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Coconut-Lime “Cheesecake” Bars (vegan & gluten free)

by admin on July 16, 2014, no comments

coconut lime bars

Photo by AMMIAM

coconut lime bars

Photo by AMMIAM

coconut lime bars

Photo by AMMIAM

I found this amazing recipe from one of my Instagram foodie favorites, “HappyWife_HealthyLife”. I made some small modifications and it was a complete success. I’m looking forward to testing out some different flavor combos using this method.

These bars are also perfect for summer since it’s a no-bake recipe that basically only requires a blender/food processor and a freezer! Enjoy.

Ingredients:

Crust:
3/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup pecans
5 large sliced medjool dates (pits removed)
2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

“Cheesecake” Filling:
1 1/2 cup of raw cashews (soaked in warm water for at least 4 hours or overnight in the fridge)
1/2 cup coconut cream (refrigerate canned full fat coconut milk and use the cream at the top, 1 can will do)
1/2 cup lime juice
4 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)

Directions:

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Process all ingredients until sticky. Press mixture into the lined pan evenly and put in the freezer to set while you make the filling.

Blend all filling ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Layer mix on top of the crust and freeze for at least 2-3 hours. When ready to serve, thaw it out for approx. 5-10 minutes at room temperature and garnish with coconut shreds, flakes and/or some lime slices and zest! Keeps well in the freezer.

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Curried Chickpea & Arugula Salad

by admin on July 15, 2014, no comments

Curried chickpea and arugula salad

Photo by AMMIAM

Curried chickpea and arugula salad

Photo by AMMIAM

This recipe was the result of me needing to use up some ingredients in my fridge and the result was pretty yumtastic. It’s a great side salad or a main dish with some toast and mashed avocado! Keeps well in the fridge for a few days.

Ingredients:

1 can of chickpeas
1 tsp yellow curry powder
1 tbsp Greek yogurt or Veganaise
1 tsp chopped scallions
1 green apple
1 cucumber
2 cups of arugula
Juice of 1 lemon
Dash of salt and pepper

Directions:

Drain the canned chickpeas and rinse in a colander, set aside so it can dry.

In a large bowl, mix the yogurt or Veganaise, Curry and lemon juice and set aside.

Add the chickpeas, diced apple, diced cucumber and arugula to the bowl and mix in the dressing. Sprinkle salt, pepper and chopped scallions on top and serve. Enjoy!

Blueberry Coconut Chia Pudding

by admin on July 13, 2014, no comments

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Photo by AMMIAM

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Photo by AMMIAM

This chia pudding is so easy, I usually make a batch on Sunday nights since it needs to refrigerate overnight and voila… I have breakfasts/snacks for the week. My biggest discovery from this recipe that I adapted from Food52 would have to be that blueberry and cinnamon are an amazing combination. Did not know that before! You can use whatever milk you prefer or have on hand, but I found that coconut or soy give it the creamiest texture. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Chia seeds
1 1/4 cup Coconut or Soy milk (or whatever you prefer)
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Coconut shavings (whatever kind you like!)

Directions:

Blend milk, blueberries, cinnamon, vanilla and syrup together in your blender until completely smooth. Pour the blueberry mixture over the chia seeds and mix (tip: using a mason jar or any cup with a tight lid, put the blueberry mixture and chia seeds in there, cover, and give it a good shake until distributed). Then pour in serving cups (Serves 2-4 depending on the portion size).

Let them sit out for 5-10 minutes as you put your dishes away and before putting them in the refrigerator, lightly stir your chia puddings with a fork, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to serve, sprinkle with coconut shavings on top and enjoy.

Gluten & Dairy Free Banana-Pecan Bread

by admin on July 12, 2014, no comments

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Photo by AMMIAM

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Photo by AMMIAM

I like bananas sweet… so I basically wait for days until the bananas in my kitchen begin to get their brown spots before I’m ready to eat them. However, they go from sweet/ripe to black pretty quickly! Banana bread is my go-to for this type of situation… also freezing chunks of them to make banana ice cream since it’s summer! But let’s get to the bread.

I’ve been experimenting more and more with gluten free options for nutritional and dietary reasons, and right now, oat, almond, and coconut flours are my favorite. Oat flour in particular is super easy to make if you usually oats on hand since you just need to grind some oats and you’re good-to-go. This recipe is using oat and coconut flour, and is seriously delicious. Husband approved. And when I say Husband approved, I mean someone who couldn’t care less about it being gluten free or not, it just needs to taste delicious and not have a weird texture… check AND check.

