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Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy
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COCONUT – What’s everyone banging on about?!
COCONUT – What’s everyone banging on about?!
I don’t know about you but everywhere I look, everything I read & watch, seems to be all about coconut! Whether it be Coconut Water, Coconut Oil, Coconut Milk & Coconut Beauty Products – just flipping Coconut everything! So let’s have a look at COCONUT! And see if we can see what the hype is all about! AND is it possible to get past the ‘very high fat/calories’ in our heads and just concentrate on the health benefits? It’s a toughie!!!
So I did a lot of research and these are my findings in a nut shell (a coconut shell )
The coconut is known for its great versatility as seen in the many uses of its different parts and found throughout the tropics and subtropics. Coconuts are part of the daily diets of many people. Coconuts are different from any other fruits because they contain a large quantity of “water” and when immature they are known as tender-nuts or jelly-nuts and may be harvested for drinking. When mature, they still contain some water and can be used as seednuts or processed to give oil from the kernel, charcoal from the hard shell and coir from the fibrous husk. The endosperm is initially in its nuclear phase suspended within the coconut water. As development continues, cellular layers of endosperm deposit along the walls of the coconut, becoming the edible coconut “flesh”.When dried, the coconut flesh is called copra. The oil and milk derived from it are commonly used in cooking and frying; coconut oil is also widely used in soaps and cosmetics. The clear liquid coconut water within is potable. The husks and leaves can be used as material to make a variety of products for furnishing and decorating. The coconut also has cultural and religious significance in many societies that use it. (Wikipedia)
It is low in calories, naturally fat and cholesterol free, it has more more potassium than four bananas, and it’s super hydrating (something to do with electrolytes) – these are just a few of the many benefits of coconut water. So that’s why everyone seems to be drinking it!
Coconut Milk / Creamed Coconut
Coconut Milk and Creamed Coconut are made in a way very similar to milk. The Coconut flesh (the white part) is grated and soaked in hot water. The coconut cream rises to the top and can be skimmed off. The remaining liquid is squeezed through a cheesecloth to extract a white liquid that is coconut milk. By repeating this process, the coconut milk becomes thinner. The thicker version is used for desserts and rich sauces. Thin coconut milk is used for cooking curries and soups. It is used a lot in vegan cooking and is lactose free – so super useful for lactose intolerance
Coconut Oil – the unprocessed raw virgin stuff
Now this is where it gets really interesting for a food blogger like me! I’ve personally used both Lucy Bee’s and Vita Coco, both really good! Coconut oil is known to have fabulous health benefits BUT it is massively high in fat! But it’s good fat – apparently?! It’s the richest source of saturated fat know to man! Eek. These saturated fats however are not like the ones in cheese and red meat but they are a different type know as Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) and they are metabolised differently by the body, this is what I have read anyway. They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source energy or turned into so-called ketone bodies, which can have therapeutic effects on all sorts of illnesses ( ??? ) I have also read that these MCT’s can also help you burn fat! Really? Sounds good to me! Also I have seen that these MCT’s can have an effect on killing harmful pathogens and thus help to fight infection. All sounds good doesn’t it. The fatty acids in coconut oil can also reduce appetite, which may positively affect body weight over the long term. AND the best thing about all of this is coconut oil tastes amazing! Just ‘punch’ coconut oil into your internet browser and you’ll see a LOT of health benefits popping up! Coconut oil is really great for frying, baking and generally where you would normally use butter! So why not!
Also it’s so useful in a wide range of Beauty stuff – hurrah! More uses!
Coconut Oil for Beauty benefits:
1. Makeup Remover – make up melts away – even waterproof makeup
2. Lip Balm – great for really chapped lips
3. Body Moisturiser / Body Oil – just slap it on after a shower, you’ll also smell divine and it’ll remind you of holidays!
4. Breath Freshener – Coconut oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Gargling for 20 minutes with a spoonful of oil (a.k.a. oil pulling) can help clear up germs in the mouth, leading to fresher breath, whiter teeth, and healthier gums. (This one I haven’t get tried Eek)
5. Undereye Cream – Don’t want to spend the extra money on eye cream? Use a dab of coconut oil on undereye bags and fine lines. It’s light enough for the most delicate skin on your face.
6. Night Cream – Pop some on your face and hit the sack. The antioxidants are great for those lines
7. Leave-in Hair Conditioner -Hydrate dry hair by using coconut oil as a leave-in conditioner. Apply a small amount to wet strands to seal in moisture. I’ve also put it on the ends – tied my hair up and gone to bed. I just washed my hair the next day and it was so shiny and hydrated. It also helps to keep the frizz at bay
8. Itch Relief – Burns, bug bites, and bruises can all be soothed with a topical balm of coconut oil.
Thee are stacks of ideas including shaving cream , deodorant – you name it! Have a look!
So how have I been using the infamous Coconut! Well I have developed my ‘I should Coco Bars! recipe opposite and boy are they good. My Lovely Blogging friend Sarah – ‘Tales from the Kitchen Shed’ has also shared with us her Chocolate Coconut Bars (below – yum yum yum) Sarah’s Tales from the Kitchen Shed Chocolate Coconut Bars. Just click through to this lovely recipe!
Recently whist researching for this post I was sent some ‘Coconut Snacks’ from Apesnacks you can check them out here. They arrived in the office and as usual I was hungry! (what’s new -one packet down immediately) The snacks were presented in a lovely box – 2 packs of each variety! Two Lightly Salted and two Slightly Peppered. Now whilst I realise it sounds a bit odd, let me tell you they were delicious. Crunchy, coconutty and slightly savoury. You need to try them. AND they are on average 110 Calories per pack – so actually not too bad at all!
HIGH IN FIBRE • PART OF YOUR 5 A DAY • FULL OF ANTIOXIDANTS • A GREAT SOURCE OF MANGANESE, POTASSIUM AND COPPER • HELPS WITH CALCIUM ABSORPTION • ANTI-VIRAL AND ANTI-MICROBIAL PROPERTIES • FULL OF HEALTHY MEDIUM-CHAIN-TRIGLYCERIDES • SUPER SCRUMPTIOUS!
That’s how they’re advertised and I agree! Pop over to their website following the link above for stockists
AND WATCH OUT FOR A LITTLE GIVEAWAY COMING VERY SOON!
So in essence I’m all for this coconut malarky! And I will continue to try and use this oil in my cooking!
Have you any comments – tips – recipes? I would love to hear – please drop me a comment below – I do so love your comments!
(NOT SPONSORED) I was sent 2 packs of each variety of coconut curls from Ape Snacks for review – Thank you