The coconut. What a versatile, amazing fruit! There have been many books written solely on the oil of the coconut, and what prompted me to talk a little about it this week was the inquiry of comparing canola and coconut oil. Without getting into too many details, here are the two main reasons to ditch the canola oil:
- Over 90% of canola oil is genetically modified
- It is a partially hydrogenated oil
To learn more about canola oil, and the reasons you should cut it out, check out this article written by Dr. Axe, of Maximize Your Health.
I’d like to focus on the positive, so here are the reasons the coconut, in all its forms are a staple in my kitchen:
1. Promotes Weight Loss. Studies have shown, when coconut oil is part of one’s diet, white fat stores are reduced. Because of the medium-chain triglycerides being so well absorbed and used as an energy source, their burning actually increases metabolic rate.
2. Safest Oil for Cooking. Because it is a saturated fat, coconut oil is very stable and can withstand high heat without smoking, making it the ideal oil for cooking, sauteeing, and roasting food. My fav…sweet potato fries smothered in oil, then roasted until crispy!
3. Energy For Your Brain. Joy McCarthy explains “Insulin problems, which millions of North Americans suffer from, prevent brain cells from accepting glucose, the primary source of energy for your brain. Without glucose, cells eventually die. However, the brain readily accepts ketones as a source of fuel. There’s now evidence suggesting that ketone bodies may actually help restore and renew neurons and nerve function in your brain, even after damage has set in. Ketones are metabolized in the liver after digesting coconut oil because it’s such a wonderful source of MCT’s.
4. Extremely High in Fiber. Coconut flour has the highest amount of fiber of all flours. This makes it blood-sugar-balancing. Fiber slows the release of glucose into the bloodstream. When glucose levels are balanced, insulin levels are kept in check, which aids in managing cravings.
5. The Perfect Dairy Alternative. The milk (a combination of the cream and water) is perfect in replacement for dairy cream and milk, great for those with dairy allergies and sensitivities.
6. Naturally Gluten Free.
7. Immune Boosting. 50% of the fatty acids in coconut milk are in the form of “lauric acid”. The only other abundant source of this healing fat is in breast milk.
8. The Perfect Natural Beauty Product. Coconut oil is great for deep-conditioning your hair, moisturizing your skin and is a wonderful carrier for essential oils.
9. Breast feeding Moms. According to the Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that lactating mothers who include virgin coconut oil in their diet have higher amounts of capric acid in their breast milk. This means an increase in HDL (the “good” cholesterol), which in turn means children are better protected from infections and toxins.
So, as you can see, there are many reasons to ditch the canola, vegetable and soy oils and replace them with good ‘ole coconut oil!
Are you interested in learning more about this magnificant fruit? Check out some of these websites:
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp agave syrup
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 20 raw almonds (optional)
- 2 oz dark chocolate, chopped (for additional drizzle)
- In a food processor, combine coconut, almond flour, coconut oil, agave syrup, almond extract, and salt. Process until mixture starts to come together into a ball around the processor blad.
- Line a plate with parchment paper. Roll about a tbsp of macaroon mixture into a 1 inch ball and press onto the plate. Press an almond (if using) into the top of each macaroon.
- Place chocolate (if using) in a small microwave-safe bowl and cook on Medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until melted.
- Dip each macaroon into the chocolate (or drizzle chocolate over macaroons). let sit at room temperature until chocolate has hardened, about 1 hour.