Coconut Wow Cookies

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (April 2019) and taken from Recipes for Your Perfectly Imperfect Life by Kimberly Snyder.

Coconut oil increases metabolism and provides sustained energy. Here, flakes accentuate earthy coconuttiness.

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Makes 16 cookies

Ingredients:
2 cups Gluten-free Flour Mix
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp guar gum
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup coconut nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup almond milk
1 cup coconut flakes

Step One : Preheat the oven to 160oc / 325oF / Gas mark 3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Step Two : In a large bowl, whisk together the Gluten-Free flour mix, baking soda, guar gam, coconut sugar and sea salt. Make a well in the middle.

Step Three : In a separate bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, coconut nectar, vanilla extract and almond milk, and stir well. Pour the liquid into the well in the flour mixture. Stir in the coconut flakes.

Step Four : Shape about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into a ball and place it on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently flatten it with the palm of your hand so it pushes outward into a flat cookie shape. Continue until all the dough is formed into cookies, being sure to space them out.

Step Five : Bake the cookies for 13-14 minutes, until they are golden brown. Transfer them from the baking sheet to a wire rack and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Trends & Facts : Crazy for Coconut

A health trend fact article taken from Psychologies Magazine (April 2015).
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The Hype
Enticed by the promise that coconut oil can boost body and brain wellbeing, we’ve bestowed it with a health halo that has us scooping it into smoothies and spreading it on our toast. Ad the craze also goes beyond the kitchen. Aside from it’s moisturising properties, we’re also swishing coconut oil around our mouths in honour of the Ayurvedic ‘oil pulling’ method, which is said to detox the body and whiten teeth. The coconut water market alone is now worth £22 million in the UK. (according to Nielsen Statistics cited by PepsiCo).

Food forecasters predict that coconut sugar will take centre stage in the future, as it has a lower glycaemic index than its refined white counterpart. Yet with an overabundance of discombobulated information, separating facts from fad can prove somewhat challenging.

The Facts
* Over 200 students highlight coconut oil’s ability to settle malabsorption syndrome (a disorder affecting nutrient absorption), hinder tumour growth, fight viruses and protect cortical neurons in mice, which may have implications for Alzheimer’s disease in humans.

* It is high in healthy saturated fat which binds unhealthy saturated fat (LDL or low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol) and carries it away from the arteries to the liver, where it’s broken down and passed from the body. This lowers cholesterol, which is thought to protect against stroke and heart disease.

* It has a high smoking point for cooking, so it’s less likely to denature and form dangerous free radicals (linked to cancer) in the body.

* Coconut milk is high in medium chain fatty acids and lauric acid, which the body converts to help it fight infection.

The Verdict
1. Coconut oil is a great oil to cook with and consume regularly. But cooking with butter, ghee or avocado oil is fine, too.

2. Coconut water, high in potassium, has been touted as more hydrating than water – not true. But it is a better option post-workout, as it helps replace lost nutrients.

3. Coconut flour is packed with fibre and protein, so it’s a good alternative if you have glucose allergies. However, it must be blended with other flours (try rye or rice flour) to get the desired effect for baking.

4. Coconut butter is a nutritious spread that contains all the benefits of the oil and is also packed with fibre.

5. Coconut syrup (try Bali Nutra Coconut Syrup) is a good sweetener, it contains mineral nutrients and is 70-79 per cent sucrose, so it’s low in harmful fructose.

6. While the coconut has a multitude of benefits, it’s not a magic ingredient. It’s important to incorporate the right remedies to suit your lifestyle so they work in symmetry for greater health and vitality.

See this book for other Ayurvedic recipes …

Chocolate Coconut Pots

‘Who could resist this heavenly dessert?’ asks Liz Earle in ‘The Good Menopause Guide’.  ‘It’s a treat for my friends who love the intense, rich flavour – but using relatively healthy ingredients.’ But, Earle warns, take care if chocolate triggers headaches, and eat at lunch to avoid the caffeine interfering with sleep.

