Tag: coconut

Coconut Sugar: Is It Healthier Sweet Stuff?

Coconut Sugar

Coconut Sugar?  What do you get when you cross my 7-year-old, four-legged furry kid with sweetener? 

You get my very own sweet sugar baby – my dog Coconut!

Sorry for being corny—again. 

But in all seriousness, one of the most common questions I get asked as a certified nutritional therapist and creator of The Chef V Organic Cleanse is this: Is coconut sugar healthier than regular sugar?

Let’s dive in and find out what the research says…

Coconut Sugar: Is It Healthier Sweet Stuff?

What Is It?

Actually, before we follow the science on coconut sugar, let’s cover some basic facts on the natural alternative sweetener. 

It does not come from the meaty white flesh of the nuts. It’s also not produced from the husky shell. And it’s not made from the liquid within the nut (coconut water). 

So what is it made from? It’s made by dehydrating the sap contained in the flower bud of the stem of coconut palm trees. You could say that the sap is the circulating life force or the blood of the tree. And just like the blood circulating through your veins contains minerals and trace minerals that are vital for energy, coconut sap is rich in minerals. But we’ll get to that in a bit…

Coconut blossom sugar, is all-natural. Although it comes from the coconut palm tree, do not confuse it with palm sugar. Regular palm sugar is sourced from a different type of tree than coconut sugar. 

True coconut sugar resembles granulated raw brown sugar. And if you’re an animal lover or vegan, there’s one big plus about using it instead of regular table sugar. 

According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), table sugar is sometimes whitened with bone char. What’s bone char, you ask? It’s charred cattle bones. Think about that next time you sweeten your coffee at your favorite diner. And according to PETA, brown sugar can also be processed with bone char. Brown sugar, which is not healthier than table sugar (it’s just as refined) is colored with molasses, so don’t get fooled by regular brown sugar. 

But coconut sweetener is a healthier brown sugar that is not refined and therefore does not get processed with bone char.

coconut plant

Benefits

I found an interesting study published in Food Science & Nutrition, co-authored by researchers from Malaysia, a country thought to be the first to commercialize it for the U.S. market. 

The researchers concluded “Coconut sap could be served as a potential healthier sugar source compared with sugar palm and sugarcane as it carries more minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins.”

Another reason the researchers think it is a healthier alternative to refined sugar is that it has a lower glycemic index. The GI ranks the rise in blood glucose after the consumption of carbohydrates on a scale from 0–100.  A food with low GI raises blood glucose less than that of the food with high GI. 

Coconut sugar’s GI ranks about 35, which is only 10 points higher than fructose from whole fruits. In comparison, refined sugar has a GI that’s almost twice as high as coconut sugar. 

For this reason, the researchers suggest that coconut palm nectar (another way to say coconut sugar) can be part of the solution in curtailing the diabetes and obesity epidemic. 

Vitamins & Minerals

The researchers detected vitamin C, B1, B3, B4, B2, and B10 in samples. Of those, vitamin C, B3, B4, B2, and B10 in coconut nectar were significantly higher than in table sugar. In addition, coconut sugar contained higher levels of three important electrolytes: potassium, sodium and magnesium. Many Americans are deficient in magnesium, a mineral that’s important for helping to relax muscles. 

By the way, you can also get the benefits of these minerals from coconut water, which is why I use both coconut sugar and coconut water in several of my recipes. 

And in comparison to regular sugar, coconut nectar is relatively high in other minerals such as zinc, calcium and iron. 

Coconut Water

For Gut Health?

Another reason to swap regular table sugar for coconut is that it contains a type of fiber called inulin. This special fiber acts like fertilizer for a type of friendly bacteria in your gut called bifidobacteria, which is a common live culture added to yogurt. 

Inulin is considered a post-biotic fiber. Postbiotics are the healthy short-chain fatty acids released by probiotics. Probiotics are essential for a healthy gut and immune system, but it’s actually the postbiotics that make the magic happen!

Is It Healthier: Chef V’s Verdict

Now don’t get me wrong … even though I think it is healthier than regular table sugar, I don’t rely on it to get my daily dose of essential minerals and trace minerals. The dark leafy greens in Organic Green Drink provide me with an excellent low-sugar source of minerals without spiking my blood sugar. 

If you have type 2 diabetes, don’t get fooled into thinking that it is a miracle sweetener. It may have a lower glycemic index than regular sugar but that doesn’t mean it gives you a free pass to go crazy with it. 

So don’t use it as a multivitamin, antioxidant supplement or probiotic. Instead, just like all other sweeteners, use it sparingly. But when I do use the sweet stuff, I reach for COCONUT and a little coconut sugar. 

Veronica and Coconut

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Pumpkin ice cream by Chef V uses all-vegan ingredients that won’t skyrocket your blood sugar and expand your waist. If you love ice cream, all things pumpkin and fall, and exquisite vegan desserts, you’ll love this recipe.

pumpkin puree

TOTAL: 3 Hrs 15 Min

Prep Time: 15 Min
Freezer time: 4 Hrs

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 can full-fat organic coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup Chef V’s Pumpkin Puree (see recipe HERE)
  • 3 tbsp. organic coconut nectar
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. Chef V Pumpkin Pie Spice (see recipe HERE)

Directions

In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth
Pour the blend into a container to freeze for 3 hours
Remove from freezer and cut chunks of the mix out and start to blend
Blend the mix until smooth and creamy
Fill the ice cream in a loaf pan and freeze for 1 additional hour before serving.

