Interesting Fact About Coconut Oil

I have reports on the site about why I like coconut oil (for cooking, for your beauty regimen), and at the bottom of each report is a link to the best price on really high quality coconut oil.

A reader purchased coconut oil through the link and had a strange reaction with the oil going bad in about a year. We have never heard this complaint before, and my own oil is good after a few years, so I was curious about the followup this reader got from the company I link to. Here’s what she said, with her advice to you based on her experience:

To keep you posted, I did call Mountain Rose, and they were extremely courteous and attentive to my concerns. They conducted a lab test on the batch that I bought from, and emailed me the following:

‘Thank you for contacting Mountain Rose Herbs regarding your unrefined Coconut oil. Our QC lab manager has investigated your feedback on this oil and responded:

‘I examined our archived lab sample of this lot. It is stable and there is no indication of the oil becoming rancid. This customer may want to inspect the glass jars she uses and make sure they are completely dry before adding any oil. Water (hydrolysis) can cause decomposition of the oil, which can eventually lead to the oil becoming rancid. 11/9/09

‘Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. Thank you for your business and for supporting organic agriculture!’

So now, thinking back, some water droplets (few) might have been left in the jar after washing it and adding the coconut oil, due to my excitement to use the stuff. This would make sense because the larger container that I was drawing from seems fine still. I’d like to warn fellow bloggers to completely dry their jars before adding oil. Apparently the growth continues and eventually takes over the jar with bacteria. (Nasty stuff–smells like rotten fish! yuck!)

Thanks for your support and responses! (Mountain Rose still has my patronage because of the kind, professional way they handled my complaint.)

Thanks,
Chris

yummy chocolate almonds recipe

So I just made this recipe in my dehydrator yesterday. They didn’t even finish drying before my kids finished them! So I’m starting a new double batch now. It’s a great treat to get RAW, SPROUTED nutrition into your family’s routine, and it’s a great way to use your raw almonds you got in the group buy.

If you got almonds in the group buy and you’d like to try this, and you’re one of the first three to respond by commenting on this blog, I’ll have Organics for Everyone send you a 12 oz. jar of their organic date syrup, which was WONDERFUL in this recipe (unprocessed, highly nutritious sweetener):

Chocolate Almonds

2 cups raw almonds

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

2 Tbsp. date syrup

1 Tbsp. raw chocolate powder (or nonalkalized unsweetened cocoa powder)

1/4 tsp. Original Himalayan Crystal Salt

Soak your raw almonds in water overnight, then drain and allow them to air dry (an hour or two). Make sure coconut oil (warm it in hot water if necessary) is liquid, and mix all remaining ingredients well. Stir in nuts. Spread evenly on dehydrator tray and dry until no longer wet/sticky, about 14-18 hours, below 116 degrees. Enjoy!

My mangled face: a postscript about coconut oil

So I told you about my close encounter with concrete on a run last week.   I told you that day, at a GS class I did, one of the event organizers dabbed lavender oil on my battered face that made the swelling go way down, quickly.   Then I went home and smeared coconut oil on the wounds on my chin, lip, and cheekbone several times a day. That kept the scabs soft and helped me not worry about infection. The scabs were gone three days later and the wounds barely noticeable.

(Craig did entertain himself saying things in public like, “Do that one more time and I’ll smack you AGAIN!” And I was glad to have the end of the comments from my male friends about finding the violent boyfriend who did that and avenging the deed with a hubcap and a cheap bottle of wine.)

But while the scabs have virtually disappeared on my face, the similar-sized scabs on my knees are still ugly looking and going nowhere four days later.   This is despite that the knee scabs had not been repeatedly splitting open, like the scabs on my lip did, every time I laughed.   (I laugh a LOT.)

Okay, so the only difference, which is remarkable, is the application of coconut oil (and originally, lavender oil).   I didn’t care about my knees, whereas I did care about my face.   I took my parents to lunch today, and was telling my mom about this.   She said she wishes she had known her whole life what a wonderful moisturizer and anti-bacterial organic, cold-pressed coconut oil is–she feels she could look younger and would have saved a lot of money!   Like me, she loves it and it’s the ONLY moisturizer she uses. It’s whole foods for the skin. (Why do we buy all these products full of refined oils, at best, and chemicals, at worst?)

