Tag Archives: sweet

Recipe: Nut & Seed Granola

Nut and Seed Granola | Tiffany Lane

I love me some granola.

Nut and Seed Granola | Tiffany Lane

This batch is a powerhouse of flavor and nutrition with lots of nuts and seeds, coconut and coconut butter, tahini and sweetened only with honey. On top of that, it’s very easy to make, so you have no excuses not to be in the kitchen, right now, baking up a batch of pure delight. Except that you’re reading this right now.

Nut and Seed Granola | Tiffany Lane

So I’m not gonna hold you captive here any more with lots of fluff. Let’s get to it.

Nut and Seed Granola | Tiffany Lane

NUT & SEED GRANOLA

Makes approx. 7 cups (fits nicely on one standard size rimmed baking sheet)

Ingredients
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups flaked coconut, raw and unsweetened
2 cups mixed nuts (pecans, cashews, almonds, etc.)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup flaxseed, ground
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut butter
1/4 cup tahini
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

3 tbsp vanilla, almond or coconut extract

Preparation

Preheat oven to 300F. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk wet ingredients until combined well.  Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir until all dry ingredients are coated evenly.

Spread granola mixture onto a lined baking sheet (parchment or Silpat mat) into an even layer, avoiding direct contact with the sides of the pan.  Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven and toss, then return to oven to bake for another 20 minutes. Remove, toss and repeat process twice more, for a total baking time of 80 minutes, or until granola turns golden and toasted. Remove granola from oven and allow to cool completely as granola will harden as it cools. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one month.

Nut and Seed Granola | Tiffany Lane

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Recipe: Coconut Flour Muffins (Gluten/Grain Free)

Coconut Flour Muffins | Tiffany Lane

Back to the kitchen I go. Always crafting up (sometimes weird) creations and every once in a while coming out with something good enough to share!

As you know, I’ve been eating grain and dairy free for a little while now so I stocked up on coconut flour. Over the weekend I had a craving for something muffin-like, found a few recipes and in true Tiffany fashion, I crafted my own recipe.

These muffins are awesome! Seriously.  And hubby approved. They give a slight ode in texture to cornmeal, but are a bit fluffier and more moist.  The recipe below is for basic, vanilla muffins. Please get creative and create your own yummy combinations. I’m thinking banana peanut butter, strawberry, lemon poppyseed. The sky’s the limit!

Coconut Flour Muffins | Tiffany Lane

COCONUT FLOUR MUFFINS

Makes 12 muffins or 44 mini muffins

Ingredients
3/4 cup coconut flour*
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
6 eggs
1 cup coconut milk (full fat, not light)*
1/2 cup  coconut oil,  melted (plus more for greasing the pan)*
1/2 cup raw honey
1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350F and bring all ingredients as close to room temperature as possible.

In a small bowl, combine coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt, set aside. In a medium bowl, beat eggs with coconut milk, coconut oil, honey, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until well combined.

Spoon batter into greased muffin or mini muffin pans until full. Bake muffins for 25-30 minutes or 15-18 for mini muffins.  Allow to cool before stuffing your face.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Coconut Flour Muffins | Tiffany Lane

*Tiffany Lane Handmade is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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Recipe: Coconut Caramel Bars (Grain Free/Vegan)

Coconut Caramel Bars | Tiffany Lane

Coconut Caramel Bars | Tiffany Lane

Coconut Caramel Bars | Tiffany Lane

So if you haven’t noticed, it’s that Girl Scout cookie time of year. Since my husband insists on “supporting his co-workers’ kids”, (um, yeah babe, I’m sure that’s the reason) we have a few boxes in the freezer (yes, they’re better frozen). And as much as I enjoy them, since they’re delicious, I can’t get past all those pesky, unnecessary ingredients. The only way to resist my urge to eat an entire tray of Caramel Delites (they used to be called Samoas back when I was a GS), after of course eating an entire sleeve of Thin Mints, is to make my own, healthier version.

Let me stop you there. I know what you’re thinking, “But Tiffany, these aren’t even cookies, they’re bars.” Trust me, you won’t miss the cookies. These bars are so rich and delectable, those cookies will get freezer burn and you won’t even care. Nope, nada, no caring here.

To make these bars so rich and delectable, they’ve got to be filled with some pretty awesome things. Dates are one of my favorite treats and make the caramel perfectly sweet. But they really needed a punch of something else too. What better way to deck out my homemade caramel coconut bars than to fill them to the brim with coconut? Don’t you agree? Good, I’m glad we’re on the same page. And no, I’m not joking about the coconut. It’s everywhere in these babies!  My only warning is this: they’re addicting and if you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself on the couch, watching a chick flick, fork in hand with an empty 8×8 dish. And for those of you watching your calories (which I don’t encourage), while they’re made with wholesome ingredients, these bars are most definitely not low calorie. Everything in moderation, right?

