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Coconut Every Day: Cooking with Nature's Miracle Superfood [NOOK Book]

Overview

100 ways to cook and bake with coconut—the world’s most amazingmiracle superfood!

Coconut is rich in healthy fats, high in fiber, and low in carbohydrates, making it a hugely popular food choice as we seek new ways to incorporate nutritious power foods into our favorite ...
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Coconut Every Day: Cooking with Nature's Miracle Superfood

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Overview

100 ways to cook and bake with coconut—the world’s most amazingmiracle superfood!

Coconut is rich in healthy fats, high in fiber, and low in carbohydrates, making it a hugely popular food choice as we seek new ways to incorporate nutritious power foods into our favorite everyday recipes.

Coconut Every Day includes over one hundred delicious and easy-to-make recipes that all contain coconut. You’ll enjoy the taste and nutritional benefits from cooking with coconut in all its forms—water,
milk, oil, flour (gluten-free), sugar, and more!

Inside, you’ll find recipes to kick-start your morning, including smoothies, granolas, muffins, and pancakes. A wide variety of salads, soups, and main dishes are offered as great everyday meals for lunches and dinners. And if you like desserts, you’ll find plenty to choose from that incorporate coconut flour—a delicious wheat-free alternative ideal for baking.

Coconut Every Day will show you how to use this health-boosting fruit in a whole new way.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
★ 06/15/2014
Coconut milk and shredded coconut are well known and widely used, while other coconut products—coconut oil, sugar, water, vinegar, and flour—are gaining popularity. In her first book, Toronto-based food and prop stylist Seymour uses these ingredients to boost the nutritiousness of recipes such as crispy fried chicken, carrot cake, and egg-free "eggnog." In breakfasts, salads, desserts, and other courses (often dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan), the author incorporates coconut with impressive versatility, using it as a frying and breading agent, and in ice cubes, marinades, and condiments. VERDICT Filled with delicious recipes (this reviewer recommends the shrimp tacos), Seymour's book makes it both possible and desirable to eat coconut every day.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143190752
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/3/2014
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • File size: 21 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Sasha Seymour has worked as a chef in restaurant kitchens, and is now a professional food and prop stylist. Her work

regularly appears in magazines, newspapers, and cookbooks. When not writing about food or cooking it or thinking about

it, Sasha can be found at the nearest farmers’ market.
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Read an Excerpt

Introduction

Deep down in the mind of many a good cook, countless recipes lurk. For the most part, getting them out is just a matter of knowing where to start, finding a little inspiration, or being faced with a great ingredient and knowing what to do with it. I started with coconut.

I got a lot of surprised looks when I’d tell people I was writing a coconut book. Why on earth coconut? people would wonder. But trust me, coconut is on its way to being the next big thing. Our neighborhood grocery store started stocking coconut milk—well, that’s been around forever—but then they started carrying coconut water, and then coconut oil, and coconut butter and coconut sugar. It’s practically epidemic at this point! But when I starting looking for recipes that used all these things, I found that the one ingredient missing was a coconut cookbook.

Well, here it is. Coconut Every Day grew out of a seed planted by its publisher. She came to me and the photographer and said, “I have an exciting idea.” And it has been exciting. A whirlwind of learning and cooking and having ideas and scrapping them. Of digging around in the cuisines of cultures that use coconut every day, literally. My household, and extensions of it, lived coconut every day, too.

The coconut is a miracle food. A saturated fat that gets burned like a carbohydrate? And that can increase your metabolism, and lower your cholesterol, and fight candida? Yes! And it tastes good, to boot.

I started off slowly, replacing dairy with coconut milk or coconut oil in some of my favorite recipes, and as I got going, I realized that we Western eaters have such a limited pantry. Every meal has either a wheat or a dairy component. Toast for breakfast, a bagel for lunch, and maybe pasta for dinner, and all of it usually covered in some kind of dairy product. How would we feel if we replaced some of those foods with a more nutritious alternative? Probably pretty darn good.

So here it is. The result of months of standing in the middle of the kitchen every morning thinking, What would I like to eat today? I’d go to the store and get inspired by all the good things available, then I’d start thinking about how to make the recipe in my head healthier. We don’t have to stop eating the foods we love, but we can make them better for us by using coconut to replace other fats and flours. We are incredibly spoiled for choice here: tomatoes in January, strawberries all year long, inexpensive meat and vegetables galore. I would love it if you would buy the best you can afford and try to buy local produce in season. Above all, get into the kitchen and cook something!

