Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday's Real Food Recipe- coconut blueberry cashew bars

Hey Friends!
Sorry I've been MIA since last Monday!  My fabulously amazing Mommer was in town and we had a sensational time, however not much entailed a computer (besides introducing her to the world of Pinterest); which I must say was a nice break.  She left today, and I've been eagerly anticipating sharing a new coconut oil recipe with you!  I promised a few of you a Gumbo recipe, but let's just say this coconut Blueberry Cashew with probiotics and protein is just too good to have to wait for another week!  The probiotics are optional, of course, but sometimes I just throw as much in one thing as I can so I know my bases are covered, you know?!  Oh, and my kids love them just as much as everyone else, so it's a good alternative to yogurt to get their protein and probiotics.

Probiotics can be found at any health food store like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, or online.  I like bio kult (http://www.gaps.com/) and Udo's Choice.  You can just take apart the tablet and sprinkle the probiotics right into the recipe.  *You can't heat them up past 110 degrees, however, so this only works in no-bake recipes!

I used protein powder as a sweetener in this recipe.  You could replace protein powder for more honey instead if you prefer.  I made my last batch with stevia and I have officially decided that the taste of artificial sweeteners just come a little too close to instigating my gag reflex.  I thought about what I had on hand that was sweet but that also had a low glycemic index, and I thought of my sons "LIL PEEPS PROTEIN" protein powder Lil' Peeps Nutrition.  It actually has a really tasty blueberry flavor, is made from grass fed cow's milk, is non-denatured (important!) and is sweetened with Lohan, an all-natural, low glycemic sweetener.  The best part is that it has no funky chemical taste!  If you have different flavors of protein powder on hand, you could definitely experiment.

Coconut Blueberry Cashew "Candies"
with protein and probiotics

14 oz. organic coconut oil
3 scoops (or to taste) "lil' peeps protein powder (Or your favorite protein powder)  1 cup Unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tbsp raw honey (optional), improves texture
3 probiotics (Or up to 10 for serious probiotic-ers!)
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup dried blueberries (The above photo is sans dried blueberries, in case you are wondering- I didn't have them on hand when I first tried this recipe and took this photo, however they would clearly be a stellar addition.)

Bring 14 oz. coconut oil to room temperature (in colder weather, place in a warm pan of water till it's mixable).  put softened coconut oil into your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Begin mixing on medium speed, scraping down the sides for about 15 seconds to make sure it is softened and mixable.  Turn off mixer and add 3 level scoops of protein powder (as you can see, this protein powder, however blueberry in flavor, does not have blue dye, thank heavens!).  Mix on medium high speed for at least 2-3 minutes.  This is crucial because the protein powder takes awhile to dissolve in something that isn't liquid.  Stop the mixer to scrape down sides and add 1 Cup shredded coconut, 2 tbsp honey and the contents of 3 probiotics.  Continue to mix on medium high for another 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.  The mixture will resemble homemade butter cream frosting.  Add 1/2 cup cashews and 1/2 cup dried blueberries.  If using unsalted cashews, a sprinkle of course sea salt would be a nice touch. :)  Mix on low speed until the cashews are just encorporated.  Scoop into 30 small molds as in my previous coconut oil candy recipe (coconut oil candy bars).  If you want to make it in an 8x8 pan you may need to double the recipe.  I haven't tried it that way, so I am not sure if you will have enough to fill the entire pan.  It is thick though, so you could just spread it to your desired thickness in an 8x8 pan and it won't run to the sides.  Let cool and harden in the fridge.  Will be set and ready in about 20 minutes.  Store covered in the refrigerator.  I suggest eating a small piece (around 1/2-1 tbsp) 2-3 times a day before meals.  Or, eat as a dessert!

So, who out there has tried any of my recipes thus far?  I'm hearing chatter and excitement from lots of readers, but wondering who is actually trying the recipes!  If so, I'd love to hear from you!

Happy Valentine's Day, from my little coconut factory here in humble Cumming, GA!


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