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Posts tagged as “coconut”

Coconut-Currant Steel Cut Oatmeal

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Have you tried steel cut oats? Sometimes also called "Irish oats", steel cut oats when cooked generally have a chewy, al dente texture and a nutty taste. They are oat groats, or oat kernels with no husk, that have been cut into smaller, coarse pieces using a steel blade. Size-wise, they remind me of tiny Acini di pepe pasta. Like their cousins rolled and instant oats, steel cut oats are a blank canvas for adding different flavors and ingredients. You can cook steel cut oats longer to make them a little more softer and creamier, as I usually do, but don't expect them to fall apart and turn to mush as instant oats would when cooked. Of course, adding a pat of butter or a touch of cream when cooking would help add creaminess and richness, as well. Much like my recipe for banana-pecan oatmeal, this one requires a couple more steps than just opening a package of instant oatmeal, adding water, and heating—but it's still very easy to make, and the results taste much better than what comes in a package. [caption id="attachment_1091" align="alignnone" width="900"] Raw steel cut oats[/caption]

Product Review: Califia Farms Toasted Coconut Milk

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Disclaimer: This is an honest review and not a sponsored post by Califia Farms brand for any blog website or service.  For me, coconut isn't just one of those summer-only flavors or scents. It's a year-round favorite of mine—even in the middle of January. Nope, there aren't too many coconutty things that I won't try. And for as crazy as I am about the stuff, I know two people on opposite ends of the coconut spectrum: one who flat-out can't stand it and one who's allergic to it. (Dave, fortunately, isn't either of those individuals.) I love the fact that there seem to be way more varieties of nut milk blends in the grocery store than there were in the past. Fortunately, almond-coconut milk is one of them. I think it has a much better flavor than its plain soy-, almond-, or coconut-only counterparts.

Product Review: So Delicious CocoWhip!™ Whipped Topping

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Disclaimer: This is an honest review and not a sponsored post by So Delicious brand for any blog website or service.   I never ate a lot of whipped topping growing up, or even in recent years as an adult. I've used it a handful of times for desserts where convenience has been key and the extra stabilizers (or, as some people just put it, "chemicals") help whatever I'm making hold up to being stored in the fridge for a day or two, usually when I'm making a dessert in advance for a party. My family always gravitated towards the stuff in an aerosol can or opted to make "real" whipped cream, though, especially when it came to enjoying it with Thanksgiving pies and other special occasion desserts. When we did buy whipped topping, it was a treat that sometimes ended with me just eating the stuff right from the plastic tub, sometimes half-frozen (come on... you know you've done this at least once.) Dave and I both like trying new things and have also been trying to balance how much dairy and sweets we eat for health reasons. We burnt ourselves out on Greek yogurt for a while (shocking, I know) and went back to both regular yogurt as well as some non-dairy options, just for some variety. When we went to the store a few months ago, we both had a craving for pudding and decided that, as a treat, we needed a little whipped cream to go with it. We saw and picked up a tub of So Delicious brand CocoWhip!™ Whipped Topping to give it a try.

“Almost Vegan” Citrus Bars

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A few months back, Dave and I took a trip to our local Asian supermarket to get some ingredients for dinner. We ended up picking up delicious pre-made frozen scallion pancakes (one of my favorites) as an appetizer and veggies for what Dave would probably consider to be his signature Thai red curry. It's delicious every time he makes it, without fail. While shopping for produce, I spotted something curious: soon tofu. Labeled as "extra silken" or "extra soft" tofu and packaged in a tube-shaped plastic sheath, neither of us had ever seen it before in conventional or other Asian supermarkets. The tofu's custard-like consistency and general lack of flavor (aside from a faint nuttiness) inspired me to try my hand, once again, at making a vegan dessert that didn't suck—lest anyone forget the chia pudding and avocado chocolate pudding fails that I've mentioned before and still haunt me to this day. (Fail and yuck.) At that point, lemon bars had been on my mind for a while, so I made vegan lemon bars using soon tofu my challenge. I processed the tofu with cane sugar, coconut cream, citrus zests and juices, cornstarch, and a few other ingredients to form a very smooth filling. The mixture as it cooked resembled a thick, lemon curd-type filling. Success! It needed more sugar than I would have liked to include, though, in order to mask the nuttiness of the tofu and make it taste like a dessert. Otherwise, so far, so good. When I started to make the crust as the filling cooked, I found that the only cookies I had on-hand were Simply Made Keebler Butter Cookies. As the name implied, they were made with butter and, therefore, not vegan. Well, damn. Not wanting to go back to the grocery store that day, I pressed on with making and chilling the crust. Once cooled, I added the filling and put it back in the fridge to chill several hours until well-set. Dave and I ate the bars for dessert that night and they still tasted great! There's good news for anyone hoping to recreate these as a totally vegan, dairy-free dessert: Unlike traditional lemon bars, the filling isn't loaded with eggs and butter. It would be easy to substitute a vegan cookie in the crust and get similar results.