I started a new job about a month ago (so my student status has officially come to an end). As part of my ‘initiation’ into my new company, I was requested to honour the department’s ritual of bringing/making some cake for the office once I received my first pay cheque. Now it is worth noting that my department houses a number of ladies who have serious nut and seed allergies, as well as an intolerance to excessive amounts of avocado and sugar. Then there is me…the vegan girl. Oh and might I add that I have decided to give up peanut butter for a month (I was just starting to eat ridiculous amounts of it, and figured it was time to wean myself off the addictive and fattening love affair with this rich and creamy spread of joy). So any vegan bakers out there can start to understand the dilemma I was faced with – bringing a tasty vegan dessert that would not tarnish the reputation of ‘vegan baked goods = tasty and just as good as the real thing’ forever in the eyes of my new colleagues, as well as ensuring that it is nut, peanut, seed and avocado free. Yikes!
Never one to back down from a challenge, I decided to kill two birds with one stone by:
1) helping myself to survive the month of peanutbutterlessness by making some homemade coconut butter, and
2) Baking wheat-nut-peanut-seed-avo-dairy-refined sugar-egg-free banana bread coconut muffins to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth in a healthy manner.
This was my first attempt at making a homemade ‘butter’, and all I can say is that if you have a food processor, you have got to try this! It was creamy, rich, and flavourful, all without any added ingredients. 100% pure desiccated coconut, processed for about 20 minutes until smooth and dripping.
This spread is also so versatile – it is liquid when first processed, and hardens at room temperature. I recommend storing it in a glass jar, which you can easily pop into some hot water for a few minutes to allow the butter to melt if you need to use it in it’s liquid form. Use it as a substitute for oil or butter in baking, spread it on bread or muffins, drizzle on top of fresh dates for a delicious snack (it tastes just like coconut ice). Get creative 🙂
Now for the official recipe:
Makes 1 500g jar + a bit extra
- 1 x 500g bag of dessicated unsweetened coconut (preservative free)
1) Empty the entire bag of coconut into your food processor and process for about 20-30 minutes until smooth.*
2) Pour into a 500g glass jar and allow to cool before closing.
* You will have to stop the motor a few times to scrape down the coconut from the sides, but because such a large quantity of coconut is used it wasn’t too much of a problem for me.
Use this delicious butter to bake these scrumptious banana bread muffins and become a hit at your office too:
COCONUT BANANA BREAD MUFFINS
Makes 12-14 medium sized muffins
- 2 1/2 cups oat flour (process rolled oats in your blender or food processor until flour is formed)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp coarse Himalayan salt
- 1-2 tsp cinnamon (depending on taste preferences)
- 4 medium very ripe (almost black) bananas
- 2 tbsp flax meal (ground flax seeds) + 6 tbsp of water
- 50 ml unsweetened soy milk
- 1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 4 tbsp coconut butter
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 – 2 pitted fresh medjool dates
- Cinnamon for sprinkling on top of muffins
- Coconut butter for spreading on top of muffins
(Preheat the oven to 180° C)
1) Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined.
2) In a separate bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until a mushy paste is formed.
3) Mix the flax meal and water together in a separate cup or bowl and allow to stand for 5 minutes until a gel is formed.
4) Combine the flax gel and banana, and stir in the remaining wet ingredients listed above. Ensure everything is well blended.
5) Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until the batter reaches a thick consistency. Add more soy milk as needed if the batter feels too thick.
6) Chop in 1 or 2 fresh medjool dates if desired (I highly recommend it)
7) Spoon the batter into silicone muffin cups or paper muffin cups.
8) Bake for 20 – 25 minutes (until a knife comes out clean when inserted).
9) Allow to cool and decorate with coconut butter and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
10) Serve them to your unsuspecting non-vegan friends, co-workers and family members and watch them marvel at the wonderful combination of old-fashioned banana bread, warm cinnamon and comforting coconut flavours.
(I tested these in a number of ways, but my favourite is still hot out of the oven with some coconut butter spread on each half – the fresher the better!)
They smell and taste just like banana bread – plus they are healthy! Hope you enjoy trying them out!