Tag: coconut

Dreamy Frozen Avocado Lime Tart

I make no secret of disliking the heat of summer. And that’s coming from an almost lifetime resident of Vancouver, a city with one of the mildest climates out there. It was 34C here today and it made me a bit kicky and punchy. When the heat hits I tend to like my dinners al fresco, my drinks extra icy and my desserts chilled. Honestly, you couldn’t pay me to turn on the oven today.

This is the return of my ultra coconutty, extra zesty, avocado lime pie, originally posted in 2013. I call it dreamy frozen avocado lime tart because it is just that: dreamy. It’s luscious and creamy with a sweet tart avocado mousse filling. It’s simple to make with a raw coconut and oat crust that comes together in about 5 pulses of a food processor. Painless to make, and really delicious. I know what you’re thinking, but it’s nothing like guacamole. I promise!
You’ll need to give it a deep chill, so make it in the morning for dessert. Don’t tell your guests what it’s made from and have them guess. They will be pleasantly surprised by the results. Enjoy!

Dreamy Frozen Avocado Lime Tart
makes 1 – 9″ no bake pie
for the crust, pulse the following ingredients in a food processor until well mixed:
1½ C unsweetened shredded coconut
½ C raw oats
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp coconut oil
Press the mixture into a 9 inch pie plate. It will be damp and soft and easy to press up the sides and bottom of the pan. Place crust in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
Wipe out the food processor and add to it:
the flesh of 4 ripe avocados
zest and juice of 2 limes
¼ C honey
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
Blend the above ingredients until very smooth. Scrape into the chilled crust and spread until smooth.
Garnish with ½ C coconut that has been toasted in a dry frying pan over medium heat until golden brown. (optional)
Chill 2 hours until very firm. Serve cold.
Makes 8 servings.

Carrot Cake Juice Smoothie

carrot cake juice

Fall is right around the corner here, folks. Even the sunniest days in the last couple of weeks have taken on that thinner, more golden, end of summer light. The nights are downright chilly and pumpkin spice everything has made its annual invasion. I love cooking in the summer – all the freshness and vibrant produce, BBQ’d everything and the general low maintenance approach to food and its preparation. I do, however, really enjoy cooking in the fall when things get a bit more roasted, slower, deeper flavors and more robust ingredients. I like the feeling of “harvest time” and I look forward to the change in temperature and palate.

When a friendly rep from Williams-Sonoma reached out to me to ask if I’d like to participate in their Juice Week, I was in immediately. Juicing isn’t something I do a ton of but I do make smoothies most mornings for breakfast and they become my fruit quota for the day. (more…)

Raspberry Coconut Macaroons

I recently read an article that suggests that the centre of the Milky Way may taste distinctly like raspberries and smell like rum. The very idea makes me smile – what could be better?

“Astronomers searching for the building blocks of life in a giant dust cloud at the heart of the Milky Way have concluded that it tastes vaguely of raspberries. The unanticipated discovery follows years of work by astronomers who trained their 30m radio telescope on the enormous ball of dust and gas in the hope of spotting complex molecules that are vital for life. Finding amino acids in interstellar space is a Holy Grail for astrobiologists, as this would raise the possibility of life emerging on other planets after being seeded with the molecules… While they failed to find evidence for amino acids, they did find a substance called ethyl formate, the chemical responsible for the flavor of raspberries … and the smell of rum.”

What a beautiful world we live in. (more…)

Coconut Steel Cut Oats with Blueberries

I’m sneaking this recipe in right before the weekend, because even though it might be roasting hot where you are, it’s also likely still blueberry season and I couldn’t let this tasty breakfast slip by undocumented. I just couldn’t.

I know you’re thinking “OATMEAL?!? In this heat?!” but just trust me (and maybe cool it down with milk, soymilk, etc.).

Besides making this gorgeous breakfast, what else are you doing with your weekend? We are expecting some warm sunny weather (at long last!) so I plan to sponge up all the vitamin D I can and hopefully put up a few more recipes – perhaps ones that feel more seasonally appropriate. Or maybe not. Maybe I’ll post chicken stew! Not really.

Have  great weekend, make this oatmeal a part of it!


