- 1 banana
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
- 3 tbsp coconut yogurt
- 1 cup coconut milk
- Place all ingredients into a blender and whirl away.
Believe it or not, the holidays are almost here! I had this transformation in attitude recently, like three years ago or so, going from being cynical about Christmas, and the such, to craving it. Now I listen to Christmas carols in July, but only for like a day, so that I get a taste of what’s coming without entirely spoiling the surprise factor. Though apparently I’m not the only one restlessly counting down the days until December: Selfridges, a London-based department store has this past year started selling Christmas paraphernalia in… August.
Assuming this overhasty trend will continue, you’re reading this post rather late, should’ve been all over it back in May!
(I’m having second thoughts about my whole metamorphosis toward Christmas, the coffee shop I’m at is playing “Feliz Navidad” for, I think, the third time since I’ve started writing this.)
Tardy or not, your intentions are pure: You are looking for healthy cookies you could guiltlessly stuff Santa with. Rejoice! These gluten-free coconut-flour chocolate chip cookies are they!
Seriously though, how can kids who are at times astonishingly ingenious be so unforgivably gullible, enough so that a whooping 80% of them unquestionably and unconditionally believe the rather patchy Santa myth. (It’s healthy apparently, their innocent belief.) Would it be as harsh as drinking absinthe for breakfast, straight, to ask a rugrat to reconsider their Santa stance in light of, for example, the following sobering calculation:
“There are just over 526,000,000 Christian kids under the age of 14 in the world who celebrate Christmas on December 25th. In other words, Santa has to deliver presents to almost 22 million kids an hour, every hour, on the night before Christmas. That’s about 365,000 kids a minute; about 6,100 a second. Totally doable.”
Don’t. I’m joking.
Irregardless, were Santa real and did factually deliver presents to half-a-billion or so dwellings, these cookies would give him the much-needed kick without raising his risk for diabetes.
Made primarily out of coconut butter — which is stupidly easy to make at home — these guys satisfy the most demanding of chocolate-chip-cookie cravings while curbing unwanted evils, like sugar highs and post-munchie stomach distresses.
Complimenting the coconut butter is coconut flour. Despite the coconut bias, the final treats taste balanced, the tropical nut subtle and not overpowering, letting the chocolate chips shine through. Sweet, but not overbearingly so, and velvety soft (wish they were crunchy!).
They also brown so picturesquely. And since they only need to bake for around 10 minutes, I sat through their entire development, in front of the radiating oven window, my forehead against the oven’s harmlessly cool to the touch door, seeing the tablespoon-size heaps balloon to double their size (wishing you could see such plants action in real time).
These cookies are so much the real deal that they’ll have you think of the original flour-based kinds as being ersatz. Experiment with sizing — and let me know if you come up with a way of making them crunchy!
Recipe has been adapted from Ambitious Kitchen, thank you Monique!
Coconut oil is one of those miraculous products which boycotts streamline-overdependent capitalistic logic. The reason is its astounding versatility, its application recommended for everything from frying your fries to lubricating your intercourse. Talk about an infiltrating product!
On the other hand, lube too has an extensive list of unconventional uses, the weirdest being using it for loosening your locks and doorknobs.
Coconut butter is different than coconut oil. For one, it’s chunkier (so I wouldn’t use or recommend using it as lube, though, then again, maybe the graininess wouldn’t be all that undesirable). In some ways it’s more akin to peanut butter, in consistency and its use, making it an exquisite bread spread.
Add it to smoothies, curries, spread it lusciously atop anything edible, use it as a butter substitute to make banana bread — and definitely to make these gluten-free coconut-flour chocolate chip cookies.
Coconut butter, and likewise coconut oil, is super high in saturated fats (as is breast milk!) — 87g per 100g, or 90%. So it should be used in moderation, for sure, but important to know is that the saturated fat present is not the type which raises cholesterol levels, specifically, of the bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL).
The saturated fat in coconut oil and coconut butter is called lauric acid (which, again, is abundantly prevalent in breast milk!), a medium-chain fatty acid which is easier to digest than long-chain fatty acid (the latter of the two is the type which takes center stage in, for instance, butter).
Lauric acid increases the good HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol within your blood — of the two, this is the beneficial kind which helps balance cholesterol levels by removing excess LDL from your body, as well as speeds up metabolism (the basis for the coconuts-help-you-burn-fat-and-lose-weight argument) and positively affects your hormones and blood sugar levels.
