How is your week going so far? Today’s post is all about coconuts! Why do they get so much hype these days anyways?
The young Thai coconut will be our focus, which looks quite different from the mature brown coconuts that typically come to mind. The young Thai coconut has a green covering when harvested, but usually when purchasing them at the store, this covering has been removed to reveal a white husk with a pointy top:
Fun Coconut Facts:
- Coconut water is one of the highest natural sources of electrolytes.
- Coconut water chemically resembles human plasma so much that in times of war, it has been used as such in emergencies!
- Coconuts are immune system enhancing foods, as they have antifungal, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties.
- The medium chain fatty acids that are found in coconut flesh are more readily used for energy than other types of saturated fat. Thus it is believed they are able to boost sluggish metabolism.
- Coconut fat in its myriad forms is thought to help balance blood sugar, which is particularly useful for people with hypoglycemia.
- Coconuts aid your HDL or good cholesterol, which in turn helps to stabilize your hormones.
- Coconuts are fantastic for your skin and hair…you can use extra virgin coconut oil topically and/or ingest it to experience its beautifying effects.
- Coconut oil is really The Oil you should use for cooking, as it is stable at much higher temperatures than other oils, thus you can rest assured you won’t be consuming trans fatty acids every time you sauté or roast.
You’ve probably all seen coconut water for sale at the end of your Bikram yoga classes or near the checkout line at Whole Foods, which can be refreshing in a pinch. However, unless the the manufacturer specifies otherwise on the label, most bottled brands pasteurize the water, which significantly reduces the health benefits you were probably wanting in the first place! If you do find an unpasteurized version with all the beautifying enzymes intact, it’s probably ridiculously expensive. Fret not! You can purchase young Thai coconuts at a fraction of the cost in Asian markets and natural food stores. When selecting a coconut, choose one that is not cracked or moldy on the outside. If you open it up and find that the water has a reddish tint, then unfortunately you have come across a rancid coconut. Toss it. (That has only happened to me once).
So, I made you a video so you can open them up without fear!
Finally, try this delicious and simple recipe that uses young Thai coconut flesh to make a luxurious tropical pie…
Raw Mango Chiffon Tart with a Pistachio Lime Tarragon Crust
20 minutes, plus time to set
Make one 10 inch pie, but seriously, don’t put it in a pie plate…put it in a regular tart shell or mini tart shells and it will hold up much better!
If you only have a few mini tart shells, you can put the remaining crust and filling in containers and quickly assemble as needed. The crust also makes an excellent Larabar and the filling is really delicious on its own!
For the crust:
- 2 c shelled raw pistachios
- 1 c shredded coconut (the small flakes, not the bigger strips)
- 1/2 c fresh dates, pitted
- 3 tbsp finely minced fresh tarragon leaves
- zest and juice of one lime
- 1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt
For the filling:
- 4 champagne mangoes, peeled, de-stoned, and cut into large dice
- flesh of one young Thai coconut
- 1/4 c coconut water, or filtered tap water
- 1 c raw cashews, soaked for a minimum of one hour, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 c Irish moss paste (learn how to make it here)
- 2 fresh dates, pitted
First, in a perfectly dry food processor bowl, pulverize the pistachios until they are a fine powder. Add the remaining crust ingredients, and process until thoroughly combined. Using your fingers, press the crust into the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan(s).
In a high speed blender, combine all filling ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour the filling into the shells and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour to set. Serve and enjoy!
Some thoughts for the day:
“In the garden of gentle sanity. may you be bombarded with coconuts of wakefulness.” -Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
I adore that quote. Instead of viewing the coconuts that fall on our heads during life as something to fear, we would be better served to view them as opportunities to wake up! Having the rug pulled out from under us, normally results in falling face first into the ground, wondering why the Universe is out to get us today. What if instead we leaned into the discomfort of uncertainty, and allowed ourselves to understand the reality of our circumstances? Being swept up by emotional responses and black and white thinking robs us of our ability to see situations with the clarity that may enable us to come up with our best course of action. (or non-action, as the case may be).
Are you a fan of coconuts? Either in the literal or metaphorical sense