coconut oil

golden pistachio cardamom cookies (vegan)

15th March 2018

These golden oat cookies contain very little flour and because of that, they are a bit crumbly to mould.  Use a heaped round tablespoon measure of the cookie dough and flatten them out with damp fingers.  If you find the cookie dough sticking, dip the spoon in water and then use damp fingers to push the edges in if they are breaking away.  If you prefer a cookie crunchy on the outside and softer texture on the inside – scoop to keep the dome-shape and skip the flattening process. You can easily replace the sultanas with goji or cranberries berries.

 golden pistachio cardamom cookies

Makes approx 31 cookies – two trays.

Grind your own cardamom as the taste is so much more fragrant. 

Inspired by these cookies and this recipe.

ingredients

⅓ cup/60g golden sultanas

½ cup/65g raw unsalted pistachio nuts

cup/120g whole-spelt flour

1½ cup/130g fine regular rolled oats

3 Tbsp/25g sesame seeds

¼ tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp aluminium-free baking powder

1 tsp cardamom powder

1 tsp ginger powder

cup + 1 Tbsp maple syrup

½ cup coconut oil/olive oil

zest of two oranges

preparation

1.  Preheat oven 180C/350F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  Place the sultanas in a bowl, add boiling water to cover and soak for 10 minutes. Pour through a strainer, and set aside to drain well. (The extra moisture will help prevent them from burning and drying out when baking.)

3.  Place the pistachio nuts on a tray and toast for 8 minutes.  Allow to cool, roughly chop and place in a medium bowl, along with the spelt flour, oats, sesame seeds, salt, baking powder, cardamom and ginger powder.  Mix to combine and set aside.

4.  Melt the coconut oil over low heat until liquid, add the maple syrup; whisk until emulsified.

5.  Pour into the dry ingredients and stir well, add the drained sultanas, orange zest and mix until well combined.

6.  Use a slightly wet round tablespoon measurement to scoop the cookie dough pressing against the side of the bowl to compact and place onto the baking sheets, flatten with damp fingers. If the mixture starts to stick, dip the spoon between intervals into the water. It is helpful to have a bowl of water nearby.

7.  Bake for 16 – 18 minutes, rotating the baking trays halfway through. The cookies are ready to come out when they are deeply golden. Cool the cookies on a rack while you bake the rest of the dough. They will firm up when completely cool and are best eaten the day they are made.

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Andreia’s coconut cookies (vegan)

16th December 2017

These delicious cookies have shreds of crunchy coconut on the outside and a soft, silky, cakey interior. They started from a cookie which Andreia from Soul Food Vegan baked for us when she was preparing lunches for the Jivana Week. I adapted them slightly inspired by a coconut cookie recipe in Kim Boyce -‘Good to the Grain’.

coconut cookies

Makes 28 – 30 cookies.

I tried these with different whole flours which made a heavier cookie, the all-purpose flour creates a light and silky interior which is preferable.

dry ingredients

3 cups/240g shredded dried unsweetened coconut – divided

1 cup/120g all-purpose flour

1 cup/170g coconut sugar

⅛ tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp baking powder

wet ingredients

⅓ cup coconut oil – melted 

½ cup/125ml almond/coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

finish

1 cup/80g dried shredded unsweetened coconut

preparation

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F. Line two baking sheets with baking paper. Set aside.

2.  Grind half the coconut in a food processor or blender for 30 seconds until it resembles fine flour.

3.  Pour into a medium bowl and add the remaining 1½ cups coconut, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Whisk to combine and set aside.

4.  Over medium heat, melt the coconut oil and measure out a ⅓ cup. Add into a small jug or bowl along with the almond milk, vanilla essence and vinegar. Whisk to combine.

5.  Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and combine well until all incorporated. Refrigerate the dough for 10 minutes before moulding for easier handling and a firmer mounded dome shape.