Coconut Caramel Bars | Tiffany Lane

Without further ado, I present:

COCONUT CARAMEL BARS (GRAIN FREE/VEGAN) 

Inspired by Girl Scout’s Caramel Delites

Slightly adapted from Detoxinista’s No-Bake Twix Bars

Makes an 8×8 Dish

Cookie Crust
1 cup raw coconut butter (make a extra to save some for later!)*
4 tbsp raw honey
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

Caramel Filling
2 cup Medjool dates (about 25-30 dates)
1/2 cup water or coconut water
4 tbsp raw coconut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

Topping

1 cup toasted coconut, flaked or shredded (I use Bob’s Red Mill Flaked Coconut Unsweetened)*

Chocolate Drizzle
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

2 tbsp raw honey

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325F and toast your coconut (in the same glass baking dish you’re going to make the bars in) by baking for 3-5 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Remove from oven, pour into a small bowl and set aside.

Make the cookie crust by mixing the wet ingredients in a medium bowl, then adding in the coconut flour and salt until a crumbly dough forms. Press dough into an 8×8 glass baking dish greased with a little melted coconut oil then you’re going to pre-bake the crust (like you might for a pie) by baking for 8-10 minutes, until the top and edges just begin to brown. You don’t want to over bake here because it will go back in the oven with the filling (again, like a pie). After you take out the crust, turn the oven up to 375F to preheat while you make the filling.

For the caramel filling, blend all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender (I used my food processor since I made the filling in it after making coconut butter – no cleaning necessary!), until smooth, scraping down the sides once or twice. This should only take a minute or two. Pour filling over the cookie crust and bake at 375F for 15-18 minutes, until the filling firms up, then remove from oven and top with toasted coconut.

While the bars are baking, make the chocolate drizzle by whisking together the melted coconut oil and honey, then adding in the cocoa powder until well combined.  Drizzle chocolate sauce over coconut topping and resist the urge to stuff your face until they’ve cooled.

Coconut Caramel Bars | Tiffany Lane

*Tiffany Lane Handmade is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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Recipe: Whole Wheat Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

whole wheat vegan oatmeal cookies - tiffany lane

I’m no vegan, but I do appreciate plant based foods.  And not only are these babies vegan, they’re packed full of healthier whole foods like coconut oil, honey, coconut palm sugar, applesauce, whole wheat flour and oats.

You might be wondering why I’m posting a recipe with whole wheat when I’m trying to avoid it. Well, I made these cookies before my whole wheat detox and didn’t get a chance to share them with you. I’m sure I’ll make them again, wheat free, but in the mean time, those of you not avoiding wheat can try something yummy.

I originally made them over the holidays while visiting some vegan friends and again recently for game night.  Boy do they deliver! Trust me, these cookies are delicious and even approved by non-vegan folks!  If you don’t believe me and want to try your hand at a more traditional recipe, you can substitute equal parts butter for coconut oil and one egg for the applesauce.  But seriously, these are so good no one will bat an eye about what’s inside!

whole wheat vegan oatmeal cookies - tiffany lane

Whole Wheat Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from Williams Sonoma, Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup honey
1 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

3 cups rolled oats

Optional Add-Ins

1 cup: chopped dried fruit (pictured with raisins), coconut flakes, chocolate chips (vegan if necessary), nuts

Preparation

In a saucepan, melt the coconut oil, then remove from heat.  Whisk in the honey and coconut palm sugar until blended, then add the applesauce and vanilla extract.

Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together into a small bowl, then slowly stir this mixture into the wet ingredients until blended.  Add the rolled oats and mix again.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats.  Drop batter by the tablespoon  onto the prepared pans, spacing the cookies at least 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies until golden brown, 12-15 minutes.  Once removed from the oven, allow to set for a couple of minutes, then transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

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Recipe: Maple Nut Granola

I love granola.

maple nut granola 1 - tiffany lane

That may actually be an understatement, but we’ll go with it.

For the past year or so, I’ve committed to making my own granola, and boy is it even tastier than the boxed stuff! But the one thing I’d really been meaning to do is create my own recipe. Something I could call my own.

maple nut granola 2 - tiffany lane

Of course I’ve gathered bits and pieces from recipes all over the web, specifically some of my favorites: Naturally Ella, 100 Days of Real FoodHow Sweet It Is, Eat Life Whole, Fox in the Pine. This, you could say, is a compilation of all my favorite recipes, with my most loved ingredients, in the proportions my taste buds go crazy about!

