Tag Archives: coconut oil

Lime Roasted Sweet Potatoes

We just returned from a family getaway.  Ben had planned a surprise adventure for our family for the earlier part of January.  Unfortunately for us, we needed to reschedule to do a bit of a tornado hitting his work staff all at once, leaving Ben to tend to work.  We stayed on Discovery Bay between Sequim & Port Townsend.   The place we stayed had a kitchen, so it made meals so much easier and healthy.  There was also an indoor pool, which Tayers thought was the “big adventure,” and whenever we drove somewhere she would cry out, “I want to go on the big adventure!”

Our family time was relaxed, filled with laughter, reflection, and many joyful moments.  It was the probably the best family vacation we’ve ever been on (and I hope many follow suit).  We also experienced some breathtaking sunrises (the kind you wake up just to make sure you don’t miss it). 

I played my guitar, read, and wrote a personal mission statement, as well.  This little break helped clear my head, refocus and evaluate who I am and what I, Kamille, am called to do in this life.  It was good, so very good and yet so simple too.  It’s kind of like these Lime Roasted Sweet Potatoes.  They aren’t fussy, pretty straightforward and simplistic.  Yet, sure to dance on your palate in such a way, which leaves you looking forward to the next time you get to eat them.  I have some great things in store for Evangitality this year and I hope you will continue to join me or better yet, add to the discussion:)

A Year Ago: Banana Macadamia Praline Scones

Lime Roasted Sweet Potatoes (printable recipe)

Ingredients:
2-3 lbs sweet potatoes, scrubbed & peeled, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tsp coconut oil
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup cilantro, fresh and finely chopped
Zest of one lime
Juice of one lime

Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment and put the sweet potatoes in an even layer on top. Add the coconut oil and thoroughly coat, using your hands, the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt. Roast for 20-25 minutes.

While the potatoes are roasting, combine lime juice, lime zest, additional 1/2 tsp salt & cilantro. Once sweet potatoes are done, transfer to a serving bowl and pour the lime/cilantro mixture over them while hot. Gently mix to combine and serve.


Apricot Rosemary Bars & Post Whole 30 Living

The end of Whole 30 has come & go and I’m able to eat whatever I’d like.  If I want chocolate, I can.  If I want dairy, I can.  If I want to continue eating Whole 30 style, I can.  After reading about my limitations during November, you might think I would wholeheartedly forgo what I did in those 30 days.  But, I have found a different kind of freedom and my tummy (and more) actually has made it quite clear what should not go in it.

I think the hardest part for me is the anxiety about eating food that might be less than optimal for me.  I have gained not only a leaner body, but the best energy level I’ve ever known.  I even got to a place where I wasn’t even tempted to eat sugar, drink a mocha, or have a pastry.  I have come to recognize where my pitfalls are along the way (sugar is huge).  I feel like I’ve found food salvation.  A freedom to eat to nourish, sustain & enjoy without partaking in what might be viewed as “extras.”  And I truly would love for everyone I love to give it a try, because I think it will not only tell them a bit about their physical body, but mental & spiritual body as well.

Where do I stand at this point in life.  I haven’t felt any better than I did during Whole 30 and the days following.  When I added gluten, dairy, sugar or corn back into my body (even in small amounts) it didn’t leave me with a great, healthful, energetic feeling.  Dairy hit my stomach with gurgles.  Gluten has done some other stuff, along with inflammation throughout.  While sugar is a big one.  Just the littlest amount made me sick.  However, being a couple of weeks off of the challenge, I have had a bit more sugar than I would have liked to put in.  I’ve realized that although I had a sugar upset in the first couple weeks (post Whole 30), it would go away if I continued to feed my body sugar.  My body would get use to the upset; however, a host of other problems occurred that had gone away when I wasn’t partaking in sugars.

