Hello all! I am on day 8 waking up at 5:30am and I am feeling great! I decided that my morning workouts were so necessary for my energy. Even though lunges have been killing my inner thighs, I have to say I have been feeling pretty great, thanks to God. I decided to join an 8 week challenge to continue my health goals and I am happy to report that 2 ladies from my church have joined in too! Even though I have been consistent working out almost everyday, I want to continue to challenge myself and try to journal what I am eating. We all end up turning into slumps in our daily lives and in periods of our life but there is nothing wrong with turning back and reclaiming a healthy life.
I recently read an article that was posted and written by the magazine Marie Claire called The Hunger Diaries. It talks about how much of an influence or bad influence healthy bloggers might be having on the public and even on their own personal lives. Why don’t people mind their own business?? If people choose to follow healthy bloggers and be influenced by their personal lives, they are adults. Is it not better than not to seek counsel or help from anybody? Even though there are many people with eating disorders maybe some other person’s life experience can be of some help if no help is coming from anyone else. Even though we as humans tend to easily be “fans” of people, things, and everything else, there is something to be said about there having common sense. If someone has been a postive influence in their personal lives that is their gain. Anything else is product of people not analyzing personal choices. Why should there be judgement? Well, there goes my 2 cents.
Have you read the article? What do you think about it?
Back to fun stuff.I took a break this week from cooking with apples. I still have a bag left and I have made the apple dumplings recipe twice and an apple cobbler for company. I decided to hone back into my like for chocolate and coconut and pair the two together. I checked out a recipe on Bon Appétit that intrigued me. I only had the excuse to make it in case I had to take a dessert to a function or party and I felt like making a dessert.What can I say? As long as I had one slice I would be ok and it would be nice to have something after all this exercise.
The best thing about this recipe is that it has a chocolate crust that is made with bittersweet chocolate. I created a custard out of coconut milk and and combination of flour,arrowroot and agar agar so that it could come together. Remember my Coconut Custard Tarts?
|From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen|
I decided to make a creamier version of this custard with some of the additions in the magazine recipe. Eggs were NOT necessary to make this coconut custard, which is the whole beauty of the recipe. Ryan went back for seconds folks! This was SO delicious and creamy and a perfect dessert for company because it is gourmet and it is not hard to make either! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Chocolate and coconut are a perfect combination as well as the simple addition of bananas. Enjoy!
Banana Coconut Cream Pie with Whole Grain Chocolate Crust
adapted from Bon Appetit
2/3 cup agave nectar
2 Tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
4 Tablespoons arrowroot
2 Tablespoons agar agar flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole fat canned coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons Earth Balance, softened
1 Tablespoon light rum
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup (2 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup spelt flour
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons vegan sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Spectrum organic all-vegetable shortening
2 Tablespoons orange juice
3 tablespoons (or more) ice water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
Nonstick coconut or vegetable oil spray
4 bananas (about), peeled
Chocolate sauce (optional) but oh so good.
Whisk first 5 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan until no lumps remain. Gradually whisk in coconut milk. Add vanilla bean paste. Whisk over medium-high heat until pastry cream thickens and boils 1 minute, about 8 minutes total. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and rum. Transfer mixture to bowl; press plastic wrap onto surface. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
Combine first 7 ingredients in processor. Blend until finely ground. Transfer to large bowl. Using pastry cutter, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add shredded coconut. Mix orange juice, 3 Tablespoons ice water, and vanilla in small bowl. Sprinkle over chocolate mixture, tossing until dough comes together in clumps and adding more water by tablespoonfuls if dry. Using floured hands, gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap; chill dough at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish (including rim) with nonstick spray. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to 12-inch round. Peel off top parchment. Using bottom parchment as aid, turn dough over into prepared dish. Peel off parchment. Fold overhang under and crimp crust edges decoratively. Pierce crust all over with fork; freeze 10 minutes.
Line crust with foil; fill with dried beans. Bake crust 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Cool crust completely on rack.
Spread 1 cup pastry cream over bottom of crust. Slice enough bananas into 1/4-inch-thick rounds to cover cream in overlapping circles. Cover bananas with remaining pastry cream. DO AHEAD Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
Slice 3 (or more) bananas on slight diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick ovals. Arrange in overlapping circles atop pie. Drizzle with chocolate sauce (see recipe below).
makes 1 1/2 cups sauce
1/4 + 1/8 cup Green & Black Cocoa
3/4 cup Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil
4 Tablespoons Tropical Traditions Coconut Concentrate
5 Tablespoons agave nectar
2 teaspoons Singing Dog’s Vanilla Bean Paste
Place all ingredients in a blender and mix well. The sauce is ready for use. This sauce can be used for dipping, for chocolate-covered almonds, over ice cream, etc. If refrigerated, melt over warm water bath.