Making the Perfect coconut Porridge — February 15, 2021

Making the Perfect coconut Porridge

It’s snowed several inches this weekend…a rare thing here in the DFW metroplex (Texas)…and so we’ve switched many of our typical diet staples—such as iced tea, cold cereal, and yogurt—to warmer and more “wholesome” foods such as this hot cereal, or porridge, which is healthy, filling, and stocked with healthy ingredients—such as quinoa, oats, and coconut milk.

So let’s talk about how to make a bowl of this satisfying coconut comfort food that is not only true breakfast bliss, but also a keto delight

 

 

 

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Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 2Tbsp coconut flour
  • 2tsp butter 
  • 1/2C coconut milk
  • 1/2C quinoa
  • 1 -1/2C rolled oats
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 3/4C water
  • Sweetener—coconut sugar, agave, maple syrup, brown sugar,…
  • cinnamon to taste
  • 1/2C unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Optional Toppings—apple slices, peanut butter, honey, fresh chopped fruit, berries, nuts, seeds,…

 

 

 

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Instructions

Combine egg, coconut flour, and salt in a small bowl. Melt the butter and coconut cream over low heat. Slowly whisk in the egg mixture, combining until you achieve a creamy, thick texture. When it begins to simmer, turn it down to medium-low and whisk until it begins to thicken. Add water, quinoa, oats, and salt. Cook for 15 minutes…until the grains are soft to the bite and no longer gritty or hard. Add more water if needed to reach your desired state of thickness/soupiness. Garnish with your favorite toppings. Serve hot with coconut milk or cream.

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    Baking with Coconut Flour — February 13, 2021

    Baking with Coconut Flour

    coconut bread recipe

    The perfect coconut flour bread is the perfect answer to those starting a keto diet or those who are allergic to wheat, dairy, most grains, starches, and nuts. And switching to coconut flour means that you yourself don’t have to give up your favorite foods because of the other person. But baking with coconut flour is a whole different ballgame than baking with any other flour. One of the easiest recipes to learn how to bake with coconut flour is coconut flour bread. The perfect coconut flour bread is quick and easy to prepare, contains healthy all-natural ingredients, and has unbelievable taste. So let’s stop talking and start baking instead.

    Making the Perfect Avocado Pudding — February 11, 2021

    Making the Perfect Avocado Pudding

     Chocolate Avocado Pudding with Coconut Milk

     

    The perfect avocado pudding is not some sort of sweet guacamole…but a sweet, rich and decadent creamy pudding.

    The perfect avocado pudding is a great, delicious and good-looking dessert that you will be proud of serving because it is actually chock-full of healthy ingredients—banana for sweetening…lots of cocoa for a rich chocolaty taste…whipped coconut milk for airy texture and more sweetness…and finally avocado simply serves to bind all of the other ingredients together and provide creaminess.

     

    • 2 ripe medium avocados
    • 1/3C cocoa or carob powder
    • 1/4C coconut milk
    • 2tsp vanilla
    • 1 pinch of salt
    • Toppings of choice…such as strawberries, coconut flakes, cherries, raspberries

    Add the peeled avocados, banana, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla and salt. Blend until a creamy paste forms. Set aside. Whip the coconut milk with a hand mixer until it obtains a mousse-like texture. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

     

    Making the Perfect Coconut Granola —

    Making the Perfect Coconut Granola

     

    The perfect coconut granola is the perfect combination of oats, nuts, seeds, add-ins, fruit, sweetener—such as honey or maple syrup.

    The perfect coconut granola is not only the perfect simple and fast breakfast…but also the perfect after school snack…the perfect topping for yogurt, ice cream, milk or fresh fruit…the perfect food for camping trips and road trips.

    The perfect coconut granola can be made ahead of time and stored for weeks.

     

     

     

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    Ingredients

    The Oats…4C…Old-fashioned oats will keep their shape during baking, but use certified gluten-free oats if you need gluten-free granola. Do not use instant or quick oats.

     

    The Fruit…1C…Whether or not you actually use fruit is totally up to you, but fruit adds extra sweetness, chewy texture, and more flavor to your finished granola. Any dried fruit will work—dried cherries, dried cranberries, dried apricots, raisins, mixed dried berries

     

    The Coconut…2/3C unsweetened flaked coconut

     

     

    The Sweetener…1/3 cup maple syrup or honey or agave nectar…Use whichever one you like the best or what you have on hand. Another option would be 1/4C brown sugar. Such  sweeteners stick to the oats and give you plenty of sweet chunks in the mix. You can use whatever kind of sweetener and oil that you’d like, but the coating for your granola should be about half sweetener and half oil.

