Posts Tagged ‘coconut’

I’ve been interested in dabbling in raw food for some time now, but after spending a month eating a greater portion of raw food than normal I knew I had to get on it post-haste! For my birthday last week, I made these babies.. they’re mostly raw – and I say mostly because the Agave Nectar I had on hand was not raw, nor the tablespoon of maple syrup used in the tart crust… so almost raw. You can certainly adapt to a full raw version by using raw agave, subbing agave in the crust and using water in place of the coconut milk beverage in the cashew cream. But even though it was “almost raw” it was still super delicious, and doesn’t sit heavy like most baked treats. The recipe was adapted from Raw Food Real World. They used dehydrated cherries, but I like the fresh blueberries..but feel free to use whatever sturdy berry suites your fancy. Makes about 36-42 mini tartlets, or 1 standard size tart.


For the tart crust:
3.5 C almond meal
3 TBSP date paste (I pureed about 6 Medjool dates – pitted – in the food processor before starting)
1 TBSP maple syrup
3/4 C coconut oil
large pinch of sea salt

For the almond-cashew cream:
1.75 C raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hrs
1/4 C raw slivered almonds, soaked for at least 2 hrs
1 C coconut flakes/shredded coconut, or coconut meat
1/4 C coconut milk beverage (or water)
6 TBSP coconut oil
2 TBSP vanilla extract (or 1 TBSP + 1 tsp almond extract + 2 tsp vanilla extract)
pinch of sea salt

For the topping:
4 C fresh blueberries (~ 2 pints)
1/4 C agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract


1. Place the cashews and almonds, for the cream, in a large bowl with enough water to cover. Set aside for at least 2 hrs. Place the blueberries in a bowl with the agave and vanilla. Stir to combine. Set aside until needed.
2. Tart Crust: In a food processor, mix together all the crust ingredients until thoroughly combined. Line individual mini tart shells (or one large tart shell) with plastic wrap. Divide the dough between the shells and press evenly into the sides and bottom – to create an even thickness throughout. Refrigerate until firm – at least 1 hour or more – and keep refrigerated until ready to fill. **Because I used mini tartlet shells..it took the time the nuts for the cream required to soak to complete this task. If you’re using a single standard tart shell, it would go much faster and you’d have some time to dawdle.

Almost Raw Fresh Berry Tart
3. Cashew-Almond cream: In a food processor or high speed blender, puree all the cream ingredients until completely smooth – stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. **If necessary, you can slowly increase the amount of coconut milk beverage to adjust consistency. Caution, if you add too much the cream will not stay firm in the tart shells..so better to err on the side of a thicker cream. 🙂
4. Fill each tart crust with the cream, creating a flat surface at the top. Cover and return to the refrigerator to chill and set – about 2 hours or more.

Almost Raw Fresh Berry Tart
5. Assembly: Remove the tarts from the fridge and the use the overhanging edges of the plastic wrap to carefully pull the tarts from their shells. If using a standard size tart shell, it should have a removable bottom from which you simply lift the tart out. Top each tart – or single tart – with the delicious soaked berries.

Almost Raw Fresh Berry Tart*Note: Keep covered in the fridge. These have kept in my fridge for at least 5 days, and are still tasty. Of course, the fresher the better.. but if they survive the hungry masses a few days, they’ll still be delicious.

Happy Unbaking! 😉

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Vegan Samoas

You may have seen the unpaid female child labor hawking their animal-torture based cookies out in front of your grocery store.  It’s that time of year.  I can admit to enjoying a thin mint back in the day.  They’re pretty refreshing out of the fridge.  But hands down, the best creation ever conceived was a shortbread cookie topped with caramel, coconut and chocolate:  the Samoa.  My love for Samoas cannot be contained by our meager language.  I could definitely put away a box of them in one day.  In fact, they were the last non-vegan food I ate on purpose.  Five years ago.  I haven’t had a Samoa in five years.  Until now.  I can’t believe it took me this long to do it.  But here they are for you all to enjoy – Vegan Samoas.

Although this recipe seems to have many steps, each of them is pretty simple.  It takes a while from start to finish, but mostly it’s a hurry up and wait game, until the final assembly, which doesn’t take long.



