“Hi everyone, my name is Nea and I’m a coco-holic”. Alcoholics Anonymous has recommends 12 steps to recovering from addiction and as I am thoroughly addicted to coconuts, I thought maybe I should give them a try. As you will come to notice, there are only 6 steps listed below. This is because the absent 6 seem to relinquish the addict of all personal responsibility, placing it instead on God or other imaginary nonsense… but that’s another bunch of coconuts entirely. So here we go:
1. Admitting that one cannot control one’s addiction or compulsion – All of the following are true. Many a time I have purchased large amounts of coconut oil or coconut milk, knowing full well that I already have a months supply at home “just in case”. I have spent hours researching everything about this beautiful, heavenly fibrous one-seeded drupe. From it’s chemical composition to it’s reactions to heat and light. I have observed the coconut in all it’s natural (and unnatural) states. I have searched far and wide to sample coconut products in three different continents and still the power of
Christ nature compels me to want more!
2. Recognizing a higher power that can give strength – Every day I notice and appreciate the never ending spontaneity and fruitfulness of the natural world. It saddens me to witness the bombardment of the general public with constant misleading adverts for super supplements. The only miracle about these so called miracle cures is the speed at which suckers freely submit to daylight robbery. Such products seem to do far more to line the pockets of their manufacturers than they do for anybody’s health.. or wallet. Maybe if they spent as much money and resources on delivering a quality natural product as they do on their ad campaigns they wouldn’t need to lie through their teeth about it’s benefits. Whether you put this down to a God or science, nature is SO the way forward.
3. Examining past errors with the help of a sponsor – Until a few years ago, I was naive about the true power of nature. I well and truly fried my hair with harsh chemical dyes and products. I put my bad skin down to the fact that I must not have been using the right expensive chemical lotions and potions. I felt tired and sluggish and my mood suffered. I caked my face in various chemically concocted make-ups. My cooking was bland and unexciting… do I sound like an info-mercial yet or what!? As a teenager, my parents stressed how terrible for me all this was but it took me a few more years to figure out these lessons for myself. Allow me to be your coconutty sponsor by providing you with more coconut info than you could ever want or need.
4. Making amends for these errors – While this post is half joke, I do acknowledge that alcoholism is a serious condition and I greatly respect those who take steps and succeed in changing their lives for the better. However, living a healthy lifestyle, being kind to your body and appreciating the power of nature are also respect-worthy outcomes in life and if neglected can have consequences equally dire to those of alcoholism. So why not start now? New year, new you! No time like the present etc. etc.
5. Learning to live a new life with a new code of behavior – My answer to this one is simple. Ditch your hair products, cooking oils and fats, face creams, moisturisers, conditioner, acne treatments, body scrubs, massage oils, lip balms and replace all with organic virgin coconut oil. You can also replace protein shake powders, cows milk, almond milk, soy milk etc. with natural coconut milk. If you’re asking how or why, check out my recent post ‘Some Common Misconceptions: The Coconut’. For even more info, check out this awesome article “Coconut Oil Benefits: When Fat Is Good For You” from the Huffington Post.
6. Helping others who suffer from the same addictions or compulsions – I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m completely and utterly obsessed with coconuts and you shouldn’t be either. See you next time at Coco-nutters Anonymous!
My Favourite Coconut Products – All of these products I’ve tried and tested to within and inch of their lives. I also consume at least one of these in every meal (even breakfast) – I’m that addicted. I am a fan of these products because they taste fantastic, they are all good for you and they are all natural!
Coconut Milk – Having tried upwards of fifteen different brands of coconut milk, in three different countries, I am pleased to announce… I have found my favourite! 1. It’s affordable. At just $1.49 it’s on the cheap end of middle-of-the range but you’d never know it. I even found it on sale at Woolworths this week for $1 a can! 2. The ingredients lists just coconut and water. That’s it and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 3. It’s creamy, fragrant, delicious, great for condensing, curries, soups, drinks, smoothies, cocktails, coconut rice, pouring over fruit, you name it. It’s not too calorific and is super healthy.
Coconut Water – This is the sweet liquid the sloshes around in the center of a green coconut. It’s fantastic for your health and, it’s three times more hydrating than water. It’s packed with natural electrolytes, potassium, minerals and has even been used as an intravenous drip in Asian countries where sterile saline was not available. While I’m not really a fan of Pandaroo coconut milk, their coconut water is by far the best option I can find in Queensland. It contains no added sugar, no artificial colours or flavours. The ingredients lists 97.7% young coconut juice, 2% coconut pulp and (unfortunately) a preservative. Usually I wouldn’t buy anything with preservatives but the only other brand I can find here only contains 50% coconut water, normal water and loads of added sugar so it’s a trade off. It’s currently only $1 a can at Woolwoths. Best. Drink. Ever!
Coconut Sugar – This is a new one for me. Ok, you’ve caught me. I was looking for what else I could possibly replace in my life with a coconut product and I came across this. Coconut sugar (sometimes called palm sugar) is the sticky sap of the coconut palm. Here it is dried into cakes but it can also be purchased in a paste form. So far I have used it as a sugar replacement in cookies, cakes, every-day cooking. I don’t really eat that much sugar anyway, but this has such a rich, indulgent taste. Like super dark brown sugar but with a secret. Unlike processed or raw cane sugar, honey, stevia, agave or, heaven forbid, artificial sweeteners (VOM!) coconut sugar has a low GI or glycemic index. This means that unlike other sugars, replacements and sweeteners, coconut sugar is great for energy but does not cause that ‘sugar high’ or cause your insulin levels to spike. Great for diabetics! Great for dieters too as you can still have that satisfying sweetness without that crash and craving afterwords. I am a fan. It’s so good that I may accidentally sneak into the pantry and scrape a bit off with a spoon. Cheeky midnight snack anyone?!
Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is a funny one. As you see from the picture, these two jars of oil are identical. So why is one white and solid and one yellow and liquid? Temperature. Coconut oil is technically solid at room temperature, however it’s melting point is 76F (24C) so if you live in the tropics, this is simply not the case. To show you the difference, I have stored one in the fridge so it’s totally solid. You may normally associate this trait with horrible saturated fat that drips off your sausages and clogs your arteries, however, again this is not the case. While coconut oil is high in saturates, unlike other, ‘long-chain’ saturates, these fats are made up of medium-chain fatty acids which are not stored in the body as fat. Instead, they are turned straight into energy making coconut oil a great alternative to other oils. This brand is organic, virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil and only $5 a jar. What more could you ask for?!
My Coconut Recipes (more to come!)
- Lovely Low Fat Lemon and Coconut Cake
- Coconutty Christmas Lime Curd
- Coconut Crusted ‘Nana Cake
- Thai Mango Pudding
- Totally Tropical Coconut Ice
- Curried Pumpkin, Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup
- Green Curry with Coconut Jasmine Rice