     

     

     

    The Nuts and Seeds…1C…Good option would be any one or a combination of the following…almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, pepitas, sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, and macadamia nuts.

     

     

    The Oil…2/3C melted coconut oil…The oil is what makes the granola crispy. Substitutes for coconut oil include extra virgin olive oil or butter.

     

    The Salt…1/2tsp…Salt adds flavor to your granola. Try using fine-grain sea salt instead of regular table salt. 

     

     

    The Spices…1tsp…Spices can give your granola a subtle warming flavor. Good options include ginger, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon.

     

    The Vanilla…2tsp vanilla…simply because you’re baking something…have you ever noticed that whenever you’re baking anything at all, one of the ingredients is always vanilla…and you start by preheating your oven to 350…

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    Optional Mix-Ins…Feel free to experiment by adding whatever else you want,,,such as 2tsp lemon or orange zest, mini chocolate chips, small candies like M&M’s, chia seeds…you name it…or find it…

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    Instructions
     

    Preheat oven to 300°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together oil, sweetener, salt, and spices. Add oats and almonds. Stir to coat well. Press the granola into an even layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring only once halfway through cooking. Remove from the oven. Add the fruit. Press and tamp down the granola before it cools to help the granola stick together. Cool completely before storing. Avoid jostling the granola on the pan any more than you gave to until it cools completely. Once completely cooled, transfer to an airtight container, where it will keep for up to a month.



    Making the Perfect Coconut Tea — February 7, 2021

    Making the Perfect Coconut Tea

    Coconut tea is a caffeinated beverage that is relatively new to America and parts of Europe, but has actually been enjoyed for generations in tropical regions where coconuts commonly grow.

    Coconut tea combines coconut flakes and milk into green or black tea to create both a wonderful flavor and a wealth of health benefits.

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    The Why

    Coconut milk contans a high level of healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, and many important minerals—such as magnesiumiron, and potassium.

    Coconut has been proven to have many health benefits. Coconut and coconut-related groceries such as coconut oil and shredded coconut can help prevent cancer, improve heart health, boosting the immune system, and protect the skin.

    Green and black tea can give the immune system a major boost.

    Both of these two main ingredients can h ve an effect on the metabolism, boost passive fat-burning. aid weight loss efforts, help protect you from high blood pressure and coronary heart disease…

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    Coconut Tea

    • 2Tbsp heavy milk
    • 1C coconut milk
    • 4 green or black tea bags
    • 4C water
    • 8 cardamom pods
    • cloves
    • 2Tbsp brown sugar
    • 1Tbsp peppercorn

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    Instructions 

    Bring 4 cups of water to boil, At this point you can choose between making chai coconut tea or green tea coconut tea.

    To make chai coconut tea, add 8 cardamom pods, 8 cloves, and 1Tbsp to saucepan. Then add four black tea bags. Remove from heat. Steep for 5min. In a second saucepan, bring 1C coconut milk and 2Tbsp brown sugar to a simmer. Mix the milk into the tea. Heat for 2min. Whisk the entire mixture.

    To make coconut green tea, add three green tea bags. Remove from heat. Let the tea steep 5min. Pour in 1/4 cup of coconut milk and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. Stir thoroughly. Remove the tea bag. Regardless which tea you are making, you can either serve the tea warm or refrigerate and serve cold.  

    Making the Perfect Coconut Water Smoothie — February 5, 2021

    Making the Perfect Coconut Water Smoothie

    Coconut water is a refreshing and hydrating option to the milk or plain water that we all typically think of as the liquid base for smoothies. Not only that, coconut water offers so much more as far as nutrition and health benefits.

    Coconut water smoothies are especially great after you work out because it quickly rehydrates you and is a great, natural source of antioxidants and key electrolytes—such as potassium and sodium—that your body needs in order to bounce back after working up a sweat.

    Coconut water is also a natural and healthy alternative to the not-so-healthy Gatorade-style energy drinks we usually grab after working out because coconut water contains low amounts of salt and sugar…as well as no artificial additives or colors.

    So here are only a few quick and easy ideas for using coconut water in smoothies that are low in calories and a weight loss friendly…

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    The Base…1C coconut water

    The Greens…1C kale

    The Fruit…(pick and choose your favorites…note that both fresh and frozen will work)…

    • Banana…1 peeled and chopped
    • Blueberries…½ cup
    • Cranberries…½ cup
    • Mango…½ cup chopped
    • Orange…1⁄2
    • Pineapple…1⁄2 cup chopped
    • Raspberry…1 cup
    • Strawberries…⅓ cup

    The Sweetener…(Optional)…½tsp honey or agave nectar

    Add-Ins…(optional)

    • Chia seeds…1Tbsp
    • Cinnamon or ginger…1/4tsp
    • Squeeze of lime
    • Ice cubes…4 to 5

    Pour coconut into lender. Add kale. Blend for 1min. Add fruit and add-ins. Blend again. Add ice if using. Blend again. Enjoy! 

