Author: Admin

13 Jan Chocolate Caramel Fudge Cups (Vegan)

Coming in from our amazing Contributing Chef Heather Adamson (@fresheather), this layered, versatile recipe teams all your favourite sweets: fudge, chocolate, and caramel (and coconut, of course!), all expertly combined into adorable little bite-sized cups! This three-step process is surprisingly simple, and will have all your friends wondering how something so gorgeous and clean could be both this vegan and this delicious!

What you’ll need:

For the fudgy base:
- 12 soaked dates
- 1/3 cup walnuts
- just under 1/4 cup oats
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp cacao powder

For the caramel filling:
- 12 soaked dates
- 1 tsp almond butter
- 2 tsps coconut butterAdd to cart
- 1-3 tsp coconut milkAdd to cart

For the chocolate topping:
- 2 tbsp coconut oilAdd to cart
- 80g cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon raw honey/ maple syrup

 

Let’s get started!

For the fudgy base:

  1. Place the walnuts, oats, salt, and cacao in the food processor and process until you have a fine powder.
  2. Add in the soaked dates and process until the mixture clumps together.
  3. Press into cupcake cases or silicone moulds. We recommend the latter!
  4. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

For the caramel filling:

  1. Place all ingredients in the food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. Add more milk if needed.
  2. Take the base out of the freezer and spread around 1 tsp of the mixture onto each cup base.
  3. Place back in the freezer for around 30 minutes.

For the chocolate topping:

  1. Melt the coconut oil before stirring in the cacao powder. Stir in the desired sweetener until thoroughly combined.
  2. Fill up each of the cases with chocolate and leave to cool.
  3. Store in the fridge!

See more recipes here!

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13 Jan Coconut Flapjacks (Vegan)

 

This is a wonderfully coconutty, vegan spin on the traditional British favourite, courtesy of our Contributing Chef Heather Adamson (@fresheather)! These delicious little bars are packed with protein, and are perfect post-gym, or just to refuel throughout the day – satisfying your sweet tooth while still staying clean! So let’s get going!

What you’ll need:

- 250g oats
- 2 very ripe bananas
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 2 tbsp coconut oilAdd to cart
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 4 chopped dried dates (or chocolate chips… or if you’re feeling a little wild, both!)
- 2 tbsp protein powder (optional)

Topping:
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1/4 tsp cacao powder

 

Let’s get started!

  • First and foremost, preheat your oven to 180C | 356F.
  • Start by melting your peanut butter and coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat until nice and warm.
  • Mash your bananas thoroughly before adding in the peanut butter and oil mixture.
  • Combine all dry ingredients (oats, protein powder, and coconut sugar)
  • Add the banana, peanut butter and coconut oil mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix thoroughly before finally tossing in your chopped dates or vegan chocolate chips!
  • Spread the mixture into a lined backing tray and bake at 180C for 20-25 minutes until golden and crispy!
  • Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes.
  • To top, melt 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, and first just drizzle half of this over the flapjacks.
  • Add ¼ tsp cacao powder to the rest of the melted peanut butter, and drizzle the mixture over your flapjacks!
  • Finally – leave to cool, cut into squares, and…
  • Enjoy!

See more recipes here!

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13 Jan Coconut and Acai Berry Truffles

We love superfoods – and especially the wonderful super-combination of coconut and acai! Packed full of antioxidants and polyphenols to keep us healthy and nourished, acai berries are used throughout the world for their amazing benefits. Just like coconuts, they are also rich in essential fatty acids and help you look and feel your best, inside and out! Our amazing Contributing Chef Kelly Barlow (@EatPrayCook_) shares with us a stellar recipe combining these two fantastic ingredients – coconut and acai berry truffles that are free from refined sugar, gluten and dairy!

What you’ll need:

For the filling:
- 200g raw coconut chipsAdd to cart
- 1 tablespoon coconut butterAdd to cart
- 3 tbsp maple syrup (or coconut syrup, if you’re feeling extra coconutty!)Add to cart
- ½ tsp salt

For the coating:
- 40g cacao butter (hint: chop it up to help it melt quicker!)
- 2 tbsp cashew butter
- 1.5 tbsp sweetener (coconut syrup, maple or even honey)Add to cart
- 12 Acai berry capsules
- desiccated coconut and baking paperAdd to cart

 

Let’s get started!

