Tag Archives: coconut oil

Recipe: Sweet Potato and Rapini Mash

This is a nutrient packed vegan dish I first tried in the fall of 2012 at Mela Cafe. I was told it was yummy, which it absolutely was with the sweet potato balancing the slight bitterness of the rapini in a addition to a topping of homemade tomato sauce. The delicious combination of sweet potato and rapini is a super dose of beta carotene, vitamin C, folic acid, lutein and vitamin K. Here is my simple version:

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 bunch rapini, chopped

Homemade tomato sauce

In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook the sweet potato until soft. Drain potatoes and put back into the pot. Using an immersion blender, mash sweet potato to desired consistency. Stir in coconut oil, bring back to medium heat and stir in the chopped rapini. Cover and heat until rapini is bright green and cooked through.

Heat desired quantity of homemade tomato sauce in a saucepan. Serve the sweet potato and rapini mash topped with the tomato sauce.-Enjoy!


5 Ways to Use Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a superfood with highly versatile uses. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. There are numerous health benefits to consuming coconut oil with the major benefit being improved metabolism and absorption of nutrients. Here are 5 ways of using virgin coconut oil:

1. Consume it as a dietary supplement much like fish oil. Here’s one way to try it as a supplement to your diet: http://www.vivianlaw.ca/health-booster-lemon-water-with-coconut-oil/

2. Cook with coconut oil. I use coconut oil in granola, rice, and to cook shrimp. A few recipes are on the website here, please check them out.

3. Treat minor skin conditions by applying coconut oil directly to rashes, dry patches, pimples, cuts, and insect bites. Coconut oil is quickly absorbed and helps speed up healing, as it nourishes the skin.

4.  Use coconut oil as an oral rinse to treat oral inflammation like canker sores and irritated gums. Take a tablespoon full, let it melt in your mouth, rinse for a few minutes and expel.

5. Apply coconut oil as a scalp and hair treatment. Coconut oil works very well to ease an itchy scalp. It can also be used as a hair conditioning treatment.



Recipe: Coconut Rice

Coconut rice is a side dish that I have always enjoyed. Sticky coconut rice is even more fun with it’s chewy texture and almost dessert like sweetness. I noticed coconut rice served as a side to a menu item at Hawker Bar www.hawkerbar.com in Toronto last summer. We ordered some and it was outstanding, in addition to the chili tofu, wings and greens. I was inspired to try and make coconut rice at home. Here is my easy version, using creamed coconut and coconut oil for the rich taste and nutritional value of medium chain fatty acids.

1 cup Thai jasmine rice

1 1/2 cups water

1 tablespoon creamed coconut (available at health food stores)

1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil

Rinse rice in a strainer under cold water. Place rice into a medium saucepan with water, and bring to a boil. Stir in coconut coconut oil, reduce heat to low, cover with lid and allow rice to continue cooking for 15 minutes or so. Remove from heat, let stand for another 10 minutes, covered. Fluff with a fork and enjoy. This rice is great with sauteed callaloo and spicy shrimp or fish. Also great with curries.

Coconut: A Healthy Food to Try

 I found a fresh coconut in the grocery store today and I bought it immediately, even though I was clueless as to how to crack into it to extract the flesh. And, I do not happen to own a machete. I did find this video, courtesy of Gourmet which offers great instruction:


I had to have the coconut today, because I was fortunate enough to buy some (pre-prepared) from a roadside fruit stand recently on the North Shore of Oahu, close to the Fumis shrimp truck. I really enjoy the mild taste and crunchy texture of fresh coconut. Fresh coconut is the ultimate anytime, anywhere snack, with beachside being my favourite location.

Fresh coconut is also a great source of energy in form of easy to digest medium chain fatty acids. The lauric and capryllic acid in coconut has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. The saturated fat found in coconut is plant based and therefore chemically different, with different properties than saturated fat found in animal fat. I consider coconut oil to be a healthy fat, with its numerous health boosting properties. Enjoy the tropical taste of fresh coconut wherever you can.

Recipe: Healthy Granola

Granola is a food that most of us enjoy for the taste and texture, but consider to be a food that is too high in calories to enjoy regularly. However, the source of the ‘high calories’ is very important to consider. This recipe is wheat free and contains various sources of fibre and healthy fats that we could all use in our diet. The soluble fibre in the oats can help lower blood cholesterol. The pumpkin, sunflower and chia seeds provide healthy fats and vitamin E in addition to fibre. The coconut oil provides flavour and medium chain fatty acids, which help your cells absorb nutrients amongst other benefits.  I like to have granola for breakfast with non dairy milk, such as Coconut Dream, and fresh berries. I find it to be a great source of steady energy that tastes great at the same time. Many friends that have tried this granola just love to eat it out of hand as a quick snack.

4 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

1/4 cup oat bran

1/4 cup whole chia seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1tsp ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 cup honey or maple syrup or combination

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together oats, coconut, ground flaxseed, oat bran,  chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and cinnamon. In a small sauce pan, melt together honey and/or maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Pour liquid honey mixture over the oat mixture and toss to coat evenly. Spread mixture evenly on shallow rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 min, remove from oven, use a spatula to stir the mixture to ensure even browning. Bake a another 15-20 minutes until granola is crunchy and browned to your desired level.  Add 1/2 cup of your favourite dried fruits after the granola cools, if desired. Store in an airtight container. Try a 1/3-3/4 cup serving size to see what amount fits your energy needs.

Health Booster: Lemon Water with Coconut Oil

Hot water and lemon is a beverage that many natural health practitioners advise people to drink first thing in the morning. Some of the benefits are bringing the body to better balance through improved digestion and liver function. From a practical standpoint, I find hot water and lemon a pleasant way to hydrate after waking up.

Adding a spoonful of coconut oil to hot water and lemon is a beverage concoction that I devised recently for the purpose of bringing a client back to better health. We were amazed by the results of having this drink within one week. Her psoriasis improved dramatically and the appearance of her skin in general was much improved as well. The medium chain fatty acids in the coconut oil is quickly taken up by the cells of the body and helps the cells absorb nutrients. It is great to see this improved nutrition physically in skin, as the skin is the largest organ of the body.

I tried the beverage myself and found an improvement in my skin and hair in addition to some fat loss. The flaky skin that I ordinarily experienced from sun exposure was markedly improved after a few days of drinking this beverage. I lost some body fat in the past month or so from a combination of having this beverage, going to an outstanding yoga retreat in Jamaica with Alyssa Cohen, and keeping up my exercise program. This beverage is a health booster!

Here is the recipe:

-Squeeze the juice of 1/4 or 1/2 an organic lemon into a mug.

-Fill mug half way with boiling water

-Add a spoonful of organic virgin coconut oil

-Stir and fill the mug with room temperature water.

-Stir and drink


Please share with us what you notice in yourself after taking this beverage.