She loves that by applying it, it soaks in and is used as NUTRITION no differently than if you ate it.   I put so much of it on, topically, that I don’t always concern myself about getting some in FOOD every day.

Anytime I see a child with eczema, I give the parents coconut oil.   The year we began using it topically as well as internally (as food, replacing other oils, such as in baking and sautéing), eczema disappeared on me and my kids.   Ditto my circulation problems (cold hands and feet) during the winter.

Here’s a photo of me and Craig three days after my accident, 50% healed–not so bad, huh?

Craig and Robyn 003

Gluten Free Live Granola & Breakfast

Jason, a 12 Steps to Whole Foods reader, shared the following recipes with us. They’re mostly raw, gluten free, and full of sprouted nutrition. He writes:

When I first got the recipes for the 12 steps, I was a little disappointed that the Live Granola contained oatmeal (my wife is gluten sensitive). I know many on this forum avoid gluten, so I thought I’d post the granola recipe we developed, as well as our favorite breakfast. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do! ~Jason (jayroo)

Sprouted Buckwheat Granola (gluten free)

This was inspired by a granola we found at the Ecopolitan, a raw restaurant in Minneapolis, MN. We go through a batch every week.

  • 4 c buckwheat groats, rinsed, soaked overnight, rinsed well (or soaked 15 minutes and sprouted 24 hours)
  • 2 c raw seeds (e.g. sunflower & pumpkin), soaked overnight, rinsed
  • 2-3 c raw nuts (e.g. almonds & pecans), soaked overnight, rinsed
  • 3 T cinnamon
  • 1/3 c raw honey, softened over medium-low heat
  • Optional: 1 T virgin coconut oil
  • 2 c dried fruit (e.g. raisins and goji berries)
  1. Optional: briefly pulse the larger nuts in a food processor (I leave them whole)
  2. In a large bowl, mix buckwheat, seeds, nuts, cinnamon, honey and coconut oil.
  3. Spread on dehydrator trays with mesh, teflex, or fruit leather sheets. Dehydrate at your preferred temp for 6-8 hours, mix, continue dehydrating until crunchy. The amount listed fills 4 trays in my Nesco dehydrator.
  4. Mix in dry fruit and store in a sealed container at room temp or in the fridge.
  5. Yields 10-12 cups

Sprouted Buckwheat Cereal (gluten free)

This was the first gourmet raw meal that my wife actually enjoyed and asked for again. She once told me I could make it for her every day.

  • 1 cup buckwheat groats, rinsed, soaked overnight, rinsed well (or soaked 15 minutes and sprouted 24 hours)
  • 1 banana, chopped
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • dash of maple syrup
  • optional: raw pecans or almonds, soaked overnight, rinsed, chopped

Process buckwheat, banana, cinnamon, and maple syrup in a food processor until creamy. Top with nuts. Serves 2.

 

Green Smoothie Testimonials, Part 2

By following Robyn’s recommendation, which I could not believe at first but made a decision to give it a try, I lost weight without trying, and my knees and shoulders stopped aching. My blood lipid profile has improved. My cholesterol level has gone from 201 down to 157. Yes, I said 157. My doctor had me go to a different lab to have the test confirmed.

 

My complexion and skin tone have improved as well. I also had a problem with dry skin. I used coconut oil as recommended by Robyn, and my rash that I had on my ankles and chin cleared up completely. I had gone to the doctor and had obtained two different medications and the only thing that did any good, and in fact cleared it up, was the coconut oil. Thank you,

 

–Sandra T. from California.

 

Green smoothies saved me from facing yet another diet, thinking about hypnosis for weight loss, hating the way I looked, and everything else that comes along with being overweight. Green smoothies are my answer to staying away from the doctor. I no longer have cravings and feel satisfied for hours after drinking my awesome smoothies. My husband is loving them too and has lost 40 pounds. Children love green smoothies. I appreciate all the information Robyn has shared. Thank you so much Robyn!