Raw Caramel Cheesecake

This is my interpretation of a New York cheesecake. I’ve swapped the traditional cream cheese for a delicious mixture of cashews, coconut, and vanilla. You will need to make this cake in 2 steps, and give yourself 24 hours to complete it, since you will need to soak the cashews for at least 2 hours or overnight and will need freezing time for the cake as well. First make the crust and the “cheese” layers. ONce those steps are complete, place the cake in the freezer for four hours or more. The final step is to make the topping and pour it over the chilled cake. You can serve the cake immediately or refrigerate it for up to a week. But I recommend eating it now!

Serve this to the most finicky eater and watch them become a raw food convert!  – Veronica

creamy broccoli soup

Serving Size: 6 People

Ingredients

  • Crust Ingredients:

    • 1 cup slivered almonds
    • 1 cup walnuts
    • 1 cup pre-soaked pitted dates (soaked in water overnight)
    • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
    • 1 tsp. real vanilla extract

    Cheesecake Layer Ingredients:

    • 3 cups pre-soaked cashews (soaked in water overnight)
    • 1⁄4 cup organic coconut oil
    • 1⁄4 cup coconut nectar
    • 1 tsp. real vanilla extract
    • Juice of 1⁄2 a lemon

    Caramel Sauce Ingredients:

    • 1 cup pre-soaked pitted dates (soaked in water overnight)
    • 3 tbsp. coconut nectar
    • 2 tbsp natural almond butter
    • 1/4 tsp. organic sea salt
    • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
    • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

 

Things you will need:

8-inch spring-form pan (bake-ware that sides can be removed
Coconut oil cooking spray (or cold pressed olive oil spray)

Directions:

Soak dates in water overnight. Soak cashews in water overnight. Add all crust ingredients to your vitamix and pulse until blended with still some nutty texture. Spray an 8-inch spring-form pan with healthy non-stick cooking oil.

Spread the crust evenly to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Add the cheesecake layer ingredients to your food processor and blend until completely smooth (scrape down the sides to get all the ingredients). Spread evenly over your crust.

Place in the freezer for at least 3 hours.

Place your Caramel Sauce ingredients into your food processor and blend until completely smooth (scrape down the sides to get all the ingredients).

Remove cheesecake from the freezer. Place the cheesecake on a serving pan.

Remove spring-form sides. Spread the caramel sauce evenly over the cheesecake. Cut into slices, serve and bon appetit!

Apples With Raw Almond Butter, Coconut & Cacao

Take it from me, as someone who travels often, you need a healthy snack recipe to keep your immune system strong when travelling. I usually make a batch of this recipe before a long trip. This recipe is one of my go-to healthy snacks when I’m traveling on a plane….

apples with raw almond butter. coconut and cacao

TOTAL TIME: 15 min
SERVES: 2

Ingredients

  • Apples & Almond Butter
  • 1 apple (my favs are Fuji, Honeycrisp, and Gala)
  • 2 tablespoons Chef V’s Raw Almond Butter
Toppings
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon raw cacao nibs

Directions

  • First, I’ll show you how I make the raw almond butter. Check out the directions HERE. The instructions show a simple way to make raw almond butter at home. Now that you know how, it’s time to make apples with almond butter, coconut and cacao.
  • Cut the apples in quarters and smear the almond butter on. Sprinkle with toppings if desired and savor each bite!

Swap-Out Makeover: Ingredient Swaps for a Healthy Winter

swap out makeover

The smallest things matter the most and in this case, small changes can make a big difference. Simple ingredient swaps this fall and winter will help you stay on track while eliminating at the feeling of indulgence guilt. Whether it’s an appetizer or a dessert, these easy changes will help you avoid that pesky holiday weight gain we all hate.

And we promise, you won’t even miss the butter or white flour, in fact, a lot of the time these substitutions will enhance the flavors of your favorite dishes. We’re here to help you make being healthy easy and we can’t wait to see what you cook up this holiday season.

pumpkin skin mask

pumpkin skin mask

Chef V

Coconut Whipped Cream

Use this vegan, gluten free whipped cream on anything you want to make taste decadently delicious.

coconut whipped cream

Ingredients

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (refrigerate overnight)
  • 2 tbsp. raw coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. real organic vanilla extract

Directions

Remove the can of coconut milk from refrigerator very carefully. Make sure not to shake the can at all.

Open slowly and scrape out the top layer of coconut that is creamy (don’t worry if you get a little of the water just try to get only cream).

Place in a mixing bowl with coconut sugar and vanilla extract.

Beat the cream on high for 2 minutes or until it becomes a cream substance. Top on pumpkin pie or anything else your heart desires this holiday!

Creamy Broccoli Soup

My Creamy Broccoli Soup is made with coconut milk and coconut oil.

In case you didn’t know, coconut milk is the liquid that comes from the grated meat of a brown coconut, whereas coconut water is the clear liquid inside the young green coconut.

When using canned coconut milk, shake the can first to even out the creamy thickness of the milk inside. Once opened, cans of coconut milk must be refrigerated and are usually only good for a few days. – Veronica

creamy broccoli soup

TOTAL: 1/2HR

Prep Time: 10 Min
Cook Time: 20 Min

Serving Size: 2 People

Ingredients

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 shallots, minced or pressed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 6 cups chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup raw cashes, soaked and drained
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

Directions

In a large stockpot over medium high heat, sauté the onions, shallots and garlic in the coconut oil and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

Add the broth and broccoli and boil for 10 minutes or until the broccoli is just tender.

Transfer to a Vitamix in batches. If necessary, and process until smooth. Add thyme, coconut milk, and cashews and blend again until smooth. Top with pumpkin seeds and serve.

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.