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Toasted Coconut Peanut Butter Cups

14 Mar

Over the past year or two, I’ve become a much more adventurous eater.  I spent about 13 years of my life as a vegetarian so that usually meant my options were limited (especially as a poor college student).  However, when I slowly started incorporating meat back into my diet, I also broadened my horizons to several new foods.  I’ve developed a liking for sushi, I gladly eat chia seeds in my oatmeal, and I even have taken a liking to quinoa.

One food that I’d always avoided was coconut.  I never had much exposure to it beyond the sickly sweet filling in Almond Joys (yuck).  But then I started cooking and baking with several coconut based items; coconut oil, coconut flour, coconut butter.

I like all things coconut so much that I tend to daydream about how I can incorporate it into some of my favorite foods.  That’s where these come in.

For the longest time, I’ve wanted to make my own peanut butter cups because while I love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, I don’t love the artificial ingredients in most commercial brands.  So, I got creative and added one of my new favorite foods to an all-time classic.

Toasted Coconut Peanut Butter Cups
(makes 16 cups)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (preferably organic or all-natural)
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter (I used Artisana)
  • 10 drops of stevia, optional
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened, organic coconut flakes

Directions:

  1. Prepare a mini-muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Place chocolate and coconut butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave on 30 second intervals, until the chocolate and coconut butter come together smoothly.  Stir in stevia, if using.
  3. Pour 1 to 1 1/2 tsp of melted chocolate into each cupcake liner.
  4. Place muffin pan into the fridge for 10 minutes, to let the chocolate set.
  5. Meanwhile, toast your unsweetened coconut on the stove top over medium heat.  Watch the coconut carefully as it will burn easily!
  6. Mix the peanut butter and toasted coconut.
  7. Once the first round of chocolate is set, measure 1/2 Tbsp of peanut butter mixture and place it in each cupcake liner.
  8. Pour another tsp of chocolate on top of cup.
  9. Place the muffin pan back in the refrigerator and let the chocolate set for about 15 to 20 minutes.

To be honest, even though these were great, I could not taste the coconut at all.  I think the next time I make these I’ll use coconut oil in place of coconut butter.  Or I could mix coconut butter with the peanut butter and the toasted coconut.  Mmmm… let the coconut daydreaming continue 🙂

How do you feel about coconut?  Any suggestions on how I can increase the coconut flavor?

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Five Favorites Friday – 3/11/11

11 Mar

Hello there Friday!  You’re a welcomed addition to my week 🙂

For today’s post, I want to do something a little different.  I’d like to share my five favorite health food products as of late.  So, without further ado, allow me to share the foodie love.

Coconut Butter


I did not think there was a better nut butter than peanut butter (say that 10 times fast, eh?).  But then I tried coconut butter.  It’s rich and creamy, with a slight hint of coconut.  When I first tried it, I was expecting it to be sweet but it’s actually rather decadent in a semi-sweet kind of way.  It’s great drizzled over fruit or oatmeal or even mixed into yogurt.  You can also drizzle it over ice cream and it’ll turn into a hard, coconut flavored magic shell.  Yum, yum, yum.  I think I’ve eaten a little bit every single day since I first tried it.  And I don’t plan on changing that anytime soon.

Fage Greek Yogurt & Stevia Drops


Greek yogurt is certainly not a new-to-me product but Stevia is.  I’m not sure why I waited so long to try it out.  Probably because I’m not a huge fan of adding sweeteners to my food.  But sometimes the sourness of plain, greek yogurt just isn’t appealing, ya know?  I’m glad I took the leap because it was love at first bite.  I use about 10 drops per 6oz container and the yogurt tastes just sweet enough.  Because of the creamy texture of the yogurt, this sweet treat tastes decadent while still being very healthy!

Cacao Nibs

I bought these on a whim.  I like chocolate.  I like antioxidants.  I like fiber.  So, I thought, why not?  I was actually surprised to find how bitter they are and at first, I didn’t like them.  But then I gave them a second try.  And a third. And a fourth.  You get the idea.  Over time, they grew on me.  And with all the health benefits, what’s not to like?

Nutritional Yeast (a.k.a. Nooch)

According to wikipedia:

It is a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins and is a complete protein. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium. Some brands of nutritional yeast, though not all, are fortified with vitamin B12. The vitamin B12 is produced separately from bacteria and then added to the yeast.

I happen to like it because of it’s cheese-like flavor.  I’ve tried it on kale chips, mixed into sauces, and over salads.  For more great recipes using Nooch, check out these blogs: Love Veggies & Yoga, Peas & Thank You, and The Edible Perspective.

What foodie items are you loving lately?