Sunday, January 26, 2014

Feeding The Baked Goods Hankering And Coconut Varieties 101

Searching Pinterest for recipes using the term “AIP”, I learned “AIP” not only refers to Autoimmune Protocol but also to Aging In Place. Both are of interest to me, but I focused on AIP recipes this time. After pinning many new recipes (and spending way longer on the computer than planned) I chose a recipe by A Girl Worth Saving for Pumpkin Spice Thumbprint Cookies. The short list of ingredients consisting almost entirely of whole foods intrigued me.

The only changes I made to the recipe were to add a pinch of salt to the batter and substitute a Bosc pear for the green apple in the frosting. I’m avoiding apples, and according to Wikipedia Bosc pears are the "aristocrat of pears". Fancy!

Overall, these little nuggets are made of coconut, pumpkin, banana, pear and flavoring. They were good and definitely met my craving for baked goods. Next time I may add a little maple syrup to the batter to sweeten them a little and change the ratio of banana to pumpkin to increase the pumpkin flavor. Given the cookies are truffle sized and have the texture of frosted cupcakes, I’ll likely refer to them as truffle-sized cupcakes in the future. All in all, the recipe is a keeper!
Pumpkin Spice Thumbprint Cookies,
aka Truffle Sized Cupcakes
While going through my pantry, I realized I had quite a few versions of coconut! Coconut is handy since it’s slightly sweet and can morph to suit baking needs. It’s also paleo friendly and higher in fiber than a lot of other flours. The various terms for coconut products confused me at first when I ventured into new AIP recipes. To hopefully save others time of uncertainty or confusion, here’s my quick guide to a few coconut ingredients, aka Coconut 101:
Left Side Top To Bottom:
Coconut Manna Jar, At Room Temp, and Melted
Right Side Top to Bottom:
Coconut Oil, At Room Temp, and Melted
Coconut oil and coconut butter are very different. Given they’re expensive and baking takes a lot of time, I’d hate to see anyone confuse the two. Coconut Oil on the right side of the photo above is white at room temperature and melts to a clear liquid. Coconut butter is also called coconut manna and resembles a chalky crumble at room temperature. It reminds me of the texture of the filling in a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Melted 20 seconds in a microwave, coconut butter becomes creamy and light yellow in color.

Coconut Chips are a snack food made of coconut, sugar and salt. I bought mine at Trader Joe’s, and they’re sweet and crunchy with a buttery flavor. This flaked coconut is unsweetened and cut to a larger texture than the finely shredded coconut most of us are used to using in recipes. You can also buy sweetened flaked and shredded coconut, but I prefer to regulate my sweeteners in recipes. Lastly, the photo shows coconut flour which may also be called dried-ground coconut meat or unsweetened coconut flour. I've heard a recommendation to get the darker colored coconut flour if possible because the whiter flour undergoes additional processing.

Clockwise from top left:
Coconut Chips, Flaked Coconut,
Shredded Coconut, and Coconut Flour
Coconut cream and coconut milk are also super handy ingredients for baking, smoothies and ice cream. I’ll leave them for another day.  

Happy baking and eating!

No comments:

Post a Comment