August 8, 2008

Koo Koo for Coconuts

I've realized as of late that I'm a bit Koo Koo for Coconuts! So of course, I thought I should share my craze of this lovely fruity nut or rather nutty fruit.

I've recently stumbled upon a heavenly coconut ice-cream created by Luna & Larry of Coconut Bliss. Their Dark Chocolate cozies up well with coconut milk and coconut water.

It's perfect for T. although he doesn't really like coconuts (which I've never really understood, because he LOVES Thai Green Curry, which sings of Coconut milk). Anyhow it's great for everyone that has a dairy and soy intolerance.

I love it simply because it's made of coconut.

Coconut has all sorts of health benefits. It's high in Antioxidants, Lauric & Caprylic Acid & Manganese. It's also a good source of Essential Amino Acids and Copper. Of course there's no cholesterol (so a superb substitute for butter..although I do love butter!)

One of my friends suggested I try Artisana's Coconut Butter, which I just picked up and have yet to open. Although it's quite tempting to just unscrew the container and dip in with a spoon. Artisana has a funky concoction written on their jar, try mixing coconut butter with cocoa nibs and agave; then freeze into cubes for a cold treat. Yum, simple and sweet! Perfect for me as I'm allergic to peanuts of all things. I'll definitely get to experimenting with Coconut Butter soon!

I've been a fan of Jungle Products Coconut Oil for some time. I use it in my Candied Ginger Zucchini Bread. I also love to sear salmon and halibut filets in coconut oil. It's delicious with wok tossed veggies and drizzled into coconut rice pilaf. If you spill a little in the cooking process, don't mop it up with a rag, just rub it into your skin. It's also a great hair tonic. Wash your hair, then massage in coconut oil, wrap in a hot towel, sit and relax for about 15-30 minutes while sipping a glass of coconut water, rinse out and voila!

Oh and let's not forget pure clean coconut water. Refreshing! It's natures way of giving us all those essential electrolytes. I'll take that over vitamin packets any day! I do love it cold, straight from the fridge. I remember vacationing in Puerto Escondido and the locals would sell all sorts of trinkets, but coconut water was the most refreshing, although it was usually tepid or warm, I much prefer it icy cold.

Coconut water is perfect as is, for drinking. It's also a fresh and bright addition for poaching shellfish or fish, check out my recipe for Coconut Poached Shrimp. Try mixing it into smoothies, or freezing in an ice cube tray for a delicate addition to a glass of water.

So for those of you that are fans of coconuts you are in luck! Coconut products keep sprouting up on shelves of grocery stores and I keep developing new recipes and posting. So, perhaps it's contagious....maybe you too will become a bit Koo Koo for Coconuts!

ps. I couldn't resist....I just dipped into the Coconut Butter, mmmmm.....a spoonful of creamy coconut puree, what's not to like about that? Delicious.

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