In my last post, I spoke about trying a new paleo-ish diet to heal myself from some digestive issues I have been experiencing for far too long. Being someone that doesn’t want to have meat for every meal, I needed to find a balance with my breakfasts and compromise on my cravings for oatmeal and my adherence to a paleo diet. Obviously, oats along with other grains and wheat are not allowed on a paleo diet, so I knew that I would have to find an alternative. After much digging around online, I found a few recipes that use shredded unsweetened coconut as the oat alternative. People are damn geniuses when they have dietary restrictions, I tell you and can come up with some pretty solid recipes, tips and tricks. This paleo coconut oatmeal is one of them!
I got coconut in my bag, swag
Really though, I use coconut in so many ways, I might as well just keep it in my bag for emergency purposes because you never know right?!? But I was truly surprised at how much the consistency of this resembled my beloved oatmeal. Now, I should state that although this looks like oatmeal and is definitely yummy, it has a very strong coconut flavour, so if you aren’t a fan of coconut, then you probably wont like this all that much.
Isn’t coconut bad for you- its too high in fat, right?
I sincerely hoped that we (as a society) were moving past the fat fearing days of our past, but then I come across an article like this from 2015 that spouts all kinds of nonsense. This article seems to blame coconut for heart and health issues, claiming its “deadly” in things like Thai curries… hmm, I seem to have Thai curries with full fat coconut milk and I am not only alive, but thriving. I can’t even begin to tell you how much head shaking and eye rolling I did while reading this article. They even compare coconut to having more fat than McDonald’s fries….. yes seriously. How those are even on the same level is beyond me, and the fact that they have some Nutritionists and Dieticians supporting this article definitely makes me question how they run their own business.
Ok, enough bashing, lets get to the root of the coconut issue here.
Are coconuts too high in fat?
Coconuts contain saturated fat, in fact they are 90% saturated fat and for most of our lives we are told to avoid saturated fats as they are unhealthy and can cause a whole host of health issues. The difference with coconut is that it also contains medium chain triglycerides (referred to as MCT) at around 65%. Unlike long chain fatty acids which makes up a good portion of most peoples diet, MCTs do not need to be modified prior to being digested and absorbed. In fact, our bodies find it very easy to break down this fat before it is absorbed by the body and used for energy. This is why many people who follow a ketogenic diet use MCTs as a way for their bodies to burn fat and not sugar. Studies have also shown that coconut does not raise cholesterol and may even be useful in those looking to lose weight. This is because coconut may also help increase your metabolism. And because of the high fat content of coconuts this also helps you feel fuller longer as it satiates your taste buds and your less likely to binge on unhealthy foods throughout the day.
So if you find yourself fearing the fat from coconut, just know that there are so many health benefits to including this healthy fat in your diet. Sure, you can overdo it by having coconut all day, every day, but that holds true for anything, even kale!
What else do coconuts have?
Coconuts also contain vitamins E and C, making them perfect beauty foods for our skin as well.
They also boast antimicrobial properties due to the lauric acid contained in them.
Coconuts are great brain food, as our brains are primarily made up of fat, they rely on fat to function optimally.
And they help to stabilize blood sugar issues: the fat helps to slow the rate at which sugar is released into the bloodstream, which helps to control insulin levels.
Are you convinced?
Maybe you didn’t even need convincing at all, but including coconut into your diet can and is absolutely beneficial for so many reasons. The fat in it which so many people fear is much different than other forms of fat and has proven benefits for not only our brains, guts and skin but also our weight. It is my sincere hope that moving forward we stop labeling all foods as bad, like they had done with fat in the 1980s , because all fat is not created equal. And going fat-free has done nothing for our waistlines, see here for more on this.
Now, onto this paleo coconut oatmeal courtesy of the wonderful food- coconut.
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 apple (use 3/4 of it in the oatmeal, saving 1/4 of it to slice later and add on top)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tbsp. coconut flour
- 3 tbsp. shredded unsweetened coconut
- 2 tsp. chia seeds
- 1/2 banana (mashed)
- bee pollen
- almond butter
- remaining sliced apple
- crushed pecans
- Melt 1 tsp coconut oil in a small pot over low-medium heat.
- Add ¾ of one apple to it (diced).
- Add ¼ tsp cinnamon
- Stir around for about 5-7 minutes until soft and then remove from the pot and place on a plate.
- Add in the coconut milk and water to the same pot the apple was in.
- Add in the coconut flour, shredded coconut and chia seeds.
- Bring to a boil and then lower and simmer for about 3 minutes, stirring a few times.
- Add in the mashed banana and a pinch more of cinnamon.
- Add in the apple that was previously cooked.
- Stir briefly and serve hot.
- Top with sliced apple, more cinnamon, bee pollen, almond butter and drizzle of maple syrup if desired.