Coconut Bread

This recipe belongs to Kelly and came from her amazing blog:  The Spunky Coconut, lots of other great recipes to check out there but first: bread.  It is gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and, if you leave out the touch of molasses, it’s as near as you can get to carb free bread, thank you Kelly!!

A quick note: make sure that your ingredients are room temperature so that the bread cooks evenly.
Made with coconut flour and almond meal, I can't wait for my sprouts to be ready so I can make one of my favorite sandwiches: avocado, sprouts, onion and mayo.

Made with coconut flour and almond meal, I can’t wait for my sprouts to be ready so I can make one of my favorite sandwiches: avocado, sprouts, onion and mayo.

Here’s The Spunky Coconut’s recipe, I made only a few changes:
Wet Ingredients:
1 cup coconut milk, room temperature – use the canned, organic kind.
4 whisked eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tbsp organic black strap molasses (original recipe calls for 1 tbsp Honey.  The molasses adds 7 grams of carbohydrates along with some nutrition! Omit sweetener entirely for lower total carbohydrate count.)
Dry Ingredients:
2 cups almond flour (I have used both Bob’s and Honeyville in this recipe)
1/2 cup  coconut flour, sifted to remove any lumps
2 tbsp psyllium husk POWDER
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1) Lay a piece of unbleached parchment paper across the bread loaf pan so that it goes down one of the long sides, across the bottom and back up the other long side.  I used a metal bread loaf pan 4′ x 8′ and it worked perfectly.
2) Grease the two exposed ends of the pan. Set aside.
3) Add dry ingredients to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
4) Add wet ingredients to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer.
5) Add whisked dry ingredients to wet mixed ingredients. Mix with an electric mixer.
6) Using a flexible silicone spatula, scoop half of the batter into the prepared pan, and press it down firmly.
7) Add the rest of the batter to the dish using the flexible silicone spatula, and press down firmly again. (The top should
be smooth and level when you’re finished.)
8) Bake for up to 1 hour. In the metal bread pan I baked my bread for 50 minutes, a knife inserted in the middle came out clean, the top had risen, felt a bit springy to the touch and was nicely browned.
9) Let the bread rest in the pan until cool.
Say cheese- small and very filling, goes great with  soup : - )

Say cheese! A small and very filling little sandwich that goes great with soup.

Chickpea Miso Seafood Soup

This winter has been one of major changes for me.   I presented 4 workshops in January and feel that I am officially over (it’s so last year) my fear of talking in front of groups.  I started a women’s wellness group and we are having so much fun and learning a lot as well!  Now I’m planning for more groups, for men and women, families and teens.  I’m looking forward to my presentation at Miss Halls School Health Fair at the end of February.  I will get to talk about what a health coach does, offer the students scholarships to The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and invite them to join me for my upcoming class series!

I have also done a lot of work on myself this past month.  In preparation for the Inner Quest Intensive at Kripalu I met in Great Barrington with Naturopath (and all around AMAZING lady) Pam Youngquist weekly for 4 weeks.  We did some talk therapy; some energy work and she gave me some thought provoking topics to journal on as well as some new techniques to help me heal on an emotional level from the Candida.  No matter what illness or imbalance you are trying to recover from, be it weight loss or chronic fatigue, you have to look at everything, from food to negative thought patterns, in order to really move forward.

Kripalu Yoga Center and grounds in Lenox MA

And after my weekend long Inner Quest Intensive I feel like I moved forward in my life, at about 90.  The IQI as described to me by others who have been through the program is that it’s like ‘several years of therapy in one weekend.’  There’s a lot to this program but that sums it up nicely.  It was a tough weekend and yes, it was totally worth it.  If you are interested in getting involved with Kripalu and live in the Berkshires, check out The Berkshire Kripalu Community!  You can apply for a membership which allows you to take Kriplau yoga at a discount as well as apply for scholarships to Kripalu programs.  You can also apply directly to Kriplau, a non-profit educational organization, for a scholarship to any one of their programs, which is how I was able to afford the Inner Quest Intensive.  Thank you generous Kriplau sponsors!!

During the IQI program we ate very simple, light foods.  There was usually miso or vegetable broth at each meal.  I was easing back into my normal diet (basically Kripalu food plus spices and garlic and hot sauce!) and so Dana made us miso soup with seafood for dinner.  Perfect.  This is the recipe he used as a guide for his soup.  Dana, of course, didn’t measure anything which means you’ve got a lot of leeway here with the amounts, use what you’ve got, improv the rest!

Someone took a nice picture of their version of Seafood Miso Soup, looks good enough to eat!

Seafood Miso Soup

  • 4 quarter-size pieces fresh ginger
  • 1 strip kombu kelp*, about 1/4 oz.
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed bonito flakes (katsuobushi)
  • 1 large leek, white and pale green parts only, sliced and rinsed well
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2-in. matchsticks
  • 1 1/2 pounds black cod or Pacific halibut, cut into 1 1/2-in. pieces
  • 3/4 pound medium sea scallops (15 to 16 per lb.)
  • 3/4 pound medium shrimp (26 to 30 per lb.), peeled, tails left on if you like
  • 1/2 cup shiro (sweet white) miso (we used chickpea miso)
  • 1/2 cup lager (preferably Longboard, optional, Dana left the beer out for ours)
  • Lemon zest/wedges (optional, but highly recommended!)
  • Thinly sliced shiso leaf (optional)

You can find kombu, a large seaweed sold dried, and bonito flakes with the Asian ingredients at well-stocked supermarkets and at natural-foods or Japanese markets. Find shiso, an aromatic herb, at Japanese markets and some farmers’ markets.

