Superfood – All Things Coconut!

Who would have guessed that this rather sad looking hairy brown fruit or that a bold green one, when talking about a young one, is in fact a superfood.

Coconut has it all.

According to nutritionist Zoë Harcombe ‘coconuts are a perfect example of a natural, real food. They contain all the macronutrients – carbohydrate, fat and protein. As well as being absolutely delicious and full of natural fat, coconuts are a rich source of minerals, including copper, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and selenium.’

Who would have guessed that this rather sad looking hairy brown fruit or that a bold green one, when talking about a young one, is in fact a superfood. Coconut has it all. According to nutritionist Zoë Harcombe ‘coconuts are a perfect example of a natural, real food. They contain all the macronutrients – carbohydrate, fat and protein. As well as being absolutely delicious and full of natural fat, coconuts are a rich source of minerals, including copper, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and selenium.’Lately I’ve been obsessed with coconuts, which is reflected in my recipes… I bake with it, I cook with it and I eat it raw 🙂 So imagine my surprise when one day a giant parcel arrived at my door step full of coconut goodies! A box full of totally different products with one thing in common… they were all made entirely from 100% coconut and absolutely nothing else!

The parcel was from Coconut Merchant, they stock all things coconut and I simply love their selection from such common products as desiccated coconut through items such as coconut oils, flour, milk, water, chips, syrup, sugar all the way to jam, yes that’s right coconut jam!

When you Google “benefits of coconut” you will be hit with 1000+ articles claiming lots of wonders:

  • It helps prevent obesity
  • It helps your immune system
  • It improves heart health
  • It improves digestion
  • It’s high in dietary fiber
  • It has low GI index
  • It’s gluten-free
  • It has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-parasitic properties

I don’t know if they are all true, I am not a scientist, but I am sure at least some, if not all of them, are.

For all I know from my own experience coconut products helped me to care for my two dogs… coconut oil, despite being an oil and full of fat has helped Lilly with her weight loss and only recently I cured Bunk’s giant hot spot only with coconut oil (it was a bit tricky as he wanted to lick it all the time but it worked without the need of a vet visit, antibiotics or other manmade gimmicks). After using it for over a year for the dogs I did a bit of research and decided that coconut products are obviously not only for dogs and we should benefit from it too… this is how my coconut obsession began.

Cooking with coconut based ingredients is tricky at times, especially when we are talking about coconut flour; it really likes moisture so it can’t be substituted 1:1 with regular flour… developing new recipes with it takes a bit of thinking, time and countless trial and error attempts but I think it’s worth it as the results are mouth-watering to say the least.

Now, I want to experiment with coconut sugar, which to be honest I didn’t even know existed. I use coconut flower nectar which has a liquid form but now I actually have a solid sugar. Yes, it’s still a sugar so it can’t be used in sugar free cooking but it’s unrefined, without artificial additives and it has a much lower GI index… I am looking forward to actually trying it in my cooking.

Do you love coconut?

Have you ever used anything besides desiccated coconut in cooking or baking?

Sugar Free Super Green Pancakes & Cocoa Sauce

These sugar & gluten free pancakes with a delicious cocoa sauce make for a wonderful guilt free treat. Packed with goodness from coconuts, super greens and ice cream whey powder they will appeal to both adults and children, I am sure of it!

These sugar & gluten free pancakes with a delicious cocoa sauce make for a wonderful guilt free treat. Packed with goodness from coconuts, super greens and ice cream whey powder they will appeal to both adults and children, I am sure of it! Ingredients:

For the pancakes:

  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 6tbsp coconut flour (heaped)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3tbsp coconut flower nectar
  • 2tbsp extra virgin organic coconut oil
  • 2tbsp vanilla ice cream whey powder
  • 2tsp matcha
  • 2tsp super greens powder
  • 1.5tsp baking powder

For the cocoa sauce:

  • 3tbsp extra virgin organic coconut oil
  • 4tbsp coconut flower nectar
  • 1tbsp cocoa powder

Method:

First thing first… let’s make the sauce as it will need a little time to cool down and thicken.

In a small bowl place the coconut oil and coconut flower nectar.

Pop into microwave and heat up in 10 seconds bursts… after each 10 second session remove from the microwave and give it a good stir. After three heating up session your coconut oil should be all nicely melted out but not cooked.

Add to a second bowl with your sifted cocoa powder and stir/whisk well until fully combined. At this moment your sauce will be quite runny but give it time and after 15-20 minutes, once you are done with making the pancakes, it will be just the right thickness 🙂

Turn on your grill to medium high setting, why I hear you ask… I’ll explain later….

Now, let’s prepare the pancakes themselves.

In a small bowl place the coconut oil and melt it slowly just as we did for the sauce.

In a large bowl place the coconut milk, eggs, coconut flower nectar and melted coconut oil. Stir well with a hand whisk until well combined.

Add the coconut flour, matcha, super greens, whey powder and again mix well.

Finally add the baking powder and make sure it is incorporated evenly.

Preheat a non-stick frying pan whilst your batter rests for a minute.

Fry your pancakes, one by one, but take note the mixture doesn’t behave like your standard pancake batter. It’s not so easy to work with as the pancakes do not want to flip effortlessly, so you will have to turn them with a fish-slice. However having made them many times now, as they are a personal favourite I have found the easiest way to cook them is as follows.

Remember that grill you had heating, we need it.

Heat up the pan till hot, pour a spoonful of mixture into the centre of the pan and the swirl the pan to spread the mixture out to an even thickness. Now hold under the grill for 20 seconds or until the top is set and looks dry, but not brown or cooked just dry. Then cook as you would a normal pancake and they should be fine.