1. First, mix all the filling ingredients in your food processor, and blend until even.
2. Spread the mixture evenly on some baking paper, and pop in the fridge for five minutes to set while you make the sauce.
3. Then, on a low heat, melt the chopped cacao butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water.
4. Then, add the remaining coating ingredients, and mix til even!
5. Set aside and allow to cool.
6. Pull your filling out of the fridge and roll it into balls with the palms of your hands, dip them into the sauce with a spoon, and then set them on some baking paper.
7. Cool the truffles in the fridge, and once cool, double-dip in the remaining sauce.
8. Top with some desiccated coconut, set in the fridge, and enjoy!

Let us know how you got on, and what kind of syrup you used to make these delicious delicacies!

See more recipes here!

 

 

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10 Dec Coconut Face and Body Scrub

This recipe is a face and body scrub that incorporates a range of coconut goodness to moisturise and work in two ways to exfoliate dead skin cells. The grains in the coconut sugar and salt lift off skin, while the coconut oil soothes and moisturises to help heal and repair.

What you’ll need:

- 1 tablespoon of coconut oilAdd to cart
- 1 tablespoon of coconut syrup or regular honeyAdd to cart
- 1 teaspoon of coconut sugarAdd to cart
- half a teaspoon of salt

 

Let’s get started!

1. Mix these ingredients together well, and apply to your skin in a gentle circular motion. You can leave this recipe on for a few minutes for extra moisturizing and then wash off. Pat your skin dry with a soft towel.
2. Increase these amounts in the same proportions to make enough for the rest of your body if desired.
3. If the sweet aroma of coconut is not enough, add some rosemary to top it all off!

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10 Dec Coconutty Green Smoothie

Packed with iron and sweet coconutty goodness, try this smoothie if you want to kick start your day with something great!

Preparation Time: 4 minutes

Cooking Time: how fast is your blender?

Serves: 2

What you’ll need:

- 1 tablespoon Coconut Merchant coconut oilAdd to cart
- 2 bananas
- 2 HUGE handfuls of spinach
- 1 cup milk, try coconut milk or coconut water if you want to live on the wild sideAdd to cart
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Let’s get started!

1. Add all ingredients into a blender. Blend until mixed.
2. Serve in tall glasses, enjoy, be merry.

 

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10 Dec Coconut Milk Rice Pudding

When its cold outside, use this recipe to create some delicious coconut milk rice pudding!

Preparation Time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15-30 minutes
Serves: 2

What you’ll need:

- 3 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 cup Coconut Merchant coconut milkAdd to cart
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp raisins or fresh fruit (optional)
- 2-3 tbsp coconut syrup or nectarAdd to cart
- 1 tsp vegan butter

 

Let’s get started!

1. Heat a soup pot to medium high.
2. Add all ingredients to pot. Stir continuously and bring to a boil.
3. Turn heat to medium and continue to simmer until most of the coconut milk has been absorbed. Add more liquid if you like a softer rice pudding with more hydrated rice.
4. Allow to cool 2-5 minutes before serving. This will allow the pudding to firm up and cool a bit.
5. Serve with cinnamon and fresh berries over top.

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10 Dec Oil Pulling – The What and How

You might find yourself scratching your head and wondering what oil pulling could possibly be? No, it has nothing to do with crude! Oil pulling is the practice of washing your mouth with coconut oil to help it stay clean and is one of the most impressive uses of coconut oil. We’re going to walk you through the steps of how to use coconut oil in this way – as a natural, alternative method to improve your oral hygiene!

What is it?

Also known as “kavala” or “gundusha”, it’s an ancient dental technique designed to improve oral health. It’s done by swirling a tablespoon of oil in the mouth, on an empty stomach, for around 20 minutes. It can help with whiter teeth, improved breath, teeth and gums! It’s a natural way to maintain oral hygiene, without any of the artificial ingredients or chemicals commonly found in toothpastes or mouthwashes.

How do I do it?

  1. It’s best done first thing in the morning. After you wake up, get a tablespoon of coconut oil and put it in your mouth! Don’t worry if it’s solid, good coconut oil should literally melt in your mouth.
  2. Swirl it around in your mouth just as you would with a mouthwash!
  3. Continue swirling it around the mouth, through the teeth and gums in order to draw out all the toxins!
  4. Carry on for up to 20 minutes, before spitting it out into a bin! (Try not to spit into the sink or you might block your pipes with oil over time).

