Category: coconut

Buckwheat Pancakes – Gluten Free!

I’d like to introduce to you a humble little superfood that may already be hiding in your pantry. It’s a little seed that is often mistaken as a grain, and goes by a few different names. Soba. Kasha. Groats. Yes, as you may have already guessed, I’m talking about buckwheat.

I call it a superfood, as it’s got quite an impressive nutritional profile. Low glycemic, high in protein, rich in amino acids, naturally gluten-free, this little seed is super versatile and can easily be prepared in many different ways. With a slightly nutty flavour that is enhanced when roasted, you can grind it into a flour and incorporate it into your desserts. You can sprinkle the raw groats over ice cream for a delicious little crunch. You can enjoy buckwheat in smoothies, as a breakfast cereal, as noodles (known as soba), or, my personal favourite, as a stack of delicious pancakes. Even Oprah praises buckwheat for it’s unique health-promoting properties. 
Buckwheat is the new quinoa. 
(People just don’t know it yet.)

I now present to you easy-peasy flourless buckwheat pancakes, made with few ingredients and a whole lot of love. I served them with a scoop of chai-chia pudding for an added protein and flavour boost, and garnished with some fieldberries for a little pop of colour. I used coconut oil in the pan (a little goes a long way), which added a touch of extra sweetness. All in all, these babies were absolutely delish, and the two of us ate every last bite!

Gluten-Free, Flourless, High Protein
Buckwheat Pancakes
an original recipe by allison sklar

Ingredients
3/4 cup buckwheat groats
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch fine sea salt
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp agave or real maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil

Method
In a high powered blender, food processor, or coffee grinder, grind groats into a fine flour.
Mix flour with baking powder & salt. Whisk in buttermilk, syrup & egg. Mixture will be bubbly!

Heat oil over medium heat in large frying pan.

Scoop about 2 tbsp of batter at a time into the pan, more or less depending on the size of the pancakes that you prefer. Flip when pancake starts to bubble – these cook quickly, so do not leave them unattended! You may have to lower the heat to med-low after a couple of batches.

Serve with fruit, maple syrup & chia pudding.

Find my chia pudding recipe here!

Wild Things (Chia Pudding)


Basic Chia Pudding*
RAW, VEGAN! original recipe by allison sklar

what you’ll need

4 tbsp ground chia seed
1 cup unsweetened almond milk**
2 tbsp agave nectar
1 tbsp vanilla (optional)
**Note: soy, coconut or hemp milk would work too, all yielding different flavours.

how to do it

whisk all ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.
allow mixture to sit and thicken, about 10 minutes.
Serve immediately, or refrigerate and keep for later.

*This is a basic recipe. On it’s own, it has a very mild flavour. For added flavour and pizzazz, I recommend incorporating one of the following variations:

BANANA – Add one pureed banana to the mixture

CHOCOLATE – Use chocolate almond milk instead of unsweetened. Reduce agave nectar by 1 tbsp. Top with cacao nibs.

TROPICAL – use coconut milk in place of almond. Add 2 tbsp shredded coconut, and 1/4 cup crushed pineapple.

BERRY – Add in the puree of about 1/2 cup of your favourite berries. Add 1/4 more ground chia seed if pudding becomes too watery.



CooCoo for Coconut

Last week started off on quite a poor note for me: on top of having to deal with a broken bed and a wintery slap in the face in the form of an ice storm,  I had to deal with some less-than-pleasant stomach issues which landed me in the dreaded waiting room of a health clinic. The cherry on top of it all: I was instructed by my new doctor to stay away from both gluten AND dairy for “a couple of weeks.”

Is he aware that gluten and dairy are the basis of my comfort-food diet every winter?
Is he aware that the temperatures dipped below freezing this week?
Is he aware that denying me of bagels and cream cheese is not good for my mental health?

Attempting to keep my mental health in check – for the good of everyone around me – I decided to make the best of things and turn this into a cooking challenge! (While grinding my teeth and forcing a smile!) At first, it was tough to think up ideas. (On that note, it’s also been tough trying to ignore the brand new chocolate milk container and the three containers of yogourt in my fridge. But I digress). I began to get quite creative in the kitchen.