My Pantry Staples

COCONUT (SHREDDED OR FLAKED)

Whether shredded or flaked, coconut is packed with healthy fats, fiber, and minerals. It’s also low in carbohydrates and naturally low in sugar, making it a healthy addition to any dish. In the recipes in this book I’ve used only unsweetened coconut, even for desserts. I like to know exactly how much sugar I’m adding to my food. Also, there is a natural sweetness in coconut that goes well in sweet and savory recipes.

COCONUT OIL (REFINED OR EXPELLER-PRESSED)

Refined or expeller-pressed coconut oil is a white solid fat that generally comes in a jar. It has been chemically extracted from fresh coconut and as a result does not have a coconut flavor. It stays solid at room temperature—in fact until it reaches 77°F (25°C), when it turns into a clear liquid. Refined or expeller-pressed oil is good for deep-frying, and that’s how I recommend using it, for the most part, as it’s cheaper than its virgin or extra-virgin counterpart. If you can afford to, it’s best to use virgin coconut oil for other cooking, or choose organic expeller-pressed oil to avoid the chemicals often used in extraction.

COCONUT OIL (EXTRA-VIRGIN OR VIRGIN)

Virgin coconut oil has a different extraction method than refined oil. Cold pressing preserves the delicate coconut flavor, and does not require any chemicals. Virgin oil is a stable fat that can be stored for a long time at room temperature. It stays solid until it reaches 77°F (25°C). I use virgin oil in almost every recipe, since most recipes don’t call for much oil and the faint coconut flavor adds a nice note to most foods.

Measure the oil by scraping your measuring spoon over it until the spoon is overfull, then press down with your palm until the oil fills the spoon. The heat of your hand should soften it enough so that you get a fairly accurate measurement.

COCONUT MILK

While coconut oil is very predictable and dependable in its properties, coconut milk is the opposite. Because it is made by scraping the meat from fresh coconut, mixing it with water, and squeezing the resulting liquid through a fine strainer to remove the solids, every brand is different. They all contain different amounts of coconut fat, and many contain stabilizers.

Note that, unless otherwise specified, the recipes in this book use full-fat coconut milk.

In the can, the coconut cream (the thick white part) and the water tend to separate, so you must shake the can before opening it— unless a recipe specifies not to. This will blend the cream and the water. If the cream is too thick to be shaken, open the can and stir the cream and water until you have a homogenous mixture before adding to a recipe. I use full-fat coconut milk for pretty much every recipe, since it contains more coconut and less stabilizer.

If you don’t shake or stir the can, you can spoon the coconut cream from the top and substitute it, measure for measure, for dairy cream in many recipes. It should not separate when boiled and generally has about the same fat content as whipping cream, about 35%.

COCONUT WATER

Healthier than every sports drink on the market, coconut water is nature’s electrolyte drink. It has a perfect balance of potassium, sodium, and sugars and is easily absorbed by your body. It comes from the hollow center of the coconut and has a mild, sweet, and slightly nutty flavor.

COCONUT SUGAR

This sweetener is made from the sap of the coconut palm tree and has a pleasant caramel flavor. It can be substituted for brown sugar one-to-one. It contains potassium, iron, zinc, and B vitamins and has a low glycemic index rating, making it much healthier than cane sugar. Sometimes I use other sweeteners in recipes for flavor, but for the most part (with the exception of icing sugar) you should be able to successfully substitute coconut sugar in any recipe.

COCONUT FLOUR

Coconut flour is the by-product of making coconut milk; the leftover solids are defatted and ground into flour. It has no gluten and lots of fiber and is low in digestible carbohydrates. It has a mild coconut flavor and slightly grainy texture. As it’s very dense, it cannot be used measure for measure to replace wheat or other flours but can be added to recipes in small amounts to increase their fiber content. It’s a good flour to use for coating or dredging chicken, fish, or fritters.

BROWN RICE FLOUR

I know it’s not coconut, but I find brown rice flour to be the best overall flour to use in GLUTEN-FREE baking. And it’s much cheaper than those GLUTEN-FREE blends. Brown rice flour makes light baked goods, and is high in fiber and iron and lots of trace minerals our bodies need. It can be used to thicken sauces and is the perfect GLUTEN-FREE alternative for quick breads.