 

PS- Try not to swallow any of the oil, as it’s meant to draw out toxins rather than putting them back into your body!

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10 Dec Uses and Benefits of Coconut Oil

Superfood

Often termed a “superfood,” extra virgin coconut oil is packed with amazing benefits – from beauty, to cooking, to health! We thought we would tell you about some of the more general uses and benefits of coconut oil, and give you links to where you can find more specific information.

Healthy Fats

Coconut oil contains medium chain saturated fats (MCSF). These are processed directly in the liver and considered by some to be a beneficial fat. The main MCSF in coconut oil is lauric acid, which can be found in human breast milk. It also contains vitamins E and K, and iron! Coconut oil can be used as a substitute for other cooking oils, and offers plenty of natural benefits as such.

Beauty

As a beauty product, coconut oil is a wonderful natural moisturising tool. Traditionally it has been used in the tropics to soften hair and protect it against frizziness and damage. It is also used to naturally smoothen, soften and brighten dry, lacklustre skin, and has also been known to remedy sun damage! It can even be used for mouth care with methods like oil pulling, or DIY toothpastes.

Make sure its virgin!

You really can use this natural little miracle in all kinds of exciting ways! From recipes to DIY face and hair masks, scrubs, makeup removers, and even as an all-natural shaving cream, there are so many ways to rejuvenate your life with coconut oil. But remember: not all coconut oils are created equal – whether you try our coconut oil or not, always ask for unrefined, virgin, organic coconut oil in order to truly get all the natural benefits you need!

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10 Dec Beautiful Coconut Flour

Are you starting a grain-free diet? Trying to live healthier? Or simply interested in the versatility of coconuts in cooking? You’ve come to the right place! Coconut flour is a light and unique alternative to other cooking flours and makes a delicious and healthy staple to many interesting recipes!

How is coconut flour made?
Made from the flesh of coconuts themselves, coconut flour is a natural by-product from making cold-pressed oil. When the oil is pressed from coconuts, the coconut meat leftover can then be dried and ground, producing a fine powder suitable for baking: the coconut flour you know and love!

Benefits of coconut flour
Low-carb and naturally gluten free, coconut flour is a great alternative to traditional flour choices in the kitchen. Coconut flour is also full of natural goodness in the forms of protein, fibre and as a source of manganese. The flavour of the coconut flour in cooking and baking is subtle and can take on other flavours that it’s being cooked with. What’s more, you don’t need a lot of coconut flour to bake with: using just a fraction of the amount of regular flour, it goes a long way when teamed with enough eggs and liquid to achieve the perfect consistency!

Baking with coconut flour
Coconut flour is very dry and absorbent, so it requires a much higher liquid ratio than most flours. This means it can’t be substituted for wheat or grain-based flours at a 1:1 ratio. Some general tips to keep in mind when creating or converting recipes:

– Add an extra egg for every ounce (28g) of coconut flour you use
– 1 cup coconut flour needs about 4-5 eggs
– For recipes with liquids (e.g. water, honey, syrup), add double the amount
– Beat the ingredients together really well

Coconut flour tends to behave differently from recipe to recipe and can mean it could take a few experiments before getting the right ratios! The best thing to do is to use recipes specifically designed for coconut flour. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to abandon your favourite foods if you have allergies to wheat or are gluten-intolerant! There are lots of fantastic coconut flour recipes available for breads, cakes, pancakes, muffins, pizza and everything in between.

Check out our recipes section and Pinterest for inspiration!

 

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10 Dec Sweet Coconut Sugar!

Used in Southeast Asia for thousands of years as a traditional sweetener, coconut sugar is a natural sugar produced from the sap of the flower buds of the coconut palm. With a subtly sweet, vaguely caramel taste, coconut sugar can be used instead of refined sugars and used as a sweetener in coffee, tea, cooking, and baking!

How is it made?

Coconut palm trees produce little flower blossoms, which are filled with sap that can be tapped and made into coconut sugar! Farmers cut these blossoms, allowing sap to flow out into bamboo containers, before transferring the sap into woks and placing it over heat. The sap is heated until it has the consistency of a thick syrup. It is then either bottled as a syrup, which can be substituted for honey and maple syrup, or crystallised into sugar!

Why coconut sugar?