Serve with earlier prepared cocoa sauce and enjoy!

These sugar & gluten free pancakes with a delicious cocoa sauce make for a wonderful guilt free treat. Packed with goodness from coconuts, super greens and ice cream whey powder they will appeal to both adults and children, I am sure of it!

Coconut Carrot & Ginger Soup

Sweet meets spicy – sweet potato and carrots combined with chilli and ginger with back notes of coconut… a surprisingly wonderful combination!

Coconut Carrot & Ginger Soup Sweet meets spicy – sweet potato and carrots combined with chilli and ginger with back notes of coconut… a surprisingly wonderful combination! The idea behind this soup was to create something with a little bit more “bite” but without making it spicy with chilli based products. Don’t get me wrong I totally adore standard carrot soup and its sweetness but this time I was in the mood for something else. I decided to take my soup to the next lever by upping the amount of ginger… it worked… the soup it truly something and if you like ginger you really should give it a go. And remember ginger is a super healthy spice loaded with vitamins and minerals that have many powerful benefits for your body and brain.

The measurements below will make 4 large servings or 6 starter sized portions.

Ingredients:

  • 750g carrots
  • 350g sweet potato
  • 75g ginger
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • Pinch of chilli flakes (or to taste)
  • 700ml vegetable stock
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of fresh cracked pepper
  • Coriander; for serving

Method:

Peel and roughly chop the carrots and sweet potato.

Peel and fine chop the garlic, onion and ginger.

In a heavy bottomed frying pan preheat the oil and once hot add the onions. Add a pinch of salt and some fresh cracked black pepper and fry until soft.

In the meantime as they cook grab yourself a large stock pot and prepare 700ml of stock. I’ve used two vegetable stock cubes from Knorr. Once ready pour it into your cooking pot and bring it to a gentle boil.

When your onions are almost ready add the ginger, garlic and a pinch of chilli flakes then fry for an additional 1 to 2 minutes but no longer, as you don’t want any garlic to burn and therefor becoming bitter.

Remove from the heat and add into the cooking pot containing the stock.

Add all the carrots and sweet potato, pour in the coconut milk and bring it all to a gentle boil again.

Simmer on a low heat for 45-55 minutes.

Remove from the heat and either use a hand blender or let it cool a while and pop it into a proper worktop blender in order to cream it.

Once the texture is silky smooth and even with no visible lumps, you are ready to eat.

Coconut Carrot & Ginger Soup Sweet meets spicy – sweet potato and carrots combined with chilli and ginger with back notes of coconut… a surprisingly wonderful combination! Serve with a generous serving of coriander and ideally some toasted or fresh buttered rustic bread (well we didn’t have any at the time of creation but Mark thinks it would be an ideal addition to this soup).

If you decide to try it I am absolutely sure you will like it as much as we did.

Do you like carrot soup? If not then this next level soup will convert you 🙂

Do you have any other next level carrot soups you adore and want to share?

Coconut & Lemon Bliss Balls

These tangy bliss balls have just enough sweetness to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings. They are refined sugar free and have a higher protein content thanks to the additional whey protein powder making them an ideal little healthy snack.

Lemon & Coconut Bliss Balls These tangy bliss balls have just enough sweetness to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings. They are refined sugar free and have a higher protein content thanks to the additional whey protein powder making them an ideal little healthy snack.Ingredients:

  • 100g shredded coconut + some extra for rolling
  • 50g grounded almonds
  • 4tbsp natural honey
  • 2tbsp vanilla whey protein powder (heaped)
  • 2tbsp organic raw cold pressed coconut oil (flat)
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 lemon; zest + juice

Method:

Wash and dry your lemon, then zest and juice it removing any pips 😉

In a food processor place all the ingredients and blend until well combined… if needed use a silicone spatula to scrape the sides.

Lemon & Coconut Bliss Balls These tangy bliss balls have just enough sweetness to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings. They are refined sugar free and have a higher protein content thanks to the additional whey protein powder making them an ideal little healthy snack.Roll into small balls – you should have enough mixture to create 24 double bite sized bliss balls – then roll in some extra shredded coconut to give them a nice finished look.

Place on a plate, cover with foil and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Keep refrigerated and enjoy as required 🙂

Lemon & Coconut Bliss Balls These tangy bliss balls have just enough sweetness to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings. They are refined sugar free and have a higher protein content thanks to the additional whey protein powder making them an ideal little healthy snack.If you aren’t a big fan of lemons, why not try them with oranges instead… I didn’t try it yet but I bet they will be delicious too… just don’t add the entire juice or your mixture might be too loose and it will not “glue” as intended.

Since I started my journey with Thinking Slimmer and slimpod I have lost all my chocolate cravings but I still get the urge to have something sweet from time to time. Despite having some sort of chocolate products in the house they aren’t appealing to me any more… frankly I would rather be standing in the kitchen for half an hour creating a new batch of bliss balls than have a piece of chocolate. It’s funny how people can change, hey? A few month ago, I couldn’t be bothered with making “healthy” snacks; when I wanted something sweet, I wanted it now and this instance… now… I am more than happy to wait until something yummy and tasty and healthy is ready…

Coconut & Lemon Bliss Balls These tangy bliss balls have just enough sweetness to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings. They are refined sugar free and have a higher protein content thanks to the additional whey protein powder making them an ideal little healthy snack.How about you?

What do you do when the need for sweet strikes you?

These tangy bliss balls have just enough sweetness to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings. They are refined sugar free and have a higher protein content thanks to the additional whey protein powder making them an ideal little healthy snack.