Tag Archives: coconut

GF banana bread – Spring clean specials!

With spring comes spring-cleaning and a renewed desire to shake the cobwebs away, clean up your act, de-clutter your life!

To take it one step at a time, I have decided to dedicate the next few posts to clean living and feel-good recipes.

Here coconut oil cream was used in place of rapeseed

Here coconut cream was used in place of rapeseed oil

First, choose to do one healthy thing or genuinely “good for you” action every day: today I sorted out my linen cupboard and threw any old towel or sheet to recycling! Tomorrow, I tackle my desk and office corner… Tough, but really good for the soul!

Now, a treat with this simple banana bread recipe:

IMG_8980Ingredients list :

  • Black, ripe bananas, 3
  • Egg, 1
  • vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon
  • Rapeseed oil, 3 Tbsp or 50 ml
  • Honey, 3 tbsp
  • Date syrup, 3 Tbsp or treacle
  • Baking powder, 1 tsp
  • Bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp
  • salt, 1 pinch
  • cinnamon, 1 tbsp
  • Coconut ( or almond) milk, 160 ml
  • GF flour blend, 150g
  • ground almond, 100g
  • oats, 50g

Mix the flour, almond and oats. Add the bicarbonate and baking powder.

Beat the egg in the coconut milk, add the oil, salt.

Mix it all in a wide bowl and add the crushed bananas, cinnamon, honey and date syrup. Date syrup or grape syrup are really great products and you should be able to source them in middle eastern groceries or oriental corner shops. But if you can’t find it just replace that with another couple of spoonfuls of honey or even treacle if you want a spicy taste.

Bake for one hour at 150 degrees. This bread has a cake-like indulgence – whilst remaining more virtuous than cake- and a moist, melting texture.

Serve sliced for breakfast, with or without a spoonful of yogurt. This recipe was inspired by the Minimalist Baker  .

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Sicilian lemon cake with coconut, ricotta and polenta

In Sicily, we ate cakes for breakfast! Sometime, our plate looked liked a poem in praise of gluttony: In such a poem all the synonymous of “cake” would have to be used! Eclairs, marbled cakes, profiteroles, biscuits, tart, millefeuille, brioche…

This recipe is for Judy who enjoys cake for breakfast – and anybody looking for an almond-free version of my Sicilian Lemon cake. Here, I have simply replaced the almond with ground coconut and the result is a much more textured cake, a bit similar to a carrot cake, but with the intensely citrussy flavour of the sicilian lemons…

I think it works even better than the almond version: Coconut and lemon being such a winning pairing… It almost makes you glad to be almond-intolerant!

A sicilian breakfast in NOTO

A sicilian breakfast in NOTO

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Delicious sandwiched with lemon cream

Ingredients list:

  • Butter, 50g
  • Sugar, 280g
  • Eggs, 6
  • Fine polenta, 150g
  • Ground coconut, 200g
  • Baking powder, 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Honey, 2 Tbsp
  • Zest of 5 lemons and juice of one
  • Ricotta, 300g

Pre-heat the oven to 160º.

Beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy and add the eggs one at a time.

Zest each lemon carefully – better to choose organic and unwaxed lemons if you can. Juice one of them and keep the others for a Granita de limone.

Fold all the remaining ingredients and pour into a lined and buttered cake pan.

If you have some lemon extract, you can add a few drops for a more intense lemon taste. Bake for just over an hour at 160 °. It is ready when the middle is still ever so slightly wobbly. The result is a dense and intense cake with a chewy texture. Irresistibly lemony… You can do a sandwich cake if you bake it in two sandwich tins and spread some lemon curd whipped with mascarpone in the middle! Try this for a posh party version!

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Serve cold with yogurt or on its own.

Curried parsnip soup with sweet peppers and paprika

A nice soup to warm you up, body and soul!

Parsnip (or “panais” in French) may not be yet on your “favourites” shopping list but it has the advantage of being plentiful and cheap at this time of year. The British here use it cut as long chips and roasted with olive oil and thyme, but  only recently I have enjoyed it in a very typical soup paired with Curry.

A bit of Britain and a bit of India in an unlikely butIMG_3322 winning combination…

Curried parsnips soup

  •         300g parsnips
  •          2 medium onions
  •          2 to 3 cloves garlic
  •          25g butter
  •          1 tablespoon curry powder
  •          1/2 chopped fresh red chilli
  •          Sweet paprika to taste
  •          1.2L chicken or vegetable stock
  •          150g potatoes
  •           1 tablespoon creamed coconut
  •           Olive oil
  •           Diced red pepper to decorate

Fry the chopped onions with a little oil and add the garlic cloves and butter.

