Author: Elsie Wyatt

coconut

How Healthy Is Coconut Oil

If you are not from a tropical country where coconut milk and oil is used for many purposes then you are curious to know what the benefits of coconut oil are.

Alright before I begin explaining the benefits of coconut oil, let me inform you that when you are looking to buy coconut oil don not be surprised to see a solid form of the oil because coconut oil at room temperature becomes solid and when the temperature goes  above 80 oF then it becomes liquid. coconut oil is unlike any other oil, so do not get worried and think coconut oil is good only if it is in liquid form.

Coconut oil gives the skin the moisture
Coconut oil gives the skin the moisture

Coconut oil for the skin is great as it gives the skin the moisture it needs and it also fights of the free radicals that destroy connective tissues that our skins are made up of. When these connective tissues become weak due to the attack from these free radicals they lose their elasticity and that’s when we notice our skin beginning to wrinkle.

Many people prefer using lotions with coconut oil in it but the thing with lotions is that they have a higher content of water than coconut oil, so in the beginning of application the skin feels good but in the due course when the lotion is completely absorbed by the skin and the water dries up the skin gets back to its normal wrinkly form.

Like coconut oil is good for the skin so is coconut water good for the body’s metabolism. Drinking a lot of coconut water will help in digestion and keep you hydrated.

Coconut oil is good for the skin
Coconut oil is good for the skin

Furthermore, coconut oil also seems to help people with thyroid, heart, diabetes and blood sugar problems. It is found that coconut oil actually reduces the absorption of sugars in our blood stream and also helps the pancreas in secreting the right amount of insulin.

It is a misconception that coconut oil will clog the arteries and interfere with blood circulation but in fact the opposite is true; it improves the circulation of blood. People with diabetes particularly complain about losing feeling in their feet and hands but after they consume coconut oil they do see significant changes and begin to feel with their feet and hands once again.

1. What is virgin coconut oil?

Virgin coconut oil is defined as “oil obtained from the fresh mature kernel of the coconut, by mechanical or natural means, with or without the use of heat, without undergoing chemical refining, bleaching or deodorizing, and which does not lead to the alteration of the oil”.

It is called “virgin” due to its pure, raw, pristine and unadulterated state.

2. What will virgin coconut oil do for me?

This is actually quite a hard question to answer on the website, simply because we are not allowed to make claims about the benefits of VCO, regardless of whether they are true or not.

The UK Food Labelling Regulation 40(1), Schedule 6, Part I (1) & (2) states; ” A claim that a food has the property of preventing, treating or curing a human disease, or any reference to such a property, is prohibited”. This claim is unacceptable……..WHETHER IT IS TRUE OR NOT.

So what can we do? We can really only ask you to do a little research yourselves, apparently we are not even allowed to use quotes from books.

Let us just state a few facts that should not be breaking any laws.

Virgin coconut oil does not contain any trans fatty acids and does not break down at high temperatures.

Virgin coconut oil is known as a lauric oil, due to its high quantities of lauric acid. When synthesized in the body, lauric becomes monolaurin, which is found in abundance in mother’s milk.

Millions of people around the world use coconut oil as a conditioner for their hair, invariably in countries where people have the most beautiful, strong and silky hair.

Virgin coconut oil does not contain any cholesterol.

I am really sorry for the lack of information in this section, but laws are laws, and we have to abide by them.

Coconut
Coconuts

3. How do I know if your virgin coconut oil is organic?

The simple answer is, you don’t. The same as you don’t know about any other product either. Companies that are certified organic can change their GMP the day after they get the certification, or change the supplier of their ingredients. I am afraid you have to take our word for it.

Let me explain that over 80% of the coconuts grown in The Philippines are grown organically. The farmers can’t afford fertilizers and pesticides, even if they were needed, which they are not.

The reason small companies in poor countries are not certified organic, is purely down to money…..Isn’t that always the case……Big companies can afford to buy organic certification, small companies in poor countries can’t. For us to get certification from US, European, or Australian organic certifiers, would cost well in excess of $5000. We would have to pay for them to send a representative to the Philippines. (Other countries do not accept organic certification by organic certifiers based in The Philippines, so there is absolutely no point in taking the cheap option.)

The big factory producers can afford to pay for any certification they want. Our oil is far superior to theirs, purer, more natural, produced using better coconuts, but they buy the organic certification which we can’t afford……..Even though, we, like the vast majority of VCO producers in the Philippines, use organic coconuts.

4. Is your oil 100% pure?

It is honestly the most natural oil you can find. It is cold-processed, ( ANH Absolutely No Heat ), filtered by hand up to 8 times, using 8 and 5 microns filter paper. We are happy to show analysis reports, to prove how good this oil is. (It is definitely NOT refined, bleached and deodorized oil, passed off as VCO).

5. What does ANH stand for?

Having read the previous question, you now know the answer to this one, however, it deserves explanation.

Most people recognize that cold-processed VCO is the best, most natural and most potent VCO. As producers who use the cold-process method of production, we are extremely proud of the final product. We are delighted to inform customers that it is cold-processed oil, hoping they will know that it is by far the finest VCO available.

Unfortunately, other companies are quite happy to confuse the public, by labelling their oil “cold-pressed”…..and believe me it works…….Cold-processed, cold-pressed, you go to any of the forums on coconut oil and people genuinely do not know the difference. Let me just tell you that cold-pressed oil is invariably heated after the pressing, of course the companies will not tell you that.

So the producers who do not heat their oil had to come up with something to counter the confusion, and ANH is the outcome. Absolutely No Heat is used during production of our oil, so that is what we put on the label, and that is how the finest virgin coconut oil will become known………..ANH.

