Showing posts with label coconut. Show all posts
Showing posts with label coconut. Show all posts

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Young Sweet Coconut...It's so good for you


so refreshing...
so beautiful...
so delicious !!!


dice it up and add to fresh coco water or any drink and make a
COCONUT BOBA 


add fresh fruit and drink straight from the NUT !


there's a load of information on the web about the health benefits so i won't bore you with the details but GOOGLE...check HERE for the  benefits of young coconut meat...  and HERE for some some nutritional facts i found at Livestrong.com.


but how do you get into this huge NUT !!!
1st...carve off the top with a big knife.  don't use your best knife.  i bought this cleaver at an Asian market for about 15.00$.  be careful....it's a bit awkward, but it's a lot easier than you think.  usually i put a kitchen towel underneath to cuddle and steady the coconut, but not this time.

carve down to the hard part.  you should end up with the top looking something like this.

"FINDING THE SWEET SPOT"
go around the edge between what you have carved off (the hard shell part) and the white outer skin/hull.  whack a few times around to "score" the hole/lid.  
THE SWEET SPOT...it's odd, but there is one area you will find that the corner of the knife will poke through.  give it a few hard taps to create a crack or hole. pour some coconut water out so you don't spill it all over when prying the top off..
you can now empty all the liquid...OR...just be very careful when prying lid off.


you should get about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of delicious sweet coconut water that is far superior to the store bought you've seen in the carton or can.
there might be little splinters so you should strain the water through cheese cloth.


using the butt of the knife stuck into the sweet spot, pry the lid off.  it should pop open as shown on the photo.  


getting to the meat of the matter...
then with a large spoon, scrape the soft jelly-like coconut meat out and store in your strained coconut water. OR JUST EAT IT !  you should be able to dice the thick part for your drinks.  
the young coconut meat has a very interesting texture unlike any crunchy, crisp coconut you are used to.  it's soft and pliable...almost gelatinous if really young.  you never know what kind you'll get, soft or firm, but it's delicious pure coconut goodness.
fabulous add to food and really fun in drinks.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Forbidden Black Rice Egg Custard


SUPER GOOD...SUPER FOOD

rich with antioxidants, omega-3's and extra protein for great kick-start to all the busy holiday preparations.

forbidden rice ?...often eaten for breakfast in Asian countries.
egg custard ?...often eaten for dessert in the US.

put the two together and you have
dessert for breakfast.


a delicious custard with slight hint of coconut and a nutty black rice texture.  it's healthy, filling and fun.  use real sugar if you're not into sugar substitutes.  you could even try coconut milk if you want to.  i'm not sure how it would set.  i chose to keep the custard American style.  check out the nutritional facts below...quite good for such a decadent looking healthy treat.

note...just got a report from my co-worker and trustworthy friend Nancy.  she LOVED it!
so, i guess it passed the test.  i'm not the only one...whew


FORBIDDEN BLACK RICE EGG CUSTARD

2 cups cooked forbidden black rice
4 eggs
1 cup non fat milk
1 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
1 1/3 scoop vanilla protein powder...i use Jay Robb Vanilla Whey
1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute...i like Zsweet
1/4 tsp ginger
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp coconut extract
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

an immersion/stick blender is preferred, but a regular blender will work.
preheat oven to 350 F.
 and prepare a 2 qt. 8x8 glass or ceramic dish with non stick spray.
you will cook in a bain marie, so start a pot of water to boil and choose a vessel for your bain marie and put in the oven while preheating.

cook black rice and let come to room temperature, set aside.
 in a small bowl combine the dry ingredients, ie. the ginger, cinnamon, sugar sub. or real sugar and protein powder...set aside.
with an immersion blender, blend eggs, cottage cheese, 1 cup of milk.  blend until you can not see any cottage cheese bits.  add remaining cup of milk,coconut  extract and vanilla paste.
add dry to wet slowly so you don't get clumps or lumps.  blend and blend until thoroughly combined and smooth.
NOTE...i use an immersion/stick blender, but i think a normal blender will work  i don't think a stand mixer will do the job.

add the rice to the custard mixture and stir with a spoon or i gently used a hand whisk to separate the rice...it's a little sticky.
pour into prepared dish.  try to make sure the rice is even on the bottom.
bake in bain marie/water bath for 40-45 minutes.
NOTE...some rice custard recipes call for you to stir the mixture 1/2 way through the cooking to keep the rice from settling in one solid layer on the bottom...so i did just that...at 20 minutes i gently stirred.  i think it helped.
when custard looks just set, remove from oven and water bath and let come to room temp.
NOTE...this is a thicker custard because of the cottage cheese and protein powder so it should look set in the middle.

enjoy warm or refrigerate and enjoy throughout the week for a healthy breakfast or guilt-free treat anytime.


nutrition facts 
approx. for 9 servings (with sugar sub.)
calories...128
protein...11
carbs...13
fat...3

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Thai Coconut Curry Sauce with Fresh Tofu and Konjac Noodles


healthy fresh tofu and clean Konjac noodles in a light flavorful Spicy Thai Coconut Curry Sauce.

a delicious alternative to a meat and pasta meal.
the sauce is easy and can be made ahead of time.  the tofu...fresh is best if you can find it.  the noodles. however,  are a bit different and unusual.  they are Konjac noodles made from yam flour.  this is a great dish for the non wheat people and those watching the ol' waistline.  a huge serving is under 200 calories and you'll still have room for dessert.  personally, i like it because i eat so many pork products and fatty weird stuff along with my addiction to the Mexican bakery... i have to throw in a healthy light dish every now and then.
the noodles are quite good, but like tofu...pretty flavorless on their own.  they need a good sauce.  i find this coconut curry does just the trick.




fresh tofu (photo above)...way better than packaged....still warm, soft and fragrant like a fresh loaf of bread.  even my mother, a non-tofu lover, said she really liked it....well, maybe that's a stretch.  it only costs about $1.99,  probably twice the size and tastes much better that regular packaged tofu.
i get mine at 99 Ranch Market in Irvine, CA.  if you've never been and you're in Orange County/So. California i highly recommend finding one.  great resource for all Asian goods.

