Tag Archives: Coconut oil

Frozen Chocolate Banana Bites

Here is a really simple snack to make if you need a fix for your sweet tooth. Bonus is it includes bananas, which are a great source of both potassium and magnesium. Enjoy!

Untitled

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs. Enjoy life semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 large banana
  • Topping of choice (I used unsweetened coconut flakes and sprinkles)

Directions: 

  1. Slice up one banana and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl melt together your chocolate chips and coconut oil.
  3. Immediately dip the bottom of your banana slice into the chocolate and place, chocolate side up on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle with topping of choice.
  4. Repeat until all your slices are covered.
  5. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and enjoy!

Makes 2 servings 

Untitled

The Benefits of Coconut

Why is Coconut so Good for me? 

It’s no secret if you read my blog on the regular that I love coconut. I add it to just about any recipe I can and absolutely love the taste (and the health benefits) of it! I didn’t always have these feelings for coconut though. When I was younger I always thought that coconut was bad for me. It was high in fat, always found in desserts, and coated with sugar. It just couldn’t be good. I avoided it like the plague, and even convinced myself that I didn’t like it, just so I would never have to have the fat-loaded sugar bomb that was coconut.

coconutcacaomacaroons

Now that has all changed. Thanks to recent research we are learning just how good coconut is for us. In fact, there are even countries who consume coconut as a staple of their diet, and are some of the healthiest countries out there. So here are just a few of the major benefits of coconut. I’m even going to share how I like to enjoy it best, plus all of your options for adding this delicious and healthy food into your diet.

Coconut is high in saturated fat, which in the 90’s would be seen as a terrible thing, but now we know better. The main saturated fat in coconut is lauric acid. This type of fat actually helps to boost our HDL levels (the good cholesterol). Separate from this good news, coconut contains mostly medium chain fatty acids. These are known to help improve cholesterol and improve heart health.

Coconut is also 100% trans fat free. In addition to the heart healthy benefits of the fat in coconut, the high fat levels also help keep us fuller longer. Plus thanks to how our bodies digest and metabolize coconut, it naturally reduces our appetite, meaning we stay satiated long after our meal.  Additionally the fat helps our bodies absorb other vitamins and minerals, improving overall health.

DSCN0837

Coconut is naturally high in electrolytes including potassium, magnesium, and calcium. I consider coconut water Nature’s Gatorade, as it is a great way to balance and replenish electrolytes after a workout.

Coconut is high in fiber, particularly, insoluble fiber. This means that our bodies don’t digest the fiber when we consume it. This way, our blood sugar levels do not raise and we technically do not absorb the calories from the fiber.

Good news for diabetics, coconut is low on the glycemic index and actually slows down the release of glucose in our bodies. In addition it is used for instant energy when we consume it and doesn’t get stored in the body.

Coconutwater

Coconut helps to ward off viruses and infections as it improves your immune system and has antibacterial and antiviral properties. It also acts as an antioxidant and is great for skin and hair too!

If that’s not enough to convince you, coconut can also help to improve brain function thanks to the fatty acids that produce extra ketone bodies in our blood streams.

Now that you know all these facts, how are you going to incorporate coconut in your diet? Here are some of my favorite ways:

  • Cook with coconut oil. Always go with unrefined. I love to roast vegetables in coconut oil, cook my eggs with it, use it in stir-fries, and toss sweet potatoes in coconut oil and cinnamon
  • Drink coconut water after your workout, mix it in a smoothie, or drink it outside on a particularly hot day. Steer clear of the juice flavored coconut waters as these tend to be higher in sugar.
  • Top sweet potatoes, apple slices, or desserts with coconut butter, also called coconut manna. This is a great swap for almond butter, which is high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Use coconut milk in coffee, smoothies, or make a pudding or “yogurt” out of it. Coconut milk is a great non-dairy replacement for so many options. Make sure you are buying canned or fresh coconut milk though, and avoid any added ingredients.
  • Bake with coconut flour. I use coconut flour in many of my recipes. It is a denser flour that absorbs a lot of liquid so definitely use less than you would normal flour.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy coconut? 

