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Coconut Banana Protein Pancakes

Coconut Banana Protein Pancakes

My favourite meal of the day has always been breakfast. The funny thing is, I rarely eat it. Working full time in London means waking up at ridiculous o’clock each morning, and rushing out the door so I don’t miss my train. By the time I finally get around to eating something it’s usually about 10am, and involves lukewarm soggy toast while I stare blankly at my computer screen. The fact that I rarely get to sit down and enjoy a nice breakfast makes it all the more special when I actually do get to.

My ideal breakfast always involves something sweet.  It’s what I grew up with back in Canada, and one of the things I miss the most in the UK.  Traditionally UK breakfasts aren’t sweet like that ones I grew up with, but finding pancakes, waffles or french toast on brunch menus is increasingly common. When I was a kid my favourite breakfast was homemade waffles with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. It’s still my favourite today, although it’s something I rarely have because let’s face it – they’re really not that good for you.

 

Coconut Banana Protein Pancakes

Lately I’ve been trying to find healthier breakfast options that still satisfy my sweet tooth.  I was thrilled to come across a recipe for healthy coconut banana protein pancakes from Becs at Lay The Table. They’re simple, naturally sweet, and surprisingly filling. They’re also dairy, gluten, wheat and sugar free!

I think my favourite thing about these pancakes was the Hey Boo Coconut Jam topping that Becs recommended to be put on top of the pancakes. Coconut jam!  Seriously, where has this been all my life? The coconut jam isn’t sugar free, but I figured a little sugar would be ok considering there’s none in the actual pancakes themselves.

Coconut Banana Protein Pancakes

Coconut Banana Protein Pancakes

I scaled back the recipe and made a few changes, including the addition of some desiccated coconut because I absolutely love coconut. The more the better!

I’ve made these pancakes a few times now for my son and I, and we love them – especially with the coconut jam and some fresh berries on the side.

Coconut Banana Protein Pancakes

Yield: Makes 4 pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Desiccated Coconut
  • 1 Tbsp Almond Milk (optional)
  • 1 tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Natvia Sweetener (or other sugar free alternative such as Splenda)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. In a large measuring cup, combine all of the ingredients together using an electric hand blender until well combined. The batter will be thicker than normal pancake batter, but still spreadable. If you think it's too thick you can add a tablespoon of almond milk to thin it down a little.
  2. Pre-heat a non-stick pan on low - medium heat, and allow the batter to rest until the pan is hot.
  3. Coat the pan with non-stick cooking spray*, and pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the hot pan. Because the batter is thicker than normal pancake batter, use a small spatula or spoon to help spread it around in an even circle. Cover with a small pot lid to help seal in the heat and cook the pancake evenly.
  4. Once the pancake begins to turn an even golden brown colour flip it over to cook the other side. Replace the lid, and cover until golden brown on the bottom and cooked throughout.
  5. Repeat the above steps until all of the batter is used.
  6. Serve the pancakes with fresh fruit, coconut jam, lemon curd, or maple syrup.

Notes

* Coconut oil or butter can also be used, but I found my pancakes turned out best with the non-stick cooking spray

http://www.madewithpink.com/2015/04/coconut-banana-protein-pancakes/

Coconut Banana Protein Pancakes

Coconut Ice


My how time flies!  It seems like just yesterday that I was eight months pregnant and in the kitchen whipping up numerous batches of blue treats for my baby shower.  I know I’ve told you several times either here, on twitter or on facebook that I’d share the recipes with you, but it’s now eight months later and I realise that I’ve not shared any of them with you!

Well let me put a stop to that right now!  

The first baby blue treat I made for my baby shower was Coconut Ice which is a retro UK sweet that’s traditionally pink, not blue.  I’d never even tried it before, but I loved the way it looked when I first saw it on Pinterest.  

The other thing I loved about this Coconut Ice was just how easy it was to make – it only has 4 ingredients!  Oh so simple!