Konjac noodles...aka YAM noodles
a little slippery, very long, no distinct flavor...but a great filler, no wheat, almost no calories, no carbs , fun to eat and a great vehicle for many different sauces.  Konjac noodles come in angel hair and fettuccine cuts as well as blocks and cute little knotted bundles.  check out the nutritional info below...amazingly low on everything.


THAI COCONUT CURRY SAUCE
makes about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups sauce

1/2 medium onion, diced small
1 full Tbsp fresh ginger or, fine dice
1 large clove garlic, fine dice
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp madras curry powder (yellow kind)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (more can be added later)
3/4 - 1 cup chicken broth, if canned use low sodium
1 cup coconut milk...i use "lite" coconut milk
1 Tbsp soy sauce
juice from 1 wedge lemon
3" piece of lemon grass...
(smashed then tied together with a string so that it won't come apart and get stringy in the sauce.)
2 tsp lemon zest
4-5 large basil leaves...chiffonade (thin ribbons)
more red chile flakes to sprinkle.

in a medium sauce pan lightly saute onion, garlic and ginger in olive oil and sesame oil until translucent
add chili flakes and curry powder and saute until fragrant...2 minutes 
add tied lemongrass, chicken broth, coconut milk, soy sauce and lemon juice.
bring to a soft boil then to a simmer
simmer and stir a little for about 5 - 10 minutes.
taste for seasoning...a dash more soy?  pepper flakes?
simmer longer if you want it thicker.

if using these Konjac noodles...
noodles must be washed/rinsed well, drained then pat dry as much as possible.
tofu should be drained and slightly pressed to release some of the moisture...then it can be lightly sauteed first in separate pan or just simmered in the sauce.

this is a great sauce to toss with any noodles -YAM NOODLES (shown in photos), shirataki (tofu noodles), udon or even angel hair.
simmer some tofu, fish or chicken in sauce.  if using fish or chicken simmer until cooked through.  then mix with noodles.  i have never cooked the chicken in the sauce...i use already cooked roasted chicken from Costco.
OR just toss with steamed vegetables.
next time i think i'll simmer some talapia in the sauce...oh how i wish i had a sous vide.

NOTE...the sauce freezes well.  it just needs a good stir as it heats through. it will thicken and reduce with stronger flavors.  freeze just the sauce...not the noodles or tofu in the sauce....the noodles get funny after freezing.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Jamaican Coconut Drops



these chunky little glistening globs are deeeelicious!

three ingredients...fresh coconut, fresh ginger and brown sugar.

they are definitely a labor of love...BUT they are totally worth the effort.

each ingredient shines on it's own, but together they make a fresh almost healthy tropical treat.  
 i have yet to go to Jamaica, but i discovered these are a very traditional treat and found just about everywhere...maybe as common as our chocolate chip cookie...? 


they sound easy enough to make, with only three ingredients...but it's  those three ingredients that are a bit of a bear...the cubed coconut meat, diced fresh ginger and cooked down brown sugar.  still, i say well worth it.

here are some tips i have found very helpful...

#1...THE COCONUT...getting to the meat of the matter
buy the brown dried coconut and shake it to make sure it still has it's coconut water.  poke holes in the eyes of the nut (the three indentations at one end).  drain water and reserve for a cool refreshing drink.  now, whack the coconut on the ground to get a nice crack in it,  place on a sheet pan in a 400 F degree oven for about 10 - 15 minutes.  remove and let cool to the touch.  whack it again on the ground or with a hammer to break open and into large pieces.  the meat should now be easily removed from the shell.  gently pry out the meat with a butter knife or i use the end of a screw driver.  the meat will still have a brown outer layer...use a potato peeler to remove this and you will have beautiful white coconut meat ready for dicing.

#2  THE GINGER...to peel...simply use the edge of a spoon to scrape off the outer skin.  it's much easier than a paring knife and less wasteful.

#3  THE BROWN SUGAR...can't help ya there.  reducing the brown sugar mixture just takes time,  near continuous stirring and a watchful eye.


JAMAICAN COCONUT DROPS

1 lb. coconut meat diced...from 1 1/2 0r 2 brown coconuts
i used almost 4 cups
4.5 ounces (125g) fresh ginger diced...about 1 cup
2 cups packed golden brown brown sugar
3 cups water

spray a large cookie sheet with non stick spray (or i used parchment).  combine all ingredients in a large heavy bottom sauce pan. stir ingredients over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil.  attach a candy thermometer to the pan or just stick it in to check where your at. boil until the mixture starts to thicken and the temperature reaches 295 F degrees.  use a large spoon to continuously stir so as not to burn on the bottom or the sides of the pot...stir more towards the thickening stage.  one of the recipes said 15 minutes, but mine took more like 40 minutes.  
NOTE...it is hard to get a proper read on the thermometer when it is almost done.  look for the sugar to caramelize, sugar begins to form at the bottom of the pot and it becomes very hard to stir.
lower the heat to the lowest flame or setting...working quickly, drop about 2 tablespoons of mixture for each coconut drop onto prepared baking sheet.  let sit until cool and firm.  
these are best eaten within a few days.  i noticed the sugar becomes more crystallized the longer they sit, but still yummy.

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