Strawberry Watermelon Kale Salad with Coconut Lime Dressing

Summer is here and with it comes tons of fun, but also tons of excuses to fall off the wagon when it comes to your nutrition. Barbeques, pool parties, and labor day weekend is coming up — you name it something is happening every weekend. Just because you’re eating out or cooking outside doesn’t mean your healthy diet has to be derailed.

This does not mean you need to fear all of these fun summer outings…at all. One of the exact reasons I got started in the nutrition field was because I realized there was more to life than dieting, and wanted to share that with the world. It is totally possible to live a healthy lifestyle and have a blast while doing it.

So my number one tip is this: don’t skip the summer parties to be “healthy”. Did you know that when we are relaxed and having fun we are actually primed to have a high metabolism. It’s plain and simple fact that eating under stress, or just stress in general can actually slow down your metabolism! So relax and enjoy the summer parties. Another thing you can to do to ease your stress, bring something with you.

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is bring along one of my favorite healthy dishes to each event I attend. Not only do I know that there will be something there I will feel good about eating, but I can also share my favorites with friends and family and hopefully rub off a little healthy eating onto them.

Fun fact about this particular recipe: I made it for a family cookout last summer and my grandpa loved it. He even asked if I knew that kale was really good for you! I’ve posted a recipe similar before but wanted to spruce this one up for you!

So here’s one of my favorite summer dishes. Enjoy!

DSCN2604

DSCN2566

Ingredients:

▪ 4 cups chopped and rinsed Kale
▪ 1 cup diced watermelon
▪ 1 cup shredded carrots
▪ 10 medium strawberries, chopped
▪ 1/4 cup dried apple juice sweetened dried cherries or dried cranberries
▪ ¼ cup hemp seeds
▪ 1 lime
▪ 1 tbs. coconut oil

Directions:

1. In a large bowl combine your chopped kale, diced watermelon, shredded carrots, and sliced strawberries.
2. Toss in your hemp seeds and dried cherries or cranberries.
3. Once mixed, use a zester to zest about ½ of the lime peel into the salad.
4. In a separate bowl combine a tablespoon of melted coconut oil with juice of ½ the lime and stir well. This is your dressing.
5. Drizzle your dressing over the salad and toss to enjoy.

Makes 8 side salad servings

DSCN2607

Want more recipes like this? Check out my Non-Diet Guide to having a life and body you love!

What’s your favorite food to bring to a party? 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sweet and Savory Kale

First things first, I have to apologize for the tupperware pictures in this post! I had no plans to share this recipe with you but I ended up loving it so much that I had to share. I always feel like I am such a fraud as a nutritionist when I say this, but I’m not the biggest fan of veggies. I went through a phase where I convinced myself I liked kale chips only to discover that I was actually choking them down. Now I stick to the veggies that I love and am always exploring new ways to make them more appealing. This dish was a win for me and while I still won’t say kale is my favorite (anyone else think it’s way too chewy?), I will say I’m growing to like it more and more. All you green veggie haters enjoy!

DSCN2458
Ingredients: 

  • 2 bunches fresh kale (or one large bag fresh chopped kale)
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 tbs. coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1 tbs. agave nectar

Directions: 

  1. Begin by chopping your kale into small pieces and dicing your peppers.
  2. In a skillet over low heat warm your coconut oil and add in the bell peppers. Saute the peppers until tender.
  3. Next add in your kale and 2 tbs. of coconut aminos, cover and let simmer over low heat to wilt.
  4. Once your kale is wilted add in the remaining coconut aminos and agave and let cook over low heat 2-3 minutes longer.

Makes 4 servings

DSCN2455

What’s your favorite way to cook or eat your greens? 

Enhanced by Zemanta