Category Archives: Coconuts

Dairy Free Lemongrass Icecream and the Amazing Coconut.

the coconut

Coconut cream makes the best ice cream… Ever!

Ice cream: using just 4 main ingredients this lovely icecream cost me virtually nothing to make as we grow Coconuts and lemongrass. This ice cream is also dairy free. It doesn’t get any better than that. Does it?

Coconut and Lemongrass Ice Cream.

Put 400ml of coconut cream in a saucepan and add 3 stalks of crushed lemongrass. Slowly bring to a soft rolling boil and remove from the heat. Set to one side and leave to infuse the lemongrass flavour for about 35 mins.

lemongrass-1713240_1280

In a medium-sized bowl put 1 large egg and 2 egg yolks, 125gm coconut sugar and a pinch of salt. Put the bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, but ensure the bowl does not touch the water, as your eggs will scramble.

Whisk the mixture until it is thick and frothy. Gradually add the coconut cream still whisking and whisk for 1 minute. You will now have a thinner liquid.

If you have an ice cream maker then follow the instructions.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker then don’t despair just follow the steps below and although it won’t be quite as smooth it is very nice.

Leave the mixture to cool down and then pour into a suitable container for freezing. Freeze until it is half frozen 2-3 hrs and then run a fork through the mix and return to the freezer, repeat this once or twice more and then cover the container and freeze completely.

You will then have a beautiful lemongrass flavoured ice cream.

Enjoy!

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My aim is to cook as naturally as possible and not use any preservatives. We grow what we can or buy/ forage locally and always organically. Our water is well water and the only thing I use is electric from the authority. Gas is bottled.

As you can see the Coconut is a very versatile product and a healthy one and one with many uses around the home.

Fresh Coconut juice is my first drink of the day. This week I have just got the inside of the coconut. The outer shell already removed as this was brought to me by my Thai family. It is so much easier than trying to get the hard shell off the coconut. It also cleared up the mystery of what they were as I had seen many stalls by the roadside selling these. My favourite place to drink it is on the beach, but now I live in Northern Thailand I have to make do with just the drink and my dreams.

coconut

Once they are finished however it will be a short walk into town for me to see my little man who does all the hard work and sells it ready chilled in bags with a little of the very soft flesh added. It is lovely and at 20 baht a bag well worth it.

Did you know you can use coconut oil to polish your leather handbags or shoes try it and you will be amazed at the result?

Also, the very soft inner cream of the small very young coconuts is lovely for babies when they first start eating solid food. Both of my grandchildren were fed on it as tiny babies, it is so easily digested and perfect for young tummies.

Oil pulling which I do every day before I do anything, I use it as it deodorises your mouth and gums and it seems to be a great way of warding off any sore throats, although I think the honey helps as well.

A spoonful of honey and a coconut oil gargle and my sore throats vanish.

My daughter has been using Coconut Oil as a sunblock whilst she has been here on holiday

She has found the oil is very effective at stopping any burning.

I  also cook with as it is safer at higher temperatures and doesn’t give off any nasties like some other oils.

Just a word of advice though and don’t do what I did.

Do not mix Coconut oil with any other oil…Moi did ( when I didn’t ) have enough coconut oil and wanted a bit more oil, bad move!

I got a foaming mess that just kept foaming and foaming.

Coconut oil also makes for lovely crispy food especially chips and although I  have heard say that some can taste the coconut, I do not find that to be the case. It also makes a beautiful salad dressing

Other uses for coconut cream/water in my household.

I use the milk in shakes, curries and it is a lovely thing. Even lovelier if I can get it freshly made from the market.

 

What do you use  Coconut oil or cream for ??????????

 

If you fancy making your own Coconut oil, maybe as a present then I have attached a link with instructions. Have fun!

 

Want to see more from me???? I am a crazy English lady with a quirky sense of humour…Still, want to see more from me???

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Healthy Cooking with Coconut Flour.

lady holding veggies

Living here coconuts are seen everywhere fresh and in abundance, I have a lovely fresh drink of coconut juice every morning…My coconut milk is freshly made at my local market and it is so lovely for my curries and I know I am so lucky…..

