Coconuts are nature’s source of glowing health and healthy fats. Every part of the coconut entails an endless stream of ideas. Coconut water can be made into drinks or taken straight up, or incorporated in a variety of recipes as a substitute for milk. The flesh can be grated and used to flavour dishes, or mixed with the water to make coconut cream, which can be used in curries and sauces and piña colada. Coconut butter and coconut oil can be used in cooking or in recipes that require butter or other oil.
Coconut water has become a popular drink in recent times as it satisfies the thirst more than water does. It maintains correct electrolyte balance in the body and contains the minerals potassium, and low amounts of sodium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. It keeps you hydrated and is great after a workout. It is a diuretic and aids in the detoxification process. It moisturises the skin from within.
Although coconut oil consists of mainly saturated fats, these are in the form of medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s) whereas the fats we consume from plant and animal sources are long chain triglycerides.
Coconut oil and Weight Loss
MCT’s are more easily digested as they are small molecules and are rapidly converted into energy in the cells. Coconut oil assists in weight loss programs by helping to boost metabolism, thereby burning up other fats in the adipose tissue. Coconut oil increases energy expenditure compared with the same number of calories from longer chain fatty acids. Coconut oil also protects the body from insulin resistance and this prevents weight gain, as insulin is responsible for fat production. It is satisfying and staves off the feelings of hunger and stops sugar cravings. Supplementing the diet with 30ml organic virgin coconut oil per day has led to a significant decrease on waist circumference on 4 weeks.
Coconut oil and The Immune System
Coconut oil contains caprylic acid, which is anti=fungal and is effective against candida overgrowth and thrush. It also contains lauric acid which is metabolised to monolaurin, which kills pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and fungi. Coconut oil has a high melting point and smoking point and is not oxidised when used for frying or baking. Populations who have coconuts as their staple are among the healthiest in the world.
Pumpkin, Coconut and Ginger Soup
250ml vegetable stock (freshly made is best)
1 brown onion, diced
2 cups pumpkin, baked with skin removed
3 cm fresh ginger root, grated
½ red chilli, seeded and chopped
50ml organic coconut cream
2 tspn coconut oil
1 bunh of chives
1 brown onion
1 swede or turnip
2 stalks of celery
2 tspn sea salt
Method – For the vegetable stock
Peel the onion and chop it with the other vegetables
Bring to the boil in 500ml filtered water
Add sea salt
Simmer for 2 hours until reduced to half
For the soup
Sauté onion, ginger and chilli in coconut oil
Add a little water if necessary
Purée in food processor
Process till smooth (you may need to do this in batches)
Add cooled stock and pumpkin
Finally add coconut cream
Serve with a spoonful of chopped chives