6.  Scoop balls of dough, a tablespoon in size (approx 20g) and form into a round ball by rolling in the palms of your hand, as you dip one side into the coconut, flatten slightly. Gently lift out of the coconut and place them on the prepared baking trays, coconut side up, leaving about 2 inches between them.

7.  Bake for 16 – 20 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through until the coconut crust is golden and the bottom of the cookies are evenly brown.

8.  Place the second tray into the oven and bake the next round. Allow to cool completely. When freshly baked these cookies have a delicious outside crunch which softens up the longer they sit. Delicious eaten the same day, otherwise, place in an airtight container.

almond quinoa chocolate bites (vegan)

21st September 2016

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Cool softened air, full mOOn swell, falling leaves, savouring the light….

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These have been a decadent treat around here.  Loved by all.  Perfect when you need something more than a dried date or fig for a sweet after a meal. Based on this recipe from Green Kitchen Stories – a wonderful video is included showing you just how easy they are to make.  I altered the recipe, adding ¼ cup hot water to the dates when mashing them. Even though the dates I used were soft, the hot water helped in the overall consistency. Instead of pumpkin seeds, I used extra almonds and toasted them to make them snappy and to bring out their flavour. I prefer using just almonds, as their qualities are less heating than most other nuts and seeds.  You could use a carob topping instead of the chocolate, by melting down carob buttons or using this glaze. My daughter takes out the chocolate completely and sprinkles extra coconut over the top.

almond butter quinoa chocolate bars - 1 (1)

almond quinoa chocolate bars

The secret ingredient is well-toasted homemade almond butter – make your own!

Preparation 20 minutes

Makes 16 squares/32 bite-size squares.

ingredients

¾ cup/100g whole almonds

200g/11 soft Medjool dates -pitted

2 Tbsp coconut oil

¼ cup/60ml hot water

1 cup/240g home-made almond butter

1 cup/30g puffed quinoa

chocolate topping

100g dark chocolate (55%)

2 Tbsp dried unsweetened coconut

preparation

1.  Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.  Line a 7 x 7-inch baking tray with baking paper, leaving 2-inches around the edges – set aside.

2.  Place the whole almonds on a tray and toast for 10 – 12 minutes – allow to cool, roughly chop and set aside.

3.  Melt the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over low heat, remove from heat and add the dates, pour in the hot water, allow to sit for 5 – 10 minutes to soften, then proceed to mash with a fork until smooth.

4.  Mix in almond butter – combine well until it all comes together, then add puffed quinoa, roasted almonds, incorporating everything evenly.

5.  Using your hands or the back of a large spoon, press the mixture very tightly into the lined dish, until completely even and flat. Use an extra square piece of baking paper to place over the top, run your hands over to even out. Use the edges of the baking paper, to fold over and run your finger along to create level sides and corners – set aside.

chocolate topping

6.  Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water, remove from heat, then using a spatula, spread the chocolate evenly over the slice. Sprinkle with half the shredded coconut, leaving the other half to sprinkle on later.

7.  Place in the freezer for at least 4 hours, until cold and firm.

8.  Using a sharp knife, cut into bite-sized squares or rectangular bars. Store in an airtight container in the freezer. The bars will keep for a month.

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Anna’s vegan marble cake

23rd December 2014

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This cake is based on the magical spice cake which is a regular in our house.  An amazing vegan moist cake that my brilliant friend, Anna has recently been experimenting with, and sharing those experiments via email. First, there was the orange-zested cranberry cake, and more recently, this marble cake.