ALMOND FLOUR

Finely ground almonds—also known as almond meal—are the perfect foil for the lightness of brown rice flour. In combination they produce baked goods that are moist without being heavy. Almond flour is low carb as well as a great source of protein. Because of its high fat content, it should be stored in your refrigerator or freezer if you don’t think you will get through it quickly. Although the names are often used interchangeably, almond flour is often more finely ground than almond meal. As well, most products labeled almond flour are made with blanched nuts, whereas those labeled almond meal can be blanched or unblanched.

SEA SALT

In my recipes I specify using sea salt. Sea salt is made by evaporating sea water, and so it contains a ton of trace minerals. It also has a milder, almost sweeter flavor than table salt. If you do use normal table salt, use less than the amount of sea salt I call for in a recipe. Sea salt may seem expensive, but it goes a long way, and your finished dish is, as they say, only as good as your ingredients. I do suggest you try cooking with a nice fine sea salt, and which brand you buy is up to you.

AGAVE NECTAR

This sweetener is made by extracting the sap from the agave plant (the same plant that tequila is made from) and processing it until it becomes a thin syrup. It adds sweetness to recipes without adding a lot of flavor, and its runny consistency means it dissolves quickly into whatever recipe you are making. Substitute maple syrup if you don’t mind the maple flavor in your recipe.

XANTHAN GUM

This is a widely used food thickener that is extracted from yeast.

It is frequently used in GLUTEN-FREE baking to hold tiny particles of food together much the way gluten would. I’ve used it only in the strawberry ice cream recipe, but because it’s uncommon, I thought I should include it here. It is becoming more readily available as more people adopt GLUTEN-FREE diets.

Kitchen Equipment

None of the recipes in this book require any unusual or hardto-find equipment, but here are some tools that I’ve found make my own cooking easier. I’ve listed them in order of what I think is their importance.

KNIVES

A sharp, not too big, and comfortable knife—and the skills to use it—can be a game changer in the kitchen. Your basic arsenal should consist of three knives, and they should be the best you can afford. The first is a chef’s knife, or my personal choice, a Japanese Santoku knife, with a blade about 7 or 8 inches (18 to 20 cm) long. This will be your go-to knife in the kitchen and is good for everything from chopping vegetables to carving a turkey. Get comfortable with it. Watch a video on how to use it, and practice. I think good knife skills can take cooking from a chore to a pleasure and be the difference between a half-hour prep and a full hour.

A paring knife is also very useful, but you will use it less. A 4-inch (10 cm) blade is plenty, and it can be used for finer cutting and when you might hold something in your hand to cut—the tops off beets, for example, or for getting the root bit off a garlic clove so you can peel it easily.

Both these knives require a good sharpener, and there are many on the market. Sharpening stones are for people who really know how to use them, and for the rest of us I would suggest a hand-held, ceramic-wheeled hone. Use it gently but frequently. This, plus careful storage (on a magnetic bar or in a knife block, so the sharp edges don’t bang against other utensils and get blunt), should keep your knives sharp for years.

A good serrated knife is also essential for cutting baked goods without tearing or squishing them. You can’t really sharpen these, but if you don’t use them for anything they aren’t meant for, they should last a long time.

NONSTICK PAN

Buy a good one (preferably an eco one that will not emit harmful chemicals or blister when heated over 400°F/200°C) and treat it with respect. A large and a small one would be great to have, but go big if you’re getting only one. Keeping the heat around medium to medium-high and not screamingly hot should make it last a long time. That and careful washing without abrasives. I use metal utensils—carefully—in mine and it’s still in good shape.

TONGS

As a professional cook, I used these so much they became an extension of my hands, and I cannot imagine cooking without them. Relatively inexpensive, the kind that have rubber non-slip handles and a latch to keep them closed in the drawer are the best. Start using them and you’ll see how quick and easy it is to turn meats, roasting vegetables, and fish fingers, to move things around a hot pan, and to transfer the cooked foods to plates.

PARCHMENT PAPER

I generally don’t believe in using a lot of plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and I can’t stand not to reuse a perfectly good plastic bag for something. Parchment paper is something I do use, though. It replaces unhealthy cooking sprays and can make cleanup really quick. You can even use it to make muffin liners if you run out. And it can be recycled. Good stuff!