 

–A. Fambrough

 

 

The green smoothie idea has worked well for me whereas juicing did not. Anyone who has juiced knows the time commitment it takes for juicing and clean-up as well as the volume of veggies it takes to make just 2-3 eight-ounce juice drinks per day. When I read about green smoothies, it was immediately appealing to me.   I bought a BlendTec right away. In only 14 months of use, the counter on my machine is already over 1,600!

 

I average 5 out of 7 days for making smoothies for myself and my husband, who will drink one anytime it’s available in the fridge. One benefit of green smoothies is helping me to be more alkaline.

 

–Linda C.

 

extra ingredients for green smoothies [part 5 of 8]

Here are more ideas of additions to your smoothies–exotic stuff, more expensive, but adding variety and superfood qualities:

Raw chocolate                        

Organic chocolate bars and acai berries are often marketed together.   (And no wonder–it’s a delicious, if expensive, combination.)

Dark chocolate has been touted in recent years for its very high ORAC score (high antioxidants and consequent ability to protect against free radicals that age us and cause disease).   Some people are confused by this and think that chocolate products found in health food stores are, then, high-nutrition items.   Most products, even those marketed to health nuts like you and me, have sweeteners added (sometimes even processed sweeteners) and are cooked to eliminate the benefits of enzymes.   They also have additives like alkali that are not beneficial or even destructive.   One network marketed candy claims to be a health food, and it costs $60/lb., is artificially sweetened, and isn’t even organic.   You can spend $10/lb. for raw dark chocolate bars in the health food stores, and that’s still a pricy treat.

The one type of chocolate I would advocate you adding to your green smoothies is raw, organic cacao nibs or powdered cacao.   You can find these products online (Amazon is probably the cheapest) or in a health food store.   They make lovely treats and smoothies, when you add raw, organic and blend them with frozen berries in a smoothie (coconut milk or meat or almond mylk are also good additions, making fantastic dessert-like concoctions in your Total Blender).   But raw chocolate products are extremely expensive.

Coconut oil or liquid or meat

Raw coconut is prized for its antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.   Dr. Bruce Fife’s The Coconut Oil Miracle effectively covers the research on this rather miraculous food, showing how a fat is not always a fat.   Non-westernized Pacific Islanders have ideal height-weight ratios and virtually no heart disease; they are some of the most beautiful people on the planet.   And their diet is so heavily coconut, that despite it being a “saturated” fat, the Pacific-Islander indigenous diet is sometimes as high as 60 percent calories from fat, with extremely low rates of overweight people.   They don’t suffer from anxiety and depression, and they don’t get cancer.

The meat of coconut is a great raw dessert recipe ingredient that I use a lot in Ch. 11 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods (on GreenSmoothieGirl.com).   If you buy the young Thai coconuts, found most inexpensively in Asian markets, you can drain the liquid and scrape the meat out–I have a YouTube video showing how to do this most easily.  

You can certainly add coconut meat to your green smoothies, though it will thicken it considerably, so extra water (or coconut liquid) should be added.

Coconut liquid is low in fat, tastes delicious, and is so electrolyte rich that it is now sold in boxes with straws, in the refrigerated section in health food stores with the sports drinks.   It’s a perfect drink for an athlete to balance electrolytes, so much better than the other commercial sports drinks that contain lots of chemicals plus artificial sweeteners and colors.   It’s also high in minerals, and pre-eminent raw foodist David Wolfe calls it a “blood transfusion” because of the way is closely parallels human blood chemistry and how it nourishes us so exactly.

And coconut oil is a power food as well, harnessing the anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties and fat-burning power of the coconut.   If you do add coconut oil to your green smoothies, blend it in well to the non-refrigerated and non-frozen items, first.   It becomes solid at 76 degrees, so you may have tiny little solid particles of the oil in your smoothie.   Dr. Fife recommends a couple of tablespoons daily for the average adult in the diet and/or absorbed into the bloodstream by using it on the skin and lips as a moisturizer.  

How much fat should I eat?

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:   How much fats do you take in a day? From what I gathered from your book, it looks something like: 1 tablespoon flax oil in green smoothie, 2 tablespoons coconut oil on lips and skin, a handful of nut and seeds for snacks in the afternoon.   Am I right?   I am about the same age as you.   Would the above be too much oil in a day?