What I’ve discovered so far is I’m pretty sure I’m going to eliminate gluten from our household, along with most grains (gluten and non); as well as, limit sugar intake.  (Sidenote: I’ve also noted the rise of behavioral episodes in my girls when they have had refined sugars & gluten in their system) I like what these posts have to say about living out a balanced life.  I’ve hit a place in my life where I actually don’t feel like I’m missing out by not having a mocha, or gluten-filled goodness.  I have also realized that I’m excited about balancing out the sweets I make, and the challenge I get to embrace by transferring all my baking & cooking knowledge to this new food eating thing.  So, if I can share one of my first baked goods creations with you, I’m certain you’ll be surprised that this does not fit in the ‘bleh’ gluten-free, sugar-free, grain-free category.

Here are my Apricot Rosemary Bars. I spotted them in the book Baked Explorations.  I knew that I would need to change it up quite a bit.  And let it be known that I’m not willing to compromise taste, or make something that was once texturally appealing is now very ‘bleh.’  I am also fine with using butter.  If I can sub in another form of healthy fat, then I will.  But when a recipe would benefit from the buttery goodness found in “butter,” then you’ll find it here.  But…I will still keep my recipes with gluten and non on this blog, because they are apart of my journey.  And you will receive no scorn from me if you check out some of my other goodies from last year–Merry Christmas!

P.S. Today is my nephew Lucas’ birthday.  I still remember seeing him just a week old, while Tayers was 6 weeks.  He was a little pipsqueak, but so very precious.  His parents were overcome with joy as their anticipation was finally revealed.  Seems fitting as he was born just two days before Christmas.  Happy Birthday sweet Lucas!

A Year Ago: Gingerbread Man Pancakes & Swedish Tea Ring (Vetekrans)

Rosemary Squares (printable recipe)

This recipe is inspired from Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.  I have revamped quite a bit from the original; however, the spirit of the original is still fully in this recipe.  I used Honeyville Blanched Almond flour.  I also used California dried apricots and not the typical, sweeter ones you find, which are a product of Turkey.  Opt out of the product of Turkey and find the California ones, which are a bit more tart and a beautiful, bright orange (Trader Joes carries them).  Also, I don’t have a dilemma in using real butter; yet, I chose to do half coconut oil & butter.  Another fat option for the shortbread might be olive oil.  If you are wanting to make this without the egg yolk–it would be fine.

For the rosemary shortbread dough:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, chilled
6 Tb coconut oil
1/3 cup + 2 Tb (70g) raw clover honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
grated zest of half a lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
3 cups (250g) almond flour
1 egg yolk

For the apricot filling:

2 cups (8 ounces, 230g) California dried apricots (not from Turkey)
1 1/2 cups (375ml) water
3 tablespoons (60g) honey
pinch of salt

For the crumb topping:

1 cup (85g) almond flour
1 Tb raw clover honey
1/3 cup (40g) pecans chopped
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, chilled

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Line a 9-inch (23cm) square pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides of the pan.

2. Make the rosemary dough by creaming the butter & coconut oil for about 1 minute, or until it’s fluffy & creamy.  Add the egg yolk and mix just till combined. Add the salt, vanilla, lemon zest, and rosemary, then add the 3 cups almond flour, mixing until the dough is smooth and all the ingredients combined.  The dough will be more sticky, but not wet.

3. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and pat it flat into the bottom of the pan. Spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula.  (if you want to refrigerate for 30 minutes you can; however, I did not and it was fine.)

(No need to wash the mixer bowl; you can use it as is for the crumb topping in step #7.)

4. Bake the rosemary shortbread for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Once baked, let the shortbread cool to room temperature.

5. Make the apricot filling by combining the apricots, water, honey, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes, or until all the liquid has just about been absorbed. Let cool for a few minutes, stirring, then puree in a food processor until smooth.

6. Make the crumb topping by mixing together the 1 cup (85g) almond flour, honey, pecans, salt, and butter in the bowl of the stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, until the mixture just barely starts clumping together.

7. Spread the apricot filling over the shortbread in the pan evenly, then top with the crumb topping and bake for 25 minutes, until the topping is browned.

8. Remove from oven and let bars cool completely in pan.

To slice, lift the bars out of the pan by grasping the edges of the parchment paper. Slice into squares.


