Coconut Creations – 3 Ways you can enjoy Coconut Oil

Coconut Creations – 3 Ways you can enjoy Coconut Oil

Coconut has been hailed as the Tree of Life, and it’s no surprise – due to how its “fruit” gives life-nourishing benefits. From its scrumptious meat to its refreshing water, coconut is indeed a complete package when it comes to giving the body what it needs.

Consequently, coconut oil is not far behind. In fact, it is considered to be one of the few superfoods that exist. If you think it’s just another run-of-the-mill byproduct, think again.

coconuts

Aside from the more common benefits of coconut oil when used externally like on your hair or on your skin, coconut oil also holds a load of health benefits when consumed. Think about weight loss, improved brain function and overall health improvements. These are just some of the practically unending list of health benefits that result from consuming coconut oil.

One of the greatest health benefits of coconut oil is its effective support of heart health. The reason that most people thought otherwise is that it’s a form of “oil.” What they fail to see is that it has lauric acid, which is known to help prevent heart related ailments that branch off from high cholesterol levels and increased blood pressure. Furthermore, it lowers the risk of any damage in your arteries. In turn, this lowers the chances of you getting atherosclerosis, or the clogging of your arteries.

Talk about irony: how often do you hear about  oil (or fat, if you will) that can help you with your heart problems.

Considering its health benefits, how can you enjoy and fully take advantage of the wondrous effects of coconut oil? It’s not just a matter of taking in a spoonful of coconut oil every day. You can get the health benefits while enjoying every moment of it with these healthy and nutritious recipes.

Read on to get a jumpstart on learning the different uses for coconut oil in your daily meals.

For Salad Dressing

If you are the type of person who enjoys a daily serving of salad, or just wants to try something different in your salad experience, this one’s for you.

salad-and-dressing

Get a dose of healthy fat and an awesome source of antioxidants with this unique Coconut Salad Dressing!

It does not only give you the nutrients you need, it also helps your body effectively absorb vitamins and minerals. In return, it makes you body more resistant to various diseases.

All the more to eat those healthy greens!

Ingredients

⅔ cup coconut oil, melted

⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

⅓ cup vinegar

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

½ tablespoon raw honey

1 small garlic clove, crushed and minced

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon unprocessed sea salt

¼ tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients in a sizeable bowl. Blend the mixture well until flavors and color tone are evenly distributed.
  2. Add the mixed dressing to the dressing vessel of your choice. Make sure to let it stand for 45 minutes to an hour before chilling it.
  3. Reminder: Since this unique salad dressing has coconut as its main ingredient, it can easily harden when refrigerated. Before you use your fresh coconut salad dressing, make sure to allow it to rest in room temperature for a few minutes. You can also put the container in warm bath to allow it to be more viscous.

For soups

Imagine a cold Wednesday early evening. You’re about to have dinner. Something inside you tells you to go for something warm in your belly. For sure, the best way to satiate that craving is with a warm, creamy and tasty bowl of soup!

coconut-soup

Soup is one of the most comforting foods to eat when you want to feel toasty and calm. True enough, you can enjoy it as a light snack or as a yummy appetizer with a healthy serving of coconut oil. Take a sip of the mixed flavors of Coconut Curry Soup!

With its earthy taste, you can enjoy this recipe as it warms your soul and nourish your body. Plus, you can enjoy this healthy recipe as part of your weight loss diet!

Ingredients

½ medium onion, chopped

½ red bell pepper, sliced

2 cloves garlic, pressed

½ zucchini squash, diced

1 carrot, diced

2 green onions, finely sliced

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 Tbsp coconut oil

3 cups coconut water

1 lime, juiced

2 tsp cumin

1 inch ginger fresh chopped

1 tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp nama shoyu

1 tsp cayenne pepper powder

½ cup mung bean sprouts, for garnish

Fresh basil, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Using a pre-heated medium saucepan, heat the coconut oil. Sauté the onion, garlic and red pepper in the pan, allowing the base ingredients to cook for a 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  2. Pour three cups of coconut water. Bring it to simmer on low heat.
  3. Add the zucchini, carrots, and celery. Allow the vegetables to cook and become tender.
  4. Put the lime juice and cumin, turmeric, ginger and nama shoyu in. Make sure to stir well to avoid any possible sticking of ingredients to the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat after all the spices have dissolved.
  5. Add the cayenne pepper.
  6. Garnish with mung bean sprouts and basil leaves. Serve as is or with a bowl of rice on the side.

As smoothie

For those who grew up eating fresh fruit ice cream, you have most definitely had strawberry-banana ice cream at one point in your life. Perhaps you have had it almost every day when you were younger. You could just smell the sweet dew of strawberry and taste the luscious flavor of banana just by thinking about them.

coconut-smoothie

You can now enjoy this snack in the healthiest and most exciting way this time around. Put a healthy twist on this sweet treat with this Coconut Strawberry Banana Smoothie!