 

Answer:   That’s an appropriate amount of fat for an active person in her 40’s.   (Some of that 2 Tbsp. of coconut oil may be eaten–I couldn’t put that much on my skin–and I also might use a Tablespoon or less of extra-virgin olive oil for cooking dinner, too.)

 

I might eat a few hundred calories more than the average woman my age whose weight is healthy, just because I also work out hard and am really hungry otherwise0.   I used to put everything I ate into a program called DietPower (about $35 when I bought it at dietpower.com).   By programming in my workouts AND my food, and weighing every day, I was able to establish my EXACT metabolic rate.   I learned that at 5’8″ and 135 lbs., I burn about 1600 calories a day.   (I burn more and can therefore eat more if I run 5 miles, for a 500 calorie expenditure.)

 

I no longer count calories or worry about that at all.   (Also, many whole-food items aren’t in the DietPower database.)   I find that if I don’t eat any processed foods, addictions don’t exist, and I can eat how much I want, within reason.   My friend Michelle says that she overeats anything (and uses oatmeal as an example–something she says she’ll eat four bowls of), but I don’t believe it.    Not if you go OFF refined foods for a short time to eliminate those addictions.   People not eating refined foods simply do not have a tendency to overeat legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.   That’s because they’re natural and don’t distort hormones and the other finely tuned systems in the body to create unnatural cravings.  

 

When you eat only whole foods, you are tuning your body in to its needs.

 

Reflecting on nutrition, food storage, and hard economic times

What a year this has been.   The much-predicted failure of  American investment banking  has come to pass,  our nation’s net worth has plummeted precipitously, and we’ve started into what promises to be a long recession.   I just came across this quote by a wise man named Joseph Smith, from 175 years ago:

“Our nation, which possesses greater resources than any other, is rent, from center to circumference, with party strife, political intrigues, and sectional interest; our counselors are panic stricken, our legislators are astonished, and our senators are confounded, our merchants are paralyzed, our tradesmen are disheartened, our mechanics out of employ, our farmers distressed, and our poor crying for bread, our banks are broken, our credit ruined, and our states overwhelmed in debt, yet we are, and have been in peace.”

So, many other times in even the comparatively short history of the U.S., we have found ourselves in perilous times.   The more things change, the more they stay the same, right?

But we need not fear because we can do simple, inexpensive things to prepare.   People of the dominant religion where I live (Utah) are counselled to store a year’s supply of food.   Yet no matter how long this counsel is given, and how urgently, at any given time, only 15 percent of LDS (Mormon) people actually have a year’s supply.   At the moment, church leaders are pleading with the people to get a three-month supply in place in the immediate future.

This is a smart thing to do for anyone, not just LDS people.   You have observed how sensitive supply and demand is, for food.   (I mentioned in a blog comment recently that I cannot buy canning jars anywhere, because Kerr and Ball cannot keep up with the demand nationally.   You have seen the price of rice increase 250 percent.)   That’s all I’m going to say about that, because I frankly hate scare tactics.   (Love Mike Adams “The Health Ranger,” hate all the fear-mongering in his newsletters.)

Victoria Boutenko says she calculated once that her family of four could live for a year on one 50-lb. bag of wheat, by sprouting it.   I don’t know how that’s possible, unless she is calculating nutrients rather than caloric needs–but anyway, she said that.   The LDS Church has a calculator at lds.org, and one person needs 200 lbs. of grain per year.   (Of course,  50 lbs.  of sprouted grain has in some cases as much nutrition, plus lots of live enzymes, that 200 lbs. of dry grain does!)

Thus, my family of six has stored 1,200 lbs. of grain: wheat, quinoa, rye, rolled oats and oat groats, popcorn, Kamut, and spelt.   That may sound like an obscene quantity, but when you add it up, people eat a lot of food!   We also store 400 lbs. of legumes (lentils, split peas, beans) and lots of other items like coconut oil, olive oil, agave, honey, and sea salt.   I do more than that, but if all the rest will be overwhelming to you for now, just start with a three-month supply of those basics.   When you’ve got those inexpensive bases covered, consider storing bottles of VitaMineral Green for your greens; cans of Ultimate Meal for easy, optimal nutrition; nuts and seeds (frozen in Ziplocs where possible); and spices, herbs, and condiments.