Thankful with Sweet Potato Goodness (& so much more)

The words that penetrated my soul the most, “my sons were hungry and the only thing I could give them was water.” This was part of a guest speaker’s story. She was a small Honduran woman, measuring a mere 4 feet and 9 inches, but she made up for it with tremendous heart & conviction. Her name, Danubia Orellana Lopez, and she is apart of the Agros village of Brisas del Volcan.

Danubia was the speaker at the Agros International fundraiser dinner Ben and I attended at the end of October.  It seemed fitting that we attended just days before we plunged into doing this 30 day challenge.  Agros is an amazing organization, who seeks to empower people in Central America & Mexico through micro loans to purchase land.  Many of these people, like Danubia, lived in the slums and had to wake up at 2:30 am to walk 2 hours to get to the farm (to which she & her husband worked for someone else), work an 18 hour day and only get paid $.40 a day.  She recalls the times when payday arrived and the owner of the land wasn’t there to pay her & her husband.  Those were the days when all she could offer her children was water to fill their bellies.  She also recalled a time at the age of 14, when her mother only had 3 eggs to feed the 14 kids….I am truly blessed.

I can’t imagine that world.  To feel absolutely defenseless and unable to give your children a basic necessity.  Agros seeks to extend both physical means to these people who are willing to work REALLY hard to till their land; but, also give them emotional/spiritual means.  They come in to teach the people how to cultivate the land, how to educate themselves, how to make financial deals, etc.  What Agros does, is tell these people like Danubia, that if they are willing to want something more, then they can have it.  More importantly, what Agros does & says to them, “You are worth it!  You have value!”

Danubia spoke of telling her mother that she wanted to be a nurse when she grew up.  Her mother said, “Danubia, people like us don’t dream, because our hearts just get broken.”  After Agros came in to empower Danubia, her family & community, she and other women worked together to make the men realize that they are just as important & valuable as them.  And you know what, after the women worked just as hard, the men realized that these women, their women, had dignity & value.

When I think about what Evangitality means–this is it.  This is the global representation of it.  It’s finding value, dignity & worth in each individual, because they are created in God’s image.  It’s empowering them by giving them a hand up, and not a hand out.  It’s not entitlement, because there are many people who choose to stay in slums so they can keep their TV or refrigerator.  Instead, it’s for the people who want something more, who want to dream.  Life without dreams isn’t a life worth living, and Danubia knew this.

Walking back to the hotel that night, I told Ben, “You know, the poor in America aren’t that poor.  They still get assistance.  They’re not putting their children to bed without food.”  It has made me more thankful than ever.  And that’s why I give thanks before my meals.  I thank God that I have more than enough to fill my family’s bellies.  So when I’ve been cranky during this 3o day challenge, or hear people whining about, “Oh, I ONLY get meat, vegetables, limited fruit & nuts, and eggs,” I’m reminded of Danubia’s words, “my sons were hungry and the only thing I could give them was water.”  Oh how I have nothing to complain about, and everything to give thanks about.

I’m thankful for simple meals too.  So simple it seems almost too good to be true.

A Year Ago: Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Sea Salted Caramel Frosting &   Oatmeal Carmelitas

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Goodness (printable recipe)

This is for one sweet potato, but you could easily increase the amount and play with the ingredients.  If you’re not a cinnamon fan, sub some nutmeg (but go easy on it) or add some smoked paprika.

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato

1 tsp coconut oil

dash sea salt

2 Tb pecans

sprinkle cinnamon

Directions: Bake a sweet potato on 350 for 30 minutes or so (check a source, I’m that person who pops it in and doesn’t worry about it).  Do this the day before if you’re having it for breakfast.  Remove the skin and cut up the sweet potato into chunks.

Heat up coconut oil in a skillet on medium heat.  Add the sweet potato & salt.  Stir around letting it get a bit golden, about 3 minutes.  Add some chopped pecans & a sprinkling of cinnamon.  Cook for an additional 1 minute or so.  Serve and enjoy!