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Thursday
Jan302014

Coconut Oil Craze

For years coconut oil received a bad reputation because it is primarily a saturated fat and saturated fats were seen as “bad.” However, the truth is that the only “bad” fat for our bodies is trans-fat which is primarily found in deep friend foods and chemically altered fats such as margarine.  In order to be healthy, we need an adequate balance of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fats.  And guess what? Coconut oil is one of the healthiest sources of saturated fat we can consume.

One of the main reasons coconut oil is so healthy is because of it’s high MCT (medium chain triglyceride) count.  A high quality coconut oil will contain approximately 66% MCTs (virgin, cold pressed).  MCTs work directly in your cells to give you energy – they aren’t stored as fat!  In fact, a study in 2009 showed that women who consumed two tablespoons of this healthy fat, had a reduction in abdominal fat (and if you’re a woman, you know how hard this type of fat can be to lose).  Coconut oil has even been used as a cure for dementia and Alzheimer’s as it supplies energy to the brain.  In addition to these benefits, thyroid function and blood sugar stability have been reported with coconut oil use.  It’s high content of lauric acid also helps combat any pathogens in the body including viruses, fungii, and yeasts.  Lastly, it benefits your skin and hair when applied topically.  There really is no reason not to use this life-giving oil!

Coconut oil can be used in many ways.  I love using it as a stirfry oil over medium heat, in smoothies, or in baking (in place of butter).  If you’ve never used coconut oil before, try adding a little to your smoothie, oatmeal or even a little on a spoon to experience the flavour for yourself!  Below is my favourite coconut oil recipe – dark chocolate truffles!  Did you know unprocessed cacao is also extremely good for you?  We will save the hows and whys for another post, but in the meantime, enjoy this easy, decadent, and healthy treat that’s sure to impress a crowd!

RAW CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup unprocessed cacao powder
1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
optional: shredded coconut, dried cranberries, almond slivers, goji berries etc. – be creative!

Simple Instructions:

Melt the coconut oil slowly at a very low temperature .
Add the cacao powder, sweetener, salt, and vanilla.  Mix well with a whisk.

Add in other desired ingredients.

Drop into little ice cube trays, mini muffin cups, or into a square container and put in the fridge for 15 minutes until they have set.

Lick the spoon and enjoy!

Note: At room temperature, coconut oil begins to melt so these are best served cool.


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