I regularly get asked why I use different ingredients so I’ve put together this list to explain why I use what I use!
Why do I use coconut oil? Primarily for its health benefits, closely followed by its delicious taste!
It is made up of medium-chain fatty acids, these are metabolised by the body in completely different ways than long or short-chain fatty acids. The saturated fats in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties. Coconut oil also helps in the absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Coconut oil is the perfect substitute for butter in vegan baking.
Sometimes you’ll see that I use olive oil instead of coconut oil, why?!
I love to infuse olive oil with different flavours and because it is naturally a liquid form unlike coconut oil it is ideal for this type of thing. Try out my Garlic & Chilli Oil, its perfect for livening up even the most boring of dishes! Along with this olive oil is great for cooking at higher heats, so if I’m crisping up some chicken thighs for my Satay Chicken it’s a definite go-to!
I’ve started featuring Quinoa recently… what gives?!
Named the gold of the Inca period, Quinoa is one of the most protein rich foods one can eat – and is set to become the supergrain of the future. This seemingly humble grain has a wealth of benefits and most of all is incredibly delicious. There is a lot of debate surrounding whether it is or isn’t paleo – technically speaking it is not a grain, however, that does not mean that it is 100% paleo, If you want to get super technical about it quinoa is actually a seed, which if not harvested, sprouts into a vegetable like spinach or chard, I know… I was shocked too! Personally I make the odd exception to treat myself to a bowl, especially on Meat Free Monday.
It is an amazing source of protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. It’s also extremely high in fibre containing almost twice as much as regular grains. It is gluten-free, it has a low glycemic index and is a great source of antioxidants and minerals such as magnesium iron and zinc so you really can believe The Incas – it is gold! Still don’t believe me? Try out my Moroccan Quinoa Salad!
It’s all about the… Dates which are extremely high in fibre, great for your digestive system and delicious either by themselves or in something like my Banoffee Pie. They are rich in magnesium and full of essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins such as Vitamin A, iron, potassium and calcium, not to mention great for fighting those sugar demons!
Agave Nectar has been used for centuries as a natural flavouring, although The Aztecs were also aware of its health benefits and used it medicinally. It is a delicious natural sweetener that can be used in moderation to replace high-glycemic and refined sugars.
Its sweetness comes from a complex form of fructose, but the best thing about agave nectar is its glycemic profile. The carbohydrate in agave nectar has a low glycemic index, which provides sweetness without spiking your bloods. I adore drizzling it over pancakes with some flaked almonds… heaven!
Coconut flour is a soft, fluffy flour which comes from coconut meat. It is rich in protein, fat and fibre which makes it a perfectly healthy alternative to wheat or grain-based flours. Just like coconut oil it has a wealth of health benefits and it is extremely absorbent, so you only need to use about a tbsp where you may have needed a cup of regular flour. I love using it as a coating for recipes like my Boneless Bites or Crunchy Courgette Fries, it is absolutely delicious!