Coconut oil is still controversial in the medical community and after seeing some of the bogus claims on the internet, I can understand why. No, it’s not a miracle weight loss supplement nor will it cure cancer. However I am confident that research is going to continue to show health benefits from coconut fats. Why the confidence? Coconut products like coconut milk, extra-virgin coconut oil and coconut butter are minimally processed plant foods, and just like every other plant, it is full of many other health promoting compounds. If the history of bad diet advice has taught us anything, we know the health of a food isn’t determined by a single nutrient.
To settle the debate, let’s look at the big picture. Most recipes that call for coconut products use it to replace butter, cream and other dairy fats, which we know for certain do not promote heart health. When examining it’s healthfulness, consider coconut’s ability to replace animal fats. For example, in this recipe coconut milk is used instead of ice cream. And guess what? It’s equally delicious!
Have you ever noticed that strawberries look like little hearts? Well, that’s just God’s way of reminding you they are good for your heart! Super cheesy, but I like it! And it’s true – one study found strawberries reduced makers of cardiovascular disease, including cholesterol and clotting proteins in people with metabolic syndrome.
Berries are the most nutrient-dense type of fruit and compared to all other berries, strawberries are the fourth highest in antioxidant capacity. Basically, they’re the nutrition version of being top 10% of your class at Harvard. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, a nutrient associated with a lower risk of heart disease and improved immune function. One cup of strawberries contains 150% your daily needs of vitamin C, which is more than an orange, the food we usually associate with vitamin C.
- ⅓ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Juice of 1 lime, divided
- 1 15-ounce can full fat coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place a rack in the upper ⅓rd of the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. Spread the coconut evenly on a baking sheet and toast for about 3-5 minutes until golden. You may want to give it a good stir halfway so it doesn’t burn on one side.
- Place the strawberries on a baking sheet and toss with the coconut oil. Roast until soft and juicy looking, about 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a food processor. Add chia seeds, 1 tablespoon of honey and juice of half the lime. Blend until pureed.
- In a small bowl, stir together the coconut milk, lime juice, 1 tablespoon honey and vanilla extract. Stir the toasted coconut into the milk.
- Divide the strawberry into the popsicle molds, filling halfway. Freeze for one hour until firm. Remove from freezer and top with coconut milk mixture and add popsicle stick. Place back in the freezer and chill overnight or 6 hours.
- Before eating, run briefly under hot water to loosen the mold. Make 60 more to last you till fall.