Peach and Berry Crumble

Since it is pretty much Fall here… yes, this soon. I’m thinking we can all use a little extra comfort.
In the form and shape of crumble, lots of clumpy crunchy comforting lumps of cookie flavoured morsels covering juicy peaches and berries.
To me that is comfort at it’s best.
You can serve it either warm or let it cool and serve it with whipped cream or even ice cream.

It’s simply one of our favourite desserts and we make it all the time with all kinds of fruit, depending on the season, but this particular combo has me running back for more each time, not to mention the cookie like smell coming from the oven during baking.
I actually also love to have this in the morning,  if there are any leftovers and serve it with a dollop of Greek yoghurt. I mean it’s healthy right? Fruit, fibre, yes, I think so.

INGREDIENTS:

Fruit mixture:

2 cups of fresh or frozen berries and/or blueberries
2 -3  roughly chopped fresh peaches, (skin removed)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tablespoon flour

Crumble Layer:

1 1/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup (spelt) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons almond butter, soft
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small piece (or grated)
1/2 cup maple syrup or light brown sugar

Extra:
1 tbsp of butter for pan or baking dish
whipped cream to serve

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F / 175 C .

2. Butter a 10-12 inch skillet or a similar baking dish and set a side. This step just adds flavor.

3. Peel the peaches (as best as you can) and remove the stone, cut them into bite size pieces and place them in the skillet.

4. Add the honey and vanilla and stir to combine.

5. Add the raspberries/blueberries and corn starch and stir carefully until all is just combined.

3. To make the topping, combine the oats, flour, cinnamon, almonds, salt and baking powder in a medium-size mixing bowl. Add the maple syrup or brown sugar. Add the butter and almond butter and use your hands to work the butter into the dry ingredients until everything is combined and lumps form. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit.

4. Transfer to the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbling. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream. Enjoy!

XO

Myra

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Oven Baked Christmas Churros with thick Spanish Mocha hot Chocolate

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Great childhood memories for me about Churros, we used to get them at the weekly market in my village in Spain, they’d be deep fried and sprinkled with lots of cinnamon sugar. Served in a paper cone. Crunchy and warm, and oh sooo good.

My version is baked, not fried. Just because it can get a little heavy otherwise and it’s also less calories.

Traditionally these are served with hot thick Spanish chocolate but since I love Coffee, I have made us a Mocha Hot Chocolate. Basically the best of both worlds.

I have sprinkled the Churros with a cookie spice mix (pumpkin spice) to give it an extra “Christmassy” flavour.

Some people have this even for breakfast but they are great any time of day and even as a dessert (YUM is all I can say).

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Serves 4

Ingredients Churros;

½ cup unsalted butter or cooking margarine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp. sugar of choice (I use coconut)
1 cup water
1 cup all purpose flour
3 eggs at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tsp. mixed spice (like pumpkin spice
1/4 C. powdered sugar of choice
cooking spray
Method;

Preheat oven to 400° F / 200° C

In a medium saucepan combine the butter, salt, sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Remove from heat add the flour and stir with a spoon to combine. Mixture will thicken…add the vanilla.

Leave dough in the saucepan, but beat it on low with a hand mixer, adding one egg at a time, mixing well before adding another. After adding each egg, the mixture will become wet and glossy, but after mixing on high for a few seconds it will thicken again.

Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Lightly spray a cookie sheet and pipe 8-inch rows of the dough with at least 1 inch between each Churro.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown*, and when a toothpick comes out clean.
Mix spice and sugar in a shallow dish.
Spray Churros lightly with cooking spray, and one at a time, transfer them to the dish and sprinkle with spiced sugar. Serve immediately with Spanish hot Chocolate

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Ingredients Spanish Mocha Hot Chocolate;

1/2 C. hot freshly brewed coffee

3 tbsp. cocoa

1/2 tsp. vanilla

5 tbsp. coconut sugar or of choice

2 c. full fat milk (or of choice)

2 tbsp. corn starch mixed with a little water

Whipped cream to serves

golden mini starts to decorate (optional)

Method;

Make the cup of coffee and mix in a saucepan with the cocoa, sugar and vanilla. Mix to dissolve sugar and cocoa completely. Add the milk and stir to combine. Heat until just begins to bubble. Add the corn starch slurry and combine well. Keep stirring frequently and heat thru until thickened, for about 5 more minutes.