2 C flour
1/3 C confectioner’s sugar
1/3 C turbinado sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 sticks Earth Balance


3/4 C hemp milk
1.5 tsp cornstarch
3/4 C brown sugar
3 TBSP Earth Balance vegan butter
1.5 TBSP brown rice syrup
pinch of salt
3 tsp confectioner’s sugar


2 TBS shredded coconut, toasted
1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate, melted

Instructions – cookies:

1.  Place all dry ingredients in a food processor, and give a few quick pulses to blend.

2.  Cut “butter” into pieces and add to food processor, along with vanilla.  Blend for 20-30 seconds, or until the mixture resembles course cornmeal.

3.  Turn onto lightly floured surface and kneed a few times to form a dough.  Roll into a ball.

Warning!  This cookie dough tastes fantastic, and harbors no salmonella, but if you eat it all, you will have no Samoas!

4.  Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 1 – 24 hours.

5.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut with cookie cutters.

6.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes.  This is a very unusual case where you want the cookies to be slightly crispy.  Let cool while you prepare the caramel.

Warning!!  At this stage, the cookies are in fact already delicious, and it’s wise to find a disfigured one to perform quality control tests on, just to make sure.  But, if you eat all of them, you will end up with no Samoas!

Instructions – caramel: (based on Sara’s dulce de leche)

1. Place hemp milk, cornstarch, sugar, vegan butter, and brown rice syrup in a small stainless steel pan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning.

2. Cook gently for 15 minutes, stir in the pinch of salt and the confectioner’s sugar. Continue to cook gently until the mixture thickens enough so that a spoonful dropped on piece of parchment holds together, about an additional 5 to 10 minutes. You know you’re there when you can run a spoon through it and it doesn’t run back together immediately.

3.  Remove from heat and begin cookie assembly.

Instructions – assembly:

1.  After the caramel has cooled for five minutes or so, you can start the assembly line.   Drop spoonfuls of caramel on top of each cookie, and spread it to the edges.  As soon as possible, sprinkle the toasted coconut on top.  It’s great to have a helper for this, to see to the coconut, while you work on the caramel.

Warning!  A shortbread cookie with caramel and coconut on top is a wonderful idea all by itself.  However, if you eat them all at this stage, you still will not have had any Samoas!

2.  After all the cookies have the caramel and coconut, it’s time to melt the chocolate in a double boiler.  Drizzle spoonfuls of chocolate over the cookies.

3.  Place cookies in refrigerator for 10 minutes to set everything.

Warning!!  Consumption of more than 2-3 cookies will likely lead to sugar-induced coma.


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VeganMoFo 2009

Thank you GoDairyFree.org (via Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet Blog) for declaring 2009 as the Year of the Coconut! Ok, so maybe she’s not the UN (see Year of the Potato)..but there are some health benefits to consuming coconut and coconut oil – even if this title isn’t globally recognized 😉

For one thing, coconut is rich in protein and the ‘meat’ of the coconut is excellent at destroying intestinal parasites that you get from eating infected foods. Drinking coconut water is an excellent way to cleanse the kidneys and bladder during times of infection. Additionally, coconut milk is wonderful source of iodine (to keep that thyroid in check), eases constipation and flatulence, and has been reported to soothe sore throats and intestinal ulcers. On the external side of things, coconut oil has been shown to heal cuts, scratches, burns and sunburns. You want to remove wrinkles? Coconut oil has been recommended as a facial massage to reduce those wrinkles! And the consumption of 2 TBSP virgin coconut oil each day has been reported to reduce your daily Vitamin E requirements!

As all Primate followers will know, we love us some coconut milk, coconut yogurt, coconut cocoa…anything! And it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway – Turtle Mountain So Delicious is one of our favorite choices for all things coconut: CM Beverage for our teas and such, CM Yogurts for our frozen treats or just for breakfast/snacks, store-bought ice creams..you name it! Here’s a run-down of our favorite coconutty-recipe goodness!

