Go nuts for coconut
Coconut has tons of benefits from good fats to hydrating water. Learn how to get the most out of it.
Coconut oil is perfect for cooking and baking (it's great for high-temperature cooking), but it also happens to be an excellent moisturizer. Loaded with vitamin E, you can use it on your skin and hair for moisture and protection. When it comes to eating it, coconut oil is a great, healthier oil option for baked goods. Just make sure you melt it first as it will stay in a solid state when it's cold outside.
Thought Gatorade was the best option for rehydrating after your workout? Think again. Coconut water has tons of natural electrolytes and four times as much potassium as a banana. It's a serious miracle worker when it comes to rehydration.
Unlike refined sugars, coconut sugar has a few health benefits (like high potassium, iron and magnesium levels), making it a more and more popular choice by health-minded sweet lovers. It's marketed as a low-glycemic food and considered safe for diabetics. If you're looking to swap out the sweet stuff for something a little healthier, this is a great option.
For a dairy-free alternative, coconut milk is one of my favorites. Full-fat options give you so much creaminess you'd swear it was dairy based while light options make a great, lower-calorie alternative for creamy soups and stews.
There are tons of ways to use the actual "meat" from a coconut but unsweetened flakes (or shreds) are my favorite and the most versatile. Use them to coat a protein instead of breadcrumbs, sprinkle them on top of yogurt or oatmeal for breakfast, process them to make coconut butter or throw them into your favorite smoothie for some texture. The options are endless.
Here's an easy, coconut-filled smoothie to get you started. Change up the berries to whatever you have on hand and feel free to add in some protein powder for extra staying power.
Coconut wild blueberry smoothie recipe
- 1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries
- 2 tablespoons coconut cream from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup coconut water (from the bottom of a can of full-fat coconut milk)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Leaves from 1 sprig fresh mint
- Handful of ice cubes
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Garnish with unsweetened coconut flakes.