The heavenly goodness of the refreshingly creamy goodness of strawberry and banana smoothie gets a healthy dose of coconut oil to give you that nutritious and energy boosting flavor in your all time favorite smoothie.

Ingredients

16 ounces of purified water

1 Cavendish banana

Frozen 3/4 cup strawberries

Fresh or frozen 1 teaspoon raw extra virgin coconut oil

1 serving high-quality vanilla protein powder

Handful of ice

Shredded coconut, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Simply mix and blend all ingredients (except garnish ingredients) in a high-speed blender. Stop when the mixture is already smooth and creamy (about 1 to 2 minutes).
  2. Pour in a glass. Top with shredded coconut and a single strawberry as garnish.
  3. Serve and drink while still ice cold and thick.
  4. Reminders: Since coconut oil is fat, there is a tendency for it to stick to the sides of your blender. Because of this, it may become hardened due to the cold ingredients of the smoothie. In order to avoid this, pour the water in the blender first. Then put in the rest of the ingredients, except the coconut oil.

With everything in, put in the coconut oil. Make sure to pour it gently right in the middle of the mixture of ingredients. Doing so helps in preventing the oil to stick to the sides of the blender during the mixing process.

At this point, begin the blending by putting the blender on low speed, gradually increasing the speed as the ingredients start to become liquefied. The slow and steady mixing action ensures the coconut oil to properly blend with the liquid and other liquefied ingredients. Also, check from time to time if there are still spots of coconut oil sticking to the sides of the blender. If needed, scrape off any ingredients that do stick, and continue blending until you reach your desired smoothie consistency.

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The Benefits of Fat and Healthy Sources

Want beautiful skin and hair? Balanced hormones? Reduced inflammation? No more sugar cravings? Make sure you always include this essential macronutrient at every meal and snack – my favourite one in fact – FAT. I’ve created a video for you all about fat!

Fat has many roles and benefits in the body, as I’ve mentioned in my video, such as

  • Skin: Good fat moisturizes the skin from the inside out. In fact, fatty acid deficiency manifest as dry skin. Having the right type of fat in abundance also keeps inflammatory skin problems, such as eczema, rosacea and acne, in check. For more tips on dealing with dry skin naturally, check out this post.
  • Hair: Makes your hair shiny. Fatty oils are secreted from the sebaceous glands in your scalp, which make your hair shine and prevent a flaky scalp.
  • Balanced hormones: Aid in the regulation of sex hormones. For more hormone-balancing solutions, I’ve got a five-part series on hormonal balance that you can find here.
  • Lowered inflammation: Turns off inflammatory chemical responses. Learn more foods to reduce inflammation. 
  • Nutrient absorption: Aids in the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, including vitamins A, D, E and K.
  • Cushions organs: Fat provides insulation, cushioning and support to your organs.
Every single cell in your entire body is made of a layer of fat.
It’s not the caloric value of fats that matter; it’s the types of fats you’re eating that really count. Examples of good fats are healthy oils like olive, pumpkin and coconut, as well as avocados, nuts and seeds. Best Sources of Good Fat-03896-2 Watch my video below and then check out my healthy and joyous recipes to ensure you get enough healthy fats every day. Here are some of of the tastiest joyous recipes that incorporate my fave sources of healthy fats!

Avocado – A featured ingredient in my Key Lime Avocado Tart

Key Lime Avocado Tart

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – A featured ingredient in my Lemon Basil Pesto

JH_LBP_Blog

Coconut Oil – An ingredient in Cherry Coconut Macaroons

cherrymacaroonscloseup

Fish – Try this delicious Saffron Herb Halibut in the recipe video below.

Nut and Seeds – Try my Vanilla Chai Hemp Truffles

Vanilla Chai Hemp Truffles Read More

Healthy Memorial Day Menu

This is how to please a crowd for Memorial Day Weekend (shhh… don’t tell them it’s all healthy). Check out my picks for delicious (and instagram-worthy) recipes that would make the perfect addition to a Healthy Memorial Day Menu. Of course, throwing some veggies on the grill with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh lemon or lime juice works, too!And yes, this also is completely vegan memorial day

 Avocado & Salsa Boats

Avocado and salsa boats Simply dice tomato, shallot, jalapeno, and cilantro, then mix together in a bowl with salt and lime juice. Cut avocados in half, and spoon into center.  Garnish with additional red pepper flakes if desired. Beet Burger Get the recipe. Millet Polenta Fries Get the recipe. guacamole Get the recipe. Peach Salsa Get the recipe.
Credit: Faith Durand /The Kitchen/ kitchn.com

Credit: Faith Durand /The Kitchen/ kitchn.com

Get the recipe.

