Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Coconut Deliciousness

I have been on a super coconut kick lately.  I am big fan of coconut, mostly in desserts (go figure) and after receiving a sample of Kelapo Coconut Oil (thanks Kelapo!) a few weeks ago I have been enjoying it in a couple of new recipes.

Honestly, I had never heard of coconut oil before, but it is a healthy butter or oil alternative that can be used in a variety of ways (breads, smoothies, cakes, brownies, veggies etc).  Kelapo is also organic and certified Fair Trade.  I really enjoyed their product so I wanted to share a few recipes with you.   

It took me awhile to figure out exactly what I wanted to make but after wandering the internet I found mention of a coconut lime cake.  I made the version I saw and it ended up not being so great.  I loved the idea of lime and coconut together though, they seem like a good spring/summer flavor combo.  (Doesn't it remind you of that "Put the Lime in the Coconut" song?)  So I decided to come up with my own coconut lime cake recipe.  This cake has a nice coconut flavor and is super tasty.  And you can't forget about the tart, lime glaze - perfect!  
Coconut Lime Pound Cake
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1/4 cup Kelapo coconut oil
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt (I used vanilla Chobani)
1 tsp lime zest
1 1/2 tsp coconut extract
3/4 cup shredded coconut

Tart Lime Glaze
3/4 - 1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp milk
1 tsp lime zest

1. Preheat oven to 325°.  Prepare 8 1/2" X 4 1/2" X 2 1/2" loaf pan with baking spray.  
2. In medium bowl beat butter and coconut oil until creamy.  Then beat in sugar at medium 
speed until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time until incorporated, using a scraper to clean edges of bowl.   
3. In a seperate bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt, & baking soda.  Gradually add some of the flour mixture to the butter mixture.  Alternate adding the yogurt and flour, making sure to scrape the sides of bowl along the way.  Beat at a low speed until blended.  
4. Stir in the remaining ingredients (zest, extract, flakes).  Pour batter into pan and spread evenly.
5. Bake between 1 hour -1 hour 15 minutes.  Cake should be light golden brown and a toothpick should come out clean.*
6. Let cake cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.  
7. Make glaze by mixing powdered sugar, lime juice, milk, and zest in a small bowl.  Adding more milk or sugar for desired taste and consistency.
8. Remove cake from pan onto wire rack and poke small holes in top of cake with toothpick. While cake is still warm brush Tart Lime Glaze over top and sides.
*(Baking time is probably closer to an hour depending on your oven.  Mine could have baked a little less.)  

Next is Coconut Granola.  I was inspired after seeing Julie's recipe the other week and decided to put my own spin on it.  I added flax seed, simply because I didn't have chia seeds, and mini chocolate chips, because really, who doesn't like chocolate?  This recipe is super easy and makes for some tasty granola!  I have probably made it four times in the past two weeks.  I have eaten it just plain, on yogurt, on ice cream, and with milk, like cereal - all are delicious!  

Coconut Chocolate Granola

adapted from Peanut Butter Fingers
3 Tbsp Kelapo coconut oil
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp coconut extract

2 cups old fashioned oats
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
3 Tbsp mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 315°.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl mix together coconut oil, coconut extract, honey, and brown sugar.
3. Add oats and flaxseed mixing until everything has been coated.  Mix in the chocolate chips.
4. Spread granola mixture evenly on baking sheet.  Bake for 14 minutes, turning granola halfway through.  
5.  Let cool 5-10 minutes.