Pour into cups and serve with whipped cream and dip the Churros in the hot mocha chocolate.

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If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day.

Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Cream Cheese Cranberry Chocolate Chip stuffed Cinnamon Rolls or Triple Chocolate Donuts

Triple Chocolate Donuts

…..chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.

Ok, what I mean here is , there’s dark cocoa powder in the batter, dark chocolate chips in the batter and dark chocolate frosting on top. I mean, seriously, this is too much. No, it’s not….

Initially I made them for my daughter and her friends, but who was I kidding, really?

Off course I wasn’t going to resist. I mean I have a pretty strong will once I really watch what I am eating but at this point I am still in a transition state between eat whatever you want and watch what you eat land.

Since I have this donut pan I never ever buy donuts from the store anymore. In fact I would take on a bet to see who is quicker, me baking a few donuts or you getting them at the store. Anyone up for the challenge? No, this really is such an easy recipe and very fast.  I’m talking 5 minutes mixing, 9 minutes baking. Done.

While they cool, I make the frosting which is also very easy . And as soon as they are cool enough, after about 15 minutes, we frost because we can’t wait. It’s probably better to wait at least half an hour, but I like to see you wait that long when your whole house is smelling of freshly baked chocolate donuts and a teen daughter is pulling your arm.

Makes 8 donuts

Ingredients;

1 C. All Purpose Flour

2 tbsp. Cacao Powder

1/3 C. sugar of choice

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1/4 tsp. Baking Soda

pinch of Salt

1 large egg at room temperature

1/2 C. buttermilk (or mix plain yoghurt and milk 50/50)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

2 tbsp. melted butter

Frosting;

3 oz. dark Chocolate, chopped

1 tbsp. Honey

1 tbsp. butter

1 – 2  tbsp. freshly brewed hot coffee (or hot water)

Method;

Pre heat oven to 375° F

Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in an other.

Mix the wet in to the dry. DO NOT over beat.

Spoon the batter into the cavities of the pan.

Place on rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 9 – 10 minutes.

In my oven it is exactly 9 minutes. But insert wooden skewer to test for doneness to be sure. Every oven is a bit different.

Transfer to a rack to cool.

Meanwhile make the frosting by melting the chocolate and butter in the microwave at 20 second intervals until melted, stirring in between. Add the hot coffee and honey, stir.

Let cool a little bit and frost the donuts.

Not quite what you were looking for? How about Tartelettes aux Ganache

Halloween Donuts

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GUESS what…it’s almost HALLOWEEN….

I just love Halloween and in all seriousness I was the first to celebrate it with my family in the town we currently live in. Nobody knew what it was when I first moved here, they had heard about it, but that’s about it. Even in Germany they celebrate it more than here and it’s just around the corner.

When I lived in the States I just became hooked on Halloween. I don’t think I will ever go a year without celebrating it.

Now 14 years later, we have a lot of Halloween props and candy in the stores and it has finally settled in. I’m very happy about it and so is my daughter.

For the past 5 or 6 years my daughter has always had a Halloween party for her and her friends, they all dress up and do fun and scary stuff. They all love it and it gives me a great excuse to cook and bake crazy food. So, …here we go

Makes 6 Donuts

Pre heat oven to 350° F

Needed: Wilton Nonstick 6-Cavity Donut Pan

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Ingredients;

1 C.All Purpose Flour

Remove one tablespoon and replace it with Corn Starch

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1/4 tsp. Baking Soda

pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt

1 large egg at room temperature

1/3 C. fine Caster Sugar

6 tbsp. Buttermilk

2 tbsp. melted Butter

1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

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Method;

Sieve the first four ingredients very well together.

In an other bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.

Stir in to the flour mixture. DO NOT OVER MIX.

Grease your doughnut pan or oil spray. Divide the batter between the holes.

Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. Insert a tooth pick to test if they are done. If it comes out dry they are ready. Remove them from the oven. Let cool completely before icing.

For the icing I have used confectioners sugar with natural food colours

and a Halloween Sprinkle Mix

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The icing has to be thick or it will absorb into the doughnuts.