One more interesting factoid about the lauric acid within coconut oils and butters, mainly, it has a high melting point (110.8°F / 43.8°C), the pure lauric acid itself does, but effectively, coconuts oil’s melting point is also rather high, around 75.2°F / 24°C — which explains why the oil and butter solidify in room temperature (right, they are ‘frozen’ at room temperature, since they ‘melt’ at 24°C), and super hard when store inside fridges, and, I suppose it follows, they’re indestructible when frozen (perhaps as strong as Thor’s ineradicable and unliftable hammer, hypothesized to be composed of “neutron star matter, the densest material in the universe outside of a black hole, [in which case the tool would] weigh as much as 300 billion elephants”).
Hefty stuff, coconut oils and butters.
Rich in antioxidants, will boost your body’s immunity, and, stupidly easy to make (so very much unlike these Millennium Math Problems, though solving one of these mind-benders will win you a million bucks, which this guy won and rejected, despite having no job, income, and subsisting on his elderly mother’s pension — that’s hard-boiled passion).
All it takes to make coconut butter is (organic) shredded coconut shreds, and a spoonful or so of oily coconut oil. Drop it all into a blender (or food processor — they are not, though this took me some time to admit to myself, the same thing, “they,” so reports Consumer Reports, “excel at different tasks”) and blend the #$&@! out of it. As easy as falling off a log. Don’t get frustrated when the coconut shreds collect around the bowl of the device — especially true when using the blender — and for dear life avoid the vortex of the blade, just pause, spoon the mass off the wall, and resume. And repeat. Eventually the dense paste will cave in on itself and be mutilated by the merciless whirlpool.
I buy my shredded coconuts from Karma Co-Op — but you can find Let’s Do Organic’s at Amazon, here, or, if you live in New York City, and are into co-ops, then consider getting your stuff at Park Slope Food.
What did you use your coconut butter for?
It’s apparently a secret of sorts of experienced bakers, that ideal bananas for baking are extra ripe. Spotty is not enough. Like totally black is the real deal.
So, armed with this knowledge, I shrieked from joy coming across a banana sale at a local grocery store. They looked ugly, like defunct, but you know, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure (like this woman, Teri Horton, who picked up what is supposedly a Jackson Pollock original for $5 at a thrift store — watch the movie! — which would make the piece worth a hefty$50 million).
The decaying treasure I found was going for $1 for five pieces — so I picked up 10 packs, or, in other words, 50 bananas. I attracted some attention, so that this girl in the store, seeing the enthusiasm with which I was stocking up my piles (balancing case upon case — no time for a cart), so she, alarmed by my eagerness, started briskly walking up, but catching glimpse of the decomposing state of the fruits I was hoarding (like a mad squirrel stuffing its face with nuts) abruptly walked away in confusion…
(On a serious note — dreadfully serious actually, like I had trouble sleeping after learning this depressing fact — if you’ve ever wondered why bananas are so much cheaper compared to other fruits, see this amazing banana documentary, titled “Banana Land: Blood, Bullets and Poison.” Watch it for free here, and donate toward helping cover production costs here.)
Now, if your bananas are bright and yellow like the sun, don’t worry, there’s a way to quickly ripen them. Basically, bake them at 300°F for 40 minutes. Easy peasy.
Turns out I’m not the only one who fanatically love’s baking banana bread. Coincidentally this is what ESPN’s host Sage Steele has to say about banana bread’s magical bonding powers: “My kids have told me how much they love it when I make the banana bread for them, and that’s all I needed to hear — even if I’m not there to actually serve it to them. My banana bread is my way of being home in spirit. And I’m finding more and more that the little things I do for my kids end up making ME feel great, too.”
See? Banana bread will make you a more compassionate person. And the recipe here should have you feel even better, because it’s naturally sweetened, and made with whole-wheat flour and oatmeal!
Our sense of smell makes us fall in love, so be strategical with this knowledge! Seduce your crush with the intoxicating smell of baking banana bread. A powerful weapon in the hands of a skilled person.
Full of healthy ingredients, and, what follows, not overwhelmingly sweet. To make purely vegan, avoid the egg — the banana bread will still hold firmly. Alternatively, use a flax egg. For gluten-freeness, use gluten-free flour, geez.
Please note, the recipe has been adapted from Ambitious Kitchen — thank you for the wonderful inspiration!
Dear readers: Any banana documentaries you’d recommend? Though honestly, any darn good documentary is fair game!