Lightened Up Coconut Caramel Flan (Fiesta Fridays)

Lightened Up Coconut Caramel Flan // 24 Carrot Life

This is an EXTREMELY delayed Fiesta Fridays recipe post. I know. I had every intention to stay on schedule with my three-a-week posts (which are usually on Monday, Wednesday and Friday), but I’ve been enjoying my time in the Riviera Maya so much that I decided to take a slight hiatus from the blog. It hasn’t helped that the internet at each of our hotels has been less than stellar. But I’m making up for it with this Flan!

Lightened Up Coconut Caramel Flan // 24 Carrot Life

To be honest, flan is not my favorite dessert. I don’t even think it makes the top ten list and I’m pretty sure I’ve never ordered it off a menu. However, a very loyal follower of 24 Carrot Life (Hey, Shashi, if you’re reading!) suggested I try making a lightened up flan, and since it is one of my boyfriend’s favorite desserts I was up for the challenge.

Lightened Up Coconut Caramel Flan // 24 Carrot Life

I started out making the flan and I was feeling good about it… until I realized that every recipe I read said you MUST cook flan in a water bath. What’s a water bath, you ask? Basically you put the flan mixture into a dish and then put that dish into a larger one that has about 2 inches of boiling water in it so that the flan cooks slowly and evenly. Well… I didn’t have any pans or dishes that were bigger than my flan dish.

I got a little cocky and thought I could easily handle flan without the water bath. Not so much. The flan ended up with one side overcooked side- puffed up with extra brown edges- and the other side completely undercooked. This didn’t stop me from eating it straight from the dish though, so I knew I had the flavor right and just needed to fix this water bath issue. Enter my best friend who has a much better equipped kitchen here in Oaxaca. Thanks, Aerin!

Second time was a charm (water bath for he win) and the flan was devoured in one day. So, moral of the story is: when they say to make flan in a water bath, listen.

Lightened Up Coconut Caramel Flan // 24 Carrot Life

Best part about this flan? It’s a completely lightened up version from your normal restaurant flan. I swapped in truvia and skim milk for the sweetened condensed milk, which helped make each slice just 175 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 15 grams of sugar!!  Because of all the eggs and milk, each slice also has 8 grams of protein. I was actually shocked at how good these stats were when I calculated them.

I needed some comparison though, so I checked out the All Recipes Spanish Flan and it has 349 calories per slice. I’d much rather go for the lightened up version and now I want to make this flan every week!

This flan has:

Perfect soft and smooth texture
Caramel sauce you can drizzle on top
Toasted coconut flakes on top

Not to toot my own horn even further, but Daniel and I had some flan yesterday in a restaurant in Tulum and it was actually inedible. So, do me a favor, and even if you don’t like flan, try this recipe out and I think you might be converted.

Lightened Up Coconut Caramel Flan // 24 Carrot Life Are you a flan lover, indifferent, or hater?

Lightened Up Coconut Caramel Flan (Fiesta Fridays)
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 6
Caramel Sauce
  • ¼ cup sugar in the raw
  • ½ tablespoon water
  • ½ tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • ¼ cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ tablespoon truvia
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Boil 2 cups of water over high heat.
  3. Spray a pan with cooking spray or grease it.
  4. In a small pot, add the three ingredients for the caramel sauce, mix to combine, and heat over low heat until you see bubbles around the edges.
  5. Immediately pour the caramel sauce into the pan and slightly shake the pan to evenly distribute. Set aside and let cool while you make the flan mixture.
  6. Add all flan ingredients to a large bowl.
  7. With an electric beater, mix for a minute or two, until all of the egg white and yolk is completely combined with the other ingredients.
  8. Bang the bottom of your mixing bowl against the counter to release most of the air bubbles. There might still be some small ones but try to get rid of as many as you can by dropping the bowl multiple times.
  9. Pour carefully and slowly over caramel sauce and set in a larger pan. Fill the larger pan with about 1-2 inches of the boiling water.
  10. Bake for 1 hour, or until a knife inserted near the middle comes out clean.
  11. Prepare a cookie sheet with ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut.
  12. Remove flan from the oven, keep the oven at 325 degrees and place coconut in the oven for about 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Keep an eye on the coconut because it will not need long and burns quickly.
  13. Let it cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least an hour and up to overnight. When ready to serve, loosen edges with a knife and invert the baking pan onto a dish. Caramel sauce will pour over.
  14. Sprinkle toasted coconut on top.
Adapted from Sweet Leaf-
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice (of six) Calories: 175 Fat: 9.1 g Carbohydrates: 15.2 g Sugar: 15.1 g Fiber: 0 g Protein: 8.2 g


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Blueberry Coffee Cake with Coconut Flour Crumble

Blueberry Coffee Cake with Coconut Flour Crumble // 24 Carrot Life

Daniel and I have been in Playa del Carmen since Monday and we have already done lots of exploring. On Tuesday, we did some shopping and lots of walking. We left our hotel room around 11:30 am and didn’t get back until 7:30 pm. Needless to say, our feet were hurting and we needed a dip in the pool.

Yesterday, we took a day-long tour to Chichen Itza (Mayan ruins) and swam in a cenote, which is a natural sink hole that connects to underground bodies of water. If you have never heard of a cenote, Google it and then get your butt to Riviera Maya so you can check them out yourself! The cenote we went to was 150 ft. deep so the water was very dark and very cold. There were a few small black fish swimming around that are so used to humans that they barely moved out of the way when I swam past them. It was kind of scary, but so awesome. There was a place where you could jump off into the cenote and I was totally ready to do it until I got to the top and looked down. I’m not afraid of heights at all and yet I couldn’t jump. I decided to stick with my gut instead of push myself too much, even though everyone doing it looked like they were having a blast. I can’t wait to share more pics when we get back to Oaxaca, and you can also follow along on Instagram.

