Almost raw coconut-lime bites

Almost raw coconut-lime bites

This post was created in partnership with Califia Farms.

It’s been a while. Almost-seven weeks a while (WAIT. Was it really that long?). And while part of me wants to apologize for taking such a long break from this space, a part of me is over here unapologetically celebrating the fact that I did. I needed it. To inhale and exhale and get things in order and move and unpack and scream and cry and adjust to what still – six weeks later – feels like a very foreign way of living.

We moved out of our condo in the park. Unpacked in a few days’ time. Jumped head first into renovating (after our last kitchen reno I was determined to bang out alllll the renovations ASAP) (painting, flooring, kitchen, etc.). Stuff with our little business venture got kicked into high gear. And then – in the midst of what I kept referring to as The Most Chaotic Period of my Life, Ever – I received news that hospice was coming to take care of my Opa.


My Opa.

Aside from knocking the wind out of me and turning me into a sobbing mess in a public place (sorry to everyone in Protein Bar who had to witness that), I lost my mind trying to wrap my mind around how the hell we were going to squeeze in a trip to Ohio. We had half a dozen things going on that required us to be present, and halting them would be impossible (moving) or costly (Alchemy HQ build out) or inconvenient (renovations). So we finished the impossible and sucked up the costly and inconvenient and then we packed up our tiny Prius and grabbed my little (and by little I mean younger) brother and drove exactly 1,185 miles to my Oma and Opa’s front door.

Side note: we spent $60 on fuel and CAN I TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE OUR PRIUS C? I love it. A lot.

Anyway. I’ll spare you the details because 1) they’re far too personal and 2) they make me cry every time I think or write about them (and crying right now isn’t really conducive to getting this blog post in front of you). But know that I got to spend a really beautiful (and weird and terrifying, if I’m being honest) week with my Opa. He was witty and open and reflective and I feel so damn lucky that I got to be there to see that side of him. But then I had to say goodbye. And I don’t think I’ve ever felt more conflicted than I did the day we pulled out of his driveway, knowing I was leaving to tend to matters that were far less important, in the grand scheme of things.

Thanks to a good friend who reminded me you’ll never get this time back, I found myself sitting on a plane heading back east just four days after we arrived home. Unfortunately, by the time I made it back, my Opa’s condition had worsened. But I got to sit with him and hold his hand. I got to remind him how much I love him. I got to thank him for caring for me (and my brothers) the same way he cared for his own children. And I got to look in his eyes and tell him how much I appreciate everything he did for our family. Because there’s no denying that everything I have, everywhere I’ve been, and everything I am can be traced back to that man (and my Oma) – which, if you think about it, is a really fucking beautiful thing.

Less than 72 hours after I returned to Ohio, my Opa laid down his earth suit and left us for the afterworld. I sobbed and drank a lot of coffee. And then I sobbed some more. I held my Oma tight and I told her all the same things I told my Opa. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned from all of this: it’s that you shouldn’t wait until someone’s on their literal death bed to spill your heart out to them. You need to be shoutin’ that shit from the mountaintops. Today. Tomorrow. And for as long as you have them in your life.


PS – The Courthouse Wedding. <3
PPS – I might not be sorry for taking a break but I am sorry for posting two (shredded) coconut-heavy recipes in a row. OOF.

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Notes: The almonds can easily be replaced with your favorite nut; macadamias would make for a delicious substitution (I almost used them but didn’t have enough on hand). If you’d rather use another liquid sweetener (coconut nectar, agave nectar, etc.), knock yourself out. Speaking of which, these bites are just a touch sweet so if you want something sweeter, you can swap all/part of the creamer for equal parts of pure maple syrup. I prefer my coconut-lime bites to be on the crumbly side so I only add 2 tablespoons of creamer. If you want yours on the chewy side, go for 3 tablespoons. Also? Orange and lemon substitute beautifully in this recipe. Just sayin’. ;)

More almost raw goodness: almost raw chocolate chunk cashew bites, almost raw brownies with maple ganache, and almost raw deconstructed cheesecakes.