Coconut Curried Chickpea Soup

If you’re looking for a savory main entrée, check out these babies:

Coconut Curry Chickpea Soup

Vegetable Curry (similar to an Aloo Gobi)

For the sweet-tooth, try:

white chocolate gelatoPiña Colada or French Martini Frozen Yogurt

Mint-Chip Ice Cream

White Chocolate Gelato

Vegan Pastry Cream

Lemon Cream Popper Pies

And of course, some drinks include:

Devil with a Blueberry Dress On or Bananarama Smoothie

Both Iced and Hot Chai Tea

And our most recent, and quite popular, addition: Double Chocolate Diablo!

chaiteaIced ChaiDouble Cocoa Diablo

Happy Coconuts!


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VeganMoFo 2009As I sit here at the local Barnes & Noble (free wi-fi) in my chair that is so big my feet don’t reach the ground, I feel that childish giddy that comes with the cold weather and its natural companion, hot chocolate! I used So Delicious Coconut Milk beverage in this recipe, but any milk will do… it’s just that the CM beverage is slightly thicker, giving the cocoa a more rich and velvety texture – which I love! I feel like this drink is best summed up in the song, Hot Child In The City by Nick Gilder…. 😉 though this cocoa is NOT for kiddos! So enjoy your “danger in the shape of somethin’ wild” and who cares “where she came from or what her game is….”


2 C So Delicious coconut milk beverage
hot cocoa amount per directions on package for 2 C
4 squares Maya Gold Green&Black chocolate (or any other chocolate bar with spice, about 2 TBSP if using chocolate chips)
1/4 tsp cayenne (if you want it spicy spicy, add in more pinches until desired heat)
1 TBSP Amaretto or Cointreau


1. Fill your mug with hot water and let sit while you make the cocoa, so the cup gets warm – keeping your cocoa warmer just a little bit longer.
2. In a small saucepan, heat 2 C CM beverage (or other milk) over medium-low heat. Add cocoa powder (for 2 C/16 oz), 1/4 tsp cayenne, and the 4 small squares of Maya Gold (or about 2 TBSP chocolate chips).
3. Whisk until chocolate is melted, and the mixture is steaming but not boiling. Remove from heat, add Amaretto or Cointreau.
4. Pour into warmed mug, top with a Sweet & Sara marshmallow and enjoy!!

Double Cocoa Diablo

Happy Drinking!

On This Day In History: Sopapillas



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Here it is!! The pie you have been waiting for – Lemon Cream! And because these babies taste best when eaten all in one bite, I shall name thee ‘Poppers’… To be completely honest, I’ve never even had a lemon cream or lemon meringue pie before – vegan or otherwise – so I wasn’t exactly sure on how to create it (hence the time since it was suggested by Christina on our Facebook page). But I think it came out supreme, even if it’s not exactly like the lemon cream pies of yore – it’s exactly what I would want a lemon cream pie to taste like. And speaking of taste – you know the experience at the bottom of an ice cream cone – where you’ve got soft/melty ice cream and oh so much cone in that last bite…well, this replicates that experience for me – the flaky crust, with the soft creamy bits..mmm. This recipe makes quite a bit of lemon cream, so if you’re making popper-size, like I did, either half the lemon cream or double the crust recipe. But if you’re making a big pie, it might fit in a deep-dish crust. It would also be nice as a ‘pudding’ alternative for when you crave something creamy but don’t want ice cream. So without further ado….


Pie crust (discovered through Madcap Cupcake, recipe adapted from Domestic Affair):
1 C AP flour
1/3 C pastry flour
1/4 tsp salt
about 1/4 C ice cold water, to be added 1 TBSP at a time
1/2 C Earth Balance vegan butter (I didn’t have coconut oil..but if you’ve got that, it’s what the original recipe calls for)
1 TBSP agave nectar

Lemon and Whipped Coconut Cream:
1/2 C fresh lemon juice
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C Earth Balance vegan butter
1/2 C Primate pastry cream
1 tsp cornstarch
1 can coconut milk (NOT low fat)
1 TBSP granulated sugar


Make the Lemon Cream:
1. Place the juice, sugar and butter in a heavy non-reactive saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts.
2. Add in the pastry cream and cornstarch, reduce heat to medium-low, and whisk until blended and thickened (about 3-6 minutes).
3. Remove from heat, transfer to a covered container (and if it’s not air-tight then cover the top of the custard with some plastic wrap to prevent a film developing) and chill in the fridge overnight.