And that my friends, is where my fabulous coconut shrimp stir-fry was born.
I must admit, I had some inspiration from my good friend Lisa, so thank you!
The boy and I both reached for seconds. And then thirds. We then had to restrain ourselves, because I was insistent on getting a photograph in before it was all devoured…


Coconut Shrimp Stir Fry with Rice Noodles

what you’ll need

•    2 eggs
•    ½ Spanish or Vidalia onion, finely sliced
•    1 cup sliced mushrooms
•    4 shallots, cut into long pieces
•   1 yellow pepper, sliced
•    ¾ cup sugar snap peas
•    ⅓ cup frozen peas
•    ½ cup cooked, peeled de-veined frozen shrimp
•    ⅓ cup water

•    ¾ small can tomato paste
•    ½ cup coconut milk
•    3 tbsp lime juice
•    3 tsp fenugreek
•    3 tsp sea salt (or more, to taste)
•    2 tsp hot pepper sauce (optional)

•    2 cups broad rice noodles, cooked according to package directions

how to do it

Cook rice noodles according to package directions, ensuring that they are slightly al-dente (otherwise, they will fall apart later on – you’ll see).
Scramble the egg in non-stick fry pan (or in 1 tbsp of oil / cooking spray). Set egg aside.
In same pan, cook onions and mushrooms in water over medium-high heat until reduced.
While you are waiting for the mixture to reduce, in a small bowl, combine coconut milk, tomato paste, hot sauce, lime juice and spices. Set aside.
Once the water in the pan is completely evaporated, add yellow pepper and cook until slightly softened. Add shallots, peas, shrimp and egg to the mixture.
Pour sauce into the pan and mix well.
Cook until shrimp are completely defrosted.
Once the mixture is ready, empty it all into a bowl with the rice noodles and toss to coat.

Serve immediately, garnished with lime slices, shallots and toasted coconut if desired.

Flourless Delights: Macaroons

I’ve always had a thing for macaroons. Perhaps it’s because they always come out at this time of year, so they remind me of warming weather and budding trees. Perhaps it’s because they are often the only cookie on the Seder table that doesn’t taste questionably like cardboard. Or, perhaps it’s because I’ve never quite known what they are made of… and I’ve always been intrigued how a cookie that is seemingly made entirely of coconut could taste so strongly of marzipan. In the spirit of all things homemade, this year, I’ve decided to make my very own macaroons.And then I decided to play around with them & flavour them up. First, almond extract. Then, vanilla.

And then I found a jar of matcha.

Oh yes, I did. I made matcha macaroons. You can stop drooling now. Because they are incredibly easy. And fast. And you are going to make some too. Right now. Chag Semeach!


Coconut Macaroons 
(Kosher for Passover)
what you’ll need
• 3 egg whites (1/3 to 1/2 cup)
• 1 cup sugar
• 3 cups shredded coconut
• 2 tsp flavouring (almond, vanilla, matcha, cocoa powder) – optional
how to do it
Preheat oven to 310F.
Beat egg whites until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar and then the flavouring, beating until peaks are very stiff. Fold in the coconut with a spatula, until it is all coated.
Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of mixture 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets. It is VERY important that you grease or line your sheets, because these little buggers like to stick! Bake approximately 16 minutes, or until settled. Do not allow to brown too deeply. Tip: if you’re not a coconut fan, baking these on their own (without the coconut) also works to create deliciously fluffy meringue cookies!

A Healthy Sweet Treat

Could it be? The words cake and healthy in the same sentence? While I’m usually quite indulgent when it comes to desserts (nothing beats the consistency created by creaming fresh butter and sugar), and I am often the first to dismiss “low-fat” recipes (never a fan of the spongey texture), this is one nutrition-packed loaf that’ll have you going back for seconds! Possibly one of the most flavorful cakes that I have ever baked, this sweet delight was a pleasure for the senses. Moist to the touch, with a sweet aroma that’ll warm up your winter blues… you must be wondering what this magical creation is made from. Well, the secret doesn’t lie in artificial sugar, nor does it involve butter substitutes. The secret is an ingredient that many of you may have laying in your pantries just itching to be used up: good old fashioned cream of wheat. When you mix this unusual ingredient with some yogurt, you get a fluffy cake that is low in calories, low in fat, high in calcium and multivitamin-enriched. Glaze it in a honey syrup and you’ve just added some sweet antioxidants. Sprinkle on some almonds and you’ll boost your protein intake and you’ll benefit from some heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Finish it all off with a touch of almond extract and a sprinkle of sweetened flaked coconut and your tastebuds will love you forever. But enough talk… let us eat cake and feel good about it too!

Almond Coconut Cake

what you’ll need
1 cup cream of wheat, uncooked
1 cup sugar
1 cup plain low-fat or fat-free yogourt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup coconut, shredded

for the topping:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)

how to do it
Butter or grease an 8” loaf pan and preheat oven to 375F.
In a large bowl, stir the cream of wheat, sugar and baking powder until well combined, then add yogurt and vanilla and stir until thoroughly blended. Stir in coconut until just coated.
Pour into prepared cake pan and bake about 45 minutes, or until golden brown (oven times may vary).
While baking, heat the honey and water on the stovetop over medium heat. Remove from heat after it bubbles, then stir in the lemon juice, almond extract and almonds.
While cake is still warm, pour syrup over top.
Voila. Almond coconut delight!