Coconut Ice is a sweet and chewy coconut square that lasts a week or so when stored in the fridge.  I’ve been told by several friends that this recipe tastes just like the real stuff they remember from their childhood.



Coconut Ice 

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups (560g) Icing Sugar  
2 1/2 cups (200g) Shredded (Desiccated) Coconut  
395g Can Sweetened Condensed Milk  
1 tsp Vanilla Extract  
Food colouring (traditionally pink, but you can use any colour you feel like)  

Instructions:

1. Line the base and sides of a deep (4cm+) 19cm square dish with plastic cling wrap  
2. Sift the icing sugar into large bowl. Stir in the coconut, condensed milk and vanilla extract.
3. Press half the mixture firmly into the base of the pan.  Work the food colouring into the remaining mixture, kneading well in order to distribute the colour.  Press the coloured layer evenly over the white layer.  
4. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until firm.  Remove the coconut ice from tray, peel away the cling wrap, and cut into squares.  The coconut ice will keep for a week if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.



And if your wondering about the cute little stuffed dog in the pictures, it was one of several that my husbands cousin made to help decorate the baby shower.  I think they were Kath Kidston designs that she got from a craft magazine.  Pretty cute huh?

Chocolate Coconut Cream Cheese Bars

So yesterday I wrote about my sightseeing trip to Washington DC where I visited Julia Child’s kitchen and tasted some of DC’s “best” cupcakes.  But you want to know what else I was really excited to see?  I’m warning you now, this is gonna sound really lame!……. Target!  Yes, that’s right – Target the discount store!  The highlight of any trip I make to the US is going to Target.  Told you it was lame!  I try and visit a Target at least once or twice every time I go the the States.  Why?  It’s simple – because of the selection & variety!  Growing up in North America I got used to the selection we had over there, but when I moved to the UK I suddenly realized how spoiled I was back home.  If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know I’ve mentioned this once or twice before.

In the US the baking aisles seem to go on for miles, while the baking aisle here in the UK is only about a meter or two (3 – 6 feet) wide.  While the US has literally over 20 different flavours of cake mix – not to mention dozens of different brands and variations of each flavour, the UK has about 3 different main stream brands of cake mix in pretty basic flavours – chocolate, vanilla & spice.  Even though we’ve got Betty Crocker here, they only make chocolate, chocolate vanilla swirl & spice cake mixes.  Not even a plain vanilla!  To be honest, as much as I hate the lack of selection here, I think it’s probably one of the main reasons I try so many different recipes.  I’m always trying to re-create something I’ve had back home, or something that I can’t make here because one of the typical ingredients isn’t available.  I’m not sure that would be the case if I still lived back in Canada.

Just because I’m a geek, I took few pictures of one side of the baking aisle in an American Target store with my iPhone.

See – told you it was long!

Oh the variety! 


When I go to Target I usually stock up on a few cake mixes, a selection of different chocolate chips, and seasonal candy – all of which of pretty are hard to find here (from a variety point of view).

Chocolate Chips

Among the things I picked up this trip were Easter coloured peanut butter M&M’s, almond M&M’s, regular Easter coloured M&M’s, pretzel M&M’s & Coconut M&M’s (which are absolutely amazing btw!) I also picked up one of my favorite candy’s – the Coconut Cream Hershey Kiss!  Hershey Kisses are pretty frowned upon here in the UK – most people here would describe them of tasting like stinky feet.  I’m impartial to the flavour of the original ones, but the coconut cream ones – oh boy!  They are delicious!  

So when I got home from holiday and started going through my emails, one immediately jumped out at me.  A recipe from Martha Stewart for her Chocolate Coconut Cream Cheese Bars.  I mean – seriously!  Is there any better combination? I had to make them!  They’re just like the coconut cream hershey kiss, only in bar form!