Something else I love about this recipe? It makes a lot of granola, which is great for me since I’m basically an addict and it leaves enough left over to give as heart felt, homemade gifts, without putting too much of a dent in my own stash.  Yes, I’m selfish when it comes to granola.  But it’s just that good.  Get ready to indulge.

maple nut granola 3 - tiffany lane

And in case you’re worried about getting bored with this granola (not quite sure how that could happen in the first place), here are some ideas for enjoying it: as breakfast (or a snack, or dessert) with whole milk and bananas; over plain whole milk yogurt (sweetened yourself with honey, maple syrup or homemade jam) and topped with fresh fruit; over ice cream or frozen yogurt; by itself right out of the jar; crunchy topping for chocolate covered bananas (or other fruit); a topping for mashed banana mixed with nut butter (great fresh or frozen).  Gosh, the list could just go on.  How are you planning on enjoying it?

MAPLE NUT GRANOLA

Makes Approx. 6 Cups (fits nicely on a standard size rimmed baking sheet)

Ingredients
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup almond meal
1 cup flaked coconut, raw and unsweetened
1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
1/2 cup cashews, chopped (raw or roasted)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped (raw or roasted)
1/3 cup flaxseed, ground
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla

Preparation
Preheat oven to 275F.

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk maple syrup, melted coconut oil and vanilla until combined well. Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir until all dry ingredients are coated evenly.

Spread onto a lined baking sheet (parchment or Silpat mat) and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and toss, then return to oven to bake for another 20 minutes. Remove, toss and repeat process twice more, for a total baking time of 80 minutes, or until granola turns golden and toasted.

Remove granola from oven, toss and allow to cool. Granola will harden as it cools. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one month.

Doesn’t it make a lovely gift?

maple nut granola gift - tiffany lane

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Health: What’s All The Hype About Coconut Palm Sugar?

cps - spencers market [Photo Courtesy of Spencer’s Market]

If you’ve done any research of your own on coconut palm sugar, you may have come across this article, The Truth About Coconut Palm Sugar: The Other Side of the Story or this one, Coconut Palm Sugar: Friend or Foe, both of which raise concern over the “health” benefits of CPS, with the latter having a somewhat more positive take on the matter.  To round it out, here is an article by Gnosis Chocolates advocating it as a sustainable, healthy sweetener of choice.  As with anything, there are multiple sides to this story.

Basically, there are four main reasons coconut palm sugar is being touted as a healthier alternative to granulated sugar: (1) low glycemic index (simply meaning it won’t cause as much of a blood sugar spike); (2) more nutrient rich (minerals and B vitamins); (3) minimally processed (only heated to evaporate the water); and (4) sustainable (coconut palm trees grow almost anywhere in the tropics and do not require much tending).

So what do I think about all of this?  Let me begin by stating that sugar is always still sugar, so I do my best to reduce my overall consumption, satiating my sweet tooth with fruits and other naturally sweet whole foods instead of constantly chowing down on things with added sugar.  Yes, I know, those still have sugars, but they occur naturally in those whole foods and I am also getting the other whole food nutrients at the same time.  And when I do use sweetener, for instance in all my homemade sweet treats, I use just a touch so you know you’re eating dessert, but not enough that you have a sugar high afterwards.

I appreciate that coconut palm sugar may (and hopefully is) a healthier alternative and I will most likely be using it along with honey and dates to sweeten my treats.  Most importantly, though, is that the way I think about sugar is the same stance I take for “dieting” (as read in “Health: The Diet Conundrum”): moderation is key.

Since I purchased coconut palm sugar, I’ve only used it a couple of times, but love it already! The lovely caramel notes make it perfect for baked goods like these Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies I made on Tuesday.  I’m looking forward to having a healthier alternative to granulated sugar that I can use in my baked goods since honey doesn’t always bake quite as well.  It also worked nicely in our cabbage salad last weekend.

For a list of other natural sweeteners and their benefits, check out Eat Naked Now’s post, “Know Your Sweets: Natural Sweeteners 101.”

Do you use natural sweeteners?

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Recipe: No Bake Cocoa Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bites

cocoa oatmeal peanut butter bites - tiffany lane

I’ve been eyeing this treat for a while now and finally decided to go for it.  I’m not sure why I waited so long.  My old self really didn’t know what she was missing!

These are delicious little bites of goodness and so customizable.  Just use what you have on hand and I bet they’ll turn out just fine.

No Bake Cocoa Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bites

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Yield: 20-24 Bites

Ingredients
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup wheat bran
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder (to roll the balls in)
 
 
Preparation
Combine oats, wheat bran, flaxseed, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.  Melt peanut butter and allow it to cool slightly (melted in the microwave for about 30 seconds works well), then stir in honey and vanilla extract until combined.
 
Pour peanut butter mixture over the oat mixture, mix well with a spoon or spatula, then bring together with your hands, compressing into a tight ball. Pull off golf-ball sized (or slightly smaller) chunks, rolling into balls with your hands, then rolling each ball in cocoa powder.
 
Store in an airtight container.  They taste yummy right out of the fridge or at room temperature!

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