dessert

Oatmeal Stuffed Baked Apples

Prep Time: 2 hours      Cook Time: 30-60 min     Yield: 4 large or 6 small servings

 WHAT YOU NEED

  • 3 firm apples 
    • Honeycrisp, Fuji, or Braeburn if you like 'em sweet
    • Gala, Granny Smith, or Jonagolds if you like 'em tart
  • 2 cups steel cut oats (rinsed, soaked for 2 hours, then drained)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • zest of 1 mandarin (optional...if you're feeling zesty!)
  • 7 Medjool dates, chopped
  • 2 tbs ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I got for walnuts or pecans) 
  • 2 cups vanilla almond milk (or plain milk + 1 tsp vanilla bean) 
  • pure maple syrup or raw honey for drizzling

 

WHAT TO DO

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Wash and core your apples. If you don't have a corer, like me, use a paring knife and cut a 1" square around the center of the apple from the top and bottom. Then push the cut portion out through the top. 

  3. In a large mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients and mix well. Then add the soaked (but fully drained) oats and milk and mix until well combined.

  4. Put your apples in a deep baking dish greased lightly with butter. Mmmmmm.

  5. Fill each apple with the mixture and then spoon all of what's leftover around the apples. Pack it all down too. 

  6. Place dish on the center rack of your oven, uncovered. If your apples are small, they'll probably take about 30 minutes to bake. If they are large, they could take close to 1 hour. Peek in on them around the 30 minute mark. You'll know they're ready by how they smell and look, how easily a knife penetrates through the apple, and whether or not the oats have soaked up all the liquid and are set in the dish. 

Get creative with how you enjoy this dish. It could easily be part of a dessert as well! Have fun! 

Nut Butter

(COCO)NUT BUTTER 

 

Making your own nut butters is HEAPS cheaper than buying them already made and it's both fun and easy! This recipe works for coconut, almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, etc. I've made butters at home for almost every nut and seed you can name. I love experimenting with foods and I encourage you to do the same! 

Ok, now here's a note about doing this with nuts and seeds. The cooking times will vary but the process is exactly the same...EXCEPT, if you want crunchy seed or nut butter, process about 75% of the batch until completely smooth, and then add the rest in and process until chopped and combined. Seeds roast quickly just as the shredded coconut does. Nuts take a little longer. Keep in mind that coconut has STABLE saturated fat which is ideal for cooking and heating. Seeds and other nuts contain different types of fat and are not great for heating. So, I recommend sticking to raw or only SLIGHTLY roasted nut and seed butters. Enjoy! 

 

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 1/2 lb unsweetened, dried coconut (shredded or flaked, doesn't matter) 

what to do

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. If you want raw coconut butter, start at step 4. 
  2. Spread the coconut out flat on a baking sheet. It's OK if the layer is thick, just make sure it's level for even toasting!
  3.  Bake the coconut at 350F for about 3 minutes, then switch to broil and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. This process happens QUICK. A minute over and your coconut may start to burn so keep an eye on it!
  4. Add the coconut to your food processor with the standard blade in place. A quality, high powered blender may work as well!
  5.  Process until smooth. This takes just a few minutes when the coconut is hot, and possibly a few minuted more when it's raw. Depends on your machine. The longer you keep the blade running, the smoother it will be. So, if you want crunchier coconut butter, check it after a minute or two and test out the consistency. 
  6. Store butter in an airtight, glass container and let cool slightly before closing. Keep at room temperature, do not refrigerate! 
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Add-ins are a great way to have fun with homemade butters and create different flavor profiles! Recommended add-ins:

  • pecans 
  • cinnamon
  • cocoa powder
  • vanilla extract
  • dark chocolate (85% or higher)

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes

CARROT CAKE Cupcakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes          Cook Time: 25 minutes           Yield: 18 cupcakes

I don't keep much in my kitchen in terms of baking ingredients so I always end up Googling recipes and piecing them together as I please based on what I have. Sometimes it works, sometimes it's an epic failure...but it's always fun! This time, it worked! 


These muffins are the perfect combination of sweetness and decadence!

WHAT YOU NEED

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups walnut or pecan meal/flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tbs ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger (optional)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Wet Ingredients

  • 3 cups carrot, grated
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup date paste
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (refrigerated over night)
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened 
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Optional Add-Ins/Ons

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2-3 tbs finely chopped bacon (for the frosting)

 

WHAT TO DO

Muffins

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Add all dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
  3. Add carrots and mix well using a fork. 
  4. Pour remaining wet ingredients into the large mixing bowl and use an electric mixer (I use my KitchenAid with the flat beater) to mix until well combined. At this point you can add in the chopped nuts or raisins if you want to. You can attempt to mix by hand but the date paste and coconut oil makes this a little difficult.
  5. Using a large spoon, scoop out the batter and drop into the openings of an ungreased muffin pan. 
  6. Bake at 350F on the center rack for about 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean from the center. 
  7. Allow to cool completely before adding frosting. 


Frosting

  1. Open the refrigerated can of coconut milk and scoop out the solidified coconut from the top of the can, leaving the remaining water behind. 
  2. Combine the solidified coconut milk with the maple syrup, cinnamon, shredded coconut, and bacon (optional) and whisk well using an electric mixer. (I use my KitchenAid with the wire whip). 
  3. Using a small spoon, or a decorating bag if you have one (I don't), scoop the frosting out by the heaping spoonful and plop it on top of each muffin. Add a piece of bacon for garnish and ENJOY the heck out of that little sucker! 

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