Coconut flour as well I can get freshly made but and I should have written this post a lot earlier because I have had my problems cooking with coconut flour but once you find the brand you like and master just how much liquid that it needs for you to bake successfully … you will be away and never cook with anything else …

If you have allergies then coconuts are a fruit seed and not a nut seed it is a great flour to use if your baking has to be nut free….Although a little bird did tell me that the FDA considers the coconut a tree nut…Really!

Well maybe this is one debate which will linger on and on..in the meantime here is another of my posts on The Coconut and whether or not it is a fruit, a nut or a seed!

coconut mix

This lady is grinding the coconut down to make flour so that they can make their pancakes everything here is still made by hand and the whole family have a part to play it is lovely to see the old and the young working together.

Here is a previous post on traditional handmade  Thai Pancakes.  

Until I came here and for many things, I still do just pick up a packet of the supermarket shelf…never having had really traditionally made food or garments like I see made here before…and now almost on a daily basis I see so much made from scratch it really makes me feel humble …I cook but I don’t know if I would go to all that bother every time I make pancakes…Because I do think most of us would think it a chore…

The problems of baking with coconut flour and how to avoid them. 

Flour….Coconut flour has a lovely light texture and produces lovely baked goods. but the absorbency does vary between brands as I mentioned earlier.

One of the most common complaints about coconut flour recipes is that they take a great many eggs.  And they really do.  But eggs, or egg replacements, really are important in coconut flour baking.This is due in part to the remarkable absorbency of coconut flour, but eggs also give it structure in the absence of gluten.  It seems to require more structure than other low carb or gluten-free flours, so foregoing the eggs or egg replacers, or significantly cutting back on them, is not recommended.

Does the baking taste eggy? is it rubbery? I don’t think so but if you are allergic to eggs or are vegan you can use flax-seed meal and water to replace the eggs.

I think it is worth persevering and sticking to the same brand of Coconut flour as then you will know what it’s absorbency rate is. Also, the size of your eggs and they do vary so consistency is the name of the game when using Coconut flour in your baking and you will find it so worthwhile as it is a lovely flour and one of the healthiest flours around.

Also when measuring out your flour do not pack it into the cup but lightly fluff up your flour and dip your measuring cup into the flour and level with a knife in the normal way but do not press it down and add more.

Less really is more with coconut flour so although it initially may seem expensive against other flours you do not use do much.

Coconut flour stores really well in an airtight container although I keep mine in the fridge here as it is so hot and humid.

I hope this has helped you if you have struggled with cooking with coconut flour but try to persevere and once you get used to it hopefully you will love it like me and reap the benefits healthwise.

Just looking at my lovely trees heavy with coconuts screams healthy, doesn’t it???

So many lovely products can be made from the whole tree and it would be such a shame if you didn’t get the benefits from its lovely, healthy flour with just a little perseverance it will pay you back with immense benefits.

Enjoy your cooking with coconut flour …

 

 

 

 

Fruity Fridays…The Coconut…Is it a fruit, a nut or a seed?

Fruity Fridays The Coconut

The Coconut …Is it a fruit?  Welcome to Fruity Fridays where I show case a different fruit each week.

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I am sometimes flummoxed by what is a fruit, a nut or a seed or indeed a tree …Take the Papaya tree which grows in abundance here and also I will add grows very quickly …It has fruit with the same name as the tree but it is a PLANT …It has no branches and a soft stem with all the very large leaves at the top and can grow up to 10 metres high.  It is, in fact, a herbaceous plant as the stem bears little wood and stays green and soft until it dies. But ask anyone here and they will call it a Papaya tree…

Which brings me back to the Coconut …Well, it has a hard outer shell-like a nut, doesn’t it?

Don’t you think my Coconut tree looks magnificent?

Botanically it is known as a one-seeded drupe otherwise known as a dry drupe. 

Where does that leave us? With a fruit, a nut and a seed?

The name itself infers it is a nut….after all a nut can be defined as a one-seeded fruit. But true nuts do not open on maturity and release their seeds… the nut has to decay and then it releases its seeds and is dispersed by an animal either in its faeces or just by being dropped on the ground.

The coconut we buy in the shops or market has no resemblance to the coconut on my tree and until I moved here I thought there was only one type of coconut…

There are so many here coconuts for drinking, eating the soft flesh, hard like the ones I knew…I am certainly furthering my education by leaps and bounds although I have always been inquisitive…Yeh Yeh…Ok..plain nosey…I like to know things…

coconut

It has 3 layers the first is typically green …This layer is called exocarp then you get the fibrous husk( mesocarp) this surrounds the woody layer ( endocarp) which surrounds the seed…. which is what you get in the supermarkets.

