Coconut products for health and cooking
P r o p e r t i e s
Coconut oil is solid in colder temperatures, but melts and becomes a clear liquid in warm weather, or when heated.
It is very stable, so can be used for cooking at higher heats than other oils. Good quality coconut oil is often very mild flavoured, so is compatible with a lot more dishes than some stronger flavoured coconut oils. Use it for pan frying, baking or snack bars, or add to hot drinks.
Its typical fat composition is:
|ND – 0.7 %
Total Saturated, short chain = 0 – 0.7%
|4.6 – 10.0 %
|5.0 – 8.0 %
|45.1- 53.2 %
Total Saturated, medium chain = 54.7 – 71.2%
|16.8 – 21 %
|7.5 – 10.2 %
|2.0 – 4.0 %
Total Saturated, long chain = 26.3 – 35.2%
|5.0 – 10.0 %
Total Monounsaturated, long chain = 5.0 – 10.0%
|1.0 – 2.5 %
|ND – 0.2 %
Total Polyunsaturated, long chain = 1.0 – 2.7%
The largest component of coconut oil is lauric acid, which is a medium chain triglyceride or fatty acid. Short and medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) are transported directly to the liver where they are immediately converted to energy. Modern research has shown that MCFA can prevent and heal many illnesses because of its antimicrobial properties. Aside from its ability to improve the immune system, MCFA also aids in the absorption and retention of magnesium, calcium and some amino acids.
Coconut oil is anti bacterial, anti viral and anti fungal, so is good for many health conditions.
In his book, Coconut Cures, Bruce Fife lists the consumption of coconut oil as being beneficial for autoimmune diseases, viral and bacterial infections, candida, diabetes, digestive dysfunction, heart disease, high blood pressure, hypoglycemia and much more.
Coconut oil is good for boosting the metabolism, and supporting the thyroid. In Eat Fat, Lose Fat, Sally Fallon recommends taking 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a warm drink before each meal. With a high quality oil that is very potent, you may not need as much.
Start slowly with half a teaspoon before breakfast, and build up. If you have trouble sleeping, don’t take it before dinner. And if you feel overstimulated, or at all sick, cut your dose right back. For some people with adrenal fatigue, coconut oil is too much taken in this way, and is better eaten in foods, such as the slices in the recipe section.
For more information on Oil Pulling, see www.oilpulling.com or read Oil Pulling Therapy by Bruce Fife.
This is an Ayurvedic dental hygiene practice, which is done routinely each morning. Our mouths are full of bacteria, and oil pulling can remove a large portion of these each times it’s done. Oil Pulling is simply swishing oil round your mouth for 15-20 minutes. This attracts and absorbs harmful bacteria. For general health, oil pull once a day, as part of your regular dental hygiene, usually first thing in the morning.
It can also be effective in removing dental and systemic infections. If you have a dental infection, and your dentist is recommending either a root canal or removal, try oil pulling first.
Type of oil: In Ayurveda, the traditional oil to use is sesame. Sunflower or olive oils are also suitable. But probably the best oil is coconut oil, because of its extra anti-bacterial action. You can gently melt some coconut oil by placing your jar in warm water, or you can just chew it up in your mouth till it dissolves.
Amount of oil: About a tablespoon, but adjust this for the size of your mouth. You need enough to be able to cover the whole of your mouth while swishing, but leave enough room for the saliva that will be produced.
How To Oil Pull
You may notice some detox reactions in the first few days, and you may find that you cough up phlegm for a while. This is normal, and is a sign that toxins are being pulled out of your mouth and your system generally.
As time goes on, you are likely to notice that your teeth feel more firmly settled in your mouth, your teeth feel cleaner, and some chronic health problems may start to resolve, as the toxic load on your body is reduced.
If you have an active toothache or infection, or any root canals
Oil pull 2-4 times a day, eg before each meal and for 10 minutes before bed.
You can also add some clove bud oil or peppermint to your pulling oil, which will help with toothache. If using coconut oil, gently melt your oil first. Add no more than 1 drop of essential oil per 10mls of carrier oil. So if you mixed up a 250ml batch of oil, 20-25 drops would be suitable.
To further assist with dental health
We recommend a nutrient dense, whole foods, Weston A Price type diet, including:
* Bone broths & marrow
* Cod liver oil
* Butter oil, or lots of good butter
* Good quality animal foods, including some raw
* Fermented foods
For more information on dental health and remineralising teeth,
see Ramiel Nagel’s site
S k i n c a r e
Some people like to use plain coconut oil on their skin:
• As a general moisturizer
• To protect the skin while sun tanning (though you still need to build up slowly). It also helps sun tolerance if you take it internally. (Email us for more details).
• After sun exposure to re-moisturise
• For acne, massage gently into clean skin– initially more toxins may be expelled, but the skin will improve after a few weeks with repeated applications. It is of course recommended that you find the source of the toxicity and remove it as well!
