Do you love or loathe coconut? In my household, there’s a clear delineation between lovers and haters of this fuzzy, fibrous one-seeded drupe. (According to the Library of Congress’ “Everyday Mysteries” website, a drupe is a fruit with a hard stony covering enclosing the seed, like a peach or olive.) I used to associate coconut with bags of the drippingly sweet shredded stuff my mom occasionally sprinkled on frosted cakes, but recently I’ve been learning more about its nutritional benefits.
While the Coconut Research Center website footnotes that not all of its statements have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, it gives a long list of those benefits, from coconut’s ability to help ward off liver disease, inflammation, kidney disease and bladder infection, among other woes. Coconut oil is a good nutritional source compared to other fats, and it also can used as a moisturizer.
My colleague Katie is a coconut fan and makes the fuzzy drupe part of her Paleo diet. Because refined sugar is a Paleo no-no, she turns to this luscious recipe to sate her sweet tooth.
Coconut addiction bars
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup agave or pure maple syrup (or 2-3 stevia packets dissolved in 1/4 cup water)
- 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, gently melted in the microwave
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or mix rigorously by hand. Squish mixture into any small container, approximately 7 by 5 inches. Refrigerate for an hour or freeze for 15 minutes before cutting into 6-8 bars. Can be stored in the fridge or freezer for a few weeks.