The point is, when your food storage is a bunch of white flour, white sugar, canned powdered milk, canned turkey, and macaroni (the staples of most Mormon one-year supplies), you might not end up hungry, but you’re going to end up sick.

Store whole grains, and know how to use them.   What I am teaching you in Step 9 isn’t just for good nutrition–it’s for good emergency preparedness!   When you know how to sprout as I teach in Step 7, you have the invaluable skill to use dry, long-term storage foods (like any grain) and make it live food that will keep your family healthy–not just alive.

My European immigrant ancestors came across the plains from the East Coast to Utah, with handcarts, and some of them were caught in winter storms.   Their nutrition was sometimes reduced, in the winter, to small rations of cornmeal fried in lard, day after day.   Some of them died of starvation, as well as exposure.   Some became ill with typhoid, malaria, scurvy, and smallpox.

We have the ability to spend very little but have the peace of mind to be prepared well, by storing whole foods.   I hope you’re getting a year’s supply of RAW ALMONDS in the current group buy–yet another way to eat well now AND buy very inexpensive insurance against emergencies.   It’s the kind of insurance that doesn’t need the backing of our virtually bankrupt federal government.   It’s the kind of insurance that pays no premiums to a huge company teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, being robbed by its executives.

natural beauty tips

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: Thanks for your blog entry today about what you eat in a day, and when.   I had been wondering about that.   You should also let us know your beauty routine.   Do you use special facial cleaners or just simple products?   I’m wondering if you use Basic H.   Also, do you use expensive natural makeup, or just the drugstore brands?   Thanks for whatever info you want to share.

 

Answer:    This will probably be a disappointment, since I’m not sure I have any genius ideas.   I’m all about what I can do with the least amount of time, with few chemicals, especially sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), propylene glycol (PG), and mineral oil, which are probably the worst three of the bad ingredients in cosmetics and soap.   My main beauty tip is to let your pores be unclogged with makeup as much as possible!   I use organic, unrefined coconut oil all over my face at night, and on my lips several times a day.   I wash my face with any unscented, simple facial bar.

 

I don’t wear foundation.   I wear drugstore eyeliner, mascara, blush, and lipstick if I go to work or out in the evening, and that’s it.   (I’m not recommending them–I just haven’t found natural products that do what drugstore mascara and lipsticks do.   In general, expensive brands have just as much junk in them as cheap brands do.)   On days I don’t have to dress up, I wear no makeup at all, letting my skin breathe.   I’ve read that the “natural” brands (Jason, KissMyFace, etc.) still are found to have toxic chemicals in them when they are tested.   Anyone have better ideas?   I don’t think “bare mineral makeup” is the answer.   I realize that’s all the rage, but they’re still metals or minerals, maybe better than the worst products, but still pore clogging and not really the nutrition skin needs.

 

I also like to go in the sun to run, garden, or play tennis, several days a week–just not long enough to burn.   And I use a crystal stick for deodorant (from the health food store or Azure Standard)–it’s just salt!   No aluminum products that build up, are very difficult to eliminate, and cause Alzheimer’s risk.   (To answer your question, I do use Basic H by Shaklee, not for a beauty product, but for a veg/fruit wash, highly diluted, in a water bottle.)

Good, Better, Best: Oils and Pastas

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: What are the good oils, and what are the bad ones? And how about pasta?

Oils

Worst oils: shortening, lard, margarine. Also refined canola, safflower, vegetable, soy, peanut, corn oils.

Good oils: unrefined almond, borage, evening primrose, cod liver, butter (in small amounts)

Better oils: coconut, flaxseed, palm, extra virgin olive oils Best oils: same as in the “better” list, but organic

Pasta

Worst pasta: durum/semolina/white/enriched pastas of all kinds

Good pasta: whole wheat

Better pasta: organic whole grain of any kind

Best pasta: organic quinoa, spelt, or Kamut