You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Coconut’ tag.

This is my favourite thing to add to my Chia porridge for breakfast. The taste is so vibrant and alive yet still naturally sweet and a great yoghurt tang. I use my dehydrator to incubate it but you could use a yoghut maker or even a bain marie (inside a bowl inside a bowl filled with warm/hot water and cover with a towel! It doesn’t have to be complicated just an even warm temperature for about 12 hours for this yoghurt.

 

1 cup of coconut meat

a drizzle to 1/2 cup coconut water/milk kefir (depending on the wetness of the meat)

Add the meat to a blender or food processor. Add a little kefir to get the yoghurt started. Blend on slow to start with and then on high adding more kefir as necessary until you reach a cream consistency (incidentally this is how I make my coconut cream). Add to your vessels- this makes about 8 portions of yoghurt (with each portion for me and my son being about 3 tbs). I put in my dehydrator at 100 degrees (Fahrenheit- because that is what the dial measures in- normally work in centigrade so its confusing to me) leave for 12 hours! This also means this is a raw yoghurt.

Store in the fridge! Delicious

 

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  1. Every part of the coconut can be used to nourish and support the body. Known as the ‘Tree of Life’ you can drink the water, eat the flesh and use the shell for all sorts of things.
  1. They are always in season and grow all year round. They are easy and cheap to buy. Once you know how they are also easy to open. Young meat is jelly like and really sweet and more mature meat is whiter, firmer and less sweet. You can make your own coconut water, kefir, milk, cream, yoghurt , butter and vinegar very easily.
  1. Coconut can be eaten and the water drunk during pregnancy. Both are  repudiated to nourish mother and baby and may help with a ‘quick delivery’. The oil when rubbed into the skin can help prevent and heal stretch marks. It can also be applied direct to nipples to soothe chafing and heal wounds whilst breastfeeding. The oil is also a safe and effective sunscreen for children and adults alike.
  1. When dehydrated in the hot summer months coconut water can help. Containing all the necessary electrolytes it can help get you back to balance. Coconut water also contains antimicrobial properties so is also great when suffering from bacterial imbalance (runny tummy!) and in the re-hydration afterwards. The sugar and nectar from the flowers is also full of necessary nutrients to process the sugar (improving blood sugar levels and create energy.
  1. Coconuts have been seen to help a diverse range of conditions, mostly due to their Medium Chain fatty acids. They have a positive effect on the body as they are easily absorbed, have anti-microbial properties, can boost metabolism , enhance thyroid activity, reduces pain and swelling, improve digestion, boost immune system and improve skin, hair teeth and nails. Is there anything a coconut can’t help? (Coconut Cures- Bruce Fife)

Coconut Recipes;

20121113-154836.jpgA bounty of Coconut

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Almond and Coconut Flour  Kefir pancakes

green drink

I use coconut water/ kefir for all my green drinks

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Coconut and Carrot seed oil natural Sunscreen

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The sun is back here in Hong Kong, and I hear it is coming out where you are too. I love the sun and I rarely apply sun tan lotion as I have a healthy respect for it. I certainly do not use a product full of chemicals and petrochemicals (here) If I am going to be lying out in it- rare as i mostly prefer at least the top half of me to be in the shade- I will apply sunscreen (a natural one- naturally!) otherwise I abide to these 5 ways to keep myself and my kiddies burn free and Vit D rich.

1. Sunscreen– I like to use a mix of carrier oils with aromatherapy as my sun cream. Carrot and Raspberry seed oil having the highest SPF (sun protecting factor). I have quite olive skin that seems to soak up the sun, but my son is quite pale (and not 1 yet) so I am more vigilant with him. My daughter has the same skin as me. Our general rule is 10-20 mins in the sun without any barriers to soak up the vitamin D. Never Ever burn. If you feel yourself burning apply straight away (and you should seek the shade or wear a layer). The same mix of oils is also my after-sun  in the bath for the kids and slapped on for us. the oils I use are also anti-bug ones so it is an all in one product. Perfect for taking out with you and taking on holiday! This is a great link to what oils have what SPF (http://www.naturaltherapypages.com.au/article/carrier_oils_and_spf).

2. Cover up– hats long sleeves etc. But watch the sunglasses, Vitamin D is also produced through the Iris and by constantly wearing sunglasses you are missing that vital gateway to healthy Vitamin D levels. Limit your time in the sun– Its a no brainer that keeping out of the sun at the hottest points (recent studies are saying 10am-4pm) but then again that’s almost the whole day! So dipping in and out (and not just of the pool) for example go in for lunch and yes a siesta (another luxury that is far off in the future for me!) and then enjoy it again. There is nothing worse than a sun hangover- you can always have too much of a good thing!

