|Orange coconut ice|
Running the London Marathon has been a goal for a while, but I didn't really think it would happen this year. I completely missed the ballot (it opens and shuts almost a year before the run) and when I applied for a charity place, I did so knowing there were more applicants than positions available. When I heard that I had a place, my reaction was equal parts amazement, excitement and apprehension. I am acutely aware that a marathon is twice as long as my longest runs to date.
Of course, the apprehension doesn't detract from my overall excitement at being able to participate in the race. My charity place is with Beat, which is the UK eating disorder charity. I'm usually quite cagey about personal information, but have previously mentioned my PhD in psychology and my work in the health and medical arena. To open up a little more, most of my work centres around eating disorders. It is an area where the statistics can be quite depressing: one in seven women are likely to experience an eating disorder in their life (and one in 35 men) and around 30% of those affected will never recover. Up to 10% will die. We need to do much more to help those affected by the conditions, and Beat works hard to do that.
I am really delighted to be able to run for Beat, and will be doing my utmost to raise funds for the charity. And that is where this post comes in! I know not all of my readers will be in a position to donate, and of course you won't necessarily see Beat as your charity of choice. However, between now and April I will be sharing one recipe a week, on Thursdays, which I think is particularly special. It may be something that tastes amazing, which I have veganised from a decidedly non-vegan starting point, or which wins in ease and convenience.
If you like a recipe, or like enough between now and April, I'd be delighted if you would consider making a donation. Every bit of your donation would go to Beat (there are no administration cuts) and, of course, you would also help motivate me in the lead up to the marathon and on the day itself. It doesn't have to be large - contributions of any size at all would be very welcome. I'll share the link to my online fundraising page each week, and update you on my miles run too.
Even if you don't wish to donate, I hope you will enjoy the recipes I share over the next 3 months. I am really pleased to start off with this one, which turned out even better than I'd hoped. Traditional coconut ice is made with condensed milk, dessicated coconut, icing sugar, and often food colouring to give the distinctive white and pink look. It is something I associate with childhood visits from my grandparents and it is very sweet and very coconutty.
This orange coconut ice is a long way away from the traditional version. I've used coconut oil instead of condensed milk, coconut sugar instead of icing sugar (and less sugar overall), and orange zest for an adult twist. It is rather amazing. Mr Bite has been enjoying it too, and the only thing that's allowed me to not eat it all at once is my desire to have it last forever. I'm quite sure I'll be making a repeat batch before long.
If you're not usually a coconut lover - don't be put off by the coconutty nature of this. Mr Bite isn't generally a fan either, but somehow this works so well that the coconut seems right and is pleasing rather than overpowering.
Orange coconut ice
Vegan, refined sugar free and very moreish!
Makes 16 - 20 squares
Author: Bite-sized thoughts
120g (approximately 1-1/2 cups) desiccated coconut
100g (1 cup) coconut oil
100g (1 cup) coconut sugar
Zest of two oranges (approximately 1-1/2 tbsp)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Line a small square tin or loaf tin with baking paper.
Place the desiccated coconut in a large bowl and set aside.
Place the coconut oil, coconut sugar and orange zest in a small saucepan and heat over low heat until the oil is melted. Stir well to combine. Add the vanilla at the end, and then pour over the desiccated coconut. Stir until well mixed and then transfer to the prepared tin.
Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the tin. Refrigerate for approximately 2 hours before cutting into squares. Store in the fridge, but this is quite sturdy at room temperature.
This post is part of my fundraising efforts for the 2015 London Marathon. I am running for Beat, the UK eating disorder charity. If you liked this recipe and are in a position to make a donation, I'd be grateful for any contribution you could spare!
Check out my fundraising page for more information.
Days until the marathon: 107 Training miles logged in 2015: 28.1