    Cuckoo Over Coconuts — January 22, 2021

    Cuckoo Over Coconuts

     

    When you think of tropical fruit, one of the first things that comes into mind is the coconut…one of the most important crops of the tropics.

     

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    The Tree

    Coconut trees can grow up to almost one hundred feet tall with leaves that can be as long as twenty feet each.

    Coconut trees can typically be found anywhere along the coast…wherever the average daily temperature stays above 55°F and the average annual rainfall is above 40 inches.

    Each tree can yield as many as a hundred actual coconuts, but most trees grow about fifty.

     

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    The Fruit

    Your typical coconut is an oval shape that is about fifteen inches long and seven inches round…weighing about three pounds…with a hard shell containing both coconut meat and liquid.

     

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    More Facts

    The name coconut comes from the Spanish word coco, which means ‘head’ or ‘skull.’ The coconut probably got this name from the fact that the coconut looks like a face…with three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facaaial features.

    There are several varieties of coconut…which you probably wouldn’t know if you walk into your typical grocery store.

    These include the Maypan coconut, the King coconut, and Macapuno….each varying in such factors as taste of the coconut water, color of the fruit. For more about the different types of coconut, check out this article by Home Stratosphere.

    Breadfruit….The How — January 19, 2021

    Breadfruit….The How

    Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com
    Breadfruit is probably not one of those fruits that you simply wanna grab and take a big bite of… Try if it you want, but most people will find the taste and texture of uncooked breakfast more than a little unpleasant. However, if the unripened breadfruit is boiled until tender, the breadfruit will have a more potato-ish texture…similar to freshly baked bread. In fact, the best way to think about uses for breadfruit is to treat it as if it were a potato of sorts and cook it accordingly—mashed, in salads, made into fries and chips, etc. In fact, breadfruit can be used as a delicious substitute for any starchy root crop, rice, pasta, vegetable, or potato. But breadfruit is actually better than potatoes because they are actually more nutritious. So like the potatoes, breadfruit can be prepared in many ways—steamed, baked, sauteed, boiled, fried… And like potatoes, breadfruit can be used in a variety of dishes—casseroles, curries, stews and chowders, salads, and chips.

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    Ripeness

    The riper the breadfruit, the softer and creamier and sweeter it becomes…similar to a banana…with a custardy, bread-like taste…meaning that riper breadfruit are great for can be used for fritters, pancakes, bread, beverages, and other baked goods

    Breadfruit is a staple ingredient in many cuisines—especially Caribbean, Latin America, and Polynesian…for making both sweet and savory dishes. Here are a few recipes worth trying… Philippinesginataang langka Sri Lankacurry Indiafritters Jamaicasoup Breadfruit flour can be used a good gluten-free substitute for panko or breadcrumbs…and actually has a much better taste and greater nutritional value than any other gluten-free flour alternative available. Breadfruit seeds can also be cooked an eaten…making them a a nutritious, savory snack with a crunch.

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    Where to Find

    If you don’t live in the back of the backwoods like Middle of Nowhere, Mississippi… where I’m from…you might be able to go to your closest Caribbean specialty food store…

    If you happen to live in Hawaii or be there even in the midst of all this corona crap, you will find breadfruit readily available…probably labeled as “ulu”…In fact, breadfruit is so common in Hawaii that there is even a National Breadfruit Institute of Hawai’i.  For the rest of us, you could also try your local farmers’ market or wait until your next box of ugly produce comes in and you luck out and get breadfruit in your assortment.

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    Choosing and Storing

    If you are choosing your breadfruit yourself, make sure that the breadfruit is firm. You want the skin to be greenish-yellow with only a little brown cracking.

