I love ice cream, I think most people do. I started experimenting with making my own ice creams years ago using fresh fruits and I have to say they really were delicious. I used a basic ice cream maker until a few years ago when I realised I didn’t need much in the form of kitchen equipment to make my own ice cream. Last year I created the most amazing ice cream; Amaretto Ice Cream with Caramelised Pecans and it was amazing. I wasn’t sure what to do next and then it hit me, I love coconut, it’s healthy and in ice cream form it’s delicious. Confident(ish) I could make my own I set to work and was quite pleased with the result.
The Health Benefits of Coconut
Not only does coconut smell and taste great it all contains a range of health benefits. It can be used internally and also externally to achieve various result.
Coconut is broken up into different parts including coconut water, milk and cream. In the developing world coconut water is used to treat diarrhoea and it is thought that this has the same electrolyte balance found in isotonic drinks which means it is great for rehydation especially after a long workout. Interestingly coconut has the same electrolyte levels as human plasma, and has even been used for plasma transfusions in emergency situations.
There is dispute whether coconut fat is or isn’t healthy due to the high saturated fat content. But, in some parts of the world it makes up a large proportion of some peoples diets and they seem to be healthy with no evidence of heart disease due to the saturated fats. These people (Kitavans of Papua New Guinea and Tokelaus of New Zealand ) do however tend to live healthy lifestyles eating a diet of natural non processed foods. It’s normally when we eat anything in excess that we experience problems so I would suggest taking coconut in moderation as with most foods.
Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides which are believed to increase the number of calories we burn compared to the same amount of other fats. It can also reduce feelings of hunger due to the way the fatty acids are metabolised into ketones resulting in an appetite reducing effect. It is thought that these ketones are a readily accessible energy that can be used by the brain and would have some potential use in degenerative neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease where the brain’s capacity to utilise glucose is severely impaired increasing the body’s ketone levels can potentially provide a alternative form of energy for the brain thus resulting in symptoms being alleviated and possibly helping to reduce the risk of developing these types of conditions. Medium-chain fatty acids MCFA’s for short are easily absorbed and can help improve memory and brain function as they provide a more efficient form of fuel than glucose which requires the presence of a middle man as it were ‘insulin’ in order to be absorbed.
Coconut oil is easy to digest. It can improve digestion as it helps the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, calcium, and magnesium. Consumption of the oil can provide sustained energy and increases your metabolism which can also help weight loss.
The oil is popular in many beauty products as it is great for the skin, hair and nails. It not only helps to moisturise and nourish, it is also protective against hair damage and also offers a mild protection against UV rays. Its antioxidant properties help fight skin ageing and its a great immune booster with antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. This is also great as a mouthwash and is great for reducing bad breath and improving dental health via a process of oil pulling. Oil pulling for those that haven’t come across the term before involves swishing a tablespoon of oil around the mouth for 20 minutes on an empty stomach. I hear this takes some getting used to having not tried it myself yet.
Coconut oil can help fight us cancer. The ketones produced when it is broken down by the body cannot be used by glucose dependent tumours which is why a ketogenic diet could be useful for cancer patients. MCFA’s are able to break down the cell wall of bacteria and can kill helicobacter pylor a bacterium that increases the risk of stomach cancer.
If you would like to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts straight in your inbox once they are live why not subscribe and get to read all my great posts including recipes, reviews, competitions etc. before anyone else. Don’t worry I won’t spam you.
Coconut Ice Cream
400ml double cream
180g caster sugar
25g desiccated coconut
Whisk egg whites in a large bowl until thick and stiff so that it looks a little like clotted cream when the whisk is removed. Slowly whisk in the caster sugar and keep whisking until the mixture is stiff and glossy.
Fold in the cream, egg yolks, desiccated coconut and Malibu so that they are all well combined and then slide the mixture from the bowl into a freezer container (which could be anything such as a loaf tin, baking tray or Tupperware box) .
Freeze overnight and the following day you have a gorgeous creamy ice cream waiting to be enjoyed.
This of course is not suitable for children due to the alcohol content.
It’s great on it’s own or with cake either way it’s delicious!