Crazy for Coconuts
People love to throw around the word “superfood” a lot these days. The unfortunate side effect is that it makes it hard for us to recognize real superfoods – those dietary additions that can make a real difference to health and well-being. Coconuts are certainly one of those foods. Rather than expound the various benefits, let’s explore the different foods coconut can be made into, and how they can augment or replace current foods to increase the nutritional benefits your body receives.
Yes, coconut oil is relatively high in saturated fat – but don’t put the tub down just yet! Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides, which are stored in the liver and used for quick energy, rather than being stored as fat like their long-chained cousins (and contain fewer calories). Most of the saturated fats in coconut oil also are composed of lauric acid which, when broken down by the body can help stave off viruses, bacteria, and infection. The health benefits of coconut oil are the reason why it’s the only oil that we use in our Vegan Meal Delivery dishes. For those who value exterior health, coconut oil can make terrific skin care products to lock in moisture and enhance overall health of the skin.
Gluten-free, high in fiber, with a low glycemic index – coconut flour is a great alternative to some flours when baking. Just be aware that coconut flour is very dense and absorbs much more liquid than traditional flours, so you can’t just replace it cup for cup. But when you do use it, you’ll love the lightly sweet coconut flavor it adds to baked goods.
There are two varieties to consider – canned and carton. Both types contain vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. The major difference between the two is the fat content. Coconut milk that comes in a carton is similar to cow’s milk in consistency and is a great alternative to regular dairy. It can be used just about anywhere that milk is used. Canned coconut milk is typically thicker and richer, often used for recipes like soup and ice cream. You can even make your own coconut yogurt to enjoy a dairy-free version of yogurt. Choosing Raw shares a quick and easy to makecoconut yogurt recipe.
The “juice” of the coconut is referred to as coconut water. It is a great drink for sports enthusiasts as it contains a great balance of hydration and electrolytes. It can also replace higher-fat liquids in smoothies or desserts.
Other Coconut Foods
Did you think we were done? Coconut is pretty versatile – you can use coconut sugar as an alternative to cane sugar, use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, even find coconut shell in skin care products! Like any food, even if it’s “super,” you still want to pay attention to the label, buy whole foods when you can, and eat and drink in moderation.
Coconut Chocolate Chip
Enjoy all of the health benefits and wonderful tropical flavor of coconuts in our Coconut Chocolate Chip bar! 100% organic, gluten-free and soy-free with 20g of vegan protein, it’s perfect before or after a workout or even as a meal replacement.Learn more about Coconut Chocolate Chip