Thursday, 3 April 2014

Inspired by... 4: Quick Coconut Yoghurt

Layered with granola and fruit and topped with ground four seed mix, it makes the perfect breakfast parfait on a sunny Spring morning!
Any recipe with "easy" or "quick" in the title immediately grabs my attention- the prospect of something yummy for very little time and effort is a tempting one. So when I saw Gena at Choosing Raw 's shortcut coconut milk yoghurt I just had to try it out. Read the original recipe here: http://www.choosingraw.com/easy-homemade-coconut-milk-yogurt/
I made a couple of small adjustments: I used agave as the sweetener, I left out the salt and I added more lemon juice. (In fact, I later added a drizzle more to cut through the richness of the coconut.)

This is the solid part of the coconut milk when it comes out of the fridge.
2 cans coconut milk, refrigerated overnight or at least an hour or so
2 tsps probiotic powder (we bought Probio-Easy online)
2 tabs lemon juice
1 tab agave nectar
  • Separate the solid part of the coconut milk and beat it until smooth.
  • Stir in the other ingredients,
  • Beat with a hand (immersion) blender until it looks smooth and is the consistency of thick Greek yoghurt.
  • Keep in the fridge.
I did find this quite rich- you can't eat it by the bowlful as you would cultured yoghurt, but it does make a really amazing parfait layered up with granola and fresh fruit and some ground seeds on top. I'm sure it would also be delicious with fruit blended into it.



Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Ingredient of the Month 30: Coconut Oil


Coconut oil is solid at room temperature. For cakes and pastry it should be gently melted.

I can't quite believe I haven't already written about coconut oil-it's now become such as staple in our house. Not only is it a very versatile ingredient, equally good in savoury or sweet dishes, but it's also a very healthy choice for an oil.
Coconut oil has a high smoke point, which means it is safer than many other oils to use when cooking at high temperatures. (Once an oil gets heated to its smoke point and above, it becomes toxic.) Besides this, coconut oil also has many health benefits:
  • Healthier fat: Yes, it is saturated fat, but a medium-chain saturated fat, which means that the body will use it rather than storing it.
  • Chloresterol: Coconut oil can raise levels of good (hdl) chloresterol in the body. It contains no chloresterol itself, being a plant product.
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antiviral
  • Antifungal
  • Aids the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
  • Antiparasitic
  • Antiimflammatory
  • Curbs appetite: You can take a spoonful before meals to prevent overeating. (I have never tried this, so I can't vouch for it.)
  • Nutrition information: One tablespoon of coconut oil provides 117 calories, 13.6g total fat (11.8g saturated fat, 0.8g monounsaturated fat, 0.2g polyunsaturated fat), no protein or carbohydrates, and trace amounts of iron and vitamins E and K. 
  • Culinary uses: As well as in baking, you can use coconut oil anywhere you would normally uses a vegetable oil, such as in dressings and for frying. 
  • What about the price? Organic virgin coconut oil, which will carry the most nutritional and health benefits, is expensive; there's no getting away from that. But luckily, KTC brand (pictured above) which is available from Asian groceries, is unrefined even though it's not organic, and comes at a very reasonable price, significantly cheaper than its health-shop counterparts. We think it's the perfect compromise.
t’s antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, and antiviral. It also aids in the absorption of vitamins and minerals. - See more at: http://www.sunwarrior.com/news/50-of-the-best-uses-for-coconut-oil/#sthash.vnPVbsSV.dpuf
t’s antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, and antiviral. It also aids in the absorption of vitamins and minerals. - See more at: http://www.sunwarrior.com/news/50-of-the-best-uses-for-coconut-oil/#sthash.vnPVbsSV.dpuf
No matter how healthy, of course, coconut oil is still a fat, and as such contains plenty of calories- so use it wisely and don't splurge it!- by that I mean it's probably best to use it to replace other less healthy oils, don't just add it in great quantities into your diet.