But did you know???

The coconut palm is not a tree as it has no bark, no branches, or secondary growth. It is a woody perennial known as monocotyledons as the trunk is the stem.

The coconut is known as the Tree of Life as every bit of the tree is and can be used for drinks, fibre, food, fuel, musical instruments,  cooking utensils and so much more.

it is also claimed although not formally recorded that during World War 11  and the Vietnam war when intravenous (IV) solution was in short supply, doctors used coconut water as a  substitute for  IV solutions.

If the shell of the coconut has not been cracked, the coconut water inside is usually sterile – that is, free of bacteria and the like. So technically it could be injected safely into people, to replace fluid loss? It might, however, be said it might just be better just to drink it to replace blood plasma.

 

So do we now know what the coconut is? A fruit, nut or seed?

Mangoes, peaches and almonds are in the same drupe family as the coconut. Although the coconut is a dry drupe and peaches and mango are fleshy drupes.  Well, I clearly am not a botanical expert but in my world but I have always thought of those as fruits so the coconut to me is a cross between a fruit and a nut which we eat the flesh off and drink the lovely juice of a huge seed.

There you have it!

Just in case you missed it…Here is my post on how to make your own coconut oil...   Which would make a lovely present.

If you just want to make something for yourself and your family then these macaroons are easy to make and delicious.

Coconut Macaroons.
What to make when you have egg whites left over from making Carbonara? I have not made coconut macaroons for years. Next time for a little more colour I will lightly toast my coconut and maybe melt some chocolate and drizzle over them.
Ingredients:
4 egg whites
3 cups of desiccated coconut or fresh coconut if you have it.
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla essence
1/4 tsp of salt
Let’s Cook!
Whisk the egg whites, sugar, vanilla essence and salt until the mix is soft and frothy.
Fold in the coconut and put spoonfuls on a lined baking tray.
Cook in a preheated oven on 350F or 175 C for 15-20 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on a baking tray.
This recipe made about 12 depending on the size of your spoon.

Image may contain: dessert and food

 

Thank you for reading this I hope you enjoyed if you did please feel free to share…Sharing is caring…

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Natural Foods to treat pain and inflamation.

lady holding veggies

I have this phobia I suppose one might call it…Even my family doctor used to smile and pat my hand and say “Carol, just take them” I am sure sometimes he even wondered why I paid him a visit …..Maybe I just wanted him to advise me on what he thought was wrong with me although I was one of these people who probably only saw my doctor every few years at most.

Now I don’t even go although if I felt really, really very unwell I would go. So I am not advocating never visit a doctor again I am just saying if you have a mild pain or some inflammation there are Natural Foods which can help and indeed many people and even some doctors are advising the use of Natural Foods and Herbs.

I have listed a few everyday foods and seeds with some recipes if you wish to incorporate some of these in your daily diet.

Ginger…..

I love Ginger and grow and use it in a lot of my food and pickled it is beautiful.

Ginger you can grate or dice finely, it is used in fish dishes here or with Scallops it is a lovely thing.

A member of the rhizome family as is Turmeric…Ginger is softly sweet and slightly spicy and medicinally it has many benefits.

Ginger tea can aid digestion and is a lovely drink.

It also is an ideal home remedy for muscle and joint problems.

In addition to drinking ginger tea, you can also use it to soak inflamed joints. Ginger is one of the best pain killers in the world having analgesic properties like the popular ibuprofen, only better.

It contains a quartet of active flavour constituents, gingerols, paradols, shogaols, and zingerone which are active ingredients to reduce pain. Ginger reduces pain-causing prostaglandin levels in the body.

All studies by researchers found that when people who were suffering from muscular pain were given ginger, they all experienced some improvement.

Turmeric……

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Millions of people take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat their arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Many of these same people are now looking to treat their arthritis and other inflammatory conditions naturally.

Awareness and knowledge is increasing and people are now aware of available natural remedies that are possibly safer, or at the very least as effective, easily accessible, and inexpensive.

Despite decades of research and thousands of preclinical studies indicating the therapeutic value of turmeric, many people are still not aware that the common kitchen spice can serve as a valuable alternative for a number of health conditions.

