Is it just me or is everything these days coconut based? Coconut milk, coconut water, shredded coconut, desiccated coconut, coconut flour, coconut nectar, coconut oil, coconut chips, coconut cream, coconut butter, coconut syrup, coconut sugar and coconut yoghurt. And there’s good reason for it too. Coconuts are a ‘wonder food’ and have so many health benefits that all humans need in their daily diet. In our western world, the coconut is an ‘health’ food consumed by the health conscious people. However, in other parts of the world people have thrived off coconuts for many generations. And it is no surprise that these people live for many more decades than us.
Straight from the tree as mother nature intended, coconuts have the highest concentration of electrolytes than any other fruit which makes it a superb source of hydration.
The oil from the coconut contains a unique combination of fatty acids with powerful medicinal properties. Previously, coconut oil has had a negative view as it contains saturated fat. (Post on the different types of fats HERE) Coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat known to man and also 90% of the fatty acids in it are in fact saturated. However, coconut oil doesn’t contain the regular saturated fats which you find in steak and cheese, and they are metabolised differently. Coconut oil is not only great for consuming, but can be used for cosmetic purposes to improve hair and skin appearance or be used as a toothpaste and mouth wash alternative. Fun fact; it is also proven to block 20% of the suns UV rays.
Because of the coconuts antioxidant properties and high nutrient content, they can be used to:
- Lower cholesterol
- Improve digestion (yes please)
- Maintain youthful skin
- Stabilise glucose levels
- Increase your metabolism
- Fight infections and viruses
- Kill bacteria
- Improve your memory
- Regulate hormones
- Lose weight
- Increase thyroid function
Most things I bake contain some form of coconut and they are a great substitute for dairy or wheat ingredients. Although there is potential to go over board and make everything taste like coconut. I personally LOVE the flavour of coconut and don’t usually go a day without some form of coconut intake. However, I do understand that some people don’t like the taste and find it quite disgusting. There are so many ways to spice up your taste buds with some coconut, not to mention the added health benefits too. Coconut muffins, cakes, bliss balls, pancakes, slices, granola, topping for smoothies and for general munching on. Sarah Wilson author of I Quit Sugar, likes to have a teaspoon or two of coconut oil straight from the jar when she has sweet cravings or is a tad too hungry before dinner. Great idea. Spoon for the frying pan and a spoon for my mouth! It will only make you look younger and speed up that metabolism so what do you have to lose? Other than weight of course!
Here are 5 interesting ways to use the wonderful coconut fruit
Bake with coconut flour. See my peanut butter and coconut pancake recipe HERE
Rub coconut oil into your hair to improve the moisture content and protect its health and appearance.
Use coconut milk or coconut water in your smoothie. Smoothie recipe HERE
Add shredded or flaked coconut to your next granola batch. Recipe HERE
Make your own yoghurt with coconut cream. Recipe coming soon on the blog! Stay tuned!
Unfortunately for some, the office life stops me from sitting on the beach and cracking open a fresh coconut – but that doesn’t mean I can’t get the same antioxidant and health benefits from a coconut just minus the sun tan!