3. Shade seeking– Its cooler in the shade but beware you can still burn so be aware of how you are feeling (and if you are going to go to sleep on your lounger- a luxury I will have to wait for a while to indulge in again- make sure you have applied or get someone to apply some cover for you ) NEVER EVER Burn! Be especially careful at the beach or where there is a lovely breeze as you may not feel that burn.

4. Keep hydrated– Coconut water is brilliant for this- it replaces all your electrolytes and is so delicious in the sunshine. Of course beware of drinking alcohol (even in the coconut water!) and ensure you maintain your water intake. That groggy  feeling after a day in the sun is generally dehydration. A good soak in the bath is a good way to rehydrate (and with the oils of course)

5. Know what to do after a day in the sun– Don’t forget natures wonder product- Aloe Vera. It is not a coincidence that it thrives in hot desert like conditions! Break it open and apply the cooling gel straight away or after a shower. If you do burn a nice hot shower or bath is the way forward (not a cold one!), Aloe Vera and coconut oil with some Lavender and Calendula tincture will do wonders. Calendula and Camomile tea or essential oils and tinctures with lavender are also good at reducing the inflammation burns produce and calming and encouraging new skin growth. Re-hydrating and ensuring plenty of rest afterwards will allow you to enjoy the sun day after day (which is what we hopefully have to look forward to till December now!)

Enjoy!!! But be Safe!

PS Sunscreen recipe to follow (includes carrot seed oil, wheatgerm oil, avocado and coconut oil- Lavender, Camomile, Geranium and either Lemongrass, Neroli, Frankinsence or Grapefruit essential oils depending on my mood!)

  

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Pumpkin Bread

Works best when making mini loafs as they stay moist and not too dense.

4 tbs coconut sugar, 2 tbs coconut nectar

2tbs Olive oil, 2tbs coconut oil

400g Pureed pumpkin

¼ lemon squeezed

Thumbnail size of grated ginger.

1 cup Almond Flour,

½ cup Quinoa Flour

¼ coconut flour

1 cup All purpose gluten free flour.

1tbs poppy seeds

1 ½ tsp cinnamon,

½ tsp grated nutmeg,

1 tsp Xanthum gum (or Chia gel- 1 tsp chia to 3tsp water let it sit for 10-20 mins till gel consistency)

1 ½ tsp baking soda,

½ tsp Salt

Mix all wet ingredients (everything on list till grated ginger) in the Kenwood or with a hand mixer.  Mix dry ingredients together in another bowl. Slowly fold in dry ingredient to wet ingredients. Meanwhile grease some mini loaf tins. When fully mixed, put into loaf tins. Pre-heat oven to 200C and cook for 15-20 mins. Turn out onto cooling rack when finished.

Cacao Beans

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I love chocolate.  So does my daughter. Finding foods that our kids will love that will also love them is tough. They are going to come across a whole range of foods in their social lives and we want to equip them to make good choices.

You will have heard that chocolate is very good for you and its health benefits are numerous. This is true but sadly no-one is talking about the milk chocolate, Kit Kats or things we grab on the go from our convenience stores. Raw cacao (in butter, nibs which are the bits of the bean before they are ground and powder form) is where the goodness lies. Cacao is chocolate in its bean form, before it is roasted, extracted and processed then mixed with sugar, milk, preservatives and other fillers and flavours. It contains antioxidants and minerals and its benefits amongst others are;

  • weight loss due to its chromium content which in turn also
  • Regulate blood sugar along with the magnesium content
  • Prevent cavities in your teeth (the caffeine content in cacao contains theobromine which can help kill bacteria in your mouth that causes tooth decay- it is lost in the process to milk chocolate.)
  • Helps alkaline your body (conventional chocolate is acid forming because of its sugar content)
  • Helps detoxification and contains powerful anti-oxidants.
  • Gives a gentle euphoric feeling without the sugar crash afterwards.

It’s what we do to the cacao and add to it that give “chocolate” the opposite list of effects.  Raw Cacao is incredibly bitter to those more used to even dark chocolate so start by replacing milk chocolate with 70% dark chocolate and work your way towards using the raw cacao powder as your hot chocolate.

Eva's Hot Cacao

If you find nibs pair them with a Goji berry or a raisin and you are close to ‘chocolate’ flavour as we know it. Try it yourself and with your kids. 10 tries are enough to convince your taste buds!