Compared to refined table sugar, coconut sugar contains trace amounts of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, and antioxidants! It also has a much lower reported glycaemic index (GI) than ordinary sugar, ranking at 35 as compared to 60-75, making it an ideal sweetener for those on a low GI diet.

Awesome! But how do I use it?

Easy! There are so many ways to integrate coconut sugar into your recipes! From spiced chai to brownies and cupcakes to soup, it can be used like regular sugar a full range of recipes, and even paired with coconut oil, milk, or flour for very coconutty, natural results! For recipes and inspiration, check out our recipes section or our Pinterest.

You can view more information and purchase Coconut Merchant’s Organic Coconut Sugar here.

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10 Dec Got Milk? Grab Some Coconut Milk!

How is coconut milk made?
With its slightly sweet taste and luxurious consistency, you may be surprised to know that coconut milk is actually made in a way that is surprisingly similar to standard dairy milk – just minus the cows! White coconut meat is grated before being soaked in hot water, causing the coconut cream to rise to the top. After this, the remaining liquid is squeezed through a cheesecloth to extract a white liquid – this is coconut milk! Depending on how many times this process is repeated, the milk can be thinner (best used in curries and soups) or thicker (for desserts and rich sauces).

What are the benefits of coconut milk?
Coconut milk
is packed with all the vitamins and antioxidants found in coconuts, and in moderation, can form part of a healthy diet! It’s lactose free, so is a great dairy substitute that works great in vegan or dairy-free recipes. Just like other coconut products, coconut milk is incredibly versatile and can be used in various dishes, both sweet and savoury!

Coconut Merchant’s coconut milk currently comes in a pack of 6 cans, 12 cans or as a single add-on purchase.

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08 Dec Coconut Pizza Base

Use coconut flour to create not one, but two amazing pizza bases.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 18 minutes

Serves: 2-4 with two Pizzas

What you’ll need:

- 1/4 cup coconut flourAdd to cart
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tsp organic onion powder
- 1 tsp organic oregano
- 1 tsp organic basil
- 1/3 cup shredded parmesan (or vegan) cheese
- 2 cloves organic garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp sea salt

 

Let’s get started!

  1. Whip the eggs in a large bowl with the yogurt and sea salt. Add the coconut flour and whip until very smooth with no lumps. This may take a few minutes to accomplish as it takes some time for the coconut fiber to absorb the liquid. Blend in the onion powder, oregano, basil, garlic, and parmesan cheese.
  2. Line a pizza pan with parchment paper. Gently pour about 1/2 the batter onto the paper lined pan. Use a spatula or other kitchen utensil to spread the batter into an 8-9″ circle that is quite thin (the thinner the better).
  3. Bake at 200C for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven, add pizza sauce, cheese and other toppings as desired. Place back in the oven on broil for about 8 minutes more to achieve true pizza crunch.
  4. Repeat this process with the remaining half of the coconut flour batter.

 

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03 Dec New to coconuts? Here are 4 great benefits!

You may have heard a lot about coconuts in the media and among your social circles, but have been looking for some information. We thought it might be useful to briefly set out some of the health benefits of coconuts based on articles we have found.

1. MEDIUM CHAIN FATS & LAURIC ACID

Coconut is full of fatty acids. At first thought this may seem concerning, we have been taught that fats are bad for us and should be avoided! Coconut flesh (what our Raw Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is made from) is about 69% coconut fat and coconut milk is approximately about 24% fat. But more recent research has shown that there are different types of fats, some of which can actually be beneficial.

Most of the fat we normally consume is made up of long-chain fatty acids (LCFA) and these are said to be the ones that we should generally avoid. However researchers suggest in coconuts, the majority of the fat is medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), which are very different and are processed directly by the liver. Two of the key MCFAs found in coconuts are:

  • Lauric Acid: This is approximately 50% of the fatty acid in coconuts. In the human body this becomes Monolaurin – a chemical with suggested antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoal monoglyceride properties.
  • Capric Acid: This is approximately 6-7% of the fatty acids in coconuts, which is turned into Monocaprin in the body and has similar properties as Lauric Acid.

Woman-Running

2. COULD BOOST THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

The immune system is complex and full of feedback mechanisms but as the above suggests, the promotion of Monolaurin and Monocaprin by the fatty acids in coconuts could potentially boost the immune system. Monolaruin for example is found in breast milk as a way for mothers to boost the immune strength of babies.

