April 9th, 2009

Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk, like all things Coconut, is not only packed with health benefits, but is also a delicious and versatile ingredient in countless recipes.

Dr. Bruce Fife, a certified nutritionist and naturopathic physician, as well as director of the Coconut Research Center and editor of the Healthy Ways newsletter, says in his book, Coconut Cures: “Coconut milk is not the watery liquid you find sloshing around inside a fresh coconut. It is a product obtained by extracting the juice out of coconut meat. Its taste, appearance and nutrient content are very different from coconut water.
Coconut water has almost no fat or protein. Coconut milk is rich in fat and protein. It has a thick, creamy texture and is solid white in color, giving it an appearance similar to cow’s milk. Coconut milk contains about 17 to 24 percent fat, depending on how much water is used in processing. The higher fat milk is often called coconut cream and is very thick and rich, just like dairy cream.
Another difference between coconut water and milk is the sugar content. Coconut water is sweet. Coconut milk is not. although coconut milk has a pleasant taste, it contains little sugar. It even has less sugar than dairy milk. Because of its low carbohydrate content, coconut milk is ideal for low-carb diets. . . .
A variety of coconut milk products are available commercially. . . . Coconut milk usually contains about 17% fat. Coconut cream contails about 21 to 24% fat. Some coconut milk is watered down to reduce the fat content. This is called low-fat or light coconut milk.. . . Another product you may come across is cream of coconut. This is not the same as coconut cream. Cream of coconut is coconut cream with added sugar, and is very sweet. . . .”

Coconut milk is readily available in most supermarkets and health food stores. Thai Kitchen brand, which comes in 14 ounce cans, is my favorite. If you plan on cooking a lot of dishes with the milk, you can purchase a twelve-pack of Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk by clicking here for an excellent price.

You will find many wonderful recipes that call for coconut milk and its variations on these pages.

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April 9th, 2009

Coconut Virgin Oil

Coconut Virgin Oil is a suberb addition to any kitchen. Aside from its marvelous flavor, it is an ideal high-heat cooking oil (up to 350 degrees), a nutritious substitute for baking, and a better-than-butter spread on bread, vegetables or popcorn.

Because of its stability, coconut oil is very slow to oxidize (go rancid), even at room temperatures in the tropics!

It is also associated with myriad health benefits. Coconut oil is about 50% lauric acid, a rare medium-chain fatty acid found in mother’s milk that supports a healthy metabolism and is now being studied for its anti-fungal (kills yeasts such as candida), anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Overall, coconut oil contains 92% saturated fats, and only 1% Omega-6, the fat Americans get way too much of.

Following is an excerpt from an article, Coconut Oil, on the Wellness Directory of Minnesota website:

  • Coconut oil is called the ‘low fat’ fat. It actually acts like a carbohydrate in that it is quickly broken down in the liver and used as quick energy. It is NOT stored like other fats. It boosts one’s energy and endurance.
  • Coconut oil improves digestion and absorption of fat soluble vitamins, minerals (especially calcium), and amino acids. It improves the body’s use of blood glucose and improves insulin secretion and absorption (great for Type II diabetes).
  • Coconut oil helps the body to heal and repair faster. It aids and supports immune function, protecting us from a variety of cancers.
  • Coconut oil . . . is good for your heart. It keeps our blood platelets from sticking together (and causing dangerous clots). Regular users of coconut oils have a much lower chance of atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries), arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and strokes. Coconut oil can lower your blood pressure.
  • Coconut oil is a natural antioxidant.
  • Finally, coconut oil is the best massage oil on the planet. It forms a barrier against infections, softens and moisturizes your skin, and prevents wrinkling, sagging and age spots. It promotes healthy hair and complexion, protects from any damaging UV rays.

View the entire article here.

Keep in mind that different brands of organic coconut oil, while (purportedly) all maintaining excellent nutritional value, vary in taste. Some have a luscious coconut flavor, while others are practically neutral. Try a variety and choose one you like. (I find that the more ‘virgin’ any oil is, the more taste you’ll get.)

TIP: To acclimate your family to the taste of coconut oil, cream together equal parts of butter and coconut oil. Add a dash of salt if you wish. Serve the same way you would whole butter.

Dr. Bruce Fife, a certified nutritionist and naturopathic physician, as well as director of the Coconut Research Center and editor of the Healthy Ways newsletter, has written several excellent books. The Coconut Oil Miracle includes exciting facts on weight loss and disease prevention/cures, as well as a collection of fabulous recipes. To learn more about this book, click here.

Now that you know far more than you expected you would about what you’re serving your loved ones, let’s get to why you visited Coconut Recipe Island in the first place. . . . for Recipes.

 

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