Tag Archives: shredded coconut

Savory Coconut Okra

12 May

Okra, also known as lady’s fingers, bhindi or gumbo, is used in a variety of ethnic cuisines. Appearing in curries, soups, stews, and even salad and tempura, okra tends to have a bad reputation due to the sliminess contained within. This, however can be alleviated in a variety of ways including stir-frying or introducing a few drops of acidic liquid such as lemon juice or vinegar (source). Do not let the threat of a little sliminess keep you away from this delicious and healthful food. Raw okra is a very good source of Calcium, Dietary Fiber, Folate, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Thiamine, and Vitamins A, B6, C and K. It is also a good source of Copper, Iron, Niacin, Protein, Riboflavin and Zinc (source).

I never really ate okra until recently, but I must say that I really enjoy it. It is excellent battered and fried, but my recent addiction is coconut okra, fashioned after a popular dish served in Indian restaurants. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!

Coconut Okra

Savory Coconut Okra

2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
3 cups fresh okra, rinsed
salt to taste

Heat oven to 350º F. Spread coconut in a thin layer on a small baking sheet. Cook in preheated oven for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and set aside.

Meanwhile, cut tops off okra just below the ridge and discard. Slice okra in half lengthwise and set aside.

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add okra and salt and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

Add toasted coconut and continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring often, or until okra is tender.


Green Tea Coconut Cookies

11 Mar

Matcha is a finely milled, high-quality green tea common in Japanese culture. Used not only to flavor various foods and beverages, this form of tea is also utilized as a dye because of its rich green color. It is produced by first growing tea plants under the cover of shade. These plants take longer to grow which causes their leaves to turn a darker shade of green. Once the desired point of maturity is reached, the leaves are stripped away and laid flat to dry. They are then de-stemmed, de-vained, and finally, stone ground to produce the powder known as matcha (source).

These melt-in-your-mouth cookies are fashioned after the ever-popular Russian Tea Cakes, also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies, Butterballs or Snowball Cookies (source). With the addition of matcha and coconut, these green beauties boast an exciting flavor and various health benefits, and are an excellent St. Patrick’s Day treat.

Due to a high amount of Epigallocatechin gallate (an antioxidant), matcha helps protect against cancer and HIV, and is said to protect against bad breath and assist with weight loss. In addition, matcha is a good source of the amino acid L-theanine, which is said to provide an anti-stress and relaxing effect (source).

Green Tea Coconut Cookies

Green Tea Coconut Cookies
Yields 24 (1-1/2 inch) cookies

1/2 cup vegan buttery spread
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil (not refined)
2 tablespoons matcha green tea powder
1/4 cup + 1/2 cup powdered sugar, divided
1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut (optional*)
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400º F.

Cream together buttery spread, coconut oil, green tea powder and 1/4 cup powdered sugar until smooth. Add shredded coconut and flour and mix until combined. Mixture will be somewhat crumbly but should stick together.

Roll dough into 24 balls, approximately 1-1/2 inches in size. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or just until set.

Meanwhile, place 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a wide, shallow dish; set aside.

Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Roll each cookie in powdered sugar and set aside until completely cooled.

* If you prefer to use unsweetened shredded coconut, increase ¼ cup powdered sugar to 1/3 cup and proceed with recipe as directed.

Green Tea Coconut Cookies

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