This recipe is adapted from this wonderful Instagram account I follow, called “HappyWife_HealthyLife” with some alterations to make it dairy free. There are eggs, but I would imagine it can be substituted… if you try that, you may want to add more oat flour instead of the coconut because coconut flour does best with real egg.

Ingredients:

1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
3 medium ripe bananas (mashed)
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/4 cup coconut cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped pecans (+ some whole for topping)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 356 degrees fahrenheit. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

Mash the bananas and set aside. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Separately combine the coconut oil, syrup, vanilla, eggs, coconut cream and then stir into the mashed banana. Add mixture to the dry ingredients and fold in (do not over-mix, I used a spatula manually). You want this to be a little lumpy and not too thin, but properly mixed. Add the chopped pecans, one last fold, and pour the batter into your lined loaf pan. Top it off with some whole pecans (optional).

Bake for 40-45 minutes. Cool on a dry rack for at least 15 minutes. The banana bread will be a little dense coming out of the oven and a little gooey. Can serve after or can be stored in the refrigerated and either eaten cold or zapped quickly in the microwave. Tastes delicious with a little butter too!

Flourless Peanut Butter, Banana & Choco-chip Muffins

by admin on May 17, 2014, one comment

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

Channeling my inner Elvis here with these flourless muffins of joy. You can’t really go wrong with this flavor combo, but this recipe is pretty flexible to substitute with as long as it has a nut butter base. Since I’m on a mini-muffin pan rampage, these are minis which definitely made it easier and quicker to get into my mouth, so that was a big win! Everyone really loved them and I hope you do too!

Ingredients:

1 cup of peanut butter
2 medium-sized ripe bananas – mashed
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp raw honey or maple syrup
1/2 tsp apple cider or rice vinegar
Handful of chocolate chips (I used minis since I made my muffins mini)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Using an electric or stand mixer, mix together the peanut butter, bananas, and eggs until evenly distributed. Then add in the vanilla, honey, and vinegar until mixed well. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Spray or grease up your muffin pan (mini will make approx 24, regular will make approx 12 muffins). I like to use coconut oil spray! Pour batter into the tin, if you have a cookie scooper or ice cream scooper, this makes it much easier.

Bake the muffins for: minis – 10 mins, regular: 15 mins. Check with a toothpick until the centers come out clean and they are ready! Let sit and enjoy!

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

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Dark Chocolate Chia Pudding

by admin on April 30, 2014, no comments

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

This chia pudding is so good, it’s worth the overnight wait for it to set. Chia seeds are a super food which magically enough, turn gelatinous when soaked in liquid. This means they are perfect for pudding! I got this recipe from Free People’s Blog.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond or coconut work well)
1/4 cup chia seeds
3 tablespoons raw cacao powder (baking cocoa will also work)
Dash of sea salt
1 tablespoon organic maple syrup or raw honey
Garnish ideas: bananas, coconut shavings, cacao nibs, nuts, berries, topped with coconut whipped cream, etc.

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a jar with a lid and give it a shake so it is all mixed. Pour out into whatever you plan to serve in and cover with a lid or saran wrap. Let it sit overnight in the refrigerator until the pudding is set, garnish, and enjoy! Serves 2.

Banana Cupcakes made with Coconut Flour & Vegan Vanilla Butter Cream

by admin on April 8, 2014, one comment

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

So… someone got a mini cupcake pan!

I am so happy with the outcome of these mini cupcakes. After much research and practice with coconut flour, I’m finding more of a balance in getting the texture to be less dense and more on the fluffy side. I believe I’m on the right track here. They are grain/gluten free and are topped off with vegan vanilla butter cream.

Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1 mashed ripe banana
  • ⅛ tsp sea salt
  • ⅛ tsp baking soda
  • 2 large eggs (yolk and whites beaten separately)
  • ¼ cup stick of butter or buttery substitute (I use Earth Balance)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Mix the coconut flour, baking soda, and salt together. Then add the mashed banana, eggs (remember to beat the yolk and white separately), butter, honey, and vanilla. Let it sit while you line your cupcake tin. I made minis, and it made approx. 20 cakes.

Check the mixture, if it’s too dry, you may need more egg or more banana. Once it’s all set (should be a gooey consistency), scoop it into the tin. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Check it with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean, and it’s ready!

Cool your cupcakes while you start on the butter cream.

Butter cream frosting

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup stick of butter or buttery substitute (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp non-dairy milk (soy, almond, coconut, etc.), you may need more milk, watch the consistency
  • dash of cinnamon (optional)

Directions:

Mix the butter until whipped (I use a stand mixer, a hand mixer will do). Add the milk, salt, and vanilla. Slowly spoon in the sugar and raise the speed a bit. Once you’re done mixing that in, sprinkle cinnamon if you like. Keep mixing for a few minutes, making sure everything is incorporated. Check the consistency, if you need it to be more loose, slowly add a little more milk until it’s as desired.

