A little cheeky perhaps but that’s how coconut makes me feel!!
I love coconut as you probably already know so having coconut x3 is a bit of a lovely experience or mouthgasm. Yes, I just went there. Coconut is also sweet so for those of you who have well and truly kicked sugar, you don’t need to add any additional sweeteners here…that’s pretty win-win if you ask me!
The first time I tried coconut was on our first family holiday to Bali. It was also the time I tried a lot of new food or realised that tropical fruit was amazing when it was in its natural environment, growing from a tree in a hot climate, sweetening naturally, the way it was meant to. Many years later, I found that the sweetest, most delicious coconut grows in Vietnam. The boy (who likes to be known as el hombre), would drive me places and just randomly say “do you want a coconut?” And most times I would say “yes.” We were only together in Vietnam for a short time but this is a memory that I am fond of.
But are coconuts good for you? The water contains a lot of good stuff, is so refreshing and a natural source of electrolytes. They include vitamins and minerals such as potassium, sodium, vitamin C, magnesium and are low in carbs/sugars (although these are all naturally occurring) and low in fat (not this is my m.o as you know). [1. Dr Axe]
What about the milk and cream? Firstly, the difference between the two is the concentration of coconut. Like regular milk and cream, the cream rises to the top and can be scraped off the (raw) milk. It contains all of the good saturated fats which essentially is better for you… “did she just say that saturated fats are good for you?!” (This meta-analysis of the effects of Saturated fats on CVD/CHD compared to polyunsaturated fats is an interesting read… [2. Study]. Overall, they determined that saturated fats were not a cause of CHD, that one should be subbed for the other…food for thought hey – can you tell I’m studying nutrition?!) Anyway, back to the coconut…the milk contains more carbs and sugars, so you want to avoid this (although it is not the most harmful option out there, depends on how strict keto you are going).
When looking for coconut cream or milk, only buy a product that is only coconut and water. Honestly, it is a rarity to find products that don’t contain sugar and preservatives but they are just not necessary. Also look for the percentage of coconut to water. The higher the coconut, the more fat. Coconut cream will usually be around 80% and coconut milk around 60%. Don’t go lower than this. In Shanghai, I have chosen from two brands: Thai coconut kitchen and Aroy-D. However after doing some quick reading today, I think I’ll be staying with the Aroy-D brand as apparently there are no BPAs as you can buy the tetra-pak and the quality is excellent. Up until now, I have been buying the cans and am glad I found this information out as I consume a lot of it. As far as the nutrition aspect goes, coconut milk/cream contain the same vitamins and minerals as the water but with the fat…and yes, it’s saturated.
And finally, there’s coconut oil. I struggle with coconut oil, the flavour that is. Some people just say “get over it, it’s good for you” but the reality is, I don’t love eating it plain. So adding it to drinks or cooking with it is the best option for me. However, coconut oil is said to be amazing for getting into ketosis so consumption of it is ideal when eating lchf. The reason for this is that coconut oil is about 90% fatty acids which are mostly medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). These fatty acids go straight to the liver and are turned into ketone bodies, essential to run on fat, providing you with energy [3. MCTs]. Lauric acid is the name of one MCT in coconut oil. It is said to be good for your immunity, fighting off infections and increasing your HDL or “good” fats which can enable ketosis and aid fat loss. [4. Lauric acid]
So coconut is amaze balls for you and a great saturated fat…and you can see yourself here:
This recipe is so quick and simple to make and such a good snack to have on hand that it is definitely worth trying. (The idea came from www.iquitsugar.com so take a look here).
You can vary the ingredients (I like to use dark chocolate – another love of mine) and the additions bring different textures and sweetness.
…So before I bore you some more…to the recipe batman!
COCONUT MUFFINS – THREE WAYS (yeah baby!)
The base ingredients:
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Berries (frozen are fine)
- Dark chocolate (88-90%)
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and prepare a muffin tray.
- In one bowl, mix wet ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together.
- Add wet into dry and mix.
- Add additional ingredients and mix. If using chocolate, I usually put it in a bag and smash it with a rolling-pin or something solid so it becomes like choc chips. If using frozen berries, there is no need to defrost. I have added straight in from the freezer and had no problem with the excess moisture.
- Once everything is mixed in, spoon into the muffin tray moulds.
- Put in the oven and cook for approximately 25-30 mins. I usually set the timer for 10/15 min intervals and check/turn in case your oven cooks unevenly as some do tend to do.
- Once a little browned, they are done and ready to enjoy!
- This recipe usually makes around 8 muffins. If wanting to make them bigger, it’ll make around 6
Enjoy your healthy fats as a snack before a workout or in the afternoon to get you through until your next meal…or just have yourself as a delicious treat, because they really are!!
Let me know how you go. Feel free to comment down below.
Love (and healthy fats) Bianca x