Coconut Steel Cut Oats with Blueberries

If you don’t have steel cut oats, I recommend you get some. However, for this recipe if all you have is rolled or quick oats, use them. Just prepare them as you usually would and adjust the liquid accordingly. 

1 C water

1 C milk

1 tsp vanilla

½ C raw steel cut oats

½ C unsweetened shredded coconut, plus more for garnish, if desired

honey, jam or syrup – to taste (I used agave and it was excellent)

fresh blueberries

In a small saucepan, bring the water and milk to a boil. Add the vanilla, oats and coconut. Turn heat down to medium so the mixture is simmering. Cook, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes until the oats are tender, stirring occasionally. Divide between two bowls, sweeten to taste with honey, jam or syrup. Garnish with blueberries and extra coconut. Serve immediately.

Nanaimo Bars

If you are a regular reader of Feasts for All Seasons you may notice a few changes to the site. That’s because in the recent, nearly month long lull without recipes I was in the process of finally deciding to move this blog from wordpress to its own domain. I say “I” but I had some technical help and a lot of moral support as I neurotically panicked about, well, everything.

When I started FFAS nearly 2 years ago it was just a trial. I had the idea in my head that I wanted to write a cookbook but wondered if i had enough material and truly enough of a desire to write that much about cooking or take all the pictures. The blog began as a practice run, a temporary try at something I thought I liked doing. What it became was a major ongoing project and something I love to do. The book is in progress (though without a publisher!)

When I decided to make the switch, I was terrified! What if I lost content or had to re-build posts? I know nothing about websites, what if I was technically deficient? Why did I even want to change it? Getting off the free wordpress blog platform means more flexibility with site content and customization. It also means that the site can expand and change more as it grows and evolves.  I hope that you like the format and any feedback you have will be appreciated; good, bad or ugly.

So how do Nanaimo bars factor in? When I first started talking about making big blog changes it became glaringly obvious that I was a bit in over my head and was not too confident with the technical aspect (which I understand isn’t hard, but it’s sort of like performing minor surgery on your own child … you can be just too close to the situation). Luckily, a guy that I work with stepped up to help and not only moved the blog, helped me search for the perfect widgets, redirected traffic from the old URL and made it such that subscribers are still subscribed and will continue to get email updates when posts are deployed. For an analog brain like mine, that was a real gift.  In return I offered to cook or bake him anything he wanted. Anything at all. With almost no hesitation, he smiled and said “Nanaimo Bars”.

Nanaimo bars are a regional treat from Nanaimo, a small city on Vancouver Island, not so very far from Vancouver. They are a very common dessert here and from what I have heard, are popular in many places, some quite far afield. No matter where you are or where you are from, they are a delicious treat and I hope that they work well as payment for the blog update. I’m sharing a slightly tweaked version of the “official” recipe, courtesy of the City of Nanaimo. Enjoy!

Nanaimo Bars

This recipe is made in 3 distinct layers and fits in an 8×8 square pan. 

For the bottom later:

½ cup unsalted butter, melted (substitute margarine for a vegan version)
¼ cup sugar
5 Tbsp cocoa
1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
½ C pecans
1 cup shredded coconut

Combine everything but the butter in a food processor and pulse until the nuts and coconut are finely chopped. Add the melted butter with the machine running. The mixture will be like damp sand. Pack the crumbs firmly and evenly into the bottom of a 8×8 inch pan.

For the middle layer:

½ cup unsalted butter (substitute margarine for a vegan version)
2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp milk (substitute soy, etc. for a vegan version)
2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder (eliminate for a vegan version)
2 cups icing sugar

In a mixer, beat together the butter and custard powder, slowly adding the icing sugar and milk. Beat well until pale and fluffy. Spread this frosting over the bottom layer, making a thick, even layer.

For the top layer:

4 oz. (2/3 of a cup) semi sweet chocolate
2 Tbsp butter

Melt the chocolate and butter together over medium low heat (or in the microwave) until liquid and pour-able. Pour over the middle layer and spread evenly. Chill in the refrigerator at least 30 mins before cutting. These are very rich so cut them small (makes 24-36 little bars)