This post is sponsored by Califia Farms, maker of my favorite non-GMO + carrageenan-free almondmilk (amongst other delicious beverages). All opinions are my own and I think Califia rules. 


2 1/2 cups (190g) unsweetened shredded coconut 
1 1/2 cups (210g) raw almonds
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
Zest of one lime

Pinch of fine sea salt
2 tablespoons (28g) fresh-squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons (22g) unrefined coconut oil
, melted (but not hot)
1/4 cup (74g) pure maple syrup
2-3 tablespoons (28-42g) Califia Farms unsweetened almondmilk creamer (see notes above)

Add the coconut, almonds, vanilla bean powder, lime zest, and salt to a food processor fitted with the S blade; blend on high speed for 30-45 seconds or until the mixture turns into a fine crumble. Drizzle in the lime juice, coconut oil, and maple syrup then process for 10-15 seconds. While the food processor is still running, drizzle in the creamer (you need to add it separate from the coconut oil otherwise it will cause the coconut oil to seize and that is NO BUENO, my friends) and blend just until combined. Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop, drop the bites onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roll into balls and coat with coconut flour, if desired (though not necessary). Freeze for 30 minutes then transfer to an airtight container. Will keep in the freezer for several months, but I doubt they’ll last that long.

Yield: 26-28 bites


Almost raw coconut-lime bites


  • Reply Silvia 1 June 2017 at 5:53 AM

    Hi Ashlae,
    first time writing to you but long time reading:)
    I have just, finally, bought a decent food processor and I want to make these bites (badly).
    BUT, I live in Milan (Italy) and there is nothing even close to Califia products here…any valid substitute for the creamer?
    My OPA, or should I say, mio nonno, is the first loved one I lost. It has been 12 years, I still cry from time to time and dream about him and talk to him.
    Your new place is so beautiful and cool.

    • Reply Ashlae 5 June 2017 at 11:34 AM

      Hi Silvia –

      Give full fat coconut milk a try. :) Also? Thanks + HUGS. <3

  • Reply Scully 1 June 2017 at 7:00 AM

    Thanks for making me cry at work, babe. My heart pours out to you. I recently received a letter from my grandma BEGGING me to go visit her (in Poland) and I’m going out of my mind with how to make it happen when I *just* started a new job and literally don’t have the vacation/sick/pto days to do so. Ugh. Now I’m crying more.


  • Reply Amber 1 June 2017 at 7:39 AM

    Sending warm hugs to you and your family, Ashlae. I lost my grandparents years ago and the loss still hurts. But I promise it hurts a little less with each day that passes by. Totally random but I loved the Instagram stories you shared while you were in Ohio. Your Oma is awesome (and adorable). I can only imagine that your Opa was too.

    • Reply Amber 1 June 2017 at 7:47 AM

      I clicked over to your courthouse wedding post and now I’m sobbing in my cubicle. What a beautiful thing you two did for him. ❤️

  • Reply Abby @ Heart of a Baker 1 June 2017 at 7:45 AM

    I’m sending so much love to you friend. I know the pain and agony that losing someone (especially someone who is not only an awesome person but close to your heart) brings into life. I hope next time I see you I can give you the biggest hug but know I’m sending a virtual one right now. xoxoxo

  • Reply Ella 1 June 2017 at 8:28 AM

    Leaving this here because it made a difficult loss a little easier for me to carry. I hope that it does the same for you, as well.

    “You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” — Anne Lamott

  • Reply lindsey 1 June 2017 at 9:57 AM

    sending big love and hugs to you ashlae <3

  • Reply Amber - Loves Food, Loves to Eat 1 June 2017 at 10:20 AM

    This post brought back all the memories of losing my dad a few summers ago… beautiful, weird, and terrifying is a perfect way to describe watching someone “lay down their earth suit and leave us for the afterworld.” fuuuuuuuck. so, so sorry for your loss, it sounds like he was a real gem <3.