5 Iconic Holiday Cookies Made Healthier

You may be asking who in their right mind would want to make a cookie healthier? True; it’s a treat, a splurge, an immutable indulgence. However, healthier doesn’t necessarily mean lower in fat or calories or less delicious. It means using wholesome, natural, unrefined foods to create natural treats that work for multiple dietary styles. We’re going to be ditching the refined sweeteners, artificial food colorings, and traditional flours in this list! Whether you enjoy wheat and dairy, avoid grains, or practice veganism, there is a cookie for just about everyone! Santa is going to be very pleased…

Gingerbread people illustration for the recipe

1. Gingerbread people.

Is it possible to be too festive? Absolutely not. Not only is this a grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free recipe for gingerbread men/houses, but the woman behind the recipe at Fed and Fit has also included a recipe for all-natural, fruit- based gumdrops! Talk about the perfect balance between healthy and festive! This gingerbread recipe uses almond meal as a base, so it’s great for those avoiding grains. Quality gelatin can be really beneficial to your joints, so don’t be afraid of giving it a try!

Paleo Gingerbread Cookies:

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup blackstrap molasses, warmed slightly
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • 2 Tbs extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup arrowroot flour {for rolling out dough}

Gluten-Free All-Natural Royal Icing:

  • 6 Tbs cage-free egg whites
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar

Paleo Gingerbread Cookies Instructions:

1. Whisk all dry ingredients together and in a separate bowl, whisk all the wet. Add the wet to the dry and stir until evenly combined. Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper and set in refrigerator to cool and harden for either 4 hours or overnight.

2. On a large piece of parchment paper well dusted with arrowroot flour, start rolling out the dough until it’s ¼” thick. Carefully place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Resize with stencils on baking sheet if necessary.

3. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheet before moving. When cooled, transfer to a wire baking rack to cool and firm overnight.

Gluten-Free All-Natural Royal Icing:

1. On high speed, whisk the egg whites and lemon juice together until they form a thick foam. On low speed, carefully add spoonfuls of the 3 cups of powdered sugar until all is combined. Turn speed up to high and whisk for 6 minutes.

2. Transfer to piping bag, color in bowls, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days

2. Molasses cookies.

As the only wheat-containing recipe in this list, it is by no means less healthy — unless you cannot eat wheat, of course. With organic whole-wheat pastry flour, grass-fed butter, raw honey, and pastured eggs, there is nothing to feel guilty about when enjoying this subtly sweet, earthy cookie.

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour, measure after sifting
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups butter, at room temperature, (2 1/2 sticks)
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses


Preparation:
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat sheets.
Combine the first 6 ingredients, mixing to thorouthly blend.
Add the remaining ingredients; beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times.
Wrap the dough in waxed paper and chill for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350° with the rack in the center position.
Roll the chilled dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake until the tops are set, 12 to 15 minutes.
Cool on wire racks.

Coconut snowballs illustration for the recipe

3. Coconut snowballs

Vegan and easily adjusted to be 100% raw, these cookies can be enjoyed by most. No nuts, wheat, eggs, dairy, or refined sugar in these balls of delight. It just goes to show that tasty bites of holiday joy come in all flavors and dietary styles!

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 1/2 cup powdered sugar 1 teaspoon pure coconut extract or vanilla extract 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut Parchment paper 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped and melted according to package directions Garnish: shaved coconut

4. Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Ingredients

Makes 12 cookies

200 g (2 cups /7 oz) organic rolled oats
50 g (1 ¾ oz) flaked or desiccated coconut
60 g (2 oz) macadamia nut oil or your choice cold pressed coconut oil or melted butter
60 g (2 oz) raw honey, organic maple syrup or rice syrup
1 organic egg
100 g (3 ½ oz) block good quality 70% dark chocolate (see notes)

Preheat your oven to 150°C / 300*F.
Combine oats, coconut, oil or melted butter, honey and egg into a mixing bowl.
Mix through with your hands for a few minutes – squishing the ingredients together until the cookie starts to come together.
I often like to rest the mixture for 5 minutes after mixing – so the oats soften a little more and hold together when squished.
Chop up the chocolate with a large knife.
Add chocolate to the oats and mix through.
Form into 12 cookies… I love using a small ice cream scoop for this – so easy that way.
Place onto a lined baking tray and flatten slightly.
Bake for approx 20 minutes or until golden. Check half way through the cooking… they are delicate so you need to watch them.
Remove from the oven and cool completely. Enjoy.

5. Sugar-Free Chocolate

Ingredients

Serves 20 small portions
120g (4 oz/1/2 cup) cacao butter or cold-pressed coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons rice malt syrup or alternatively raw honey or maple syrup. (optional)
110 g (4 oz / 1/2 cup) almond butter, peanut butter, hazelnut butter, cashew butter or tahini
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
120 g (4 oz / 1 cup) Naked Chocolate (for this recipe I used Healthy Chef Naked Chocolat Mylk)

Melt cacao butter or coconut oil in a large bowl set over a pot of simmering water.
Remove the bowl from the heat and add Naked Chocolate and mix through using a small whisk until smooth.
Add nut butter and a pinch of sea salt then mix through. Taste your chocolate creation….you may find you don’t need to add any sweetener whatsoever. If you do, just add 1 tablespoon at a time.
Pour chocolate into a small glass container lined with non-stick baking paper or cling film.
Refrigerate for 4 hours or until set.
Cut into bite-size pieces and enjoy.
Store in the fridge, covered for up to 4 weeks.