Make the Pie Crust:
1. In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt with the Earth Balance (or coconut oil) until crumbly.

lemon cream pie crust butter pulse

2. While pulsing, drizzle in the agave and water (1 TBSP at a time). Continue pulsing until it comes together and begins to form a ball.
lemon cream pie crust ball stage 3. Wrap dough ball in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge at least 15 minutes. This is also a good time to chill the bowl, whisk, and pie/muffin tin in the fridge.
4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out dough and cut into circles that will fit the mini-tin, and gently press each round into a well, free-form. Bake in greased mini-muffin tin about 15 minutes, until golden brown on top. Let cool while you make the whipped cream.

lemon cream pie greasing tin

lemon cream pie baked crust

Make the Pie:
1. With a chilled bowl, whisk, and coconut milk. Spoon out the solid portion of the coconut milk – avoid the liquid in the bottom at best possible. Add in 1 TBSP granulated sugar, and whisk on high speed in your electric mixer until soft peaks form – it took me about 5-8 minutes (I didn’t really time it, but I loaded my tiny dishwasher while it was going).

whipping coconut creamwhipped cream soft peak

2. Gently fold in the chilled lemon cream/custard (best if done in two additions) into the luscious whipped coconut cream. Let chill in the fridge about 15-20 minutes (again, I didn’t time it but I took a shower and got dressed while I waited).

fold in lemon cream3. Fill baked pie crust with a dollop of lemon cream, and chill in fridge several hours before serving – ideally overnight.

lemon cream poppers

Happy Baking!


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Devil w a Blueberry Dress On2I am deeply sorry for the unexpected hiatus from posting this week! Unfortunately life can get in the way of more enjoyable activities like posting yummy recipes for all of you who take time to visit the Primate.. 🙂 I’m working on some stuff that will totally blow off your bamboo bobby socks, so hopefully all will soon be forgiven. Until then, I want to share a smoothie – something I haven’t given you in a while! This recipe makes about 16 ounces, which gives you the option of sharing or enjoying a large smoothie all by yourself!

Ingredients:Devil w a Blueberry Dress On1

2 C blueberries (1C fresh, 1C frozen)
3-4 mango chunks
1/4-1/2 tsp minced ginger
2-3 TBSP So Delicious Coconut Milk beverage – otherwise abbreviated as CM beverage, right Penny 😉


Place fruit and ginger in a blender and purée until smooth; adding a TBSP at a time of the coconut milk to facilitate the blending process.

Happy Blending!!


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Pina Colada CM yogurt“If you like Piña Coladas ….and getting caught in the rain…” then you will undoubtedly love this dessert! There are two things you just can’t beat: Escape (The Piña Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes and vegan frozen yogurt that is reminiscent of that beautiful summertime umbrella drink, the Piña Colada! Who doesn’t like the combination of pineapple and coconut? And this frozen yogurt can’t get any easier…. This recipe makes about 4 C liquid..so upon freezing that will slightly expand. So if you’re looking for something to indulge with “…in the dunes on the cape…I’m the love (er..frozen yogurt) that you’ve looked for …come with me and escape!”


1 medium pineapple, roughly choppedPina Colada Fro Yo
2 containers So Delicious Piña Colada Coconut Milk yogurt
*this is a more pineapple than coconut flavor, so for a stronger coconut flavor, add in some coconut extract – maybe 1-2 tsp


1. Chop pineapple, open frozen yogurt containers. Add to blender.
2. Blend until smooth, then freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions (mine took about 25-30 minutes). Freeze for 30 min to let “ripen”… and enjoy!

Pina Colada Fro Yo2

Happy Freezing!

On this day in History: I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill Scones


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Iced ChaiJo graced us with her exquisitely delicious recipe for hot chai tea, using the coconut milk beverage from So Delicious – and boy, if there was never a more aptly named company! Anyway, as much as I love a hot chai in the morning or afternoon, sometimes you want a cool refreshing tea in the evenings. Instead of risking the caffeine keeping you awake, use a naturally caffeine-free tea (and a change from herbal)…our wonderful friend, Rooibus. I like drinking rooibus as my nighttime tea, to keep my taste buds on their toes from chamomile and valerian. But wait, it’s summertime and oh so hot….I don’t want hot tea to make me warmer… I say, go ahead and enjoy your Rooibus Chai…iced! I’ve scaled up Jo’s recipe so you can have a stock in the fridge sitting right next to your So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage, for chilled chai on demand. I would recommend keeping them separate until just before drinking, to keep things on the fresher side of life. This recipe makes about 1.5 qts of tea to be used with 1-1.5 qts CM beverage. Of course, I’m just quenching my own thirst, so if you’ve got more mouths to fill..you could double it.