The base of these bars is very similar to the base of a Nanaimo bar, while the top has a nice cheesecakey taste.  Overall I’d say this is a pretty solid recipe, but I’ve added a few comments of my own in grey. *Just a note – these bars do take a while to make, and require refrigeration overnight, but they’re well worth it!

Chocolate Coconut Cheesecake Bars
Adapted from Martha Stewart



Ingredients:

2 Cups (205g) Graham Crackers, finely ground (from 15 rectangles)
3 Cups (10oz/ 410g) shredded / desiccated Coconut
5oz (140g) Semisweet Chocolate, finely chopped
2oz (57g) Milk Chocolate, finely chopped
1 Cup + 3 Tbsp (260g) Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup (114g) Butter, plus more for pan
3 Eggs, plus 5 Egg Yolks
12oz (340g) Cream Cheese, room temperature
Coconut Cream Hershey Kisses (optional)

Instructions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF (189ºC). Butter a 9-inch square baking pan. Line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides, and grease the parchment.

2.  Stir together the graham cracker crumbs and 2 cups of coconut.

3.  Place the chocolate and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a heatproof bowl, and set over a pan of simmering water. Heat, and stir until melted.  Add the butter, and stir until melted and smooth. Remove the mixture from the heat, and let it cool slightly. Whisk in 1 egg.

4.  Stir the chocolate mixture into the coconut mixture.  Press it evenly into your prepared pan. Bake until set – approx 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack, and let cool in pan. *I don’t really think it’s necessary to pre-bake the base considering it will be baked again.  I baked mine for the recommended 10 mins, but I thought the base was a tad overcooked once they were baked again.  If you’re going to bake it, I’d recommend only doing so for 5 minutes.

5.  Using a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat cream cheese and the remaining cup of sugar on high speed until very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, and add egg yolks and remaining 2 eggs, 1 at a time, until well combined. Scrape the sides of bowl. Beat on medium-high speed until completely smooth, about 3 minutes.

6.  Pour the mixture over the cooled crust, and sprinkle the remaining cup of coconut evenly over the top.

7.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until top layer is just set and coconut is golden brown. Let the bars cool in the pan on a wire rack for about an hour, and then evenly place unwrapped Coconut Kisses across the top. (Try 1 Kiss first and wait about 5 minutes to make sure it’s not melting too much.  If it is, then wait another 10 – 20 minutes until the cheesecake cools a bit more before trying again). Refrigerate, overnight.


8.  Run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan, and use the parchment to lift out cheesecake. Cut the cheesecake into squares, wiping knife clean between cuts. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


Coconut and chocolate is such a wonderful combination, and I was so excited to see the recipe for these bars come through to my in-box.  Although they are a bit time consuming (if you pre-cook the base & let it cool), they’re definitely worth the time.  I brought these into the office and they received rave reviews.  Absolutely delicious!

Summertime Strawberry Pie

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Nothing signals the start of summer like British strawberry season.  Perfectly ripe and juicy berries line the store shelves, and seasonal strawberry desserts replace the heavier cakes and crumbles that have featured on dessert menus throughout the winter months.

Strawberries are my absolute favourite summer berry, with raspberries following a close second. When I was pregnant I would eat entire meals consisting only of strawberries. I couldn’t get enough of them, and now my kid can’t either. Leave him alone with a punnet of strawberries and they’ll be gone in a matter of minutes.

Fresh strawberries

We’ve been growing strawberries in our garden this year, and they’re fantastically delicious.  Unfortunately they only ripen 3 at a time which is hardly enough to put on a bowl of corn flakes, let alone make up the bulk of a shareable dessert. Luckily I was able to supplement my own crop by making a trip out to Garsons Farm – a local produce farm where we could pick our own strawberries. Even though the shops are filled with strawberries at the moment, picking your own is so much better. Not only can you choose the ripest, reddest, juiciest strawberries, but it’ll occupy a 3 year old for over an hour! What more could I ask for?

