Coconut products seem to be all the rage at the moment. But are they worth all the hype?
Well I love to use them. Coconut oil, coconut flour and coconut sugar are all some of my favorite products to have around the house to use in homemade energy bars and chews and my homemade protein bars. So what are some of the health benefits of these?
I love coconut oil. I use it for all my cooking. Not just because its a healthier alternative for cooking and stir frying compared to olive oil due to its higher smoking temperature but also it makes food taste amazing. If you haven’t tried cooking with coconut oil yet you have to try it. Even just for the taste. Coconut oil does have some great health benefits too such as:
- Full of good for you fats. In fact coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides which are metabolised differently from other fats and may have therapeutic effects on brain disorders.
- Coconut oil can increase your energy expenditure and help you burn more fat. It also helps you stay full for longer and decreases hunger.
- Its a great dairy free replacement for butter and is also great for your skin.
- Coconut oil can improve your hearts health and with its higher smoke point is great for cooking and baking.
Coconut flour is a staple for homemade protein bar making as its super easy to use and tastes great 🙂 It’s made from dried coconut meat and is gluten free. So great for use in your gluten free energy bars and protein bars. Coconut flour is also super rich in dietary fibre, having about the double the amount in wheat bran. Its vegan friendly and high in beneficial fats which are great for your metabolism and keeping you full for longer. One of the other reasons coconut flour is great especially for homemade protein bars is its actually pretty high in protein. Approximately 100g of coconut flour contains 19g protein.
Now you can use coconut flour to bake almost anything but you cant substitute it for other flours one for one. Generally you want to substitute around 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of coconut flour to 1 cup of grain based flours as coconut is way more absorbent. You may also need more eggs and/or liquid in your recipe so I would recommend just finding a recipe that uses coconut flour instead as it can be hard to figure out the exact substitutions for each recipe.
Coconut sugar or coconut palm sugar is made from the sap of the coconut palm that has been extracted, then boiled and dehydrated. Now coconut sugar is still a sugar and although it does contain more vitamins and minerals than white table sugar its not a nutritional superfood. Although I think its better to use than white sugar all sweeteners should be used in small amounts, including coconut sugar. Its not completely refined, bleached and processed like white sugar and it is meant to have a lower glycemic index.
Again its sugar so just because its coconut sugar doesn’t mean we should load our diet up with it. Just in moderation. One of the best things about coconut sugar however is that the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization named coconut palm sugar the most sustainable sweetener in the world in 2014. It also contains no artificial ingredients and is not chemically altered in any way which is great. Buy organic coconut sugar however where you can.
Want to learn how to use all these awesome coconut ingredients in your homemade energy bars? Check out my FREE Starter Kit!
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