almond Joy Smoothie Bowl {Vegan, Gluten-Free, and No Refined Sugar}
 
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The best of almond joy in a smoothie--without any of the regrets! Crunchy toasted coconut, almonds, and chocolate prove that you don't need much to make a healthy, delicious, and filling breakfast!
Author:
Serves: Serves 1
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • 2 pitted dates
  • ½ cup coconut
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder*
  • ¾ cup milk of choice
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground flax (optional)
  • 1 frozen banana**
  • toppings:oats***,chia seeds, cinnamon, etc
Instructions
  1. Soak the almonds and dates overnight (or for at least 30 minutes). ****
  2. Toast the coconut on broil in a non-greased baking pan until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Let cool.
  3. In a blender add the drained almonds and dates, ½ of the toasted coconut, cocoa powder, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ground flax (optional), and frozen banana. Blend on high until smooth.
  4. Top with the rest of the toasted coconut and any other toppings you enjoy!
Notes
*If you're not a dark chocolate fan, I would suggest adding only 1 tbsp
**Cut the banana into fourths (or so) and freeze overnight (or for at least 3 hours)
***If gluten-intolerant, check that your oats are gluten-free
****Soaking the almonds overnight not only softens them but also makes it easier for them to be digested. Soaking the dates makes it easier for them to blend into the smoothie.

 

 

Crepe Cake (Torta od Palačinke)

crepecake7_feb2015

Crepes have always been a delicacy for me and my family (in Serbian we call them “palačinke”; and “torta” means cake, hence the title)

We used to always eat them like rolls (slather them in jam, roll up, and devour) The thought of layering them and making them into a cake didn’t even pass through my mind until I saw this Crepe Cake by Taylor on her food blog. The moment I saw it I knew I had to make a crepe cake!

My family and I love to fill crepes with whipped cream, ground walnuts (or almonds, whatever’s handy) and top them with honey. With that in mind, the filling for this cake was born.

crepecake1_feb2015

The crepes are wayy to easy to make! Just mix up some milk, eggs, and flour (I never thought of mixing it up in a blender until I read about it from Taylor and I’m still in shock as to how I never thought of that before!)  Pour about 1/4 cup batter in a pan and cook each crepe until golden. crepecake2_feb2015

I used coconut cream to make the whipped cream filling. I found my can of coconut cream from Trader Joe’s. Just refrigerate it for at least two hours (overnight is preferred); turn it upside down and open the can from the bottom. Drain the liquid from the top and reserve it for another recipe (it goes great in smoothies! just sayin’)

Scoop the cream out of the can and whip it up. Add in some ground almonds/walnuts and a dollop (love that word!) or two of honey. And that’s it! Seriously.

crepecake4_feb2015

To assemble this beauty, place a crepe on the serving dish and spread a thin layer of the whipped cream on top. Repeat with the rest of the crepes, stacking them on top of each other. Frost the sides of the cake with the remaining whipped cream and top with some more ground nuts and drizzled honey to finish off this cake!

crepecake6_feb2015
 Can we just look at those layers for a moment? Those *13* layers! Just looking at it someone would think you had to slave away to make this; let’s let them think that and be impressed :)

Crepe Cake (Torta od Palačinke)
 
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Author:
Serves: 1 six-inch cake
Ingredients
  • For the crepes:
  • 16 oz milk*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • coconut oil, for cooking
  • For the filling:
  • 1 can coconut cream, refrigerated for at least 2hr
  • 1 cup ground walnuts or almonds (or a mixture of both)
  • 2-4 tbsp honey, to taste
Instructions
  1. Put all the crepe ingredients in a blender and blend on high until thoroughly mixed.**
  2. Melt a teaspoon of coconut oil in a ***six-inch pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, pour about ¼ cup of batter into the pan and make a circular motion with the pan's handle so that the batter evenly spread over the pan. Cook until the top of the crepe is no longer liquid-y (about 30-45 seconds) and then flip and cook for another 30-45 seconds.
  3. Place the cooked crepe onto a plate and repeat with the remaining the batter (add a few drops of coconut oil between each crepe to keep them for sticking to the pan). Cool completely.
  4. While the crepes are cooling, make the filling. Take the coconut cream out of the fridge and turn it upside down. Open the can and drain out the liquid (reserve for another recipe).
  5. Scoop out the coconut cream and whip (about 45 seconds). Add in the ground nuts and honey; whip until evenly incorporated.
  6. Once the crepes have cooled, place one on a serving dish. Spread with a thin layer of cream and top with another crepe.****
  7. Repeat with the remaining crepes, topping the last crepe with cream.
  8. *****Spread the remaining cream on the sides of the cake. Sprinkle ground nuts on top (optional) and finish with a drizzle of honey.
  9. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Notes
*You can use 16oz milk or 8oz milk and 8oz water
** If you would rather not use a blender, just whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl
*** You can use whatever sized pan you want; the only thing affected will be the number of layers (using a six-inch pan I got about 13 layers)
****Gently spread the cream on the crepes to prevent the crepes from sliding around
*****Before frosting the sides, you can trim the edges of the crepes to make them more uniform; this is totally optional, though (unless if you're a perfectionist; then you better trim them edges!)