Or you can mix it with a more liquid oil and / or essential oil to make your own fragranced moisturiser. Gently melt the oil, stir in your other carrier oil (eg cold pressed almond oil), then some drops of essential oil. Eg for face care, try:
• 45 mls coconut oil
• 5 mls rosehip oil (Trilogy is a good NZ brand)
• 25 drops pure rose oil (use no more than 1 drop essential to 2 mls carrier)
Coconut oil is great for fungal skin infections. It doesn’t work as quickly as a medicated cream, but be patient, and it will do the job after a few days. Apply night and morning.
If you run out of deodorant unexpectedly, you can use pure coconut oil, or coconut oil mixed with sage essential oil, as a stop gap. The texture is a bit greasier than some people like, but better than nothing!
Gently massage warm coconut oil into arthritic joints or other areas of pain and aching.
Desserts: Coconut Oil Cheesecake
P r o p e r t i e s
This flour can be used for gluten-free and starch free diets.
Unlike most gluten-free flours, it is a whole food, with many beneficial properties.
* 100% gluten free
* High in protein
* High in fibre
* Low in digestible (net) carbs
* Can usually be eaten by people on starch free diets such as the IBS, SCD or GAPS diets.
It isn’t suitable for people on egg free diets though, as eggs are needed to replace the gluten.
* Energy – 1852kj
* Protein – 17.4g
* Fat, total – 15.1g
o Fat saturated – 14g
* Carbohydrate – 59.3g
o Sugars – 6.8g
o Fibre – 37.6g
Some brands may differ slightly
Q: Are you sure it’s starch free? I did Carol Sinclair’s iodine test on some dessicated coconut and it went black.
A: We did the iodine test on two brands of coconut flour and it stayed the same colour ie it passed the iodine test. Maybe the dessicated coconut had some additive in it that was starchy.
Q: Can you use coconut flour on the GAPS diet?
A: It is a fairly new product, so there is no specific ruling, but other coconut products including whole fresh coconut are allowed. So we believe it is safe for all starch free diets – Carol Sinclair’s IBS Low-starch diet, Elaine Gottschall’s Specific Carbohydrate diet (SCD) and Natasha Campbell-McBride’s Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) protocol.
However, because of the high fibre content, we don’t recommend it for the Intro phase of GAPS. You can use it in the lead up when you are reducing your starches. And introduce it again after the Intro diet, once you are comfortable on a full range of other fibrous foods like raw vegetables and nuts and seeds. As with all other foods you are re-introducing, start with a small amount to see if you are ready for it.
Q: I can’t have eggs but I’d really like to experiment with the coconut flour anyway. Do you have any egg free recipes?
A: You can use it in savoury foods without eggs, for example in meatballs or meatloaf or as a coating for fried foods. But the expert, Bruce Fife, has hardly any baking recipes without eggs (peanut butter cookies, and a pastry recipe using cream cheese), and he has experimented a lot.
You can bake egg free with ground almonds, and that is probably a better place to start experimenting.
P r o p e r t i e s a n d U s e s
Creamed coconut is unsweetened coconut flesh from a fresh, mature coconut. It’s dehydrated, then ground to make a semi-solid creamy-white paste. It’s like a concentrated form of coconut cream, and is commonly found in the ethnic section of the supermarket, in blocks.
It may also come in a glass jar, and be called coconut butter or coconut spread.
If your creamed coconut comes in a jar, it may be in two layers, with a layer of oil at the top. You need to mix it together before using it. Put your jar in warm water, or the warmer drawer of the oven, till the cream layer softens, then mix together with a knife. Or even easier, once it’s soft enough to scrape out of the jar, put it all in a food processor, and zizz till smooth. Then pour it back in the jar.
* Traditionally this is used in curries, or in other Indian, Thai or Caribbean cooking.
* can be diluted with hot water to make coconut cream
(especially useful if you only want a small amount and don’t want to open a whole tin)
* add good fats to soups
* thicken soups, stews or casseroles
* add tropical flavour to many dishes
* blend into smoothies
* include in the batter for baked goods
* use in any recipe that calls for coconut butter (which is very similar, just a little lower in fibre)
* makes fantastic sugar free sweet treats like fudge, chocolate and healthy snack bars
* suitable for low carb diets (1.22 grams net carbs per 15 gram serving)
* Energy – 704 calories
* Protein – 7.1g
* Fat, total – 63.6g
o Fat saturated – 1.8g
* Carbohydrate – 13.2g
o Sugars – 0g
o Fibre – 5.7g
Some brands may differ slightly
Mains: Busy Person’s Crockpot Stew
Snacks: Chocolate Spread
Have a mug of this warming soup at first signs of a flu or cold, or when you’re feeling the winter weather. If you get sick, sip throughout the day.
* Homemade is best, so keep a supply in your freezer. But if you’re in a hurry and don’t have any, two NZ brands are acceptable – Essential Cuisine or European Gourmet.
|Bring the stock to a boil, skim off any foam. Add the ginger and chilli and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Turn off the heat, and stir in the creamed coconut till melted. Add the lemon juice and sea salt to taste, and serve.
| This is a quick and easy soup. It can also be adapted to make a nice salad dressing, sauce, gravy or dip.
|Steam green bean just until bright green. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, mix hot water/broth with Zenian Creamed Coconut. Place all ingredients into a blender and purée until smooth, or use a wand blender. Season to taste. Put back in the pan, and reheat if you want to serve it warm. It’s also nice chilled.
|Although this recipe includes curry powder and cumin, it’s not a curry. They just give it a mild, pleasant flavour. If you use plenty of different vegetables, this is a meal in a pot, and you won’t need to cook anything else.
|Cut the meat into chunks of about 1 inch square and put into the crockpot. Chop the vegetables into bite sized pieces and lay on top. Sprinkle the salt, curry and cumin over the top. Pour over enough stock or water to just cover everything. Give it a good stir. (If you don’t have time in the morning, do this much the night before and keep in the fridge overnight.)
