Every day this week, there’ll be a new recipe featuring…(drumroll, waitforit)….coconut water! Each blog is an entry to a contest sponsored by Vita Coco, but I wouldn’t be entering if I didn’t feel pretty confident in recommending coconut water to you as a healthy option.
Coconut products are confusing – there are so many! But here’s my quick guide:
- Coconut water – naturally occurring liquid that forms inside a young, green coconut. Mildly sweet and nutty, it contains no fat or protein, 11g of sugar, and is loaded with potassium
- Coconut oil – the pure fat that is pressed from the meat of mature coconuts; it’s mostly saturated fat, but due to the length of its fatty acid chains (medium), it may not have the same health effects as other saturated fats (which are long chain)
- Coconut milk – actually the meat of the coconut pureed with water and strained; it contains a lot of fat and a little protein
- Coconut creme – basically coconut milk, but with less water so it’s thicker and higher in fat
A few years ago I went to Thailand and got to watch natives grind the meat out of coconuts to be used to make milk. They had a trained monkey who climbed up the tree and threw the coconuts down to them. I’m not kidding. (See video at the end of this post.)
So. Back to the point, this contest is about plain, natural, coconut water. But because it’s #ManicMonday, I want to talk a little bit about fat and your brain.
Our brains are mostly made of fat. Much of it is found in the “myelin sheath” that’s wrapped around the long, thin axons of neural cells, which allow them to conduct nerve impulses along very specific channels, instead of sending electronic signals zapping haphazardly around your head. Fat also makes up the cell membranes of all kinds of cells in your body. When you eat fat, unique hormones are activated that tell your brain to feel full. And – fat. Tastes. Delicious.
Despite all of these positive attributes, Americans have been made to fear fat. Somewhere back in the 70’s, the message about junk food like fried foods and baked goods got jumbled into: eat less fat! The problem wasn’t the fat – it was the source of the fat: fried chicken, fried dough, fried fries, cookies, cakes, muffins, etc. Eating a lot of added vegetable fats and animal fats probably means you’re not eating enough of other kinds of fat – like those found in coconuts, avocados, nuts, and fish.
I say all this just to prepare you for the amount of fat in my silky green gazpacho – yes, it’s almost as much as a Snickers bar. But the type of fat (mostly monounsaturated, from the avocados), and amount of other nutrients like fiber, calcium, and Vitamin K, C, and potassium make this soup a knockout spring dish, and dietitian approved.
- 2 avocados
- 1 c fresh basil
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 c coconut water
- 1 c plain greek yogurt
- 1 medium cucumber
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- 1 tsp pepper
Put all ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth. Add salt to taste. THAT’S IT! Serves 4.
This soup has the texture of cream, a delicious basil bite and a hint of the light coconut flavor at the end. A perfect complement to a grilled fish or chicken, and great for dipping some whole grain bread, too :)
Ok ok…here’s the monkey!
By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Vita Coco and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time or the product.
Please take a moment to visit the blogs of our other Festival of Food participants. The links in this list will be live by the end of the day, as participants are all in different time zones.
- Gone are the days where dairy-free, gluten-free deserts mean a fruit platter! This “raw” cheesecake from Luschka at Diary of a First Child is a wonderful introduction to raw food, and is pretty simple to make too! You can also find Luschka on Facebook.
- Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares Tropical Twist Kale Chips, a recipe guaranteed to take your taste buds to the tropics! Kid love these tangy treats too! You can also find Jennifer on Facebook.
- Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter shares tips for introducing Raw First Foods based on her experiences following baby-led weaning with her older son. You can also find Farmer’s Daughter on Facebook.
- Destany at They Are All of Me shows to how she made coconut oil, coconut milk and coconut flour in her own kitchen, using whole coconuts. You can also fine They Are All of Me on Facebook.
Stay connected! Be sure to “Like” the Festival of Food Carnival Facebook page.