Did you know coconuts are known is some areas as “The Tree of Life”? Coconut has fed and nourished populations around the world for generations with its meat, juice, milk, and oil.
Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. A 1 cup (80g) serving of shredded coconut contains 283 calories, of which 224 come from fat. There are 27g of fat in a serving of coconut, 24 of which are saturated fat and the rest consisting of monosaturated fat and Omega-6 fatty acids, which are extremely beneficial for the body. There is no cholesterol in coconut, and only 16mg of sodium. A serving of coconut consists of 12g of carbohydrates and 3g of protein. It also contains 7g of fiber and 5g of sugar.
Coconut is an excellent source of manganese, and contains 60% of the recommended daily intake of that mineral. It is also contains 11% of the recommended intake for iron, 9% of phosphorus and 8% of potassium. There are trace amounts of other nutrients in coconut, including zinc, calcium and magnesium.
Coconut was used by primitive people to treat a number of ailments due to its healing properties, and still is today. For this reason it is classified as a “functional food”. Coconuts therapeutic uses range from: helping to fight bacterial infections and intestinal parasites, warding off infections ranging from HIV to the common cold. Coconut water helps the kidney and bladder maintain proper functioning. Eating coconut helps fight gas, constipation, ulcers, and other digestive and stomach ailments. Coconut also supports thyroid function and can help prevent goiter (an enlarged thyroid) because it naturally contains iodine. Coconut has even been shown to protect the body from cancer and osteoporosis, dissolve kidney stones, reduce epileptic seizures, and reduce symptoms associated with pancreatic disorders. (1)
This recipe has been adapted from Linda Clark’s Gluten Free Booklet (it’s all about experimentation in the kitchen 🙂
- 3/4 cup coconut flour
- 1 cup shredded coconut (optional: can toast and/or grind into a meal)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 6 eggs
- juice of 1 small lemon (optional for added moisture and flavor)
- lemon or lime and zest
- Pineapple (crushed and drained)
- Ceylon cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom…
- Toasted coconut chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin pan with liners (optional, though makes it easier to get out). In medium mixing bowl, blend dry ingredients together. In separate bowl whisk together wet ingredients until well-blended. Combine and mix well. Divide batter evenly among the muffin tins, about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Makes about 12 cupcakes. Once cupcakes are cooled, spread with frosting and top with coconut (toasted or flaked) May not even need frosting if you’re looking for more of a muffin!
Raspberry Frosting Recipe
1 c. Earth Balance (I use the soy free stuff!)
10 oz. package frozen organic raspberries
~4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Pour raspberries into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until rasperries are thawed and create a raspberry syrup. If you are not a fan of seeds, you can filter the syrup. I don’t worry about it. Cool to room temperature or lower.
Mix Earth Balance, vanilla and raspberry syrup with a stand or hand mixer. Then slowly add the powdered sugar. The mixture will be slightly runny. Cool in refrigerator until it starts to harden.
Spread on cake or cupcakes and enjoy!
- Chai spice frosting (I’ll be experimenting with this one and let you know how it comes out!)
- Raspberry puree (can even inject raspberry preserves inside cupcakes)
- Homemade fruit preserves
- Fruit puree (thickened)