Once your cupcakes are cool, pipe or spread on the butter cream and enjoy! I keep these in Tupperware in the refrigerator and the butter cream gets even better.

Enjoy!

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

Flourless Vanilla Almond Butter Cookies

by admin on April 2, 2014, no comments

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

These cookies are SO SIMPLE! I adapted this recipe from the Just Short of Crazy blog, but added more vanilla and topped them off with a pecan which gives it a nice maple taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar (plus extra for topping)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 12 Pecans (1 for each cookie)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Mix all ingredients until combined. Drop by spoonful on the prepared cookie sheet (I use the OXO cookie scooper, it’s approx. a tablespoon, it yielded 12 cookies).
Bake for 10-12 minutes, stick a pecan in the center of each cookie while they are still soft out of the oven. Let cool for a minute and then transfer to wire rack to complete cooling. Sprinkle with some powdered sugar. Store in a cookie jar/tin so they stay moist.


Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

Herbed Zucchini Bread made with Coconut Flour

by admin on March 30, 2014, no comments

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

The coconut flour experimentation continues! I adapted this delicious recipe from Empowered Sustenance blog. This is a savory, herbed, gluten-free bread and requires 6 eggs (coconut flour needs a lot of egg to bind it and keep it moist). Works well as table bread, you don’t really taste the zucchini, the herbs shine through more.

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (measure solid, then melt)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. organic garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. rice vinegar

Directions:

Line a greased loaf plan with parchment paper. Mix the eggs, coconut oil, vinegar, and zucchini. In a separate bowl, mix the coconut flour, sea salt, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, and baking soda.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Scoop into the loaf pan and sprinkle the top of the dough with sea salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until cooked through (check the middle with a fork until it comes out clean). Slice it up and spread some butter on!

 

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

Classic Apple Hand Pies

by admin on March 19, 2014, no comments

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

Photo by AMMIAM

I love apple pie, I’m also very picky about it. It has to be warm, gooey, and have a lot of cinnamon… which might be my rule for a lot of food, but still. I also like the apples sliced very thin so you don’t have a crunch, I normally gravitate towards apple pies with all those qualities. And Hand Pies are just adorable and very smart to serve for parties, I was the bell of the ball at a recent party I brought these too, they were a hit! Hope you enjoy!

Pastry Dough:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (16 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into pats
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons cold milk

Apple Filling:

  • 5 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed or light, whatever you have)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • Optional: 1 tsp flour (or whatever you like to use as a thickening agent)

*taste the filling as you go along in case you need more sugar/cinnamon, etc.

Topping (Optional):

  • Egg white wash (egg whites + water)
  • White sugar

Directions:

1. Make the Pastry Dough (needs at least 1 hour to chill in refrigerator):

Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Slice up the cold butter and mix it in until pea-sized clumps form from the butter (depending on how you are mixing, take this into account with the size you slice the butter in, you’ll have to work a bit harder depending on the size of the butter and what you’re using to mix. I used a stand mixer and sliced the butter into approx. 1/2 inch squares).

Add the combined egg and milk, mixing to make a cohesive dough. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a half moon, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (if you have more time, use it).

2. Make the Apple Filling:

Combine all the ingredients into a large saucepan or skillet, cook until mixture starts to thicken (5-8 minutes). Taste as you go along. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature.

3. Build your Hand Pies!

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease. Remove one of the dough packets from the refrigerator. Roll the dough out on to a generously-floured piece of parchment paper, until it is about 1/8-inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, biscuit cutter, mason jar lid, or a cup (can you tell I didn’t use a cookie cutter?) try to cut out 5-inch diameter circles, flatten out a bit more from there so you can fit in your filling. When that is complete, use your cooled off filling and spoon in with a table teaspoon. Aim for the center. If you are using egg-wash, dip your pointer finger in to the egg-wash and outline half of your circle before you close it. This will help it stick a bit more, but it is not necessary. I had a couple of hand pies without the wash and it turned out well too. Seal the hand pies and using a fork, press down (not too hard!) around the perimeter of the half-moon shaped hand pie. Continue till the batch is completed. Transfer pies if you haven’t already, to the baking sheet. Cut on top a hole or two for ventilation, and use the egg-wash on top of the vent slits and sprinkle  your white sugar.

Place pies in the oven for approx. 20-30 minutes until golden-brown. If you have the second half left, work on those while you wait for the first batch.

Enjoy with some vanilla bean ice cream, whipped cream, caramel sauce, or just your face.