    The fruit bruises easily so check for bruises or soft spots. Some brown cracking is okay, but not too much. Store breadfruit in your fridge…(future post on which fruits and veggies to store in fridge and which not to…as well as how to organize your fridge coming soon…maybe four years from now)… In conclusion, hopefully you also will be checking breadfruit off your list of foods on the Raw Foods Pyramid  yet to try…as you join me in this quest to embrace a healthier lifestyle.
    Develop a Passion for Banana Passion Fruit — January 11, 2021

    Develop a Passion for Banana Passion Fruit

    Before starting this series on tropical fruits, I had honestly never even heard of banana passion fruit…and I still honestly haven’t figured out where the closest place to buy it is…but since it is a tropical fruit, I’m gonna go ahead and include here in this chapter…(think once I finish crawling up the Raw Foods Pyramid, I may try to put it all together into a book…probably too lofty of a goal, but hey we are all making New Year’s resolutions right now anyway)…

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    Banana Passion Fruit…The What

    Banana passion fruit are native to many areas of South America—particularly Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Peru.

    Banana passion fruit grows on vines that can be as tall…or long, not sure which word would be correct here…as twenty-two feet….and that have attractive, deep pink blossoms. The vines are commonly used in landscaping to cover trellises.

    plant is known to live for up to twenty years. A mature banana passion fruit vine can produce up to three hundred banana passion fruits. 

    The fruit itself is oblong and about four inches long. The orange-scented fruit has a  thick, leathery skin that changes from green to bright yellow as the fruit ripens…and juicy, sweet pulp that is studded with black seeds.

    The pulp is juicy and sweet, with a tart bite and hints of banana. Although the seeds are edible, they can be somewhat bitter…

    Banana passion fruit is available year-round in the tropics, with a peak season in the spring and fall months.

    However…interestingly enough…it is illegal to sell and distribute the plant in New Zealand and Hawaii because it is considered to be an invasive species that can quickly take over and deprive other native plants from the sun.

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    Banana Passion Fruit…The Why

    Banana passionfruit are a good source of the following nutrients…

    • antioxidants
    • calcium
    • carbohydrates
    • fiber
    • iron
    • phosphorus
    • protein
    • vitamins A and C

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    Banana Passion Fruit…The Why

    As long as you store ripe banana passion fruit in an open paper bag in the fridge, they will last for around a week.

    Although banana passion fruit is best eaten as it is instead of trying to cook or make something else out of it, here are some more ideas as far as using banana passion fruit…

    • desserts such as cakes, cheesecake and pies
    • fruit salads
    • ice cream
    • juices
    • parfaits
    • relishes, jams and other preserves
    • smoothies
    • yogurt 

    So let’s take a look in the following posts at a few of these ideas…shall we?!

    Bananas…The Why — November 26, 2020

    Bananas…The Why

    Before we move on to much more interesting and fun things to do with bananas—such as which bananas to choose and what to do with them once you get them home, let’s take a look at the health benefits that bananas provide.

    Asthma…Bananas help prevent wheezing in children with asthma because of their antioxidant and potassium content.

    Athletic Performance…The unique mix of vitamins, minerals, and low glycemic carbohydrates…easy portability…low expense…and great taste have made bananas a favorite fruit among endurance athletes.

    Bananas especially provide excellent nutrition before endurance exercise. Distance cyclists have found that eating half of a banana every fifteen minutes of a three-hour race keep their energy levels steady just as well as drinking a processed sports beverage.

    Not only that we’ve all been told to eat a banana if we have cramps. This is because of their bananas are a good source of the potassium that can help prevent muscle cramps and soreness cauaws by dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

    Bones…Bananas do not contain high levels of calcium, but they do contain an abundance of a certain carbohydrate, called fructooligosaccharides, that help the body absorb calcium.

    Cancer…Bananas contain lectin and vitamin C, two antioxidants that help keep cancer cells—especially lukemia, kidney, and colon cancer cells—from growing. Eating four to six bananas per week can cut your risk of developing kidney cancer in half. Bananas are also fairly rich in fiber and resistant starch…both of which may feed your friendly gut bacteria and safeguard against colon cancer.

    Depression…mood…memory…Bananas contain three nutrients that may help preserve memory, boost a person’s ability to learn and remember things, and regulate mood. These nutrients include tryptophan, an amino acid that the body converts to serotonin, the mood-elevating brain neurotransmitter…vitamin B6 that help you sleep…and magnesium to help your muscles relax.

    Diabetes…The American Diabetes Association recommends eating bananas because of their fiber content. Diets that include high levels of fiber can help lower blood sugar levels, reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, and help lower blood sugar in those who are diabetic.

    Digestive Health…Bananas contain water and fiber, both of which promote regularity and encourage digestive health. One medium banana provides about three grams of fiber, about 10% of a person’s fiber needs for a day. Fiber found in bananas can also improve bloating, gas, and stomach cramps.

    For years, we’ve heard about the BRAT diet…eating only bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast…whenever you have diarrhea. Bananas help replace any water, electrolytes, and potassium that are lost with diarrhea or vomiting.