Are you also nuts about coconuts? 

We hope to provide a variety of helpful information on this website, from all the wonderful benefits that coconut provides and how to use them, to interesting and useful coconut recipes. 

There is so much to learn about the coconut, we want to share that information here in the Coco Palm Tree ;-)

Enjoy! 


Cracking a Tough Nut...

I would like to share with you a great way of creating healthier family meals by simply adding coconut products to your recipes.


Eating healthier starts with making smart food choices. Here are a few items you may want to consider, the next time you are pushing a cart down the grocery isle...


Regular Grocery Items and their Coconut Alternatives


OILS

If there is one item I use daily when it comes to cooking, I’d have to say its oil. Whether it’s sunflower oil, seed oils or olive oil - we use them when frying, baking, cooking, and roasting and in salad dressings, the list goes on.

Instead of using regular oils why not try a tub (or jar) of coconut oil instead. You’ve most probably heard people mention some of the benefits of coconut oil like:

  • Its great tasting, 
  • Has a higher smoke point when used in stir frying and baking goods.  The most important factor for me is the smoke point factor. Research shows that the smoke point of extra-virgin coconut oil is about 350 degrees, and 400 for refined which is about the same for vegetable oil (400) or canola oil (400) or even olive oil which has a smoke point of 325 to 375 compared to coconut oil (450).
  • It’s great for the immune system.
  • It also has many nutritive properties that are lacking in other oils. 


How to cook with coconut oil


CREAM

When using creams for baking or cooking a 1/3 cup of coconut cream contains:

  • 16 grams of fat 
  • 4 carbs, 
  • 160 calories 
  • 2 grams of protein 

Most other creams are heavier and have in the region of 266 calories with 26 grams of fat and no protein or carbs. I’d say this one is a closed case, but if you’d like a few more reasons, consider the bloat factor (yes ladies!), we may go for that second slice of cake or sneak in a few extra scoops of the Christmas pudding, but at the end of the day we regret it.

My greatest weakness is a homemade trifle. Oh my. I could spend the whole afternoon catching up on my favorite shows on the telly, or I’d grab a good book and park my rear next to a huge trifle. Paradise! Unfortunately I tend to bloat up considerably within less than an hour afterwards. If it wasn’t for the discovery of coconut cream, I’d probably be riding the same roller-coaster today!

If you are in the same boat, why not use coconut cream the next time you bake or cook your favorites. The same antimicrobial compounds that coconut oil contains, are found in coconut cream too. It is high in:

  • Lauric acid, 
  • Capric acid, 
  • Caprylic acid, 
  • Caproic acid and 
  • Mystric acid, which helps the body fight against viruses that cause a variety of illnesses for example flu, hepatitis C, measles, herpes etc. as well as aiding in the defense against bacterial infections of the entire body.


MILK

Whenever I feel the urge for a nice cup of coffee (or tea), I use coconut milk instead of regular milk. I make a point of buying a few cans when I do my grocery shopping, and to my surprise everyone at home loves it too. I buy a few cans of the milk, shake them well before opening and simply pour it straight into a glass milk container and pop it into the fridge. The opened coconut milk will stay fresh for up to 4 days in the fridge when properly sealed.

While this is one way of using coconut milk, there are so many other options available. Coconut milk tastes great in soups and curries, and used as an alternative to fresh or long life milk, makes for a lighter, creamier sauce on the stove top.

Benefits of coconut milk

Coconut milk recipes


FLOUR

I can honestly tell you from personal experience that I prefer baking with coconut flour. In the past I’ve made the mistake of adding too much self-rising flour and ended up having to spend hours cleaning out the oven because of it.

Since using coconut flour my puddings and desserts have a lesser chance of rising too much. The coconut flour consistency is a lot lighter than regular flour, and has a natural light sweet taste and fragrance, because of this I end up using a lot less sugar too.

While this is all and well, the main reason why coconut flour makes such a good alternative to regular flour is because of its gluten free consistency and fluffy texture. The same health benefits found in coconut oil, milk and cream can also be found in its flour. Yet another healthy alternative ingredient to look out for in the store.

Coconut flour pancakes

Coconut flour cookies


SUGAR

While I am familiar with the above coconut products and use them daily, I was surprised to discover a coconut sugar alternative. I decided to go online and see what I could dig up on coconut sugar since I’ve never used it myself. Here is what I found...

It is a documented fact that coconut sugar is the boiled and dehydrated sap of the coconut palm. It comes with a higher price tag than granulated sugars (naturally, as I find all coconut alternatives generally do), but offers the same number of carbohydrates and calories. There are quite a few companies who have made coconut sugar popular in a short time by advertising it as a lower glycaemic alternative to table sugar. This marketing trick is used by fructose marketers to promote damaging high fructose foods as explained by Dave Asprey on his blog posted on bulletproof.

I will continue to look into coconut sugar before deciding if it’s worth substituting as a healthy alternative in meal preparations.


My final thoughts:

Coconut products are a healthier alternative, and for this reason I prefer them.

Consider your gut. Use coconuts.


The coconut is actually not a nut. It is a drupe. This means that a coconut is a fruit!


Right up there in the Coco Palm Tree...

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