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Caramel Sauce, dairy free and refined sugar free

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The last couple of weeks we have been indulging in “nice cream” every evening after dinner. It’s so good… frozen bananas, a little bit of cocoa, sweetener, blitz and done.

But I was missing something, something sticky on top so I came up with this caramel sauce, it’s dairy free and refined sugar free. So much better for you than the store bought junk.

It’s quick to make but you do have to let it cool about an hour or so before using. It’s great on pancakes and french toast too.

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Ingredients;

1 C.  Coconut Blossom sugar

2 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp honey

3/4 C. coconut cream

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of Himalayan salt

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Method;

Place the coconut sugar, honey and butter in a pan over a medium heat. Stir gently until the sugar has dissolved and let it bubble for 2-3 minutes.

Pour in the coconut cream and keep stirring until it has fully combined. Turn down the heat and allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes until it has thickened.

Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract and salt and stir well. Pour the sauce into a bowl or jar and allow to cool. The mixture may thicken a little more once it cools.

Store in a sealed jar or container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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How about pouring this over French Crêpes. ?

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No bake White Chocolate Cheese Cake with Raspberry Swirl.

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Prep time: 20 min plus refrigeration

Makes 8 servings

I am very excited about this cheese cake, the only sugar it has is that of the 3 ounces of white chocolate. The base is healthy and the rest of the cheese cake too. But you really can’t tell, it is super smooth and silky. And no baking!

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Ingredients Crust;

1 C. Oats

1/3 C. nuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts with no skins

10 medium medjool dates, stone removed

2 tbsp. Agave syrup

1 tbsp. Coconut oil

1 oz. white chocolate

Ingredients Filling;

7 oz. Cream Cheese, at room temperature

2 1/4 C. Greek Yoghurt 2 % fat, at room temperature

1/3 C. Xylitol or 2 tsp. Liquid stevia or sugar of choice

4 oz. white chocolate

6 Gelatine leafs (4.5″x3″) , (11.5 cm x 7.6 cm)

Ingredients Raspberry Swirl;

1 C. frozen raspberries

1 tbsp. Xylitol or 1/4 tsp. Liquid stevia or sugar of choice

1 tbsp. water

1 gelatine leaf (4.5″x3″) , (11.5 cm x 7.6 cm)

Method;

Start by making the bottom. In a food processor blend together the oats, medjool dates and nuts. Add the agave syrup and coconut oil until crumbly consistency.

Line an 8″/ 20cm. spring form with baking paper. You need to line the sides of the ring too.

Cut a long strip of baking paper. Oil spray the ring of your tin so the paper will stick easier.

Place the crumbly bottom mix in the bottom of your tin. Press firmly to cover the entire bottom. Place in the freezer. Meanwhile put one ounce of white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and melt at 20 second intervals. White chocolate burns easily so be careful.

Remove the spring form from the freezer and spread with a thin layer of chocolate, this will act as a protection film to ensure that the crust does not get soggy. Place in the refrigerator.

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Method for raspberry swirl;

Soak one gelatin leaf in cold water for five minutes.

In a saucepan over medium heat, place the raspberries, the xylitol or sugar of choice and the tablespoon of water.

Bring to a slow simmer and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes. Squeeze out the gelatin and add it to the raspberries. Mix it through and let it cool slightly before pureeing it in a blender. Set aside.

Method for the Cheese cake filling;

Soak 6 leafs of gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes.

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave at 20 second intervals stirring each time.

Squeeze out the gelatine leafs and place them in a sauce pan over low heat with one or two tablespoons of water. Melt the gelatine.

In a bowl mix the cream cheese until smooth, add the yogurt a bit at a time. Mix well while adding the xylitol or sugar of choice. Add the gelatin, pouring it into the filling mix, stirring at the same time.

Mix the cheese cake filling into the melted white chocolate , one teaspoon at a time . This is a bit tricky so you have to mix fast and keep adding to form a smooth filling. Once you have about half a cup, add the rest of the cheese cake mix. Combine thoroughly.

Pour the half the cheese cake mix in the spring form on top of the crust. Pour half the raspberry sauce over the yogurt. Make swirls with a knife. Repeat with remaining filling and sauce.

Set in the refrigerator over night.