Strawberry Pie

We left the farm with a huge basket filled to the brim of strawberries that were just screaming to be made into a pie.  Strawberry pie used to be my favourite when I was a kid. Chilled fresh strawberries in a sweet jelly topped with sweetened whipped cream. It’s so refreshing on a summery day.

I hadn’t had a strawberry pie in years, so I couldn’t wait to get home and make one with my pickings. This pie is super duper easy to make. In fact, the hardest part about it is waiting for the pie to set in the fridge overnight.

Strawberry Pie

Strawberry Pie Recipe

This recipe is my mom’s from Canada, so uses powdered Strawberry Jello brand jelly for the base.  We don’t have powdered Jello in the UK, but we do have Hartley’s Jelly cubes which I find don’t gel as firmly as the Jello brand.  So if you’re in the UK, I’d  recommend increasing the jelly cubes to 1.5 packages.

Strawberry Pie

Strawberry Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup (225g) Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 Quart Strawberries
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Pkg Strawberry Jello,or 1 1/2 Pkg Hartley's Strawberry Jelly
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Baked 9” pie crust, homemade or store-bought

Instructions

  1. Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan.
  2. Mash 1 cup of the berries; add enough water to make 2 cups and stir into the cornstarch and sugar mixture.
  3. Cook and stir until boiling. Boil 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and add butter, Jello powder (or cubes) and lemon juice. Stir until the Jello powder dissolves. Chill until partially set.
  5. Spoon 1/3 of the jello mixture into pie shell. Top with the remaining berries, and spoon the remaining jello mixture over the berries.
  6. Chill until set. Serve with fresh sweetened whipped cream.
http://www.madewithpink.com/2015/06/strawberry-pie-recipe/

Strawberry Pie

If you find yourself with an abundance of strawberries this summer, here are a few more recipes ideas to help you use them up.

Strawberry Pie recipes

Strawberry & Coconut Milkshake
Pimm’s Salad
Chocolate Pomegranate Cake with Lemon Curd and Strawberries
Strawberry mascarpone tarts
Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Sandwich
Strawberry Granola Frozen Yoghurt Bites
Strawberry Tiramisu

I’m submitting my strawberry pie to a couple of foodie blogger linkups this month as well.

Simple and in season

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Sugar & Gluten Free Lemon Poppyseed Waffles

Sugar & Gluten Free Lemon Poppyseed Waffles

A couple of weeks ago I told you about my fondness for breakfast when I posted the recipe for my delicious and healthy gluten free coconut protein pancakes.  I’ve been on a major breakfast kick lately.  Probably because I’ve got a 3 and a half year old who’s sole mission in life is to not let me sleep past 8am.  So for the first time in my life I’m being forced to get up at a normal hour on weekends. So rather than sleep for an additional 3 hours like I’d like to do, I’m making breakfast instead. I’m not talking Cheerios or Rice Krispies. I’m talking about good hearty breakfasts. The kind I dream about ordering at restaurants when I’m organised enough to make it out the front door before they stop serving it.  And although those breakfasts are super good, they’re not always super healthy.

Fresh Fruit

I’m a sucker for sweet stuff, and breakfast is no exception. Waffles, French Toast, Pancakes.  I’ve been trying to find new ways of enjoying healthier versions of my favourite breakfasts.  My coconut protein pancakes were so delicious, that I couldn’t wait to try developing more healthy breakfast options. I knew that part of creating healthier breakfasts would involve cutting out the sugar. But I still needed to satisfy my sweet tooth. Cue Natvia sweetener to the rescue!

Natvia is a 100% natural stevia based sweetener, that’s the perfect alternative to sugar.  It’s available in the UK through Ocado, and is a great replacement to the sugar in your daily coffee.  And best of all, you can cook and bake with it.  There are zero calories per serving, making it the perfect alternative to sugar in my healthy breakfasts. I’ve been using Natvia for a few weeks now as a replacement to the sugar in my coffee and in some of my baking, and it’s been great!

