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Using a bain marie or homemade double boiler will make melting oils or heating milk easier.

Using a Bain marie or homemade double boiler, left, will make melting oils or heating milk easier. (Flour free, healthy fudge recipe below)

One of the staples to your new lifestyle of eating should be healthy, unsaturated fats; however, it can be quite difficult to weed through the labels of so many products on the market if you don’t take the time to learn the lingo.  I am going to make much of this easier for you by explaining some of the key terms that are so crucial when cost and value shopping for food.

Organic, virgin coconut oil – the number one food staple in my house. Look at the description, as this is the best and only way to buy it. It is crucial for optimum health that our foods be kept below 120 degrees F. There are two methods of producing this- either by quick-drying or wet-milling. The latter is the ancient, micro-batched way, but it looks to me that either would have very good benefits. Here is a wonderful site for you to explore, http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/what_is_virgin_coconut_oil.htm.

There are so many reasons to add this great supplement to your diet. There are many health benefits that directly effect the skin and scalp, without even looking at how it helps internally. I order two containers every other month, and use it for all of my baking and cooking, extra-virgin and organic, at Vitacost, http://www.vitacost.com/vitacost-extra-virgin-certified-organic-coconut-oil-54-fl-oz-17. I get two containers per order, and six cans of the coconut milk, and get free shipping. It is worth it.

In looking at lauric and capric acid alone, you can either eat a spoonful or rub it directly on the skin for the anti microbial/bacterial properties. For baking or any cooking, it will add much flavor and moistness in place of butter or other GMO- oils, so gives you a much healthier alternative as an organic. Tropical Traditions has a free shampoo recipe, and offers a wealth of information about the value of virgin coconut oils. The proteins, tri-glycerides and other components are of valuable benefit to the body.

This is a tremendous difference from the processed coconut products in fast take out, frozen meals, junk food, margarines and spreads – which should be avoided at all costs.

Here are the terms for what to avoid when looking at purchasing ANY food – refined coconut oil, partially/hydrogenated, trans fats, copra. Extremely high temperatures are used, and then that is mixed with nickel to stabilize it for commercial use. I will have to do a separate post to explain the dangers of metals, but know that it is carcinogenic, and can cause developmental defects, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure. See more here, http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/metal-toxicity-health-dangers-nickel/

Here is a recipe experiment I tried today, and will share it with you. It is a gluten free ‘fudge’,  just a simple confection that is full of health benefits. Yes, there is some sugar and some marshmallows, but I am slowly weaning my kids over to healthier food, so you can leave that out if you like a deep, dark chocolate flavor. Understand, too, that the switch from flour means experiencing new textures, and the coconut oil, when solid as a food will be a hard texture after chilling. When warm, it looks like water, and that must be considered when cooking, as well. It will solidify as it cools.

Ingredients

1-1/2 c. virgin coconut oil

1 c. of your favorite nut butter

Optional – 1 c. of Kraft Jet Puffed marshmallows(labeled gluten-free)

1/2 c. of your favorite mixed nuts

1/2 c. Hershey’s Cocoa (labeled gluten-free, see their gf recipes here, https://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipe-details.aspx?id=8780&name=Gluten-Free-Cocoa-Cheesecake)

2 heaping TBL. lf whole, organic creamed honey for sweetener

optional    4 TBL. Domino’s confectioner’s sugar(labeled gluten free), 3 TBL. coffee for flavor, 2 t. of cinnamon for flavor

I use a Bain marie for much of my healthy cooking. Pictured above, the stainless steel mixing pot will heat as the water in the pan heats, and warm all of the ingredients nicely without boiling while I stir the nut and coconut oils to a soft texture. I take this off of the heat, and then stir in the other ingredients. It will look like a thick soup. This is great for making cheese, or any dairy product that can scorch easily.

If you want a swirly look, add the marshmallows right after taking off of the stove. I added mine last so they would be solid for added texture. I pour all of this right in a glass dish. The oils will make it come right out of the dish after chilling about 3o minutes, tops. Both oils easily convert to solids. Then, just cut and eat!

Remember, the texture and taste will get a little getting used to, but it is well worth the effort. As you start to use coconut oil, you will begin to notice a big difference in your skin and bowel health, which are huge changes for a new and better feeling you.

Next, we’ll discuss the importance and difference types of olive oil.

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