Tag Archive: Coconut

Low-Fat Chocolate Coconut Loaves

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I hate the word low-fat, because instantly it conjures up thoughts of dried pastries and a total lack of flavor. That’s nothing anything like these loaves are, soft and bursting with a sweet flavor right out of the oven.

Instead of butter or oil, these are made with two favorite tricks: Greek yogurt and evaporated milk. They’re much better options in baking than low-fat or non-fat margarine because of the simple ingredients and don’t change the flavor.

I used a mini-loaf pan because that was what I had, and the portioning worked out perfectly. Just reheat one at a time and it’s like having a freshly baked breakfast. Since low-fat pastries dry out faster, I’d recommend freezing half of the batch and thawing it later in the week(if you think the first batch will last that long).

Low-Fat Chocolate Coconut Loaves

Low-Fat Chocolate Coconut Loaves

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 8 mini-loaves or 1 large loaf):

  • 1 3/4 cups +2 Tablespoons gluten-free all purpose flour(or wheat flour)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 5oz can fat-free evaporated milk
  • 1 5.3oz vanilla Stonyfield Greek
  • 3 eggs

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, chocolate chips, and coconut flakes until well mixed.
  3. Add in the rest of the ingredients and beat until it forms a thick batter.
  4. Grease 8 mini-loaf pans or one large one and pour the batter in.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes or until the loaves rise and the center has set. If you’re making one large loaf, wait 40-50 minutes before checking if it’s done.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool before removing from the pan and slicing.

Coconut Caramel Muffins

Coconut Caramel Muffins 2

What do you do with a ton of caramel(besides eating it off of your fingers and spoons) other than bake with it? If you know please tell me because I still have a cup left after making these and about 12 new cavities.

The first thing I thought of was coconut and caramel. It’s sweet and meaty and perfect to add textures. Adding it to muffins became a great way to start the day with something flavorful. These had a decent coconut flavor, but if you just love coconut then I’d recommend swapping in coconut oil for the vegetable oil and carton coconut milk for the regular milk.

Coconut Caramel Muffins Overhead

These are “muffins”(as opposed to cupcakes) in my mind because they aren’t all that sweet; they’re a perfect breakfast pastry to have next to a cup of coffee or tea. However, if you wanted them to be sweeter and possibly a dessert, I’d recommend adding 1/2 cup of sugar to the batter.

Coconut Caramel Muffins

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 9 muffins):

  • 6 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce, divided
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 Tablespoons shredded coconut

Coconut Caramel Muffins Serving

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line 9 muffin wells with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the coconut flour, brown rice flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, 1/4 cup caramel sauce, and oil until mixed well.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients in with the dry and mix until the batter is even.
  5. Scoop an equal amount of batter into each paper liner.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining caramel sauce and shredded coconut. Scoop roughly a tablespoon of the coconut mixture in the center of each muffin and press down lightly.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until the muffins have set. Remove from the oven and let them cool before serving.

Coconut Pistachio Bark

Coconut Pistachio Bark Pieces

I know Christmas was almost a month ago but bear with me for one more Christmas recipe. It’s easy to find delicious red food but green? Not so much. Unless you want to sneak spinach, kale, or peppers into a dessert, it’s hard to get the red and green theme naturally.

This bark looks like Christmas. The coconut seems like snow on the ground while the green and red toppings make it fun and festive. And it’s as fun to eat as it is to look at. The meaty pistachios and coconut match up against the tart craisins and bitter chocolate.

Coconut Pistachio Bark Overhead

This bark shouldn’t last long, but if you happen to have leftovers make sure to keep them in the refrigerator to keep the chocolate solid.

Coconut Pistachio Bark

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 16 servings):

  • 8.5oz dark chocolate OR 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 Tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 3 Tablespoons pistachios

Coconut Pistachio Bark Unbroken

Method:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a microwave or over a double boiler.
  2. Spread the melted chocolate out on a sheet of wax paper or other non-stick surface.
  3. Sprinkle the coconut, cranberries and pistachios out along the surface of the chocolate.
  4. Gently press the toppings into the bark to make sure they stick to the chocolate.
  5. Refrigerate the chocolate for 20-30 minutes until it has set.
  6. Remove the bark from the wax paper and break it apart into 16-20 uneven pieces.

