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02.28.12

Coconut milk, you make me melt

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By: Candice Kumai

Coconut milk is slowly becoming my new obsession. Rich, decadent and creamy as ever, I pour it over my rice pudding, use it to bake naughty vegan desserts, and it’s amazing in oatmeal in the am.

Now, yes, I am completely aware  that it is mega high in saturated fat and super dense in calories. However, my belief still stands that anything Mama Nature made from a tree, vine, roots or the soil is good for ya, rest-assured. All things in moderation! Coconut, an FWB (food with benefit?) You bet your ass. It’s got some bennies to roll with, just make sure you’re going for a “light coconut milk” vs the heavy stuff.

Rollin’ with the Bennies:

Lactose/Dairy Free: Coconut milk is a dairy-free alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to animal milk. This vegan drink is also soy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free so it’s a dream to cook and bake with for any veganista. Coconut milk is also blended with almond milk now for even more delicious lactose-free goodness.

Lauric Acid: Half the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut milk are composed of lauric acid, which is antiviral, antibacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal. Coconut milk can help boost the immune system too!

May aid in lowering blood pressure: Coconut milk contains potassium, and potassium aids in lowering blood pressure levels in the body.

Natural Immunity Booster: Coconut milk helps to fight off colds by keeping the immune system in check. It supplies vitamin C to the body which in turn boosts the immune system.

MCFAs+LCFA’s: Medium-chain fatty acids or long-chain fatty acids are a type of saturated fat found in coconut milk. Made up of eight to 10 carbon atoms strung together. LCFAs contain 12 or more carbon atoms in a row and are more prevalent in meat and dairy products. Coconut contains MCFAs that have shown questionable results of fat-burning/higher metabolic rate versus consuming LCFAs. Research is still vague and inconsistent, however it’s safe to say saturated fat is not your friend, so consume in moderation!

I’ve been cooking up some amazing meals with coconut milk, all in moderation of course! Some of my favorites? Thai coconut curry, coconut black rice pudding and for dessert, coconut mango popsicles had me in heaven the last two nights in a row. Enjoy, indulge and moderate. Coconut milk definitely has it’s health bennies and high saturated fat content, but it’s a definite treat in my book. xx ck

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