Woman-in-Mirro-Grooming

3. AS A NATURAL BEAUTY PRODUCT

Incorporating coconut products and oil into your regular beauty care can have great benefits:

  • Skin Care: coconut oil and butter are great natural moisturisers for skin, as well as helping alleviate dry skin and potentially cases of eczema and dermatitis.
  • Hair: as you know, hair is made up from the same proteins as skin, so coconut oil and butter can also be beneficial for your scalp and hair care also.
  • Facial Cleanser: coconut oil is wonderful as a cleanser. You can even use it as a make-up remover!

 

4. REHYDRATION

Coconut water is loaded with electrolytes, which are essential in helping the body absorb water and function effectively. These are potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and sodium. Studies suggest that coconut water is your key to natural, chemical free hydration after exercise, during your work day, while you’re out socialising, or the day after!

Coconut Water in Blue Cup

With the increasing popularity of coconut products, there is a growing wealth of information and research available on the benefits and effects of coconuts. This includes areas such as the beneficial effects of coconuts on heart disease, its ability to boost brain function and also moderate metabolic functions. While the prevailing consensus is that it is beneficial, we have not included these just yet; there are however books available on each of these. We encourage you to also do your own research and make an informed decision.

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03 Dec Ethically Sourced

At Coconut Merchant, ensuring that our products are ethically sourced is at the core of our beliefs. It is important to us that we source our coconut products in ways that respect the people that produce them and the places in which they are grown.

To do this we have set out a set of standards that enshrine our Ethically Sourced policy. In short these standards cover:

  • Working conditions for staff and farmers;
  • Pay for staff, farmers;
  • The price paid for their produce;
  • Environmental sustainability.

 

COCONUT MERCHANT
ETHICALLY SOURCED STANDARDS

In keeping with our core beliefs, these eight standards set out the fundamental requirements in our sourcing policy. Coconut Merchant recognises that while some suppliers may not be able to achieve these standards immediately, they must express an interest in and be willing to:

  • implement appropriate processes to raise their standards to comply with this document;
  • demonstrate responsible and transparent approaches to their work and practices; and
  • demonstrate an on going commitment to improving their ethical standards.

These standards represent the minimum requirements that must be met. They are:

  1. Suppliers must not use any forced or involuntary labour, and workers must not be obliged to lodge ID papers or deposits as a condition of work;
  2. Workers must not be required to work extreme hours, or for long shifts without adequate rest periods;
  3. While we appreciate that in some regions and circumstances this may appear needed, suppliers must not engage workers under 15 years of age (an ILO Labour Standard), or the minimum domestic working age if higher. Where such labour is discovered, suppliers must engage appropriate remediation for such workers and implement adequate and reasonable processes that aim to prevent the use of child labour in the future;
  4. Factories and work areas must exhibit reasonable and adequate safety and hygiene standards for staff;
  5. Suppliers must pay sufficient wages to staff so that they can meet their basic needs and have some discretionary income;
  6. We shall in all circumstances endeavour to work directly with farmers’ cooperatives and those closest to the production of coconuts. If we are unable to work directly with farmers and their cooperatives, we must endeavour to be as close as possible to them in the supply chain to ensure a fair and transparent price is paid for goods and produce;
  7. Suppliers must endeavour to engage in sustainable farming techniques wherever possible. Where non-sustainable practices are discovered, suppliers will adjust their techniques to ensure care of the natural environment.
  8. In essence, these standards express the fact that while we wish to enjoy the bounties of this natural produce, it will not be at the expense of our good conscience.

 

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Coconut and Cocolate Brownies

03 Dec Coconut and Chocolate Brownies

A fantastic Coconut and Chocolate Brownie recipe from our contributing chef, Heather Adamson. Using the left over almond meal from making almond milk, this recipe is quick, vegan, easy and so delicious!

Preparation Time: 10min

Cooking Time: 35min

Serves: 4-8

What you’ll need:

- the leftover almond meal (around 3/4 cup)
- 3/4 cup coconut sugarAdd to cart
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil, meltedAdd to cart
- 3 large flax eggs (or regular eggs if not vegan)
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

 

Let’s get started!

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender and pulse until combined.
2. Spread into an 8×8″ lined baking tray and bake in a preheated oven 175C | 350F | GM3 for 25-35 minutes (maybe a bit more depending on your oven)!
3. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before slicing into squares.

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