Pairing coconut with chocolate is a match made in taste and nutrient heaven- healthy Bounty bars!. Coconuts are anti bacterial, anti microbial, naturally sweet, packed with vitamins, essential fats and amino acids and minerals too. This recipe is a massive favourite in our house- a brilliant way to be able to say yes guilt free and isn’t that what we all want?  I hope it will be in yours too. My friend came up with it so it is named for her!

Other Chocolate Recipes

Beetroot Brownies

Chocolate Truffels

Homemade Raw Twix

Iced Mocha

Chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate Chip cookies

This article was written for The Hub

Here’s some good reading;

Coconut Cures- Bruce Fife http://www.amazon.com/Coconut-Cures-Preventing-Treating-Problems/dp/0941599604

http://www.wellnesswa.com.au/2012/11/eat-your-way-to-good-health-raw-cacao-powder-a-deliciously-simple-home-made-chocolate-recipe/

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-numerous-health-benefits-of-coconuts-2.html

http://www.secrets-of-longevity-in-humans.com/raw-cacao-benefits.html

Energy Balls

I have a few friends who make yummy protein energy balls for themselves and their kids as snacks. There are many different recipes about. I like to make them with my daughter as she absolutely loves them. I tend to use what I have in the cupboard and am largely directed by her! This is the recipe for the ones we made this week!

1 cup peanut butter (but it can be any nut butter either home-made or shop bought- I even used half crunchy half smooth)

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

1/3 cup mixed dried fruit

2tsp raw cacao powder

1 tbs coconut nectar (to taste and optional)

Ground flax to roll them in.

Add the above ingredients until the mixture is ‘dry’ enough to roll. Roll into small balls and roll in the ground flax. Refrigerate to harden. Enjoy!

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So having decided to make the Christmas presents this year, I have way more stress than normal!!! Yes Pinterest is great for inspiration but crap at actually sourcing things!! Anyway I digress- chocolate box. I have been enjoying making healthy chocolates as most have you have seen. I also have felt so good being dairy and gluten free for the best part of the year that I wanted to try making some dairy free truffles. I have never made a truffle in my life so this was a bodge job gone good. I mean very good- these are some tasty chocs. Super easy to make. This recipe is gonna make me 17 boxes (probably less due to creative sampling- lets say 10 boxes really!!)

Technically some of the chocolate I have used is not dairy free but that’s just for the outside so not really necessary. Add more cacao to your ‘Elixir of Life’ to make it really rich.

So most have been adapted from this mix I like to call my ‘Elixir of life!’

1 can of coconut milk- I tried the whole put it in the fridge for it to separate and it didn’t so I just used the whole can!
1/2 cup cocoa butter
3-4 heaped tbs raw cacao powder
1 tsp maple syrup (as I was out of coconut nectar and iherb aren’t delivering till tomorrow and I have no patience!)
2-3 drops vanilla essence (all the essences I used are by Medicine Flowers)

So I wizzed this up and refrigerated it thinking it may get solid and it went at best chocolate moose! So because these have got an airplane ride to get through I had to thicken it to ball it up somehow! That’s where the nuts come in!

Meanwhile I am soaking 1/2 cup raisins in some dark rum for the coconut balls and mixed peel, candied cherries and raisins and dried cranberries in tokay for the Christmas pudding marzipan balls (at least overnight is best)

Almond banoffee pie

1 cup of ground almonds (I use my dried ones from making my almond milk)
1 ripe banana
Medicine flower banana essence (to taste and optional)
Baileys Creme Caramel flavour (to taste I used about 1/2 shot and a bit more 😉 )
1 tbs coconut mana
4 tbs if the ‘elixir of life)
Coconut flour
1 bar of endangered species chocolate (or for dairy free ground almonds and cacao for rolling)

If you are using whole almonds blix them up till just before it hits almond butter. So they are ground and getting sticky. Add the banana and mash with a fork, add the rest I the ingredients to taste and leave the coconut flour to turn it into a bit more dough like. Roll into balls and place in freezer. Next day roll in milk chocolate (or to keep dairy free ground almond and cacao powder).

Pistachio Mint
The next few are similar-
1 cup of pistachio nuts (raw and unsalted)
Medicine flowers mint essence to taste
Vanilla essence
5-6 tbs of the ‘elixir of life’
Coconut flour
1 bar of 85% chocolate (I used green and blacks)

This one needs less flour as its less wet. But add, mix and taste as you go. Ball up, freeze. I rolled these in 85% dark chocolate with a little coconut oil mixed in.

