Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cuckoo for Coconuts!

Every since my favorite yoga instruction, Mira (One Heart Yoga), mentioned that she was making Live Strawberry Parfaits, I have had a steady flow of fresh fruit and live coconut cream in my fridge.  With strawberries coming into season in North Carolina, it's been my breakfast staple.  My basic recipe for coconut cream is below - yum!

But first a few coconut fun facts.......
Young Thai Coconuts have a host of health benefits.  Not to be confused with brown mature coconuts, to the right you will see a young thai coconut.  Inside this vessel you will find a delicious, slightly sweet water and a gel like flesh.  Coconut water is a superfood filled with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, and growth factors. It is low in fat and has only a fifth of the sugar found in most fresh fruit juices.

To make your own coconut milk simply blend the water and flesh together and enjoy.

For a real treat and a great topping for fruit you can make a decadent coconut cream.  Below is the basic recipe. You can jazz it up by adding different extracts, sweeteners, and spices.


Blend together the flesh and 1/2 the water from a young, thai coconut.  Add a squirt of agave or honey.  Add a teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract.  Sprinkle in any other yummy delights such as cinnamon or cloves.

Slice fresh fruit and layer in a parfait glass with cream.  Add a sprinkling of sunflower or hemp seeds. Enjoy!


Tips for opening a coconut:  There are a ton of videos on You Tube that demonstrate how to opening a thai coconut if you'd like a visual demonstration.  Here is how I normally handle the task.

1.  With my dedicated coconut-only butcher knife, I put the coconut on its side and carefully whack off the tip.

2.  After the tip is off, I push through the soft top and empty the water into a bowl.

3.  Put the coconut back on it's side and give strong chops around the diameter and pull open.

4. Scrap our the flesh with a spoon.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Amazing Avocados!

I never need a reason to chow down on avocados. I find them to absolutely delicious. However, if you are not friends with this fabulous fruit and need a little motivation below are some great reasons to give this green treat a try. I personally like to cut them open and eat them with a spoon but if you need other ways to enjoy an avocado you can use the creamy meat as a sandwich spread, in guacamole, diced in a salad, as a base in smoothies/raw soups, or even in chocolate pudding. YES, I SAID CHOCOLATE PUDDING (the recipe is below).  Here are some great to the reasons to INDULGE!
1. Cancer Prevention:  Avocados have been studied for their benefits in preventing breast, prostate and oral cancers.

2. Peeper Protection: Because avocados contain a high amount of lutein that can help protect your eyes from cataract formation and macular degeneration.

3.  Keeps Your Ticker in Tip Top Shape: One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don't. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart.

4. Lowers Cholesterol: Studies show that people who increased their intake of avocado started to show a lowering of cholesterol in as little as one week.

5. Vitamin E: Avocados are a rich source of vitamin E for overall good health.

Now, avocado and chocolate??????  YES!  The recipe below make the creamiest, most decadent, chocolate pudding you will ever eat.  Give it a try:

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

  • 2 medium avocados
  • 5 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • sea salt

  • In a food processor or heavy duty blender – puree avocados, cocoa powder, honey, coconut milk, vanilla extract and orange zest until smooth.  ENJOY!!