Recipe inspired by Crepe Cake from FoodFaithFitness

 

Coconut-Lovers Cake

Because my mom is a strong coconut lover, I wanted to make her a coconut cake for her birthday. I knew I wanted each bite to be a taste-bud-explosion of coconut. I searched online for a recipe and finally found one for the cake. I decided to go on a whim and not use a recipe for the filling–which turned out to be a delicious decision. For the topping I whipped up heavy cream and added shredded coconut to it.

Coconut Cake 1

The recipe for the cake called for coconut milk. Now, my mom and I may be coconut lovers, but I have to admit coconut milk is not a regular item in our fridge. Not wanting to substitute it, I looked up a recipe on how to make it. Surprisingly, not only is it easy to make, you don’t use milk to make it: the only ingredients are water and shredded coconut. Strange that coconut milk can be made without milk, hu? But don’t worry, it tastes delicious!

Coconut Cake 3

To make the cake, combine the coconut milk, buttermilk, and vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract) in a small bowl. Set aside.

Coconut Cake 13

Using a mixer, beat the butter until creamy; add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Next add in the eggs, mixing well after each addition.

Coconut Cake 4

Add in the flour mixture (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) alternatively with the milk mixture. Coconut Cake 5

Pour the batter into a prepared baking pan (9-inch diameter)

Coconut Cake 6

Bake until golden brown (about 40 minutes)…

Coconut Cake 7 …and when completely cooled split horizontally in half.

Coconut Cake 8 Then plop the vanilla-pudding-mixed-with-coconut on one of the layers…

Coconut Cake 9

…and evenly spread it all over the layer. Top with the second cake layer, put it in the fridge, and ignore it for the moment.

Coconut Cake 10

Combine the whipped cream (I used heavy  whipping cream but any whipped cream will work) and shredded coconut . Then take your cake out of the fridge, apologize to it for ignoring it…

Coconut Cake 11 …and with about a third of the whipped cream give the cake a crumb coat (a thin layer of frosting).

Coconut Cake 12

After refrigerating the cake for a while, frost it with the rest of the whipped cream.  Refrigerate it for at least an hour before serving.

Coconut Cake

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 16 slices

Coconut Cake

Ingredients

    For the Cake:
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted flour (sift 3-4 times)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk *_see note below_
  • 1 bag of vanilla sugar (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 6 tbsp butter,softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • For the Filling:
  • 2-3 cups vanilla pudding
  • 1-3 cups shredded coconut
  • For the Topping:
  • 2-3 cups whipped cream
  • 1-3 cups shredded coconut

Instructions

    For the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a round cake pan (9-by-2 inches)
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl combine the buttermilk, coconut milk, and vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract).
  3. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, beating well after each addition.
  4. At low speed beat in the dry ingredients in 3 batches; between each batch add half of the buttermilk mixture.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the surface. Bake until the cake is golden (about 40 minutes). Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a plate or cooling rack to cool completely. Once cool, cut the cake horizontally into two layers.
  6. For the filling:
  7. Prepare the vanilla pudding according to the manufacturer's instructions, leaving out about 1/4 cup of the liquid needed. Once the pudding is cooled, mix in the shredded coconut.
  8. For the topping:
  9. Combine the shredded coconut with the whipped cream and refrigerate until use.
  10. Assembly:
  11. Place one of the cake layers (cut-side up) on the serving dish. Spread with the filling and place the other cake layer (cut-side up) on top. Refrigerate for at least ten minutes. Then, using about a third of the topping, frost the top and sides of the cake for a crumb coat. Refrigerate again for at least 20 minutes to allow the crumb coat to set. Afterwards frost with the rest of the topping and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Notes

Recipe for cake adapted from Food&Wine

*I used the recipe for the coconut milk linked to above; however, I did not strain the mixture like the recipe called for. If you prefer not to have shredded coconut in the cake, then strain the mixture like the recipe calls for

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