Honey Coconut Cake

Sugar and wheat flour don’t have to ruin your diet or enjoyment of deserts during the holidays. This recipe delivers cozy, yummy goodness made of  honey, eggs and coconut meal. It has all the goodness of cake with none of the guilt. I think of it as a paleo version of pound cake.

Serves: 8
Makes: One cake (if you want it to be two layers, double the recipe)
Takes: 1 hour

(Adapted from the cookbook Make It Paleo)

Ingredients

Cake:
• 3/8 cup fair trade coconut flour, sifted
• 1/2 tsp sea salt
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 cup fair trade coconut oil, melted
• 1/2 cup local honey
• 1/2 TBS vanilla extract
• 1 TBS fresh lemon juice
• 5 eggs, pastured
• 1/2 cup shredded coconut or 1 cup almond meal
Frosting:
• 1/2 cup fair trade organic palm shortening
• 3/8 cup fair trade coconut butter
• 1/8 cup local honey
• toasted coconut for garnish

Directions

Cake:
• Preheat oven to 325F and grease one 8in. round cake pan.
• In a bowl combine the sifted coconut flour, salt and baking soda.
• In a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand mixer combine the eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, coconut oil and honey. Slowly add in the flour mixture until a smooth batter is formed (as you mix, the batter will thicken).
• Stir in shredded coconut or almond meal.
• Spoon the batter into a pre-oiled cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
• Remove from oven and place pan on a cooling wrack, allow to cool at least 30 minutes then invert and remove from pan.

coconut-honey-cake-1

Frosting:
Place all ingredients into a standing mixer with a paddle attachment and whip until smooth.

NOTES
• If you have never baked with coconut flour you must know that it is extremely absorbent and full of fiber, therefore it requires a lot of moisture. Do not be scared about using 5 eggs! In fact, my husband and I agree that it tastes very similar to a delightful reinterpretation of pound cake with coconut.
• For the frosting do not be turned off by the word “shortening” which has indeed gotten a bad reputation. Organic, unrefined palm oil comes from the palm fruit, full of healthy fats and is drastically different than the nasty and hydrogenated Crisco shortening.

Thai style summer berry bowl

I love this Thai take on fruit salad because it delivers all the juicy goodness of fresh berries and delivers it with a twist of salt and lemongrass. I can’t help but drink the juice left in the bottom.

Adapted from “Eating on the Wild Side” by Jo Robinson.

Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

5 cups berries or cubed fruit in season
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass
2/3 cup chopped fresh mint (or 2 tablespoons dried mint)
Grated zest of 2 limes
Optional: fresh whipped cream

Directions

Place the fruit in a medium bowl. Combine sugar, salt, and lime juice into a small bowl; and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the fruit and toss until coated. Let stand for 30 minutes. Osmosis will draw out the sugars in the fruit into the juice. Before serving, add the lemongrass, mint and zest. Best when eaten the same day.

Dark Red Berry Bowl

Before you decide that the following recipe isn’t for you because there are no Saskatoon berries where you live, take a careful look around, you might be surprised. I’ve since spotted them all around the city. That said, I’m not encouraging anyone to sample unknown berries from ornamental plants, but if you’ve had them before and know what they look like, they’re easy to identify. You can also substitute any dark, red berries or plums in season.

Ingredients

Kefir Creme Fraiche (make ahead)
  • 1 Tbsp. kefir (or coconut kefir)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or coconut cream)
  • 1 cup saskatoon berries or any other dark, red berries
  • 2 Tbps. kefir creme fraiche
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp. walnut pieces (or hazelnuts)

Directions

  • To make the kefir creme fraiche, combine the cream and kefir in a flass jar or container. Let it sit, covered with paper towel or cheesecloth for 20 – 24 hours, or until set firm. This time may vary depending on the potency of your kefir culture and room temperature.
  • Combine 2 Tbsp. of the creme with maple syrup and lemon zest. Taste and adjust if more sweetness is needed. Refrigerate for an hour (optional, to let the mixture reset)
  • To make the bowl, top berries with the creme and walnuts.

The creamy white topping is kefir creme fraiche – as I will call it. It was made by putting a tablespoon of kefir into one cup of heavy cream to set for about 20 – 24 hours at room temperature. It tastes like creme fraiche with a bit of an effervescence, which is really interesting. The creme is then mixed with maple syrup and lemon zest, and tops the berries. If Saskatoon berries are indeed out of reach, I imagine this going well with plums.

Blackberry Basil Cobbler

Summer blackberries combined with basil makes an unexpected delight. Recipe & Photo by Sarah of Cooking with CSA.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Black Berries
  • 2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. Basil
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1⁄2 tsp. cinnamon

Topping

  • 1⁄2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 1⁄2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1⁄2 cup raw buckwheat groats 1/3 cup melted coconut oil 1⁄4 tsp. cinnamon
  • Dash of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl place black berries, maple syrup, chopped basil, lemon juice, lemon zest and cinnamon.
  3. Using the back of a fork mash the black berries up and mix well.
  4. Pour the mixture into the bottom of a bread loaf pan.
  5. Next place buck wheat groats into a food processor and process until a chunky flour is created.
  6. Next in a large bowl add buckwheat mixture along with brown rice flour, coconut sugar, and cinnamon, salt and melted coconut oil.
  7. Mix well, mixture should stick together a little, if not add more coconut oil.
  8. Top black berry mixture with topping mixture.
  9. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes, serve with vanilla ice cream.