A human study published in the Indonesian Journal of Internal Medicine clinically confirms the medicinal value of turmeric. Results show that the turmeric’s curcuminoid extract can reduce inflammation in patients who suffer from knee osteoarthritis.

Turmeric is a plant specifically from ginger family, used for flavouring and colouring in cooking.

The value of taking turmeric seems to be a valid one and yet many people are still not really aware of what a powerful substance it is.

It can be taken in Golden Milk, added to carrot soup, taken as a supplement or extract but as it is not readily absorbed and retained in the body it is advised to take it with black peppercorns which aid its absorption in the body.

Golden Milk Recipe using Turmeric and Virgin Coconut Oil.

Cayenne Pepper……

Cayenne pepper has many health benefits and anti-irritant properties. It can ease stomach upsets, ulcers, sore throats, spasmodic and irritating coughs, and diarrhoea.

Just a simple blend of:

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of hot red chilli powder and
8oz pulpy orange juice,

Taken with a straw, can provide almost instant relief from a sore throat.

Be sure not to use more than 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon for about every 8 ounces of orange juice, as Cayenne pepper is a highly concentrated spicy food powder, and when taken in higher amounts, can aggravate parts of your gastrointestinal tract.

 

A little word of warning although this is a very effective cure for sore throats be aware and careful that you do not use too much cayenne and to protect your stomach, a banana, some rice or potato before drinking will do that if you have a sensitive tummy.

 

Celery/ Celery Seeds……

 

As kids, we had celery with our tea on Sundays with crumpets and shellfish my mum always put it in her stews and now research backs all this up it has found more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds in celery and its seeds and advises adding it to soups, stews or use as a salt substitute.

To me, it sounds like mum knows best….What do you think about age-old remedies which are making a comeback??

My mum probably didn’t give the benefits a thought, her only thought was that we should get good nourishing home cooked food..nothing was packets then..everything was made from scratch and that is what she taught me and I have taught my children and now my grandchildren…..

There is a lot to say about traditions and passing on knowledge and I think that all this is now making a comeback as people are questioning what is in their food and medicines.

That is good!

Oh! waffling again..sorreee we were on celery were we not?

 

I myself have used celery juice as a brine when making bacon as a substitute and natural brine if you don’t wish to use Salt-petre.

 

Celery juice is also a diuretic and can also help clear toxins that form those painful kidney stones.

 

Cherries…..

Cherries are one of nature’s best sources of health enhancing pigments called anthocyanins which provide powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effect is the human body.

Anthocyanocides are particularly effective at keeping blood uric acid in check and a viable remedy for the painful condition of gout.

This lovely smoothie recipe incorporates cherries and leafy greens.

A cup of pitted cherries.

A young coconut..the meat and ½ cup of the coconut juice.

½ an apple or a pear

2 cups of fresh baby spinach (or other leafy greens)

Blitz together and enjoy!

 

Dark, green vegetables…….

Are good sources of anti-inflammatory anthocyanins, a type of polyphenol thiocyanate which protects cells from inflammatory substances which can be produced in response to injury or infection in your body.

Bok Choy is one such green which is used widely in Asian countries. It can be eaten raw in salads, coleslaw or juiced. It can also be used when making fermented vegetables which are sold on every market here and very easy to do at home.

 

Walnuts…..

A valuable source of omega 3 oils walnuts are one little powerhouse.  Its anti-inflammatory properties help lower the risk of chronic inflammation. Just a handful a day or incorporate them in a lovely smoothie or shhh shh chocolate brownies..yum

Or if you want a bit of fit and healthy then look no further than this recipe for a luscious Banana Espresso Smoothie.

 

This is a recipe that my daughter gave me along with a packet of Chia seeds as I can’t always get them here. Bananas we have in spades as they grow in abundance here so my freezer always has frozen bananas ready to make a smoothie.

Ingredients:

1 frozen Banana

1 cup of coconut milk.

2 tbsp oats.

halved walnuts as in the picture or you can use 1 tbsp peanut butter

A shot of espresso.

1 cup of ice

1tsp of cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds and honey.

Put all ingredients in your blender and blitz away.

Pour into glass and enjoy!

 

I hope you are enjoying these posts and my dearest wish is that they prompt you…Yes, YOU!

To question and research what you are eating and how eating somethings can improve your health and that of your family.

Until next time….stay safe, laugh a lot and ASK a question x