Loaded Coconut Cake Squares

Loaded Coconut Cake Squares

As I’ve been eating my way through yogurt that Chobani sent me, I’ve been trying to get creative on new ways to cook with it. Everyone knows yogurt is a great low-fat alternative for baking so I took that as my starting point and took off from there.

While a good base recipe is essential, a lot of the fun of cakes and brownies is what you put inside or on top of them. Chocolate chips and coconut are among my favorites. These might not seem healthy but with Greek yogurt in place of oil and butter and craisins and coconut filling it up(in addition to some chocolate chips, of course) these won’t do you wrong or steer you off your New Year resolutions.

Loaded Coconut Cake Squares Yield

If you want to make this more of a healthy snack, swap in 1/2 cup of crushed walnuts or slivered almonds in for the chocolate chips. Either way it’ll taste great.

Loaded Coconut Cake Squares

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 8 x 8 pan):

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs

Loaded Coconut Cake Squares Mix-Ins

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl sift together the gluten-free flour and baking powder.
  3. Add in the craisins, 1/4 cup shredded coconut, white and dark chocolate chips and mix.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the yogurt, brown sugar, and eggs until homogenous.
  5. Mix the wet ingredients in with the dry until the batter is well mixed.
  6. Lightly grease an 8 x 8 baking pan.
  7. Pour the batter into the pan and press down evenly.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup coconut on top of the batter and press in lightly.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the center of the cake has set and the coconut on top begins to toast.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting into squares.

Loaded Coconut Cake Squares Final

Don’t forget to add caramel or fudge sauce just in case this doesn’t have enough flavors going on for you.

Coconut Almond Granola

Coconut Almond Granola

I’m not sure how I’d live if I were allergic to nuts. Peanuts, coconuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios—all of them; they’ve become a staple in my diet without gluten or meat. And don’t even get me started on all of the amazing things you can bake with almond flour…

Thankfully, I’m not, so I can go on making granola chockfull of all sorts of nuts packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats. I’m not one to always use coconut oil(mostly because of the price), but I love how aromatic it is when I do. You can smell all the flavors in this granola as it bakes, from the earthy cinnamon and vanilla to the fruity coconut. 

Coconut Almond Granola

Toasting the nuts adds a much more vibrant flavor to them. The easiest way to do this is in a large frying pan over low to medium heat. It’s easier and more consistent than throwing the nuts into the oven; just be sure to pay close attention to them as they will burn quickly.

Coconut Almond Granola

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 3 cups):

  • 2 1/4 cups gluten-free oats
  • 1/3 cup liquid sweetener
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips(optional)
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries(optional)

Coconut Almond Granola

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the oats, sweetener, coconut oil, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Lay the oats out in a 1/2-inch thick layer on a lined baking tray.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes, breaking up the oats every 10 minutes or so, until they’re toasted and golden. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  5. While the granola is baking, toast the coconut and almonds together in a large frying pan. Make sure to stop once they’re aromatic and golden and take care not to burn them.
  6. Toss the toasted coconut and almonds in with the granola. Toss in the cherries and chocolate chips as well if using, but make sure that the granola and nuts are completely cool before adding in the chocolate chips or else they’ll melt on touch.
  7. Store in an air-tight container for up to 2-3 weeks

Coconut Almond Granola

I said that the cherries and chocolate chips were optional but… they’re really not optional; you’re only cheating yourself if you leave them out. Between the rich toasted nuts and sweet fruit and chocolate, I’m always going back for more.

Cherry Coconut Pavlova

Cherry Coconut Pavlova

I’ve never heard the word “pavlova” more than in the past month. It’s not a dessert that gets a lot of attention, but for some reason I’ve been seeing it everywhere: At parties we’ve gone to, on the Food Network, and even on one of my favorite blogs. Since it’s a naturally gluten-free dessert, I wanted to get in on the action and make my own.

The only part of the recipe that really ever changes is the base; everyone seems to make their meringue different. I like using powdered sugar for a sweeter and pure white meringue, with a little bit of cream of tartar to help it stay up. I also choose to let it “cook” overnight in a hot oven to get the best texture. When it’s done, the outside should be hard and crispy while the inside meringue is soft like a marshmallow.

Cherry Coconut Pavlova Cherries

The fun thing about this dessert is you can dress the meringue any way. Whip regular cream instead of coconut milk for a more traditional dessert. You can serve it with any fresh fruit that’s on hand or even use a fruit sauce.

Cherry Coconut Pavlova

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 12 hours(overnight)

Ingredients(Makes 3-4 servings):

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream*
  • 1/2 cup pitted and halved cherries

*To get coconut cream, leave a can of full-fat coconut milk undisturbed in the pantry for a few days. Open it without shaking the can. The cream will be separated on the top from the coconut water, a clear liquid that you can save and use as a sports drink.

Cherry Coconut Pavlova Garnished

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whip the egg whites in a glass bowl slowly adding the powdered sugar and cream of tartar until it forms soft peaks.
  3. Pour the meringue in a mound on a non-stick baking tray. Swirl a utensil on the top of the meringue for an artful effect.
  4. Put the meringue in the oven and immediately turn off the oven. Do not open the oven door. Let the meringue sit undisturbed in the hot oven overnight.
  5. When the meringue is ready, whip the coconut milk in a chilled glass bowl until it forms stiff peaks.
  6. Spread the whipped coconut milk on top of the meringue and garnish with the cherry halves. Serve immediately.

Cherry Coconut Pavlova Plated

This dessert definitely stops being pretty once you cut into it. That’s ok; it’s delicious enough that no one will notice. The best bites are the ones where you get a little of everything: The sweet meringue, the rich topping, and the tart cherries.

Almond Joy Fudge

Akmond-Joy-Fudge

There are few things better than fudge or candy, except maybe fudge that tastes like candy.

Coconut tends to be one of those touchy flavors; people either love it or hate it. Alone I think it’s pretty good—nothing special. Combine it with chocolate and sugar, though, and you’ve got a clear winner. This fudge has a standard chocolate base but with a layer of coconut-white chocolate fudge on top, topped with an almond. If you omit the almonds it’ll taste just like a Mounds bar.

The best part about this dessert? It can all be made in the microwave so you can enjoy it any time. OK, maybe that’s not such great news…

Almond Joy Fudge

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 16 servings):

  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
  • 16 almonds

Almond-Joy-Fudge-2

Method:

  1. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave or over the stove.
  2. Mix into the melted chocolate 2 Tablespoons of butter, 3 Tablespoons of coconut milk, and 1/4 cup of sifted powdered sugar until the chocolate is smooth.
  3. Pour the fudge into the bottom of a non-stick 6×6 pan. Put the pan in a refrigerator temporarily to cool the chocolate.
  4. Melt the white chocolate using the same method, keeping an eye on it making sure that it doesn’t burn.
  5. Mix in the remaining butter, coconut milk, powdered sugar, and coconut until smooth.
  6. Take the pan out of the refrigerator and spread the coconut layer on evenly(It won’t be runny but shouldn’t be too solid to spread either).
  7. Place each almond about an inch apart in a 4×4 square pattern.
  8. Refrigerate the fudge for 20-30 minutes until it’s solid. Cut into 16 squares with an almond at the center of every square and serve cold.

Almond-Joy-Fudge-Hand

By itself the top layer tastes too much of white chocolate(I wasn’t aware that was even possible) to be like the coconut center of a Mounds Bar. But eaten together the chocolate and coconut fudge taste eerily similar to the candy joy. You might want to use an even larger pan such as 8×8 for flat rectangular pieces of fudge.

homemade-mounds-bars

And as long as we’re on the topic of coconut and chocolate, recently I updated the recipe page for Homemade Mounds Bars with better pictures and easier to read steps. It’s one of the most pinned dessert recipes I have so I can’t be the only one who thinks they’re amazing.