  • Reply Gemma 1 June 2017 at 4:25 PM

    When these things happens one always thinks: “what could I say or do to make that person feel a tad bit better?”…and I’ve also been on the other side and only time helps you to feel less pain from those scars. But obviously the scars will always be there and you learn to live with them and remember all the good things you shared with that special person.
    I wish I could have met my grandparents (I only met my grandmother from my mom’s side), looking at your pictures with them…reading all the beautiful things you say about them…it melts my heart, really. How lucky you are for having so many awesome people that love you!

    Sending you a virtual warm hug and big kiss! <3

  • Reply Pia 2 June 2017 at 4:01 AM

    Yay yay yay, you’re back :) Finally. Because trust me, your blogging presence and incredible inventiveness/ kitchen creativity/magic has seriously been missed!
    That said, I obviously also read the update, and while I’m glad things have been moving along so well in terms of renovating etc. (been cheekily following along on Instagram and Twitter too, of course), I’m dearly sorry to hear about your loss. Ashlae, I really don’t quite know what to say, but please just know that it’s okay to hurt and grieve and feel all the feels. <3
    Hugs and lots of love and support coming your way, dear friend xx

  • Reply Dana Z 2 June 2017 at 1:23 PM

    Goddamnit I am trying not to eat sweets this month. Do these count?! Gah. Loooove the way your new space is coming together and you’ve kinda inspired me to try come up with more functional storage.

    Very sorry to hear about your loss. Anytime I hear hospice it makes me wince because death is one of those things that hurts so bad. Everyone goes on living their lives and you have to deal with it. Overtime, it gets better and then when it happens again it’s the same gut wrenching feeling. My heart goes out to you.

  • Reply Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen 2 June 2017 at 6:16 PM

    I just got teary reading this post. I’m so sorry for your loss. But it’s so lucky that you got to spend time with him at the end. I lost my grandpa a few years ago unexpectedly, but I got to spend his last day with him (not knowing it at the time) and I’m so grateful for that. Sending you hugs!

  • Reply Gail 3 June 2017 at 3:49 AM

    Take away…”shout that shit from the mountaintops” before people lay down their earth suits. Advice I can respect. Life is weird and funny and heartwrenching, and ALL beautiful.

  • Reply Susie @ Mile High Dreamers 3 June 2017 at 2:42 PM

    Sending love your way. It’s so hard to say goodbye to people we love, there really is no way to express it. And we shouldn’t let goodbyes be the reminder to tell someone we love them, so thank you for that. Glad for you that you got to spend those last days with him though, every one of those moments is special and he sounds like an incredible man!

  • Reply Aimee 4 June 2017 at 11:58 AM

    Never apologize for taking the time to say yes to the things that truly matter. So glad you had that time with both your Oma and Opa.
    Also, These look divine and perfectly seasonal.

  • Reply Lan | MoreStomach 11 June 2017 at 7:39 AM

    i am so very sorry about your opa. i hope that his transition was a smooth one, but by your account, it sounds like it was love-filled. please take sweet comfort in knowing that you have turned out beautifully and he had a hand in getting you here.

  • Reply Edie 12 June 2017 at 11:57 AM

    Hang in there, Ashlae. I’m thinking of you and keeping your Opa in my thoughts and prayers. Life is messy and unfair, but we just keep trucking because with every heartbreaking moment (or series of heartbreaking moments), there’s always something positive in tow. Oh, and I’m pinning these bites. They look so good.

  • Reply Josie 17 June 2017 at 11:36 AM

    Sending you so much love. I feel the same way about my grandmother as you feel about your Opa, and I can’t imagine what losing her would be like.

  • Reply Simone Anne 11 July 2017 at 12:46 PM

    Just sobbing over here. xx

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