Enjoy

Myra Xo

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Banana Bread, wheat free, sugar free, fat free!

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I am so excited about this recipe, it’s almost like cake!

This Banana bread is totally healthy and even wheat free. Its really moist because of the yogurt and I have been having it for breakfast with some peanut butter or chocolate hazelnut spread (sugar free obviously) almost every day since I made it, really delicious.

Now, I realize that Banana bread isn’t exactly new  to anyone as most households will have their own favorite recipe, but this one is fat free, sugar free and wheat free, so I thought I had to share it with you.

Pre heat the oven to 310° F./160° C.

Ingredients:

1 C. Mashed Bananas

3 medium eggs, room temperature

1/4 C. Honey

1/4 C. Coconut blossom sugar

1 1/2  tsp.pure vanilla extract

1/4  C. Yogurt regular or soy

2 C. Spelt flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

Plus: 1 tbsp. Coconut blossom sugar  + tsp Cinnamon mixed for sprinkling over the top

Method;

Spray a loaf tin with cooking oil, line  with parchment paper and lightly spray with oil again.

In a large bowl combine the first 6 ingredients.

In an other bowl sift together the flour with the baking soda and powder.

Add the dry mix to the wet mix and stir together with a spatula, do not over beat.

Pour into loaf pan. Sprinkle with the coconut sugar and cinnamon mix and swirl through a knife.

Place  in the middle of the oven and bake for about 60 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing.

TIP: serve with some Chocolate-Hazelnut spread or Peanut butter. Sprinkle over some toasted Coconut shavings.

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Looking for more great recipes to try?  Be sure to check out this Raspberry & Almond Breakfast Loaf             IMG_7972

Orange Blossom Peach Tart, with a thin Vanilla Cheese cake layer.

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The end of Summer is approaching, and I am frantically freezing Cherries, Strawberries and sliced Peaches . Basically fruit hoarding.

Last Christmas I made a Peach dessert and it was such a treat in the middle of winter.

Beside all the freezing and canning, I am also making a lot of fruit desserts.

I came up with this one because I had bought too many Donut Peaches.

My Donut peaches, who win the first prize for cute peach names as far as I am concerned, were starting to look a little too ripe. I still had puff pastry in the freezer so I came up with this little treat and I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet but it turned out great.

The fun thing about this tart is that it has a thin layer of cheese cake under the fruit. I mean……hello?

Ingredients;

8 squares of Puff Pastry, (12.5 oz/360 gr.)

4 large juicy Peaches or 6 Donut Peaches

1/2 tsp. Orange blossom extract (optional)

Cheese cake layer:

1/2 C. Cream Cheese, at room temperature

1 large egg at room temperature,

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar

Glaze:

1 tbsp. Honey

1 tsp. warm water

plus;

1 egg beaten for brushing puff pastry

1 tbsp. sugar for sprinkling over border.

Method;

Pre heat oven to 425 ° F/ 220° C with a baking sheet in the oven to heat up. Pre heating the baking tray ensures a crispy golden tart bottom.

Peel the peaches, cut in half and remove the stone. Lay them with the flat side down and cut into slices lengthwise.

Put them into a bowl and add the Orange blossom extract. Leave to marinate while you prepare the puff pastry.

Lay out a piece of baking parchment and place 6 squares of puff pastry on it in a rectangular shape. The slices overlapping each other a little bit, press them together with your index finger. The rectangle should be about 14″x 9″.

In a small bowl beat 1 egg and brush the border with a pastry brush.

Cut the remaining 2 squares into strips and place them around the rectangle to form a border pressing very gently so it sticks to the beaten egg. It should have a “picture frame” shape.

In a bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth and add the beaten egg, vanilla and sugar. Mix well. Spread evenly over the puff pastry without covering the border. Now place the peaches over the cheese cake layer in three rows going down lengthwise. Brush the top of the border with the remaining beaten egg. Sprinkle the border with remaining sugar.

Place the peach tart with the parchment paper on top of the baking sheet in the oven. Lower the temperature to 360 °F/ 180° C. Bake for 40-45 minutes turning half way.