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Anna’s vegan marble cake

When I told my son that there was cake when he arrived home from school, he looked at the cake, and then at me and said, – “Yes! – This is THE good one. “

variation

  • For a more contrast in the marbling, omit the whole-wheat, and use all white flour.
  • For a non-vegan alternative, create a butter icing by adding 2 heaped Tablespoons room temperature butter to the glaze and beat/whisk until well combined and thick.  Using a knife spread over the top and sides.

ingredients 

1 cup + 2 tsp/130g whole-wheat flour

1 cup/120g unbleached white flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp rock salt

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

½ cup/100g coconut oil

1 cup/280g pure maple syrup (can replace with 1 cup/180g brown sugar + ½ cup almond milk)

1 cup/225g almond milk

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp vanilla essence

for the glaze 

1 cup powdered sugar

1 Tbsp water/lemon

preparation 

1.  Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.  Grease a bundt pan well with oil, making sure to get every nook and cranny (I used a ring pan as recommended by Anna).

2.  In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt (not the cocoa powder) – whisk to combine.

3.  In another medium bowl, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, nut milk, vinegar, and vanilla – whisk until the ingredients are emulsified, then pour into the dry ingredients, whisking until all the liquid ingredients are absorbed.  The batter will be quite wet.

4.  Pour ¾ of the batter evenly into the greased cake tin.

5.  With the remaining batter, add the cocoa powder, and mix well, then pour over the white batter. Using a toothpick, create a marble effect into the cake.  Don’t mix too much as the chocolate and vanilla will blend and there will not be any difference between the two.

6.  Place on a middle rack in the oven and bake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until the cake is springy to touch and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let the cake cool in the pan and run a thin knife around the edges of the cake, as it can be a bit delicate coming out.

7.   For the glaze, place the powdered sugar into a small bowl and mix with a little water, until you get a thick but pourable consistency.  Spoon the glaze over the top, allowing it to drip down the sides or serve on the side.

Enjoy with love, light, celebrations and blessings!

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almond lemon coconut chia macaroons (vegan)

21st December 2014

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almond lemon coconut chia macaroons

Makes 25 – 30 macaroons.

At first, I made the chocolate ones from the link below, but I found the chocolate (especially using raw cacao) too bitter.  I like the intense sweetness of these which complements the coconut and lemon.

Adapted from these.

ingredients 

3 cups/250g dried, unsweetened desiccated coconut

2 Tbsp/20g chia seeds

1 cup/100g almond meal (I used whole almonds, skins and all, then ground into a rough powder)

½ cup/45g almond flakes

¼ tsp fine rock salt

zest from one lemon

¼ cup/60ml water

¾ cup/185g maple syrup

cup/80ml extra virgin coconut oil (melted)

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

preparation 

1.  Preheat oven to 150C/325F.

2.  In a large bowl, combine the coconut, chia seeds, almond meal, almond flakes, salt, and lemon zest – stir to combine thoroughly.

3.  In a small bowl, whisk together the water, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract, then add to the dry ingredients – stir until fully combined, and no dryness remains.

4.  Cover and place the mixture in the fridge for 15 – 20 minutes.  The chia seeds will help bind the mix together and the coconut oil solidifies, making it much easier to scoop.

5.  Use an ice-cream scooper that has a spring action, which releases the mixture by sliding the band underneath.  This works perfectly for easy shaping.  Fill the scoop half full and firmly pressed the mixture.  If you don’t have an ice-cream scooper, use a teaspoon to create more rustic mounds.

For the oven, place the macaroons on a baking sheet.  I fitted all macaroons snugly on one tray. Bake them in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden.

For the dehydrator,  dehydrate at 115F for 6 – 8 hours if you want them fudgy, and longer if you want some chewiness.

light and festive!

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 Goodness shared from Stacey

golden zesty mango coconut balls (vegan)

30th November 2014

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Oh goodness….

It’s been a while since I have been into the garden as the weather has been constant days of rain and wet.

But now…

This morning there was a celebration of LIGHT, golden LIGHT, warm LIGHT, glorious, goodness-filled LIGHT, a welcome, a gentle sigh, a return and a new beginning…

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inside and out

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golden zesty mango coconut balls

Adapted from Honestly Healthy.

