Branching Out: Coconut products

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been using coconut products in my daily diet.  I didn’t want to post about it until I decided whether or not I would continue with this change.  I’m happy to report that I have started two new, healthy routines!

The first thing I did a few weeks ago was to purchase a big container of coconut oil.  My Costco has a great deal on Carrington Farms coconut oil for around $16.  This is a 54 ounce container and is raw, cold-pressed, organic, and unrefined.  That is the way to go.

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The entire jar (which is pretty big) will last about a year or so before it spoils.  I keep it on my kitchen countertop and haven’t had any issues with it getting liquified by the stove or anything like that.

I’ve been putting it in my egg pan in the mornings instead of using spray (read: plastic) oil.  I just take a small fork and drag out about a half of a teaspoon.  It can be used up to 350 degrees, so it melts really well without smoking.  Any leftover on my fork goes straight to my cuticles.   I’ve found that my eggs actually taste buttery using this oil, but I’ve used too much once and it does taste a little tropical.  I also have noticed that my eggs seem fluffier (remember, I use two egg whites and one regular egg).

I also purchased some coconut water to drink after my yoga classes.  I got a case of it for $14.  know it seems like a lot, but I actually only drink about a third of the carton for each class so I’m not going through them really fast.  I think I drink about 8 ounces after each class.  The brand I got is Zico, which is one of the three that most people by (Vita Coco and O.N.E. being the others).  I researched and Zico is better in terms of chunks (none) and less calories and no added sugar.  I learned that coconut milk is made from the meat of the fruit, while coconut water is the clear stuff in the middle of the fruit.

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Apparently, Zico makes flavored waters, but I just got the plain.  At first taste, I was surprised that it didn’t taste very sweet. Now, I’m just used to it.

I chose to start adding these two products into my diet for two reasons:

1)  The coconut oil has great health benefits.  While some people argue that the saturated fat in the oil is bad for you, it’s actually not.  The reason this doesn’t apply to coconut oil is that about half the saturated fat in the oil is medium-chain fatty acids, which are easier to digest than the more prevalent long-chain fatty acids in most other oils, including butter.  Nearly 50 percent of the fat in coconut oil is of a type rarely found in nature called lauric acid, a “miracle” compound because of its unique health promoting properties. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties.   The cool thing about lauric acid is that it is only found in high concentrations in one other source….breast milk!

2)  Coconut water is, in my opinion, the best natural electrolyte drink out there.  It’s naturally high in potassium.   I’ve seen recipes for making your own electrolyte supplement using water, salt, lemons, and a host of other things.  Frankly, I don’t want to drink salt water after class. I still haven’t decided if I really need salt after yoga, but if I do, I’ll figure out a way to get it in without giving up my coconut water.  Coconut water also has lauric acid in it, so that’s even better.  I’ve learned also that in WW2, coconut water was used on the troops as a universal blood donor.  It is identical to human blood plasma!

 

So there you go.  Yay for coconuts!  I purchased some coconut flour last weekend and I plan to try some baking with it this weekend.

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