Remove from the oven. Mix the glaze and brush over the peaches. Cut in to squares, and serve as is or with whipped cream or maybe some vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy

Myra Xo

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NOTE:

I the Netherlands puff pastry comes packed in squares but the rectangle size you want to end up with is about 14″x 9″. But you can make it any shape or size you want. You could even make individual tarts.

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Macadamia-Cashew Bars

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There is just something so great about indulging and not having to feel guilty about it. Although these do have a lot of calories because of the nuts, but at least they are good for you.

I was very sceptical a few years ago when I stumbled upon the whole “raw”movement. I tried it for a month or two to give it a fair judgement and although it’s not for me, I do admire people who can live that way.

I found it hard to follow and I missed cooking too much. The great thing I discovered were the raw desserts. I mean, they really are the business, again, very calorie rich but also very rich in flavour and nutritious at the same time.

I guess what really works for me is to take the best from various life styles and put them all together.

Makes 16

Ingredients;

Base:
1 cup of pitted dates – soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
2/3 cup of almonds
2/3 cup of walnuts
2 tbsp cacao
1 tbsp coconut oil

Cream top;
1 cup cashews, soaked in  water overnight
1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked in water overnight
1/2-1 cup coconut water
1/2 cup coconut nectar
1/2 cup coconut oil
dash of salt
dash of vanilla

Fruit top:

2 C. mixed berries or other fruits of choice

Method;

The Base:
Into a food processor add your dates, and pulse for 10 seconds.
Add the rest of your ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds,  until combined. Don’t pulse for too long or your mixture will end up in one big lump.
Transfer your base into your 8×8 tray lined with baking parchment  and pat down evenly. Put in the freezer to set!

Cream base:
Into a blender add your  nuts,  1/2 cup coconut water, coconut nectar, oil, salt and vanilla. Blend till smooth. Add more coconut water to get a good consistency.
Put on top of the Base layer, and then freeze.
Let it sit in the freezer for about two hours before cutting in to squares and decorate with a variety of fruits.

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Raw Peppermint Bars

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These are a great little treat and healthy too. If you like After Eight than you are going to love these. You do have to keep them in the fridge because the Chocolate top melts very quickly. You can have these any time of day, with a cup of tea or even serve them as a dessert. No bad Cholesterol or nasty sugar in these little gems, so enjoy a Peppermint slice (or two) completely guilt free.

Ingredients Base;

1 C. Dates – soaked in warm water for 10 minutes if they are very dry

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1/2 C. Oats

2 tbsp cacao

1 Tbsp. Chia seeds

1 – 2  Tbsp. coconut oil

Method;

To make the base, soak the dates if necessary then cut in half and remove the stones. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you have a crumbly consistency that, when you press between two fingers should stick together. Add a drop of water if necessary.

Line a round 8″ tin with baking paper or a square tin, whatever you have at hand.

Press the base in to the tin, pressing really hard so it forms a good base. Put in the fridge while you make the Peppermint layer.

Ingredients Peppermint layer;

2 C. Cashews soaked overnight, drained and dried

2 tsp. Hemp powder

2 tsp. Green vegetable powder

1/2 C. Spinach leafs

1 1/2 tsp. Peppermint extract

4 tbsp. Xylitol or Agave

2  ( or 3) tbsp. Coconut Oil

Method;

Place the cashew nuts and coconut oil in a blender and blend until smooth. You may have to stop and press the mixture down a few times. But once it gets going it will get smooth. Now add the rest of the ingredients. Taste for sweetness and add more if you like. If the mass is to solid add a little more Coconut oil. Spread this mixture over the base. Put it in the freezer so it get nice and cold for the chocolate layer. The cooler the Peppermint base the quicker the Chocolate will set.

Ingredients Chocolate layer;

1/2 C. Raw Cocoa powder

1/2 C. Coconut Oil, soft

1/2 C. Agave

Method;

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Pour over the Peppermint layer and put it in the fridge until ready to serve.

Cut into squares when ready to serve and decorate with flowers or chocolate shavings.

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NOTE: I have  decorated some with green shredded Coconut. I add a teaspoon of green vegetable powder to the shredded coconut in a bowl and add a drop or two of water. Mix thoroughly and let dry before putting in a container. You can do the same for  pink Coconut shreds, using Dragon fruit powder or other fruit powders.

Enjoy!

Myra Xo