Powerful Cranberries

As October gives way to November, I begin to anticipate the holiday season. After switching to a plant based lifestyle one of the most frequent questions I continue to get is “What about eating during the holidays?”

I happily, and healthily, eat plant based during the holidays, even during Thanksgiving and Christmas meals that are traditionally laden with the foods on my “no” list. I stick to seasonal produce and lots of veggies. One food that shows up in grocery stores this time of year becomes a staple during the holidays.

Powerful Cranberries

What are Cranberries?

Cranberries grow on low, creeping shrubs or vines up to 7 feet long and 2 to 8 feet in height. The plant’s dark pink flowers become berries that are a bit larger than the leaves of the plant. Initially light green, the berries turn red when ripe. They are edible with a tart taste that can overwhelm their sweetness. The majority of cranberries are harvested in the US, Canada and Chile.

Most cranberries are processed into products such as juice, sauce, jam, and sweetened dried cranberries, with the remainder sold fresh to consumers. Cranberry sauce is a traditional accompaniment to turkey at Christmas dinners in the United Kingdom, and at Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners in the United States and Canada.

Canned cranberry sauce was my introduction to this tart fruit. It has been a joy to create my own cranberry relish for the holidays, and find other uses for fresh cranberries.

Powerful Cranberries

Health Benefits of Cranberries

Most people know that cranberries have antiseptic properties that aid in healing urinary tract infections and yeast infections. That power comes from the cranberry’s ability to fight the streptococcus bacteria, which is most often the underlying cause of such infections.

These bright red berries offer so much more, health wise. Cranberries help with these conditions and ailments:

• Reverse gallbladder disease and dissolve gallstones.

• Cleanse the liver and aid the passing of kidney stones.

• Dislodge earwax and restore hearing.

• Due to antioxidant properties, they heal cardiovascular disease and arteriosclerosis.

• Destroy toxic hormones, easing premenopausal symptoms, and helping with weight loss.

• Draw radiation out of the body.

• Protect connective tissue, detoxify organs, halt the growth of bacteria and viruses, and provide stress assistance when needed.

• Help to prevent seasonal allergies.

(Info from Life Changing Foods by Anthony William)

Powerful Cranberries

Ways to Enjoy Cranberries

Add fresh or frozen cranberries to smoothies, smoothie bowls, juices, and gluten free oatmeal. Include them in stir fries or chop and sprinkle atop salads.

My two favorite ways to enjoy cranberries are in hot apple cider and raw cranberry relish. Both recipes are from Anthony William.

Get the recipe for the fragrant, health boosting cider HERE.

The cranberry relish is so easy to make and one of my all time favorite dishes.

Using a food processor, combine 1 cup of fresh cranberries, 2 cups of coarsely chopped apples, 1/2 cup of orange segments, 1/4 teaspoon of orange zest and 4 tablespoons of raw organic honey or coconut sugar. Pulse until roughly combined. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. The relish can be garnished with chopped mint right before serving.

This relish makes a great accompaniment to any holiday meal or it’s perfect on its own.

Of all the foods on the table during holiday meals, cranberries are the most nutritious and beneficial. Even if it’s canned cranberry sauce, give these powerful berries a try! And for a real treat that ups the healing properties, create the relish or add cranberries to hot apple cider or a cup of hot herbal tea.

Powerful Cranberries

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Raw Date Granola

When I discovered a bag of dates in the refrigerator this morning, I knew just what to create for Try This Tuesday. During my 10 days of eating whole raw foods, I marked a recipe to try in Life Changing Foods by Anthony William.

Raw Date Granola is simple to make, and it is perfect to snack on or use as a topping on fruit bowls, banana ice cream or smoothies.

Raw Date Granola

Raw Date Granola

2 cups dates, pitted

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

1/4 cup almonds

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Process ingredients in a food processor until roughly chopped. Store granola in a container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Makes 2 – 4 servings.

Raw Date Granola

Sweet and Crunchy

This treat couldn’t be easier to make. In five minutes I had a batch of date granola. The combo of sweet chewy dates and crunchy almonds was perfect. The granola reminded me of the date balls I used to make during the holidays.

And dates are an amazing food for the digestive system. They also deliver vital glucose to the liver, and refuel the brain and muscles. Dates also keep the heart healthy, support the adrenal glands and they have anti-cancer properties.

Create a batch of raw date granola and enjoy the treat while sustaining a healthy body.

Raw Date Granola

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Parsley Tabbouleh

Day 3 of the 7 Day Raw Food Cleanse and I am feeling great! Much of my afternoon was spent restocking my supply of fresh fruits and veggies, visiting various stores to get the best deals. And, I picked up the ingredients for a recipe, one from Life Changing Foods by Anthony William…Parsley Tabbouleh.

Parsley Tabbouleh

Parsley Tabbouleh

Ingredients:

1/4 cup almonds

4 cups parsley, tightly packed

1/8 cup mint leaves, loosely packed

2 cups tomatoes, cut into chunks

2 cups cucumbers, cut into chunks

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 lemon, juiced

Instructions:

Pulse almonds in food processor until roughly chopped. Set aside.

Pulse parsley in food processor until finely chopped. Set aside.

Combine remaining ingredients in food processor and pulse until chopped and well combined. Transfer mixture into a large bowl. Add parsley and almonds and stir together. Makes 2 – 4 servings.

Use flat leaf parsley, if available, for maximum health benefits.

Alkalizing Parsley

I’ve been craving alkalizing foods this week, as I enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables. So I’ve added lots of green leafy veggies to my meals.

