I have always liked coconut and in the last several years have been eating more coconut products and using coconut oil on my body and hair. Coconut Butter is a favorite that I use in smoothies, sorbets and baking is available through One Luck Duck. I am particularly fond of drinking young coconut water and eating young coconut meat. Young coconut water if fat free, full of electrolytes and is a great source of potassium. I often crave it.
Coconuts have been revered for generations by many cultures around the world for their healing powers and nutrition. At one time coconuts received negative press in the US because of their high level of saturated fat. However, current research has shown that not all saturated fats are alike and that the fatty acids in coconut oil are medium chain triglycerides which do not raise cholesterol or contribute to heart disease.
Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Coconut oil possesses healing properties and is extensively used in traditional medicine among Asian and Pacific populations. Pacific Islanders use coconut oil to cure nearly all illness. Auryuvedic medicine considers the coconut an essential food.
This all leads me to my story…I love to drink young coconut water and do not have a source for fresh coconut water in DC. In many cities juice bars sell young coconuts and they are often available at Asian markets. There are also a few brands of coconut water available at grocery stores in tetra packs such as One and Zico which are fine in a pinch but not the same as fresh from a young coconut. So, I decided to order a case of young coconuts through friends who have a restaurant and share them with a couple other friends who drink as much coconut water as I do. Yesterday my coconuts arrived but they were not young…instead I got a huge heavy bag of old coconuts!!
What to do with 40 old coconuts?
My friend Allison often brings me raw dehydrated coconut from Erewhon Market in Los Angeles (they do not sell products online). It is delicious and I am always sorry when it is all eaten (which is usually pretty quickly). Anyway I decided that I would try to make this with my old coconuts. Today with a whole lot of help I opened, cleaned and sliced nearly half of my coconuts. I just made some cookies with olive oil, coconut, walnuts and oatmeal (see recipe below). I froze some and the rest is currently slowly drying in a 90 degree oven.
Olive Oil, Coconut, Walnut and Oatmeal Cookies
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy or almond milk
1/2 cup fresh shredded coconut
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon baking powder
large pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all ingredients in a mixer and mix for a full two minutes.
Form cookies on a cookie sheet and flatten with your palm. If the cookies are sticking to your hand you can dampen your palm slightly.
Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.