Hey guys! Today I have two new recipes for you, and they’re both just in time for the Easter weekend. I, for one, am really enjoying all the time in the kitchen that Easter allows. It’s just a natural thing to bake carrot cake and coconut-flavored things around this time. Of course, I am completely and 100% aware of the true meaning of Easter, but I will get to that in my Easter post. 🙂
Onto the recipes!
The first one is Toasted Coconut Almond Butter!
I was experimenting with toasted coconut the other day, and I happened to have a handful of toasted coconut and an almond in my hand at the same time. I ate them together, fell in love, and that is how this recipe came to be. 🙂
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
- 1 (liquid) TBSP coconut oil
- 1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 10 drops Vanilla Stevia Drops*** (In hindsight, I should’ve only done about 5-6. Just a little too sweet for my tastes.)
***The only reason I added this was because I wanted vanilla flavor, but I didn’t want to use vanilla extract. I have this weird thing about putting vanilla extract in things where it won’t cook out. It tastes nasty to me.. the alcohol is not pleasant. In baking it’s fine, but with nut butters, smoothies and raw foods, I usually pass. If you aren’t weird like I am, feel free to add 1/2-1 tsp vanilla extract, or omit it entirely.
First things first, roast the almonds and toast the coconut at 350 degrees. I lined two pans with an ungreased sheet of tin foil (or you can use parchment paper) and put almonds on one, coconut on the other. The almonds will take about 10 minutes at 350 degrees, stirring once halfway through, (I think I did 13 mins, to be exact) but the coconut will toast quickly. Be sure to keep an eye on it. I’d give it a check after 5 minutes, then stir it and decide whether or not it needs longer. It should look like this:
Let them cool briefly, then dump both the almonds and toasted coconut into your nut butter-maker of choice. Process until a fine powder forms, then continue until it begins to butterize. You will probably need to stop and push down the sides a few times. Continue to process until it starts to get smooth. Once it starts to look like almond butter, you will probably notice that it is really thick. Add the coconut oil now, as well as the salt, cinnamon and optional stevia drops/vanilla extract. Process until smooth, and ta da! You are done. Scrape the delicious almond butter into a container and store it in the fridge or on the counter.
As you can see, I chose to store mine in the fridge… and this picture was taken after several spoonfuls had been removed from the container. 🙂
Make this, and let me know what you think! It’s the perfect Easter-themed nut butter, but it can be made any time of year. 🙂 I really love it.
My next recipe is one that I was really excited about as it formed in my head. I was craving something carrot cake-flavored, and Katie had just posted her Carrot Cake Milkshake recipe. However, I’d also been eying Kath’s Dough Boy Smoothie for quite some time now, so a fusion of the two was in order.
Carrot Cake Batter Shake
This is a quick, easy breakfast that can (and should) be prepped ahead of time. Since most everything is done the night before, all you have to do in the morning is throw in your frozen banana, a splash of water, coconut cream and ice cubes. Done, and delicious. 🙂
- 1/2 cup nondairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
- 90g steamed baby carrots* (scant 1/2 cup?)
- 3T rolled oats
- heaping 1/2 TBSP chia seeds
- heaping 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- shake of ginger
- shake of allspice
- pinch of salt
- splash of vanilla & coconut extracts (optional)
- 2T coconut cream**
- 3/4 frozen banana
- 1/4 cup water or non-dairy milk
- 4 half-moon shaped frozen almond milk cubes*** (can sub ice cubes)
*I know steaming the carrots is a pain, but it really helps bring out the sweetness. You could probably get away with just doing them raw, but I’m not really sure since I’ve only tried it steamed. Just steam your carrots while you’re prepping the rest of the ingredients and you should be fine. 🙂
**Coconut cream is the solid stuff that rises to the top of a **cold** can of coconut milk. Put your can of coconut milk in the fridge the night before you want your shake, while you’re prepping the rest of the ingredients.
***These are super simple to make. Just pour almond milk into an ice cube tray and you’re done!
The night before:
Like I just said, stick your can of coconut cream in the fridge and get your carrots steaming. While the carrots are steaming, combine the nondairy milk, rolled oats, chia seeds and all spices in a blender. You can either add the extracts now, or in the morning. (I opted for the morning, cause I was afraid that the alcohol taste would permeate through the entire smoothie if left overnight. Maybe I’m wrong though; you choose what you want to do! ) Add the steamed carrots, and quickly pulse a few times till all the ingredients are combined. You are NOT emulsifying or blending anything; all ingredients should remain completely whole. This step is simply to make sure everything is covered and mixed. Stick your blender in the fridge and let it sit over night. Pour almond milk into an ice cube container and stick into the freezer, if you so desire. 🙂
In the morning:
Remove your blender from the fridge, as well as the can of coconut milk. Open the can, scrape off 2T of cream and add it to the blender. Then, add the frozen banana, water or non-dairy milk, and almond milk cubes or ice cubes. Blend, baby, blend! Everything should be completely emulsified and blended. Pour into a glass and enjoy.
I know it sounds very complicated, but really, this shake is so simple. The only things that take a little extra time are the carrots and coconut cream.
I topped my smoothie with a sprinkle of granola and my Toasted Coconut Almond Butter.
This shake was awesome, but there were a few things that I would do differently next time.
- This came out very thick and creamy, thanks to the chia seeds, banana, oats and coconut cream. It holds true to its ‘cake batter’ title. While this was my original intention, it left me feeling like it was a tad too rich. Next time I will probably add a few ice cubes to thin it out and make it not so rich.
- I often struggle with how to bring out the coconut flavor in smoothies and baked goods. Although the coconut cream adds a great texture and thickness to the shake, the flavor is not so evident. The coconut extract added a funny alcohol taste in my opinion, so that didn’t work either. The only other option was to add coconut oil/butter, but I decided against that because it typically gets lost in shakes. So yes, I have a dilemma! Do you guys have any thoughts/suggestions?
- Also, last but not least, this lacked a little tang. It usually comes in the form of cream cheese frosting on a traditional carrot cake, so next time I will probably add a couple spoonfuls of unsweetened, plain soy-yogurt.
So there you have it! Two new recipes for your trying and tasting enjoyment. I’m curious to see what you guys think, especially about the Carrot Cake Batter smoothie. I know I kind of ripped it apart in my additional notes, but it really was very good!! I enjoyed it the way it was; I was just able to come up with a few improvements that would have made it even better.
Have a wonderful weekend! Mine will be awesome; I can’t wait. 🙂 I’ll see you guys on Saturday for an awesome review + giveaway! What could it be?
Thanks for reading!
P.S. Happy Birthday to one of my very best friends, Audrey Michelle! She is turning 18 tomorrow, on April 22nd. I’m extremely excited for her. I love you, Audrey.