When it comes to plant based culinary we have to hold the coconut in high regard as we use it as such a fundamental ingredient to create creamy, almost dairy like textures.
VARIOUS FORMS OF COCONUT
Young coconut flesh
The coconut flesh ranges in thickness and depending on what consistency or result you are trying to obtain within a dish depands which of the fleshes you choose to work with.
Firmer coconut meat is better suited to more stable results like pasta and the softer meat is usually used for smoothies, sauces and creams.
This water is safe to consume at anytime and is known to aid in fast recovery after workouts.
There are so many benefits in swapping out some of, not all of however, your daily H2o intake with a little coconut water but here I will name only a few...
* Replenishes electrolytes
* Naturally cooling for the body
* Lowers colesterol
* Carrier of nutrients and oxygen to the cells all over the body
* Increases metabolism and encourages weight loss
* Balances the body's PH
* Increases immunity
* Improves digestive disorders like IBS
I love using the Seven hills RAW coconut oil which you can purchase on amazon...
Coconuts and many of it variations can be classes as a superfood as it contains a unique combination of beneficial fatty acids that have positive effects on our health. It has a high melting point which is why I usually use this as a base for most of my stir fry's. It is also used in almost every one of my desserts and I just used it for one of the first times to make a plant based baked tart pastry.
Coconut oil is also very nice to corporate to your fresh seasonal salad dishes mixing it with a little lemon, honey, olive oil & salt.
Coconut oil benefits include...
* Contains medicinal fatty acids
* Coconut oil can aid as a fat burner inccouraging weight maintenance or loss
* Coconut oil is acutally antibacterial and anti fungle and can be used on the skin as natural 100% plant based mousturiser
* Overall coconut oil can protect your skin, hair and teeth
In order to get the most health benefits then do make sure to take care and choose virgin coconut oil, not the refined oil and try to purchase and support organic where possible.
I love to use the Wholefood earth range which is also available to purchase on amazon
Here you remove the husk from the coconut, crack open the kernel exposing the meat and the liquid. The liquid is then drained and the coconut meat is left to dry one of two ways; dried out in the air; or dried in the sun / hot air dryer
I used dried coconut, also known as, desiccated coconut, in many of my desserts, mostly in the base of a dessert or if making a plant based bounty it is the main ingredient used - here I mix with a blended fruit and superfood of choice like this "Vegan upside down acai bounty"
I usually make this myself when cooking on retreats however if you were to purchase I would suggest the TIANA Fairtrade & Organic coconut butter
Coconut butter is very simple to make and can be used in plant based desserts and as a breakfast / brunch offering after mixing with Cacao or a superfood powder!
You simply take the dried, shredded coconut and blend until the oils begin to release and create a butter - very similar to the process of creating other nut butters.
Once made you can store in an airtight glass container and placed in the fridge for up to two weeks!
I know that it is easy to say to include more of this wonderful nut, seed and fruit in your diet by telling you to drink fresh coconut water but I am aware that you may not have access to such a tropical ingredient however you can always start by switching your current oil for coconut oil or deciding to include dried coconut in your overnight oats instead of sugar.
By consuming one cup of coconut you wil be absorbing around three grams of protien, twenty + grams of fat (hence consuming in moderation) fibre, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, potassium and a few more healthy vitamins and minerals for the body to function a obtial health on a pant based diet.
Research has shown that coconuts can improve heart health, weight loss and aid in digestion. However do be away that coconuts do hold a high amount of fat and should be, like everything else, consumed in moderation.