Perfectly Grilled Mushrooms

06182015-grilled-mushrooms-sesame-dressing-shaozhong-17

Credit: Shao Zhong / Serious Eats

Serious Eats has a great article on how to grill your mushrooms to get a meatier, more flavorful texture. I’d use oil instead of butter. Get the recipe. IMG_4101 Serve this over arugula or mesclun greens. Get the recipe. Watermelon Cake
Credit: SimplySated.com

Copyright: SimplySated.com

Get the recipe.

watermelon lemonade

Get the recipe.   Read More

Roasted Lemon Asparagus with Pecans

Spring has sprung, and so has the asparagus! Asparagus is a member of the lily family and one of the first veggies to pop up in the spring. It’s asparagus season right now here in Ontario, so I’m eating tons of this veggie right now, because not only is it super tasty, but it’s got tons of health benefits:
  • a great source of folate, which is important for red blood cell production and helps prevent neural tube defects in the early stages of pregnancy
  • an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin C, but keep in mind that this nutrient is very heat sensitive, so don’t overcook!
  • very good source of plant-based, blood-building iron
  • tons of fiber to keep your digestive system moving joyously
  • a good source of calcium, which is especially important if you’re avoiding dairy
Most asparagus is green, but you can also find white and purple. White asparagus is more tender, but lacks the nutritious chlorophyll that makes standard asparagus green. Purple asparagus is smaller, but has an extra super-nutritious antioxidant: anthocyanins (the same nutrient that makes dark berries an antioxidiant powerhouse).
There are lots of healthy ways to cook asparagus; you can blanch it, steam it or stir-fry it, but one of my favourite ways is to oven roast it, which helps retain lots of those health-boosting nutrients.
I’m so excited about asparagus season that I’m going to share my asparagus recipe from my book Joyous Health: Eat and Live Well Without Dieting up here on the blog because I want everyone to have it!
You may be surprised to see grapeseed oil rather than olive oil in this recipe. I love extra virgin olive oil for lots of things, but the phytonutrients in this oil are really delicate, and if exposed to too much heat, they can smoke and oxidize. Grapeseed oil is far better at standing up to the heat of roasting, so save the EVOO for salads and use grapeseed oil when you want to turn up the heat!
Roasted Lemon Asparagus with Pecans 2016-05-02 11:14:23
  1. 1 lb (450 g) asparagus (preferably thick spears)
  2. 2 Tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar or juice of one lemon
  3. 1 to 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
  4. 2 pinches of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  5. 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  2. Snap tough ends off asparagus and discard. Place asparagus in a large baking dish or baking sheet.
  3. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar or lemon juice and grapeseed oil and roll asparagus around to coat well.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast for 18-20 minutes or until fork-tender. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with pecans.
Joyous Health http://www.joyoushealth.com/
What seasonally spring foods are you excited to start seeing at the farmer’s market? Let me know in the comments below!
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How to Tailgate…healthy!

How to Tailgate…healthy!

Holli with Quinoa Salad in Kitchen
Tailgates, fundraisers, graduations…It’s spring, and if you’re like the crowd I hang with, you’re ready to get out and play. However…those party pressures might bring up some issues. Like how to stay healthy, and remain at your goal weight when faced with foods you don’t normally eat. What do you do at an afternoon party, that goes on for hours and features fried chicken, cheese plates and chips and dips? I just attended our local steeplechase race, and took notes… Here’s how to stay healthy and not regret it the next day, without skipping out on the fun. Grab these tips, there’s no party shame for you! //Bring Your Own De-LISH Dish: Unless you’re attending a catered event, ask if you can bring a dish. Most hosts will welcome having you contribute, especially if it’s a large, lingering party, like the tailgate I just attended on Saturday. And if your cooking is healthy, they’ll look forward to trying it. This Quinoa and Beans with Mango is a favorite of mine that suits all nutritional styles. And friend Dana James has a Quinoa with Shitake and Goat Cheese that I’ve been wanting to try, too. //Spritz it Up: The old-school “Spritzer” is a good way to stay hydrated without derailing the train altogether. Combine white or rose wine with a few ice cubes and sparkling mineral water. Tonic and club soda can cause you to bloat, so avoid those if you can. Garnish with fresh lemon or lime. Or go for a healthy Bloody Mary made with fresh tomato juice, and organic vodka. //Make it a Virgin: You can still have fun without booze. I like making Arnold Palmer’s with green tea instead of black, combined with sugar-free lemonade made with stevia or palm sugar. If you need a little kick, try this from Goop. Spicy Cilantro Lemonade. It’s a favorite of mine and the peppers will rev your metabolism. Win win! //Water First, and Often: If you decide to spring for the Mojito or full-on cocktail, drink a glass of water before and after each drink. This will keep your liver flushed and doing its job and help to prevent a hangover or headache. And it will keep your hunger in check. This trick is a good one for anytime you know you’ll be imbibing. Party on! So.. now its your turn. Tell me what you do to stay healthy and still have a great time! H.XO Read More
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