Before we left for our trip, I made a couple different recipes so I could share them with you while I’m away. This coffee cake turned out great on the first try (fist pump!) and was the perfect snack paired with a latte while traveling.

Blueberry Coffee Cake with Coconut Flour Crumble // 24 Carrot Life

I used my Gluten Free Brown Sugar Apple Oat Muffins as inspiration, but used a mixture of whole wheat flour and almond meal this time. That means that the coffee cake is not gluten free, but it is filled with fiber and a great nutty texture. I always like using muscovado sugar (or sugar in the raw) for that brown sugar flavor. I kept things light with skim milk and egg whites, as well as coconut oil instead of butter.

For the crumble, I wanted to switch things up by using coconut flour and coconut oil to add a little coconut flavor. I LOVED the way the coconut flour resembled regular flour in its texture and browned up in the oven perfectly. I think it’s going to be my new go-to combo for fruit crumbles too.

This cake would be perfect served for Easter breakfast. If I were home and celebrating with my family I would definitely make this for a pre-lunch snack. I think it would be a winning treat for all- for my brothers who say they don’t like baked goods, for my mom who is convinced that most “health” food is going to taste bad, and for my Dad who doesn’t like having treats in the house but always wants something sweet with his morning espresso.

Blueberry Coffee Cake with Coconut Flour Crumble // 24 Carrot Life What will you be making for Easter breakfast, or what’s your favorite baked good to have with a hot cup of coffee?

Blueberry Coffee Cake with Coconut Flour Crumble
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 9
Dry ingredients
  • 1 and ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Wet ingredients
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fold In
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 4 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Spray a square baking pan with cooking oil.
  2. Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk to combine completely.
  3. In a separate bowl, add wet ingredients and wisk to combine.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Don’t overmix.
  5. Fold in blueberries very carefully so their color does not run.
  6. Pour mixture into greased baking pan and spread batter evenly.
  7. In a small bowl, add all crumble ingredients together and mash with a fork. Using your hands, crumble the mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are brown and the crumble is golden brown.
  9. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 square Calories: 234 Fat: 10.3 g Carbohydrates: 30.3 Sugar: 10.1 g Fiber: 5 g Protein: 6.9 g


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Copycat Juice Generation Peanut Butter Split Smoothie

Copycat Juice Generation Peanut Butter Split Smoothie #vegan #healthy //

Hello from the Riviera Maya! As of yesterday, I’m on a week and half long vacay with my boyfriend. We are in Puerto Morelos just for two and half days and then headed to Playa del Carmen and Tulum, with lots of little day trips to ruins and other towns in between. We have been planning this trip since before Christmas time so I am so excited to be here and explore with Daniel. You can follow along on Instagram to see what we’re up to. We spent a lot of today making fun of other people for being so sunburned and when we returned to our hotel room at the end of the day…yup, we were both burned. Hopefully it’s nothing a lot of lotion, water and some sleep can’t fix, but the sun is no joke here.

Now, onto food, my favorite topic. Whenever I visit New York City I take full advantage of all the restaurants and food there and pretty much gorge myself. Last February I took a trip to NYC for a joint birthday weekend with one of my best friends, Kelly. We hit up tons of bakeries, coffee shops, a falafel joint, a place that sells oatmeal with all the toppings you could imagine, the Union Square Market, and Juice Generation (like three times). At the time, Kelly was living right next to Juice Generation, so it was very easy to stop in for a morning smoothie or afternoon snack.

Kelly recommended the Peanut Butter Split smoothie to me and I, of course, trust her judgement completely when it comes to food (as well as other life matters). And, boy, was she right. That smoothie is super thick and creamy, and bursting with peanut butter flavor. I’ve basically been dreaming about it since that trip to New York.

Copycat Juice Generation Peanut Butter Split Smoothie #vegan #healthy //

I’m kind of a smoothie addict (as witnessed here, here, and here) and have one almost every day (even while here on vacation; today it was banana-strawberry). So, naturally, after thinking about the Juice GenerationPeanut Butter Split Smoothie for an entire year, I set out to recreate it the other week and it was surprisingly easy. I wanted a really strong peanut butter flavor without all the calories and fat from peanut butter, so I used one tablespoon of natural peanut butter and two tablespoons of peanut flour. Success! Peanut flour is a great way to get that peanut butter flavor while keeping things lighter. I’ve read that PB2 (a very popular peanut flour brand) has additives, whereas brands like Protein Plus only has peanuts listed in the ingredients. This is the brand I use and really like, if you’re in the market for some peanut flour. In addition to the peanut butter, I froze light coconut milk in an ice cube tray the night before to use in my smoothie. The coconut milk keeps the smoothie super creamy and it’s really a must for this smoothie.

Copycat Juice Generation Peanut Butter Split Smoothie #vegan #healthy //

Have you tried peanut flour before? And have you ever visited Juice Generation in NYC? 

Copycat Juice Generation Peanut Butter Split Smoothie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Smoothie
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves: 1
  • 5 light coconut milk ice cubes (or regular ice cubes and use coconut milk instead of regular milk below)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut flour
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
  • ½ frozen banana
  • ¾ cup milk
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high until completely smooth.


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