Friday Food Post! Coconut -Pt1

Let me tell you a little about young coconut.  It is an amazing eat.  You might have seen these special fruits (or seeds or nuts, whichever you prefer to call it, because they’re all correct) at the grocery store, but been intimidated by the fibrous fortress that protects the treasure inside.

thaicoconut

First, it really isn’t all that hard to open as long as you have a decent chef’s knife or cleaver. You can find a quick instructional video here.

 

One of the most satisfying things to do with a young coconut is open it up, drink the juice and then scoop out the meat. That is one serious treat, right there.

But what about other forms of coconut? Milk, dehydrated, freeze dried?  They’re all super tasty AND good for you!

So, why do you want to consume coconut?  According to the Coconut Research Center in Colorado Springs, here’s a list of reasons:

 

 Digestive Benefits

  • Improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
  • Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.
  • Relieves stress on pancreas and enzyme systems of the body.
  • Reduces symptoms associated with pancreatitis.
  • Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes.
  • Reduces problems associated with malabsorption syndrome and cystic fibrosis.
  • Improves calcium and magnesium absorption and supports the development of strong bones and teeth.
  • Relieves symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and stomach ulcers.
  • Improves digestion and bowel function.

 

Skin and Hair Benefits

  • Supports tissue healing and repair.
  • Applied topically helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward of infection.
  • Reduces symptoms associated the psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.
  • Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin.
  • Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking.
  • Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots.
  • Promotes healthy looking hair and complexion.
  • Provides protection from damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
  • Helps control dandruff.

Seasonal Benefits

  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Supports and aids immune system function.
  • Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses.

Antimicrobial Benefits

  • Kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, and other diseases.
  • Kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.
  • Expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites.
  • Helps prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay.

Healthy Weight Benefits

  • Is lower in calories than all other fats.
  • Supports thyroid function.
  • Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate.
  • Is utilized by the body to produce energy in preference to being stored as body fat like other dietary fats.
  • Helps prevent obesity and overweight problems.
  • Provides a nutritional source of quick energy.
  • Boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance.
  • Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation.
  • Is heart healthy; improves cholesterol ratio reducing risk of heart disease.
  • Protects arteries from injury that causes atherosclerosis and thus protects against heart disease.

Additional Amazing Benefits

  • Helps relieve symptoms associated with gallbladder disease.
  • Relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.
  • Helps protect the body from breast, colon, and other cancers.
  • Functions as a protective antioxidant.
  • Helps protect against osteoporosis.
  • Helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative disease.
  • Does not deplete the body’s antioxidant reserves like other oils do.
  • Helps relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).
  • Reduces epileptic seizures.
  • Helps protect against kidney disease and bladder infections.
  • Dissolves kidney stones.
  • Helps prevent liver disease.
  • Does not form harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperature like other vegetable oils do.
  • Has no harmful or discomforting side effects.
  • Is completely non-toxic to humans.

 

Need I say more?  This really is a super food.

I will tell you that one of the main concerns that modern, western dietitians have with consuming large amounts of coconut is it’s saturated fat content (100%).  Do not fret, dear readers.  Saturated fat is not the big bad wolf that the dietary authorities have led us to believe. Here is a fantastic article on healthy fats.

Over the next several weeks I’m going to do a series of Coconut Themed Friday Food Posts!  Stay Tuned!  In the mean time, go get yourself a couple of those Young Coconuts. Delish!

Friday Food Post-Garlicky Kale Salad

In the midsummer of 2011 I had a life changing experience.  Seriously! Life changing. Huge…

I was introduced to a big bowl of Garlicky Kale salad.  I know, I know. Anything involving kale isn’t generally what most people would describe as life changing. In fact, the general response I get from mentioning any recipe involving kale is “bleh.”  I want you to hear me out though.  When this salad is busted out at a gathering, you can find a group of my friends flocking around it–similarly to those seagulls in the movie Finding Nemo,  “Mine! Mine!”  (You know what I’m talking about, right?)

This salad is the perfect amount of sweet and savory, heavenly deliciousness..oh…and it’s healthy.

Kale is one of the most healthy vegetables on earth.  It has a high content of fiber, calcium, vitamin B6, and an even higher concentration of vitamins K, C and A.

It’s not just the kale that makes this recipe so healthful, the garlic, raw honey, nutritional yeast all are packed with nutrients.

I am happy that this dish is so healthy, because when I got pregnant with my second child it’s pretty much the only thing I wanted to eat. I knew that I was growing a healthy baby every time I took a bite.

Now that I have you on the edge of your seat, let me share the recipe with you!

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Garlicky Kale Salad (adapted from a Whole Foods original recipe)

1 Bunch of kale–Any variety, my favorite is the curly type because it drinks up the delicious dressing
2 Tablespoons tahini or peanut butter or a combination of both
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos (tamari or soy sauce would work too)
4 Tablespoons nutritional yeast– you can find this at most health food stores in the bulk section.
Several cloves of garlic (as much as you desire)
1 Tablespoon of raw honey

Place all of the ingredients (except the kale) in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, add water a teaspoon at a time to reach your desired consistency. 
I like mine on the thick side, especially when using freshly washed kale, because the residual water on the kale makes it thin out quite a bit after you apply the dressing.

I also like to make this dressing in large batches and use it as I would hummus.

Pour dressing over the kale and use your hands to massage it into the leaves until the kale is fully coated. If you are patient enough, let it sit in the fridge for an hour to let the flavors absorb. If not, eat it and enjoy!  

You’re Welcome!

First Blog Post

Hello! I am so excited to begin developing a relationship with my community and other birth professionals! Please feel free to start some communication! I am happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you might have.

We are hoping to create a space where we can have an honest, fun, and friendly discussion on health and nutrition, birth practices, women’s health, family matters, and home and house keeping (including your fun crafty stuff!)  Please post as you see fit!