Lime In The Coconut Cupcakes

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I apologize this recipe is coming on nueve de Mayo and not last week when it might have been more fitting. If it’s any consolation, I made these on cinco de Mayo and ate a few on seis de Mayo and they were still delicious, so I’m sure whenever you make these they’d be a hit.

Lime and coconut go perfectly together. Since I always make my cupcakes with coconut flour, adding lime was a no-brainer. These are just the right amount of sweet and citrusy to be light and refreshing.

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I kept the coconut flavor downplayed but if you want to liven them up you can add shredded sweetened coconut flakes to the batter of frosting for an extra layer of flavor. I also think fresh mint would work really well in the buttercream with the lime if you happen to make these at a time of year when that’s available.

Lime In The Coconut Cupcakes

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 12 cupcakes):

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice(or 1/2 Tablespoon lime extract if you can find it)
  • 1 Tablespoon lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

lime-in-the-coconut-cupcakes-close-up

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a dozen cupcake holders.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and mix until it forms an even batter.
  3. Scoop equal amounts of the batter into each cupcake well.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the tops are firm to the touch.
  5. Remove from the oven. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting them.

lime-in-the-coconut-cupcakes-serving

For the frosting, I used roughly 1/2 cup of softened butter, 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 1/2 Tablespoons of coconut milk, and plenty of lime zest. I say roughly because I did it mostly by eye. I’ve stopped putting effort into making just the right frosting until I get a fancy set of tips like these since they always look blah no matter what I do. 

Honey Almond Macaroons

honey-almond-macaroons

Cookie recipes can be hard sometimes. You need to preheat the oven, mix the ingredients in a certain order, chill and slice the dough sometimes—it’s usually more work than I want to do for a quick sweet fix.

I love macaroons since they’re about as easy a cookie as you can make and still have a satisfying dessert to bite into. As a bonus, they’re naturally gluten-free and have a healthy dose of fats and fiber. It’s even more fun when you make them extra big like they just came from a bakery and eat them warm.

You could try to make these with an egg substitute, but definitely use some sort of binder since the almond butter alone isn’t really enough to hold them together.

Honey Almond Macaroons

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 1 1/2 dozen):

  • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

honey-almond-macaroons-bite

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  3. Either fill an ice cream scoop with dough and release as mounds on a lined baking tray OR roll balls of dough in your hands, flattening one side and placing it on the baking tray.
  4. Bake for 15-17 minutes until the outside has browned slightly.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool.

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These aren’t too sweet, so I like a little extra honey drizzled on top. They’d be perfect for dessert with some tea or coffee.

Tropical Greek Yogurt Parfait

tropical-greek-yogurt-parfait

It’s been a long time since I posted a dairy-heavy recipe. A long time. I stopped eating dairy for a while after watching foodie documentaries and getting all the info; I don’t think that was a bad choice, but recently my snacking choices have been less-than-healthy, and the idea of something tasty, high in protein, and–most importantly–tasty was too appealing to pass up.

I can’t believe how much I forgot I missed greek yogurt. Between pineapple and pomegranate Chobani and cherry Fage, I go through those 6oz containers like nobodies business. It’s becoming an expensive habit. It ends up being so much cheaper to buy the plain yogurt and flavor it myself. I don’t mind because it makes the flavor combinations almost endless.

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Look for crushed pineapple—not diced or sliced—and one that has no added sugars in it to keep this naturally sweetened.

Tropical Greek Yogurt Parfait

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 serving):

  • 2 Tablespoons canned crushed pineapple
  • 6 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut

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Method:

  1. First spoon the pineapple into the bottom of a medium sized bowl.
  2. Then pile the yogurt on top.
  3. Drizzle on the honey and finish with coconut. Eat immediately or put back in the refrigerator for later.

tropical-greek-yogurt-parfait-spoonful

Honey-Pineapple-Coconut. I’m telling you, Chobani needs to get on that flavor.