Makes about 20 balls.

ingredients 

100g dried unsweetened unsulphured mango

2 Tbsp coconut oil

1 pinch saffron (15 threads)

½ cup rolled oats

1½ cups desiccated coconut (unsweetened) + extra for rolling in

5 Tbsp maple syrup (can add less or more)

zest from two lemons

juice from half a lemon

¼ tsp turmeric powder

preparation 

1.  Soak the mango in water for about 20 – 30 minutes and drain.

2. In the meantime, heat the coconut oil in a small pan and a pinch of saffron, turn off the heat and allow the saffron to infuse the coconut oil.

2.  Place the oats in a food processor and pulse on high until they turn into a floury powder, then add the coconut, soaked mango, maple syrup, saffron-infused coconut oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and turmeric powder – pulse until the mixture comes together. The mixture will be quite wet but will come together easily.

3.  Using your hands, form the mixture into small balls, then coat them in the extra coconut.

4.  Freeze the coconut balls for 20 minutes, if eating immediately, otherwise, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Goodness shared from Stacey

a dog, a story and a date biscuit slice (vegan version)

1st February 2014

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January always seems a time of simplifying and focusing my energies, cleaning up and organising our living space.  Refreshing everything, developing new rhythms or putting back into place the old ones that have slipped by, getting rid of that old energy and allowing space for the new.  So apart from re-organising my workspace, I decided to try to make this favourite sweet vegan.

These are a favourite in our house, especially for me, as they bring back a lot of childhood memories

scroll down to the story

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date biscuit slice

ingredients 

½ cup coconut oil

¼ cup molasses/date syrup

1 Tbsp vanilla essence

2 Tbsp water

1 cup/120g whole-spelt flour

1 cup/80g desiccated coconut

1 cup/170g pitted dates, chopped into small pieces

¼ cup finely chopped walnuts, pecans or sunflowers seeds

1 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp cocoa powder

for the icing

1 cup/140g sugar powder/icing sugar

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

extra desiccated coconut for sprinkling on top

preparation 

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.  Grease a rectangular 21cm x 29cm tray.

2.  Melt the coconut, add the molasses, vanilla essence and water – set aside.

3.  In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, coconut, dates, walnuts, baking powder and cocoa powder – mix well, then add the wet ingredients  – combining well.

4.  Spread evenly with the back of a spoon into the tray and bake for 20 minutes or until golden – set aside to cool.

5.  Make the icing – Mix the icing sugar and cocoa powder together with just a few teaspoons of water.  You do not want the icing too watery, but not so thick that it will not spread. Spread the icing over the slice and sprinkle with coconut, then cut into squares.

These photos came about because I needed a photo for this post and my daughter Yasmin needed a photo for her essay she was writing for school about our dog Inbar.  I thought you might enjoy her essay.  It is very touching and beautifully written.

inbar by Yasmin fisher

At home, I  have a dog.  Her name is Inbar.  She’s very old now.

People always ask how old she is and my father always gives the same answer;  “She’s the same age as Yasmin.”

Maybe that’s the reason I have such a close relationship with her because we were born in the same year and basically grew up together.

I was born in Israel, to parents who at the time were very interested in Yoga and a 7-month-old baby (me) did not stop them driving to a yoga retreat in the north of Israel.  As we were approaching the retreat centre located in the hills by the sea of Galilee, my father got lost and as customary for men, he refused to ask for directions!  Driving around in the car, my mother explained that she was not feeling too well and wanted to stop to get something out of the boot.  When they stopped my mother got out of the car and suddenly heard this strange noise coming from the bushes.  It was dark and Israel is known for having poisonous snakes but it turned out to be this small scared puppy.  My mother could not resist and picked it up.  Only in the car, my mother could see that this puppy was unhealthy and clearly abandoned.

My parents decided to take the puppy with them and named her Inbar after the village where the yoga retreat took place.  My parents feed her and took care of her.  As my parents tell me,  it was obvious that Inbar had been abused because she refused to enter the house.  My father tells the story that a few days after finding Inbar I took my first steps.  However, as soon as I went outside Inbar would be so excited to see me that she would knock me over.  It was not long before Inbar stopped knocking me over and started looking after me…

As I grew older Inbar took more and more care of me.  Whether it was from another dog, person, or even if I just got lost in our village and forgot my way back home.  One day I was walking to my friend’s place and as usual, Inbar came with me, a dog catcher drove by and saw that Inbar was not on a leash as required by law.  In Israel, it is very common for dogs to be taken away and if the owner would not come to claim the dog, the dog would be “put to sleep.”  It was traumatizing to see that Inbar had been taken away despite my protest and crying.  For the first time, I realised I needed to take care of Inbar too.

Inbar was always a part of the important things in my life.  She is part of our family.  When my parents told me we were moving to Portugal it was never a question if we were to take her with us, even though she was very old.  It was a difficult journey but she liked all the attention and was so happy when we arrived.

And now, since arriving in Portugal.  I am the one that looks after her and gives her medication daily, and I make sure she gets attention.

Out of respect for her age and due to the colder winter here, Inbar has become an indoor dog.  She sleeps inside next to the hallway and since my room is closest, she comes into my room in the middle of the night if she wants to go outside.

It is clear to me that Inbar is on her “last legs” and that she will not live much longer.  When I think about her I can only think about how thankful I am to have shared my childhood with this kind and devoted animal.  Through my childhood with Inbar, I have learnt that life is a circle of giving and taking.  It is ironic how so much good came out of Inbar’s unlucky beginning.

health crunch muesli cookies (vegan)

9th October 2011

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Happiness

=

Getting up early.

No humidity.

First rain.

Yellow leaves falling.

A big girl who will still sit in your lap, sometimes.

A big boy that still needs my hugs, all the time.

The first green salad from the garden.

Golden afternoon light.

Little, white jasmine flowers falling on the ground, waiting to be picked up,

and

being lost in their sweet scent.

The quietness in that deep silence.

Friends.

Winning scrabble.

 Peacock feathers.

The smell of little babies.

A new camera and its endless possibilities.

Damp smell of earth.

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I  would like to try making these cookies with the left-over almond pulp from making almond milk. I have been looking for a sweet which is gluten-free and dairy-free.  These I stumbled across on this website – www.teresacutter.com.  It is important to grind the almonds very finely which will absorb the liquid much better.  Also, the second time I made these, I added 1 cup cranberries, instead of ½ cup; half chopped very finely and the rest, roughly chopped.  I also pressed half an almond in the top each biscuit, which added another dimension to them.  I did tweak the recipe a bit from the original.

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health crunch muesli cookies

Approximately 30 cookies

ingredients 

cup organic coconut oil, melted

½ cup maple syrup (depending on your preferred sweetness)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups almonds

1 cup walnuts/pecans

cup ground linseed/flaxseed

½ cup sesame and sunflower seeds (a combination of both to make ½ cup)

½ – 1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped (depending on how much you like cranberries)

¼ cup dried shredded coconut

preparation 

1.  Preheat the oven to 150C/330F.  Line two baking sheets with baking paper.

2.  In a small mixing bowl, pour the melted coconut oil over the maple syrup, and whisk in the vanilla extract – set aside.

3.  In a food processor, place in the almonds and grind until fine, then empty into a large mixing bowl.

4.  Place the walnuts into the food processor and whiz for a few seconds, just until they are roughly broken up, add to bowl.

5.  Add linseed, sesame and sunflower seeds, coconut and cranberries – combine well.

6.  Pour in the wet mixture – mix thoroughly until well combined.

7.  Divide into 30 balls (If the mixture is crumbling just add a little hot water until it becomes easier to handle.)  Place onto the prepared baking tray, then flatten slightly.  At this stage, press a whole almond into each if you prefer.

8.  Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until golden and well cooked through. Watch carefully!

Rest on the tray until cool, then store in an air-tight container.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

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