Natvia sweetener

Not only did I want my breakfast to be sugar free, but I also wanted to try and create something that was gluten free as well.  I’m not gluten intolerant, but I know a lot of people who are, so I’m hoping they’ll enjoy this recipe too. Finally, I wanted to incorporate two of my favourite things at the moment – lemon and waffles.

Sugar & Gluten Free Lemon Poppyseed Waffles

Baking with gluten free flour is totally different than baking with regular flour, but after a lot of experimenting and several attempts using various amounts of gluten free flour and other ingredients, I came up with a recipe I’m really happy with.  These waffles are the capture the perfect flavour of sweet and zesty lemon, along with some poppy seeds thrown in for good measure. They remind me of my favourite lemon poppyseed cake that my mum used to make when I was a kid. So in a way, it’s kind of like having cake for breakfast.

Sugar & Gluten Free Lemon Poppyseed Waffles

Sugar & Gluten Free Lemon Poppyseed Waffles

Instead of pouring loads of unhealthy sugary syrup on top of my yummy healthy sugar and gluten free lemon poppyseed waffles, I piled on a fresh julienne fruit salad with some homemade raspberry sauce. So good. Seriously. Soooo good!

Sugar & Gluten Free Lemon Poppyseed Waffles

These waffles are my new favourite breakfast. They’re perfectly crisp on the outside, while remaining light and fluffy on the inside. The sweet and zesty lemon flavour is so refreshing, especially with the fresh fruit and raspberry sauce.  I sat outside in the sunshine eating these, and instantly felt like I was dining in a 5 star tropical resort. I could just imagine myself being served these for breakfast looking out over a tropical ocean. If any resort head chefs decide to add these waffles to their menu, your guests will love you. Just make sure to give me the credit ok 😉

Sugar and Gluten Free Lemon Poppyseed Waffles

Ingredients

    For the Raspberry Sauce:
  • 200g Fresh Raspberries
  • 1 tsp Natvia Sweetener
  • For the Waffles:
  • 1 3/4 Cup (250g) Gluten Free Flour (I use Dove's Farm)
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Natvia Sweetener
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Zest (zest from 2 lemons)
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil, melted
  • 2 tsp Poppy Seeds

Instructions

    For the Raspberry Sauce:
  1. Using a hand blender, puree the raspberries into a liquid.
  2. Pour the liquid raspberries though a sieve to remove the seeds. If you don't mind the seeds, then omit this step.
  3. Stir in Natva sweetener.
  4. For the Waffles:
  5. Pre-heat waffle iron. Combine the Natvia sweetener and lemon zest in a small bowl, and stir gently to infuse the zest with the Natvia. Set aside.
  6. Whisk the egg yolk, almond milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in a large jug / measuring cup. Set aside.
  7. Combine the flour, Natvia and lemon zest, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.
  8. Slowly pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture, whisking gently until incorporated. Whisk in the melted coconut oil.
  9. Using a separate clean whisk and bowl, whisk the egg whites into soft peaks. Fold the whipped egg whites into the liquid and flour mixture.
  10. Pour the batter into the hot waffle iron, and cook until golden brown.
  11. Serve with raspberry sauce, and your choice of fruit (I used julienne melon, pear, and mango).
http://www.madewithpink.com/2015/05/sugar-gluten-free-lemon-poppyseed-waffles/

Sugar & Gluten Free Lemon Poppyseed Waffles

These waffles will freeze brilliantly, making future breakfasts a breeze. To re-warm them, simply defrost, and cook in a pre-heated waffle iron for a minute or two.

I’m pleased to say that I’m linking up my Sugar & Gluten Free Lemon Poppyseed Waffles to this month’s Breakfast Club, hosted by non other than myself!

BreakfastClub_badge0230

This post has been commissioned by Natvia Sweetener.