Y-PEELER

Kitchen work is all about speed and ease, and a good, sharp Y-peeler will come in handy in so many ways. Easier to hold than a straight peeler, Y-peelers can be put to use beyond peeling carrots. They go beyond the knife, making quick, consistent work of shaving hard cheese, making vegetable ribbons, zesting citrus fruits, and shaving fresh coconut. There is no real way that I know of to sharpen these, but they are cheap to replace. My best care advice is to wash and dry well immediately after use.

IMMERSION BLENDER

Indispensible in the kitchen, these can often go where blenders can’t. You can (carefully) purée a soup still in its pot or make salad dressings and smoothies in an instant without having to take apart and wash up a blender. They are cheap and small, and you will use the heck out of it. I’d recommend one that comes apart into two pieces, so you can thoroughly wash the business end. Do not forget to unplug it first.

STAND MIXER OR HAND MIXER

If you’ve ever tried to whip anything to soft peaks by hand, you’ll know a mixer is an important piece of equipment. Choose whichever you have room to store. For almost every application, except heavy dough kneading, they are interchangeable.

FOOD PROCESSOR OR MINI CHOPPER

Buy whichever you have room for. These appliances mix and chop and grate in seconds, saving you hours of time in food prep. It may seem like a drag to pull one out of the cupboard, but it’s indispensible for fine chopping, and the blade and bowl can be chucked in the dishwasher. Some things, like nut butters, really can’t be made without one of these.

Fruit Salad wit Vanilla Whipped Coconut and Coconut Chips

SERVES 4 TO 6

This is a very pretty brunch salad. The whipped coconut and the fruit salad can be made ahead and kept in the fridge overnight. The coconut chips and the whipped coconut can be used to top desserts, and the chips can be eaten by the handful as a snack. Store the chips in an airtight container.

{ DAIRY-FREE
GLUTEN-FREE
VEGAN }

FOR THE COCONUT CHIPS

1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened flaked coconut

1 Tbsp (15 mL) white sugar

Pinch of salt

FOR THE WHIPPED COCONUT

½ cup (125 mL) coconut cream (scooped from the top of an unshaken chilled can of milk)

1 Tbsp (15 mL) icing sugar (GLUTEN-FREE, if required)

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract (or ½ vanilla bean, scraped)

? tsp (0.5 mL) sea salt

FOR THE FRUIT SALAD

1 pink grapefruit

1 ruby red grapefruit

1 navel orange

½ cup (125 mL) blackberries, halved (optional)

1. MAKE THE COCONUT CHIPS Heat a small nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Stir in coconut and sugar; cook, stirring often, until coconut is golden brown. Sprinkle with salt and set aside to cool.

2. MAKE THE WHIPPED COCONUT Using an electric mixer, in a large nonplastic bowl, whip coconut cream, icing sugar, vanilla, and salt until thick and creamy (for best results, refrigerate coconut cream in the can for at least an hour). This should take about 2 minutes. Spoon into a serving bowl.

3. ASSEMBLE THE SALAD Peel the grapefruits and orange, removing any thick white pith, and slice them into ?-inch (3 mm) slices. Discard any seeds. Arrange on a platter and scatter the blackberries (if using) over top.

4. Just before serving, sprinkle the coconut chips over the salad or put them in a serving bowl to pass separately. Serve salad with the whipped coconut cream.

Banana Coconut Ricotta Pancakes

MAKES 10 TO 12 SMALL PANCAKES

These pancakes are very light, though they have quite a bit of fiber per serving. I don’t believe you could tell these are GLUTEN-FREE unless you make them bigger than 4 or 5 inches. If they’re too big, they’ll break apart when you try to flip them.

{ GLUTEN-FREE }

3 eggs

1 tsp (5 mL) coconut sugar

½ tsp (2 mL) sea salt

1 cup (250 mL) brown rice flour

½ cup (125 mL) ricotta cheese

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

½ tsp (2 mL) baking powder

½ to ? cup (125 to 150 mL) unsweetened coconut water

¼ cup (60 mL) unsweetened shredded coconut

Coconut oil, for pan

2 bananas, cut in ¼-inch (5 mm) slices (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 250°F (120°C).

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