My new love = coconut
I’ve tried buying whole coconuts and cracking them open…it’s messy. It’s hard work. One day last summer, Matthew and I finally took the young white Thai coconut outside and cracked it open on the sidewalk with a hammer. This was fun, but not practical, and half of the point of doing this (to get the water) was ruined because it spilled all over the sidewalk.
Ultimately, it did not fit my lifestyle to have to do the work to get the coco (meat and water) out of the nut.
But why do we even care or want to get the coco out of the nut?
1. The oil in a coconut is a truly awesome superfood—it will provide you with medium chain fatty acids. This means you’ll be consuming fat that cannot be stored by your body—so you use it for energy. In the 1940’s, cattle farmers got the bright idea to feed their cattle coconut based feed to fatten them up (after all, it is a saturated fat!). The opposite result occurred, and the cattle became very lean and active–just from eating coconut!
2. Coconuts provide you with antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. What does this mean? You can put it on your skin, on cuts and boo boo’s, and it will both moisturize and prevent infection!
3. Coconuts are super-moisturizing. Keep a jar of Virgin Coconut Oil in your bathroom to use as body oil after a shower (but keep in mind that it is oil—one day I did this, and after arriving at work I realized I had used too much and it was seeping through my pants. Luckily, I’m more likely to laugh than get embarrassed, and Kristina thought it was funny too. Plus, I wear khakis to work and look like a gym teacher, so seriously, no one is checking out what I look like too closely).
4. Keep a jar of coconut oil in your kitchen for cooking (make sure it’s virgin coconut oil to get the benefits!!!), butter and oil substitution, and anything else you can think of (the only thing I’ve found I don’t like it in is a smoothie—it freezes and coats the inside of the blender—or maybe I just did it wrong?). The great thing about it is that it has a high smoking point and a very mild flavor (if any). It brings out the flavors of what you cook with it. I use it on sprouted grain toast instead of butter (honestly, I have not purposely consumed butter in over a year—I now prefer coconut oil to any other oil/fat).
5. It melts at about 77 degrees, so it will be liquid sometimes and solid others. It works fine either way—don’t let its physical state stop you from using it in any case!
6. A “weight loss” dose is said to be 3-4 TBSP a day. Don’t be fooled by this and just add a bunch of it to your diet without considering your overall intake for the day! It is still a fat and you should be using it in place of other things, not in addition to them.
…And now for my best new product find since pasta made with beans and water….
You can buy this substance from a company called Artisana, and it is basically pureed guts of a coconut. It contains all the MCFAs and great benefits of the coconut oil, but it’s a creamy white substance, approximately the consistency of almond butter (runnier in warm weather). This sells for about $12 a jar. Dang, you might say, that’s a lot of cash for 16 ounces of pureed coconut guts!
I found a solution—thanks to Heather, from Heather Eats Almond Butter!
Buy unprocessed coconut flakes (raw, no additives). Dump some into your food processor and turn it on—-until it turns into pureed coconut guts (aka: coconut butter)!
I purchased a jar from Artisana several months ago (did I mention this stuff will not go bad for several years?). I never used it much till now. It’s slightly chalky or gritty, and has a unique but mild flavor. I read somewhere once that you could add a tiny bit of agave or stevia and it would taste like the creme from Oreos (seriously, I can’t believe I haven’t tried this!).
This week, I have been putting it on my Sprouted Grain Toast (Food for Life brand, 7-Grain style, found in Nature’s Marketplace in the freezer section in Wegmans—-more info about this wonderful bread in a different post). To spruce it up, I add a tiny bit of raspberry jam (thanks to Paula, Joe’s mom). I learned from Heather at HEAB, that when you make your own you can add a bit of vanilla for flavor, and this makes me think of all the other options….they’re endless!
In the end, I wanted to share this with you because I think we can all benefit from Coconut, and in this form, coconut is both yummy and cheap (processing your own brings the cost down to about $3 a jar).
Did I ever tell you about the time when I bought 25lbs of coconut flakes? My mom really was very tolerant of my antics over the years.
I have to go—I’m busy thinking of all the ways I could eat coconut guts!