12-16 tsp rooibus
6 C (1.5 qts) boiling water
3-4 2-inch cin sticks
14-16 whole cloves (for anti-clovites, use 10-12)
2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 vanilla beans, split down center (or 3-4 tsp vanilla extract)
8 TBSP (1/2 C) agave


1. Boil freshly drawn water as you would for any tea. Place tea and spices in a pitcher/container, preferably lidded or one that’s flat that you could place a plate on top of to cover while steeping. Pour boiling water over the awaiting tea and spices, steep covered 5 minutes. **Alternatively you can place tea, spices, and freshly drawn cold water in the sun for 3 hours. I’ve tested both, and they come out equally delicious.
2. Strain into another pitcher/container for storage in the fridge. When ready to enjoy, mix either 50:50 or 75:25 of Chai:CM beverage (depending on how creamy you like your chai).

Iced Chai2

Happy Teatime!



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What does one do with the last peaches of the season, that are good but not as good as the earlier ones? Since they aren’t as addicting as the previous ones, turn them into something else…frozen yogurt, perhaps?! Here’s a non-alcoholic frozen yogurt version of the French Martini I posted a while back. Of course, you could always add a shot of vodka for kicks, but here’s one that doesn’t call for any booze whatsoever! Makes about 2 C worth (just over 400 mL for my metric homies, pre-frozen).

French Martini FroYo liquidIngredients:

1 C Frozen raspberries
2 C Fresh (or frozen) peaches (I used about 3 fresh peaches)
1 container plain/vanilla coconut milk yogurt


1. In a blender, puree the raspberries and peaches until smooth. Place in fridge, and chill for at least 4 hours to overnight (unless you’re using all frozen fruit, then you can immediately proceed) – or put in freezer for 30-45 minutes. Stir in the yogurt.
2. Transfer to ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers instructions (mine took about 18-20 minutes). Let sit in freezer to set up properly, about 45 min to an hour. Enjoy!

French Martini FroYo

Happy Freezing!


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Smooze Fruit IceI don’t know if anyone else remembers those pyramid shaped frozen fruit treats that came out in the 80’s, but Jo and I used to eat them for a ‘healthier’ treat since they were made from fruit. Hey, it beats feeding your kids candy as a treat. Though, I have no doubt the ones we ate back then were loaded with high fructose corn syrup…so maybe it wasn’t better, who knows (I certainly don’t remember, I can’t even remember the real name – we called them Fruit Juicies). Perhaps a bite of dark chocolate would’ve been better, but I digress. I recently placed an order through Cosmo’s and ordered these new items on the vegan shelf – Smooze Fruit Ice. And can I just say, WOW! These were super delicious, and reminiscent of the frozen triangles Jo and I used to eat as kids – but much healthier! I tasted the coconut+pineapple flavor, and it tastes exactly like a quality piña colada (without the rum of course)! And at only 70 calories a treat, you can’t find a more delicious frozen treat (though Palapa bars might come in neck-n-neck)…it gives you the frozen (and somewhat creamy) satisfaction ice cream would give you, but with less calories. I could even see myself giving one to Mocha on a painfully hot summer day as a nice, refreshing treat! I have no doubt my next order will contain something from Smooze. I can see this holding a standard, Liz Lovely place in my orders. (If Ken, Leigh, Cosmo, or Miles from Cosmo’s is reading this, I’m dying to try out the guava and passionfruit flavors too!) To enjoy, you just cut off the tops, squeeze the bottom, and slurp the goodness inside! Even the experience of cutting, squeezing, and slurping was exactly how I remember it as a child! Thank you Smooze and Cosmo’s!

Smooze Fruit Ice - close up

Happy Slurping!


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