Grilled Strawberry Basil Kabobs

Grilling strawberries concentrates the natural sweetness in the berries. Try out the kabobs as a side dish or a dessert. Recipe from Suzie’s Farm.

Ingredients

About 16 medium to large strawberries (firm but ripe)
1 small bunch fresh basil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sea salt
Grapeseed oil

Directions

To clean the strawberries, use a damp paper to wipe each one off. Remove the stems and cut each one in half, lengthwise.
One by one, gently slide each strawberry half onto a metal or wooden skewer (if you’re using wooden, soak them in water for about 10 minutes first). Between each strawberry half, slide on one or two basil leaves. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the honey, vinegar, vanilla and a pinch of sea salt. Set aside.
Preheat a stove-top grill or your barbeque and drizzle or brush a bit of grape seed oil onto the flat surface of each strawberry. Once the grill is hot, place the strawberry skewers on it, flat side down. You should hear a sizzling sound — if you don’t the grill is not hot enough. Wait until it is! Grill until each side is marked from the grill, about 30 seconds per side. Place the skewers on a plate and while they’re still hot, use a pastry brush to add the glaze to the kebabs. Remove them from the skewers to serve.

Chocolate Blackberry Truffle Bites

Blackberries signal longer, warmer days, but their season is short. These truffle bites combine the bright tartness of blackberries with rich chocolate and creamy coconut. They make a healthy desert or an energy-boosting late afternoon snack. Avoid setting them in direct sun otherwise you’ll  be eating them with a spoon, which is still delicious.

Recipe and Photo by Sarah O’Toole of Cooking with CSA

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • 2/3 cup walnuts
  • 10 medjool dates
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (paleo 1/3 cup coconut oil mixed with 1/4 cup cacao powder)
  • 1⁄2 cup shredded coconut

Directions:

  1. In a food processor place blackberries and dates, process until a sticky ball forms.
  2. Place mixture in a large bowl.
  3. Next chop walnuts and add those to the large bowl
  4. Add orange juice and chocolate chips to large bowl.
  5. Next add 1⁄4 of the shredded coconut and mix together with hands.
  6. Mixture should stick together. If not add another date or a little orange juice.
  7. Wet hands and form into balls, then roll in the remaining coconut flakes.

Tea Scones With Strawberries

This scone recipe is from our Canadian friend and former host of At Wit’s End B&B in Banff. Great for breakfast with fresh strawberries!

Barbara Christou’s Tea Scones

Ingredients:

  • 1 C white flour
  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1/4/tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 5 or 6 T chilled butter
  • 3/4 C buttermilk *

(optional, if you don’t have any strawberries: 1/2 C raisins or craisins)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients.
  3. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
  4. Add buttermilk (and dried fruit if needed) and knead lightly 8 or 10 times. (If you over-knead them, they’ll be like hockey pucks.)
  5. For small scones, divide dough into 2 balls and roll into circles about 3/4″ to 1″ high.
  6. Cut each circle into 6 pieces.
  7. Bake on lightly greased baking sheet about 9 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned on bottom.
  8. Serve hot with fresh strawberries and vanilla yogurt** or whipped cream.

* If you don’t have any buttermilk handy, put 1 T cider vinegar at the bottom of a measuring cup and add 3/4 C milk. Let stand for a few minutes to allow it to clabber, then use as you would buttermilk.

**You can make your own (healthier) vanilla yogurt by adding vanilla and a touch of sugar to plain lowfat or nonfat yogurt.

Enjoy,
Callie Mack

Strawberry Citrus Kabobs

Recipe & Photo by Sarah O’Toole of Cooking with CSA

Ingredients:

  • 1 container strawberries, tops removed
  • 2 oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 1 package wooden skewers

 

Directions:

  1. Place strawberries and oranges on the skewers, either alternating or all strawberries on one and all oranges on another.
  2. Continue until all strawberries and oranges are used up.
  3. Place on a hot grill for 2-3 minutes then flip or rotate and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool then serve.

 

They make a great addition to salads and are great on top of ice cream!

Gingersnap-Mascarpone Fruit Tart


This recipe is really fast to make and nicely highlights the fresh fruit, which doesn’t actually get cooked.   You can use peaches, nectarines, cherries and/or strawberries in this recipe, which is mostly from Bon Appetit via Smitten Kitchen.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Grind 36 good quality gingersnap cookies (bonus points if you make your own!) in a food processor.  Add 6 T.melted butter and process until the crumbs are uniformly moistened.  Press onto the bottom and sides of a 9″ tart pan with a removable bottom (a pie pan will work too).

Bake the crust for 8 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.

In a bowl, beat together one 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese, 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature; 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.  Spread the filling over the cooled crust and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Pit and thinly slice fruit to make 4 C. (Peel peaches if using).  Arrange over the filling.  Serve immediately or refrigerate.