If you set this going in the morning before work, set your crockpot to Low and leave it simmering all day. If you set it going a bit later, you’ll probably need to use a higher setting. (Refer to your own crockpot manual for its best settings.)
When you get home from work, stir in the creamed coconut till its melted. Taste, and add more salt if needed. Add optional cashews.Simmer for about another 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
|This makes a large rectangular pizza, on a “cookie tray” Beat together:
|Mix the wet and dry ingredients together and leave to stand for a minute or two. Line a cookie tray with some baking paper. The mixture should now be pourable but thick. If it’s too runny, add a little extra ground almonds or coconut flour. Pour into the tray, and smooth out with a spatula.
Cook for about 10 mins at 163C, just till it’s firm enough to spread a topping on.
Cover with chosen topping and bake for 10-15 mins at 163C, just till cheese is melted and bubbly. Use precooked toppings, as it has a short cook time.
|1. Blend together eggs, butter, honey and salt.
2. Combine coconut flour with baking powder and whisk thoroughly into batter until there are no lumps.
3. Pour into greased 22x12x7.5cm (9x5x3 inch) or smaller loaf pan and bake at 175ºC (350ºF) for 40 minutes.
4. Remove from pan and cool on rack.
|This combination loaf uses both coconut flour and ground almonds. It keeps very well in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 175C (350F). Line a loaf tin with baking paper. Beat the first 5 ingredients together. Mix the flours together and beat into the wet ingredients. Spoon into tin and smooth the top. Bake till golden, about 45 mins.
|Add any extras you fancy, such as dried fruit or extra nuts. Line a Swiss roll tin with baking paper, pour in the mixture and set it in the fridge. It’s not transportable, but any time you’re at home and need a snack, break a small bit off. It’s very sustaining, but with the oil, it’s also stimulating.
This one is a bit more portable, but still gets soft in warm weather.
Set the honey and coconut oil to melt over a low heat. Grind up the nuts in a food processor. Add the cocoa and process. Add the melted oil and honey and process till mixed. Press into a container, and refrigerate.
After grinding the nuts, you can add some desiccated coconut. Adjust the quantities of the other ingredients to taste.
|This is a nutella-like spread that is free of most major allergens – dairy, gluten, starch, sugar, soy, eggs and even nuts.
|If the creamed coconut or coconut oil are very solid, soften by placing in a container inside a bowl of warm water. Place all ingredients into a food processor, and process till smooth.
Adjust the quantities of oil, cocoa and honey to suit your personal taste. If you add more cocoa to make it more chocolatey, you’ll need more oil or honey (or both) for extar moisture.
Scrape into a jar. It will firm up a bit after sitting for a while, but will still be spreadable for toast, if kept at room temperature. It also makes a great snack, straight off the spoon, and is portable.
|• 1/4 cup coconut flakes. • 2 cup macadamias or cashews
• 1/4 cup dates • 3 cups soaked cashews
• 3/4 cup lemon juice
• 3/4 cup honey
• 3/4 cup coconut oil
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/2 c water • 1 bag of frozen raspberries
• 1/2 cup dates
|Sprinkle the coconut flakes onto the bottom of 8″ or 9″ spring form pan. Blend the nuts and dates in a food processor and press into pan to make a crust. Blend the soaked cashews, lemon juice, honey, coconut oil, vanilla, salt and water together in a food processor. Pour onto crust; remove air bubbles by tapping pan on table. Freeze until firm. Place on serving platter. Defrost in refrigerator. Process the raspberries and dates together and pour over the top.
Suggested toppings: Shredded Coconut Flakes, Raw Cacao Nibs, Chopped soaked nuts, Hemp or Chia Seeds, Cinnamon, Nutmeg or your favorite Spice.
|This amount serves 3 and can be made in a blender or food processor.
It needs to be eaten immediately, so if you want a smaller amount, make a half mix, but you will need a mini or wand processor instead.
|The fruit needs to be frozen ahead of time. Choose a baking tray or swiss roll tin that will fit flat into your freezer. Line with baking paper. Slice or chop the fruit, and lay it out on the tray. Freeze. This way it comes out free flow instead of one big lump. Once it’s frozen, store in 1 or 2 cup containers till needed.
When you want a simple, instant and delicious dessert, simply process or blend together and serve immediately.
W e b s i t e s
Fallon, Sally – Eat Fat, Lose Fat
Fallon, Sally – Nourishing Traditions
Fife, Bruce – Coconut Cures
Fife, Bruce – Cooking With Coconut Flour
Fife, Bruce – Oil Pulling Therapy