Hazelnut Cranberry

1 cup raw hazelnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Vanilla essence
1-2 tbs coconut mana
5/6 tabs elixir of life
Pinch pink Himalayan rock salt (or sea salt)
Coconut flour
Cacao to roll in

Second verse- same as the first. Whizz hazelnuts and cranberries together. Mix everything else leaving coconut flour till end to soak up extra moisture ready to ball up. Rolled in raw cacao powder.

Cashew, Raspberry and White Chocolate
1 cup raw cashews
Fresh Raspberries
2 tbs coconut mana
Medicine Flowers Raspberry and also Vanilla
Pinch of salt (as above)
5/6 tbs of ‘Elixir of life’
Coconut flour
2 bars of white chocolate

So as before whizz the nuts and in a bowl with the mana, Elixir, then add the other ingredients except the fresh raspberries. The raspberry essence should be used sparingly as it just makes the taste of the fresh raspberry pop! Add the coconut flour to soak up excess moisture. Add a little at a time. Ball, freeze. White chocolate is hard to melt- excessive heat makes it thicker so take off the heat and stir and return. Take your time, have patience (what I keep telling my daughter possibly as I constantly need to hear it myself!

Marzipan Christmas pudding

Now I have made marzipan before but since it contains raw eggs I didn’t feel comfortable making it for other people to consume in a weeks time so I bought it. In an ideal world I would have searched for an egg free recipe and if anyone has one please share it with me.

200g marzipan
Handful of glacé cherries, mixed peel, dried cranberries and raisins soaked at least overnight in Tokay.
Drained liquid from above
About a cup Ground almonds (again leftover from almond milk- if anything this may get some of you making almond milk!!)
Coconut flour
1 bar of green and blacks maya gold chocolate

By far the sweetest one of the bunch. Put the marzipan in a bowl and add drained fruit. Using a bit of the liquid and some elbow grease (mine’s called Niall!) mix the two together. It takes a strong wooden spoon and man! Add the drained liquid bit by bit to help make the marzipan more pliable. It is then super sticky. Add ground almonds to counteract the sweetness and some coconut flour (although not much as its always going to be sticky and too much flour will make it chalky.) work quick while balling this one you don’t want it on your hands for too long. I used green and blacks maya gold cause I like the spicey notes. But 85% would be really nice too

Rum raisin coconut balls

Made exactly like the coconut bounty balls I made see here

But I added medicine flowers rum essence and a rum soaked raisin to the middle while rolling. Add some of the drained rum liquor if you like or soak the raisin in coconut water if you want this alcohol free. Roll in 85% chocolate as before

Phew sorry it’s rough and ready and without pictures the right way round! but I wanted it out there… Merry Christmas xxxx

Also below is where I got some inspiration and sound good too.

http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/confectionscandies/r/dftruffles.htm

http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/sweetsaucesfrostings/r/Vegan_Chocolate_Ganache_Recipe.htm

http://blackberriesandbloodoranges.com/2012/05/16/dairy-free-dark-chocolate-truffles/

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I love bounty bars- but now they just seem way too sweet. I found these bars called ‘coconut secret’ they are delicious but I could only eat half at a time and they are super pricey to eat regularly. Lucky for me my great friend Kate loved them enough too to play with the ingredients and come up with a recipe! Little tweaks to make them mine (I’m awful at following a recipe!!) I wanted to make them truffle size as I can then just eat the one- and I’m making truffles for Christmas.

Kate’s Coconut (not so) Secret Bars

150g block of dark choc (I always use 70-85% chocolate- I like Green and Blacks or make your own)

1-2 tbs coconut oil (optional)

Or Raw Cacao powder to roll them in

100-150g of desiccated coconut

3tbs coconut manna (butter) This makes it gooey, you could also use peanut or other nut butters or cocoa butter.

coconut nectar (to taste and optional) can also use maple syrup

1-2 tbs coconut oil

Pinch salt (I like Pink Himalayan Rock but sea salt tastes nice too)

Mix desiccated coconut, coconut manna (butter), a few tablespoons of coconut nectar (to taste) and coconut oil and salt in a bowl. It should make a sticky sort of mixture that will cling together when you press it. It may take more or less of the ingredients above. Make into balls chocolate truffle size. Place on grease proof paper and put in the freezer. Wait at least an hour.

Melt chocolate with coconut oil over a ‘bain marie’. Use fork to drop coconut balls into chocolate, completely cover and then bring out and put back on the grease proof paper. The temperature of the balls will help the chocolate to set quicker. Refrigerate again until set (about an hour). You could also just roll these in Raw Cacao powder if you want them truly raw.

If there is any chocolate left, pour onto another piece of greaseproof paper and allow to reset into a chocolate bar- lovely with bits of coconut in it!!