¡viva genevieve!

Embracing change through travel and culinary discovery

Archive for the tag “Coconut”

Little Seeds of Goodness

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine came to me with a small and humble packet of little helpers bursting with trendy super food goodness and asked me “what the hell do I do with these?”. Her sister had apparently told her that she should start eating chia seeds because they are good for her and she needs to take better care of herself. I myself have used chia seeds in the past mainly for desserts and to add to smoothies and I am vaguely aware of their rising super star status in the world of healthy super foods. I like the idea of trying to incorporate some health foods here and there in to my normally balanced diet and I like the idea of antioxidants and omega 3s of which chia seeds harbor many in their tiny little bodies. And I actually enjoy the gelatinous texture they take on when they expand their chia colonies when submerged in liquid. So I really do enjoy the unassuming little chia seed, I don’t however enjoy the price tag, but a small packet does actually go quite a long way when used as a health boost to another recipe or a super sprinkle on a smoothie. So what to do with my friend’s chia seeds……

At this point in time I was going through a biscuit phase, or a cookie phase if I was living in America. So I put the chia to use in an oaty biscuit recipe where it actually works really well to bind all of the ingredients together. Of course I was also going through a chocolatey dessert phase, a phase I seem to have been stuck in for the last 20 years, so I made us some chia dessert cups which I love because the texture is so unique, almost like chocolate mousse but not. And the best thing about this dessert is it also seems like a viable breakfast option which is always a plus! So with chia as my kitchen sidekick I put together Spiced Chia Oaty Biscuits and Chia Choc Banana pudding cups and we were chia cheerful!

SPICED CHIA OATY BISCUITS

2 Mature mashed bananas
3/4 C Oats
1-2 T Chia seeds
1/4 C Milk
1/4 C Desiccated coconut
1/4 C raisins
1 T Butter (melted) or Coconut oil
1 T honey
1 heaped teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 C crushed nuts (optional)

1. Mix the chia seeds with the milk in a cup and let sit for 5-10 minutes until the chia have
worked their magic and created a gel consistency.

2. Mash the bananas and add all ingredients in to a bowl and mix together, add the chia seeds
once they have expanded. the mixture should be quite wet but it should roll in to a ball.

3. Roll about balls of the mixture in to biscuit size and put on a lined baking tray and flatten
the tops slightly to better resemble a biscuit.

4. Bake for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees until slightly golden. They won’t brown up like
normal biscuits but a sprinkling of gold is a good indication. Let sit to cool and enjoy a
healthy bikkie with your cup of tea!

* Makes about 12 biscuits*

CHIA CHOC BANANA PUDDING CUPS

1 Mature Banana
1/2 C Milk
1/4 C Chia seeds
1 T Cocoa
1 T Honey
Desiccated coconut to sprinkle

1. Mash the banana and mix in the cocoa and honey until the cocoa is completely combined and the
mixture is smooth.

2. In a bowl mix the chia seeds and the milk with the banana mixture until the chia seeds are
distributed evenly through the mixture. Pour in to small glasses and top with coconut.

3. Refrigerate until set. I like to make this in the morning so I have dessert waiting for me
that evening, this is so easy. Dessert in less than 5 minutes? Can’t complain with that!

* Makes 2 serves*

Shackled by Sugar

When I see that the purple packaging is empty except for the surviving crumbs hiding themselves and quivering away in the corners of the now vast and vacant wrapper, I think to myself “Whose been eating my deliciously creamy Milka chocolate??!” I swear there was some left. I deliberately bought the 300g block as it would be cheaper in the long run, I would eat it slowly over a week or two as I know I have exceptional chocolate will power. Alas it lasted barely a day. And no matter what I tell myself, deep down I know that if I look directly in to the mirror I will see the deviant chocolate thief staring straight back at me. I have become a slave to a master of denial, deception and the slogan “just one more won’t hurt”. I have become enslaved by sugar.

The thing is, before I started travelling I really wasn’t this bad (honest) I could buy a block of chocolate and nibble on it for two weeks, eating just enough to satisfy any sugary cravings, sometimes a little more if I was reaching the “I swear I’m going to strangle somebody if I don’t get a chocolate fix right this instant” level. When I was in the comfort of my own routine back in NZ I had the ability to keep regular eating habits. I could make my spirulina smoothie every morning, I had access to things like coconut oil and quinoa and time to make good lunch choices like salads and wraps. Travelling and being on the road means it’s hard to keep routine and structure which sometimes is the best part about travelling, being homeless and structureless. For me I have found that my whole routine has been turned upside down, thrown in the washing machine and set on spin cycle for far too long. Living in Spain I am eating lunch at 2 or 3 o’clock and dinner at 9 or 10. I believe that this alone has kept me running back to sugar like an old comforting childhood memory.

So I have decided that I will be a slave no more! I have started to slowly chip away at the sugary sweet shackles that bind me to this processed drug, I’ve tried my very best not to eat away at them (: Since I have settled here in Sevilla for a short time I have managed to get my hands on some coconut oil and I have started making some sweet healthy delights to carry me through the withdrawals and get my sugar intake back to normal. I have always loved coconut oil, mainly for taming my unruly and rebellious tresses or for trying to smell like what I imagine a beautiful Island princess to smell like, but mostly I love the versatility of this oil so I try to use it in small amounts in different ways in my diet as well. The main treats I have been whipping up for myself are coconut rough and cool coconut and banana bites both are extremely simple and don’t require much time, equipment or effort.

Coconut Rough

This is one of my favourite chocolate flavours so I absolutely love this version, coconut, coconut and more coconut! What’s not to love?!

4 Tbsp Coconut oil
2 Tbsp Cocoa
¼ C shredded or desiccated coconut (use desired amount, I like more rough in my chocolate so I use a lot)
1 Tbsp Honey or Maple syrup (adjust to taste)

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together until smooth.
2. Pour the mixture in to a small tin lined with baking paper.
3. Set in the freezer and break in to pieces like chocolate bark.
4. Keep stored in the fridge and enjoy!

Cool Coconut and Banana Bites

These are so tasty and great for hot days as they are eaten straight from the freezer.

2 Tbsp Coconut oil
1 Tbsp Cocoa
1 Tbsp Honey or Maple Syrup
1 Banana
Desiccated coconut to cover

1. Mix the coconut oil, cocoa and honey until smooth.
2. Slice a banana in to 1cm thick slices and dip in the chocolate mixture.
3. Roll in coconut and put in a container to store in the freezer.
4. Eat straight from the freezer; try not to eat them all at once!

Of course there is always room for some real chocolate, which I refuse to give up completely, but these definitely keep the sugar cravings at bay and keep those shackles loose. And for the record next time I’m buying chocolate it won’t be the large block, you’re not in charge today sugar, not today!

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