In fear of sending you all into a calcium coma, I have refrained from updating you daily on my quest for dairy domination. For one week now, I have been attempting to reach my RDI for calcium everyday. If you missed my initial post explaining why I set off on this quest, you can read it here .
I have looked to dairy products to be my major source of calcium, and have been aiming to have three dairy serves each day, fitting them in where I can – milky porridge at breakfast, smoothie snacks and a cheeky cheese slice here and there. I may have also occasionally inhaled some yoghurt right before bed, upon realising that I forgot to have it as a snack earlier…
Either way, dairy was consumed. And I have reach my RDI every day…..except one. This was on Sunday, when we went out for a long brunch and hence I ended up skipping one meal. Forgive me this one?
I am happy to report that is becoming easier to incorporate more dairy into my routine. My taste buds are thoroughly enjoying the addition of more cheese and different types of yoghurt. I look forward to having some yoghurt after dinner, as an uber healthy dessert. It has often replaced something a little more indulgent that may have somehow ended up in my bowl 😉
I’ve had to fork out some money for cheese, however it has usually replaced some beans or tuna, so in the end it hasn’t really costed more. Ben has benefited also, I’ve been sending him off to work with yoghurts and vita-weats with cheese. Men need calcium too, don’t forget!
To celebrate a successful week, I thought I would include one of my smoothie recipes. It is very simple, however it incorporates a product that is a little controversial….coconut butter. There is a lot of hype around coconut products these days, most notably coconut water – I won’t go into coconut water on this post, I’ll save it for another day.
The issue with coconut butter is that it is very high in saturated fat (the “bad” fat). However, fans of coconut butter note that the fat in coconut butter is mainly made up of medium-chain-triglycerides (MCTs), namely lauric acid, which is metabolised efficiently. This has led to claims that coconut butter ‘burns fat’ and is a miracle weight loss cure. These outlandish claims should not be taken seriously, and it is important to remember that nothing can replace healthy eating and exercise, with indulgences in moderation.
A good property of coconut butter is that it remains stable when heated to high temperatures, unlike other oils. Sceptics focus on the fact that, at the end of the day, it is very high in saturated fat, and hence is not a recommended product. What is frustrating is that a lot of the research on the value of coconut butter in the diet has been funded by companies that produce coconut butter, which brings up questions of bias.
I recently purchased coconut butter out of curiosity following discussions regarding its dietary value. In my view, the high saturated fat content is not desirable. And I do not support any fat burning hyperbole. If you take anything from this post, it should be that coconut butter is not a miracle cure for overweight/obesity, and to not get caught up in the hype. Yet every now and then, in moderation I believe that it can provide a delicious, rich coconut flavour to your baked goods, oats and smoothies (and more!). I always support mixing things up and not sticking to the same products day in day out. Variety is the key to a delicious and nutritious lifestyle.
Coconut butter is solid at room tempterature, hence why it is called coconut butter and not coconut oil. Some brands label them as both, however. If you like it runny, place the jar in some warm water (do not microwave it).
A quick note: there are two kinds of coconut butter – unrefined and refined. The refined product has been extensively processed and de-oderised, and hence does not smell or taste like coconut. I learnt this the hard, and expensive, way. When I purchased the refined coconut butter, I inquired as to whether it was any different to the unrefined (and more expensive) product. I was assured that both were suitable for cooking, with the only difference being that the refined product was not suitable for skin application (it is also used cosmetically).
Naturally, when I came home and found that the refined coconut butter smelt and tasted like an old crayon, I was rather upset. A displeased phone call to an uninterested, rude and decidedly unapologetic health food shop manager caused me to dramatically proclaim to Ben later that night that I would never again shop at that store! The next day I purchased the unrefined coconut butter (at a different, far superior store, of course). I hope that this little rant saves you some time and money if you ever wish to buy coconut butter and desire it to actually resemble a coconut.
Since purchasing some coconut butter two weeks ago, I have used it twice. I put a teaspoon on top of some oats, where it melted nicely and the tropical flavour of the coconut complimented the strawberries beautifully. I am regretting not photographing this delicious breakfast for you, as I remember very distinctly saying to Ben “oh I don’t need to photograph this one”…bad food blogger, I apologise.
I do, however, have a photo of the banana coconut smoothie I made for a post Body Attack snack earlier this week. I combined one large frozen banana (frozen bananas make smoothies deliciously thick and chilled), one cup of milk, and two teaspoons coconut butter in a blender, and buzzed it until smoothie-licious. It made me feel like I was on a tropical island, basking in the sun…just delightful! Very refreshing.
So there you go, a little calcium quest update. Feel free to join me on your own calcium quest. I would love the company. I have one more week to go, before hopefully eating more dairy becomes a habit.
And, a brief introduction to coconut butter. Have you ever used coconut butter? How do you use it? How do you feel about the fat content?