Recipe taken from Psychologies March 2018.

Serves:  2    Setting time:  About 2 hours

Ingredients:  35g plain chocolate (85% cocoa), chopped; 6 tbsp coconut cream; 1 tsp coconut oil; 1 tbsp honey or date syrup; 1 medium organic egg, separated; 15g toasted unsweetened coconut flakes

Step One: Put the chocolate into a bowl with 4 tblsp of the coconut cream, the coconut oil and half the honey or date syrup.  Set the bowl over a pan of just-simmering water, making sure the base doesn’t touch the water, and heat until the chocolate melts.  You can also do this in the microwave on the lowest setting.

Step Two: Add the egg yolk to the mixture, and stir in slowly.

Step Three: Whisk the egg white in a separate bowl until thick and mousse-like.  Fold into the chocolate mixture.

Step Four: Divide mixture between two small glasses and chill for 2 hours, until set.

Step Five:  Serve topped with the remaining coconut cream and sprinkled with the toasted coconut flakes.

  • You can also serve this with a few cacao nibs sprinkled on top.

The Ultimate Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut cream pieThis recipe is courtesy of Easy Living Magazine.

Serves:  6-8   –   Prep time:  35 mins plus time to chill filling   –   Cook time:  20 mins

Ingredients:  400g (13oz) Hobnob biscuits; 75-100g (2 ½ – 3 ½ oz) unsalted butter, melted; 500ml (16 fl oz) double cream; 50g (1 ¾ oz) icing sugar; ½ tsp vanilla extract; 1 shot (30ml / 1 fl oz) of Malibu liqueur (or more)

To Decorate: Soft shredded coconut, such as Baker’s Angel Flake (do not replace with dessicated coconut), toasted; Dark chocolate, melted; White chocolate, melted

Coconut Pastry Cream:  250ml (8 fl oz) coconut milk; 50ml (1 ¾ fl oz) coconut cream; 3 tblsp caster sugar; 2 egg yolks; 1 tsp vanilla extract; 1 tsp coconut extract; 2 ½ tblsp cornflour; 50g (1 ¾ oz) unsalted butter

  1. Heat the oven to 145oC (gas mark 1 ½ ).  Grease a 23cm (9in) pie dish.  To make the crust, crush the biscuits to fine crumbs.  Add the melted butter – the amount of butter you need varies.  Squeeze a bit of the mixture into your hand to make a ball.  The mixture should hold its shape, but also fall apart when touched slightly.  If it doesn’t hold its shape too well, add more biscuits to absorb the butter.
  2. Press the mixture into the pie dish, going all the way up the sides. Cover with a round of greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans to the top.  Bake in the hot oven for 12-20 minutes until the crust is firm and dry. Remove from the oven and let it cool.
  3. To make the Malibu whipped cream, combine the cream, icing sugar, vanilla extract and Malibu in a bowl and whisk to stiff peaks.  Spread a thin layer of the Malibu whipped cream over the base of the baked pie shell.  Spoon the coconut pastry cream (see below) into te pie and level with spatula. Dollop the remaining Malibu cream on top.  Sprinkle toasted shredded coconut over the top and drizzle with dark and white melted chocolate.  Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

To Make the Coconut Pastry Cream

  1. Put the coconut milk and cream and half the sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir.  As soon as it comes to the boil, remove it from the heat and set aside.  Place the egg yolks, vanilla extract and coconut extract in a large, heatproof bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining sugar and the cornflour and mix thoroughly.  Add to the egg yolks and whisk thoroughly. While the milk mixture is still hot, whisk it into the egg mixture in the bowl.  Strain the mixture back into the saucepan, set over a medium-low heat and whisk continuously until it reaches a boil.  Strain the mixture again into a bowl and stir in the butter until melted and thoroughly combined.  Lay a sheet of cling film directly on the surface of the pastry cream, then let cool.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.  When ready to use, whisk lightly to bring back to a semi-soft consistency.

Shredded Coconut:

Recipe taken from this book: