Coconut Pudding

Okay so we all know I love chocolate…but theres something I have to admit…

I’M COO COO FOR COCONUTS!!

There I said it!

I love coconuts — young thai coconuts, dried coconuts, shredded coconut, coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut ice cream… I even love the word coconut. I might name my firstborn coconut.

Just kidding about the last part, I’m not that coo coo…

So you can imagine when young thai coconuts are on sale what my shopping cart looks like (“Uh, ma’am do you need a hand to your car?”). I’ve bought 20 coconuts in one go before…don’t judge. They were on sale!

What’s funnier is when I get home and my mom has bought just as many as I have. We are so related.

Well what do you do when you drink all the water and have the rest of the coconut left?

Make coconut pudding of course!

Coconut Pudding

Meat of 1-2 (or in my case 10-20…) young thai coconuts

3 tablespoons chia seeds

Capful of vanilla extract

Himalayan pink sea salt to taste

10 drops of liquid stevia, add more to taste

Directions:

1. Blend!

2. Eat!!IMAG4402

Cookies n Cream-y

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The only reason I added the chia seeds was to give it a cookies and cream effect. I used to love Hershey’s Cookies and Cream bar, so this satisfied my nostalgia of enjoying one. They are not necessary, so feel free to omit them! This is a very basic recipe. You could definitely dress this up and experiment with different flavors (I was thinking key lime pie for the next one?).

Then the next day I blended up some frozen berries and topped it with this coconut pudding to make a coconut berry parfait.

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I thought this looked cool. Swirrlyyy

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Enjoy!

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Flourless Chocolate Cake

Hey strangers!

It has been so busy lately with the spring semester coming to an end. Only 3 weeks left…and 3 semesters left til graduation! It can’t come soon enough. I feel like as soon as I finish studying for one test, another one pops up. They are like little monsters…

Anyways, today I said screw it…I’m not doing anything scholarly related! (And hoped my homework did itself).

I know its so stereotypical, but I love being in the kitchen. Its just so fun experimenting! I feel like it gets my creativity going, even though painting or learning a new language involves way less calories…

But who cares. So I made a cake!

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I went all out — well sorta. Over the past few weeks I’ve been gradually phasing out grains and processed sugar. A coworker and I decided to do a green smoothie diet, for a month! I can’t say I didn’t have a few cheat days, but that makes it sustainable, right? It’s lot easier than you would think. The diet basically goes: green smoothie for breakfast, raw vegetables at every meal, emphasizing the vegetables and eliminating the processed grains, red meat, soy, refined sugar, and junk. Best part? No calorie counting! However, since I’ve always been a sweet tooth, I wanted something a little more than a green smoothie today. Don’t worry… these desserts fall within the diet!

I don’t use measuring tools and I tend to eyeball, so the measurements are approximate!

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Flourless Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache (Grain-free and no refined sugar)

For the Cake:

½ cup 100% chocolate squares*

3 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp raw honey + more to taste, if needed

¾ cup raw coconut nectar (you could probably use maple syrup, stevia or more raw honey to sweeten it)

3 organic, free range eggs

1 tsp vanilla

Cocoa powder (for dusting the pan)

For the Ganache:

¼ cup of coconut milk

1 tsp coconut oil

1/3 cup of 100% chocolate squares*

1 tbsp raw honey + more to taste, if needed

(*I just used 100% cacao because I wanted to be in control of how much sweetener I put in it, but feel free to use semi-sweet or dark chocolate baking chips or bars!)

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Using a double boiler, (or just boiling water and putting a glass bowl over the steam) melt chocolate squares, coconut oil and raw honey. Keep mixing until it is all melted together evenly. Take off stove and let it cool for 5-10 minutes while you prepare step 2.
  3. Mix eggs, raw coconut nectar, and vanilla. Once chocolate mixture is cooled off enough (make sure it is definitely cool enough so the eggs don’t cook in the chocolate mixture!), slowly stir in egg mixture. Beat it up until it is all incorporated. It should be a smooth, velvety texture.
  4. Line a baking pan (I actually only had a cast iron skillet on hand, so I suppose you could use whatever) with cocoa powder. Pour in mixture.
  5. Place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the center can be poked with a fork and comes out clean.
  6. IMAG4462When cake is finished, start making the ganache using the same method you did in step 2 (double boiler or glass bowl over boiling water).
  7. Melt chocolate, coconut oil and honey. When it is all melted, slowly add in coconut milk. Stir until it is all evenly incorporated.
  8. You may keep the cake in the pan you used to bake it in, but I transferred mine to a plate. Then pour the ganache over the cake, using a spoon or spatula to evenly spread it over.

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Although it tastes a lot better letting it chill in the fridge for an hour or two, I just had to try it immediately (it was quality control okay?).  It is sooo rich and decadent, its actually hard to overeat! I put half of the cake in the freezer so I could have something to look forward to for weeks to come.

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To all my fellow students, I encourage you to reward your efforts with this cake. To everyone else, enjoy!

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Oh, and don’t forget to smile 🙂

xo

Trader Joe’s 70% Dark Chocolate Coconut Caramel

I love that this line of TJ’s chocolate is all 70% or more. Lately I’ve been striving to get chocolate with a cocoa percentage of 70% or more because I’ve been cutting back on my sugar and after 68%, a very good amount of that bar is cocoa as opposed to sugar. Plus, you get more of the actual benefits of cocoa if more of the bar is cocoa anyways!

TJ's Chocolate Coconut Caramel

Ingredients

Taste: A

The chocolate itself was smooth, but a significant portion of the bar was caramel and coconut! That definitely defeated the purpose of my 70% cocoa goal, but that does not mean I didn’t enjoy it! The dark, richness of the chocolate melded deliciously with the creamy, slightly salted caramel and coconut flakes. The coconut flakes add texture and an ever so slight crunch. I would recommend this bar to someone who occasionally dabbles in dark chocolate (because the bitterness of the cocoa is offset by the caramel and coconut, so it is easier for someone whose palate is used to a milkier fare) and anyone who loves caramel!

Caramel-y blocks

Yum

The coconut caramel filling was very melt-y, so make sure you are close by a napkin or wet wipes. You can’t tell by the picture because I had it in the freezer, but take my word for it!

Presentation: B 

Plain foil wrap sorta takes away from the quirky, cute box.

(*Note: My take on presentation is solely for sh*ts and giggles. Like it even matters when you finish the thing in 3 minutes anyways?)

Foil Wrapped

 Price: A

At $1.99 for a 3oz. delicious bar, you can’t beat that.

Get yourself to a Trader Joe’s ASAP!

Reader Feedback: Have you ever had Trader Joe’s 70% Dark Chocolate Coconut Caramel? If so, tell me what you think!