Peel and cut the parsnips and potatoes in chunks of similar size so they cook more or less at the same speed.
Add the stock and the seasoning and boil for 20 minutes on low heat – which is achievable once you have got it to a rolling boil on high heat.

Blend all the ingredients, once cooked through, and add the creamed coconut just before serving. Blend some more until the soup is very fine and creamy.

Decorate with chopped red peppers and smoked paprika in the plates.

This is a lovely way to enjoy a not much loved winter vegetable! The sweet taste of the parsnip makes a very comforting and warming dish, especially with the addition of the spices. I think that the association with the curry and paprika is proper genius! As for the coconut cream (or milk), I already knew that it goes perfectly with all sorts of winter delights: pumpkins, squashes, sweet potatoes AND now parsnips!

Do try it as well with sweet potatoes in a very energizing soup on this blog.

Have a bowlful  and  you are ready to brave the cold outside your front door: Snow is predicted for the week-end!

 

Thai sweet potato and coconut soup

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Recipe from Avoca cafe in Dublin
Sweet potato is one of my star foods and this soup is a delicious, exotically spiced manner to accommodate it. I love the zing given by the fresh ginger, chillies and lemon grass to lift the sweet and smooth taste of the sweet potato…
Ingredients list:
Sweet potatoes, 2 peeled and diced
Rapeseed oil 4 Tbsp
Onion 1 sliced
Leeks 2 trimmed and sliced
Ginger, walnut-size grated
Green chillies, 2 seeded and chopped
Lemon grass 2, tough leaves removed and interior thinly sliced
Lime 1, pinch of zest
Nam pla or Thai fish sauce
Chicken stock 1 L
Coconut milk 1 cup
salt and pepper
Some olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Toss the diced potatoes in 2 Tbsp of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 15 min until tender.
Heat the rapeseed oil in a wok-like pan and add the sliced onion. Fry for a few minutes, add the sliced leeks, grated fresh ginger, chillies, lemon grass and zest.
Add the stock and fish sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
This works very well in the Thermomix, just adjust times and temperatures accordingly.
Add the sweet potatoes along with the coconut milk.
Check the seasoning and serve with torn basil if you have any.
I liquidized two thirds of this soup, then blended it back with the non-liquidised third and it was smooth and creamy with just the right amount of texture and bite!
This is my current favourite: It beats all the other soups hands down. And it is deceptively quick to make – especially with the right blender… My mom brought me the above recipe book back from Ireland and it has become a big favourite!
Nutrition notes: Sweet potatoes is a super-food with low GI and lots of vitamin C and A. Ginger, lemon grass and chillies are great detoxifying aids. This is a good detox option and despite its sweetness, a great nutritional choice, so I can indulge with a clear conscience.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of :
– Vitamin B6
– Copper and Manganese
– Bêta-carotène which is a great anti-oxydant element, so protecting us from cancers.
They also contain
– Vitamins A, E, B and C
Plus a good deal of fibre and zinc- essential for a healthy digestion and immune system.

My Carrot cake

Half-eaten already...

Half-eaten already…

The thought of carrot rarely raises lustful memories but as a humble winter vegetable it elevates itself to dizzying heights of seduction when baked into a spongy, moist and spicy cake… I made it as a treat last week-end for a posse of ravenous ten-year olds and I long for it again as a cold Friday closes in…

Shared with my beloved and a boiling cup of tea, it is my cake of choice on a dark evening! You can also use the mix in a muffin for a special treat…

Ingredients: For a large cake or 24 muffins

  • 370g self-raising wholemeal flour
  • 300g brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon raising powder
  • 1 large spoon of cinnamon
  • 15 cl rapeseed oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • 100g shredded coconut
  • 180g grated carrot
  • 1 grated apple – optional but it adds moisture

For the filling and topping:

1/2 small tub of cream cheese and ½ tub of mascarpone

Roughly same quantity of icing sugar.

A few drops of lemon juice  : I sometimes cut corners by using 2 spoonfuls of good lemon curd instead – and reducing the sugar.

I use roughly the same quantity of sugar than cream. This is not about skimping on calories ! Use  a hand whisk  and add spoonfuls of sugar until it is all used up.

Whisk it all together till you get a fluffy filling. Reserve in the fridge.

What to do next:

Warm the oven at 180 degree Celsius. Oil and line 2 sandwich tins. Grate the carrots and apple. Mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Add the oil, beaten eggs and vanilla. If the mix is on the dry side, add a little milk: It must nicely moist.

Fold in the grated carrots and coconut; apple optional. Bake for 35min at 180°.

Take the mix of mascarpone, cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon juice out of the fridge. Spread in between the two cakes and a layer on top. Decorate with coloured vermicelli or whole pecan nuts.

ENJOY…

This makes a FABULOUS birthday cake...

This makes a FABULOUS birthday cake…

© dianecomtefrost