Preparation

  1. Bring 4 cups water, the ginger, and kombu to a boil in a large, wide pot. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 4 minutes. Turn off heat, sprinkle in bonito flakes, and let sit 3 minutes (flakes will sink)
  2. Add leek and carrots. Bring to a simmer and cook 2 minutes. Add black cod and scallops; simmer 1 minute. Add shrimp and cook 2 minutes more.
  3. Whisk miso with lager or water in a small bowl. Remove stew from heat and carefully stir in miso mixture. Serve with lemon zest/wedges  and shiso for topping if you like.

Sunset
OCTOBER 2011

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

Yoshi checking out the Coconut Cake with Lemon Coconut Frosting

Dana found some coconut flour for me at Deals and Steals in Northampton a few days ago and I decided it was time to try making a cake.  Yes cake, similar to yellow cake, this coconut flour cake is moist and deliciously cakey, and you can eat it too!  No gluten, no dairy, no added sugar, it’s perfect for those with allergies, Candida and gluten intolerance.  The package of coconut flour had some helpful tips for baking and their website is also pretty informative. I found several similar recipes for cakes made with coconut flour from Nourished Kitchen and Nourishing Days and decided to go with a half recipe, with minor changes, from Nourished Kitchen and the frosting recipe from the second site.  I made the mistake of making the frosting while excitedly waiting for the cake to bake.  Sigh.  The frosting is easy but when it gets to the correct consistency it needs to go directly on a COMPLETELY cooled cake.  So start making the frosting after the cake has cooled. It still tasted just fine but it could have been a little more picture perfect and I think the frosting would have stuck to the cake better. Guess I’ll have to make another one, this time with lime and dark chocolate ganache!  I’ll post some variations soon.

Coconut Flour Cake: Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs or 5 HUGE eggs ( local, organic, free range, for chicken’s sake)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • Stevia to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 cup coconut flour, plus extra for greasing the pan
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • a pinch unrefined sea salt
  • coconut oil, for greasing the pan

Coconut Flour Cake: Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Beat the eggs, one cup coconut milk and stevia together with vanilla, coconut and lemon extracts until smooth, creamy and uniform in both color and texture.  I didn’t have coconut extract so I used a bit more lemon and vanilla.  Use what you have, improvise what you don’t!
  3. Add the coconut flour, baking soda and unrefined sea salt into the mixture of eggs, stevia and extracts, and continue to beat until a smooth batter forms.  Taste and adjust for sweetness.
  4. Grease and flour an eight-inch cake tin.  I used a spring form pan and kept the cake on the bottom piece as a serving ‘dish’.
  5. Pour, or spoon, the cake batter into the greased and floured tin, shaking to even out the batter and smoothing it with the back of a spoon or with a rubber spatula.
  6. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 35- 40 minutes, or until the cake separates from the sides of the tin and a toothpick inserted into the cake’s center comes out clean.
  7. Place the cake on a cooling rack. After the cake has cooled a bit, but is still warm, poke holes all over the top with a fork. Juice half a lemon right over the whole cake, making sure to evenly distribute the juice.
  8. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting with the coconut frosting below.  This is important, the frosting will slide around instead of stick to the cake if the cake is still warm.  How do I know?  I ran out of time and hastily frosted an almost cooled cake.  It still tasted good but definitely lost some points on aesthetics.
  1. Cooling the cake, its still on the bottom of the spring form pan. I assaulted the top with a fork and squeezed a lemon over the cake for extra flavor. The holes from the fork will be covered by the frosting.

YIELD: one eight-inch cake.  Original recipe from Nourished Kitchen is doubled and makes 2 eight inch rounds, perfect for special occasion layer cakes!  Here’s the original recipe.

TIME: about five to ten minutes (active time), forty minutes (baking time), forty minutes to one hour (cooling time)

Nutrition Info (I did the calculation myself  using the nutrition info on the packages)  One 8 in cake, 16 slices, without frosting: Calories 95  Fat 5.6  Fiber 2.5  Carbohydrates 2  Protein 4

With Frosting: Calories 154  Fat 12 Fiber 2.5 Carbohydrates 2 Protein 4

Remember, the fat from coconut oil is good for you and helps combat Candida, and that’s just the beginning!

Coconut Lemon Frosting
Recipe notes: Be sure to melt your coconut oil in a glass bowl. I do this by putting the bowl over a small pan of simmering water or putting it in the hot oven for a few minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted in a glass bowl
  • 9 drops of liquid stevia (alternatively, you could use a couple of teaspoons of raw honey or powdered stevia)
  • 1 packed teaspoon lemon zest (use an organic lemon other wise you’ll be zesting chemicals, gross)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients into the warm coconut oil. You are now going to place the bowl into the freezer in order to cool it down. It is very important to check on it every couple of minutes to catch it before it gets too cold. You want to take it out of the freezer right when it starts to get cloudy.

    Mixing the ingredients in the warm coconut oil. After it has been in the freezer for 3 minutes start checking it frequently.

  2. At this point the cold bowl (and your cool kitchen) will continue to turn the liquid oil into a solid. Continue to whisk the frosting as it gets cloudier and cloudier and eventually turns into a whipped butter consistency. The idea is to get a bit of air into it. Once it is to a whipped (very soft) butter consistency plop it onto your cooled cake. Frost it very quickly before the coconut oil hardens. It will seem like a pretty thin layer of frosting, but it is just enough.   Original recipe with an alternate coconut cake recipe here.

    Whipping the frosting as soon as the oil starts to get cloudy (cool). Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl while you whip the frosting together!

    And….there you are, having your cake and eating it too!

    No more cake-less birthdays!