As it turns out, parsley is one of the best foods for alkalizing all of the systems of the body. Its mineral salts bind onto unproductive acids in the body and drive them out, making parsley helpful for preventing all types of cancers. It also keeps bacteria, parasites and fungus at bay.

It’s important for me to listen to my body and give it what it needs. Apparently, I required this aromatic herb this week. I’m happy to oblige, as I have wanted to try parsley tabbouleh. This salad is perfect as a side dish partnered with other healthy foods or enjoyed on its own.

I loved the flavorful tabbouleh, and intend to make it often…anytime my body lets me know I need alkalizing food!

Parsley Tabbouleh

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Artichokes

I’ve eaten artichoke hearts for years, primarily as an ingredient in a big mixed salad. I have never actually purchased this peculiar looking vegetable before today, or prepared it at home. There’s a first for everything!

Artichokes

What are Artichokes?

The artichoke is a variety of the thistle plant, cultivated as food. The edible portion of the plant consists of the flower bud before the flowers come into bloom. The budding artichoke flower-head is a cluster of small blooms with many bracts on an edible base. Once the buds bloom, the structure changes to a coarse, barely edible form.

This vegetable grows 4.5 feet to 6.5 feet tall, with arching, deeply lobed, silvery green leaves. The bud is 3 to 6 inches in diameter with numerous triangular scales. The edible portions of the buds consist primarily of the fleshy lower portions of the bracts and the base, known as the “heart”. The mass of immature florets in the center of the bud is called the “choke” or beard. These are inedible in older, larger plants.

Artichokes

Health Benefits of Artichokes

In Life Changing Foods, author Anthony William ranks artichokes in the top ten among superfoods. They are filled with phytochemicals such as lutein and isothiocyanates, vitamins A, E and K, amino acids and enzymes. They enhance B12 and bring balance to the gut.

Artichokes also contain minerals such as silica, which is crucial for the body to survive, and magnesium which when combined with other minerals found in this vegetable, helps to calm all the body’s systems. The mineral denseness in the artichoke nourishes the dense organs of the body, including the liver, spleen, pancreas, brain, adrenals and thyroid.

This is an ideal food for those with diabetes, hypoglycemia and blood sugar imbalances, as well as people suffering with kidney stones, gallstones, calcifications and scar tissue within the body. Artichokes also protect from the radiation of X-rays, cancer treatments and dental work.

Bring more artichokes into the diet for these additional symptoms and conditions: shingles, insomnia, liver disease, Lyme disease, pancreatic cancer, ulcers, systemic lupus, blood cell cancers, infertility, rib pain, food allergies, bone loss, inflamed colon, nerve pain and enlarged spleen.

Artichokes

How to Prepare Artichokes

The best, most nutritious way to enjoy artichokes is to steam them. Follow these easy steps:

• Cut off the stem of the artichoke so that it rests flat. Trim off the top 1/4 of the artichoke. Using scissors, cut the tips from each remaining leaf.

• Fill a large pot with 3 inches of water. Place 1 – 4 artichokes in a steamer basket and place inside the pot. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over artichokes.

• Bring water to a boil and steam covered for 30 – 45 minutes, until leaves are tender and easily pull loose from the bud. Eat by nibbling the fleshy part at the base of each leaf.

I used my pressure pot to steam one artichoke, after preparing it. It took 14 minutes to cook through. Using vegan, egg free mayo, I created a lemon sauce with the other half of the lemon.

My first experience steaming and eating a fresh artichoke was a success! The leaf bases were tender and tasty…and I ate the whole thing. Which is to say, I nibbled away the bases of the leaves and enjoyed the heart. There was a pile of leftover leaf parts when I finished, making artichokes a great beginning to a plant based meal.

Artichokes

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Mangoes

After mangling the first fresh mango that I attempted to cut up, I primarily purchased frozen mixed fruit that included mango chunks. My morning fruit smoothies are easy to make using unsweetened frozen fruit. However, I’ve learned how to properly cut up this small, powerful fruit. Fresh mango, eaten alone or mixed with other fruits, can’t be beat.

Mangoes

What are Mangoes?

The mango is a tropical fruit with an outer fleshy part surrounding a seed, or pit. Mangoes, native to South Asia, are widely distributed throughout the world now, earning it the name “king of fruits”. In fact, mangoes are considered the most consumed fruit in the world.

There are many different kinds of mangoes. They range in color, shape, flavor, and seed size. While the skin color of mangoes can vary from green to red, yellow, or orange, the inner flesh of the mango is mostly a golden yellow, and it is notoriously difficult to separate from the pit. The fruit has a sweet and creamy taste.

Mangoes

Health Benefits of Mangoes

In Life Changing Foods Anthony William shares that the mango is a miraculous sleep aid. When consumed before bed, the phytochemicals in mangoes, combined with the fruit’s amino acids, fructose and glucose, travel to the brain and quickly restore depleted neurotransmitters. This allows for true rest during the night.

Mangoes are also beneficial for stress relief, viral protection and calming the central nervous system. Rich in beta-carotene, mangoes strengthen and support the skin and help to prevent skin cancers. They reverse hypoglycemia, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes. Plus the fruit’s pulp soothes the stomach and intestinal tract.

Bringing more mangoes into the diet helps with these disorders: Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, Grave’s disease, ADHD, ulcers, stomach cancer, Hashimoto’s, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, PTSD, urinary tract infections, depression, anxiety, adrenal fatigue, infertility, muscle cramps and pain, constipation, sluggish liver, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Mangoes

Mangoes

How to Cut Up a Mango

Follow these easy steps, to cut up a mango:

1) Stand the mango up and slice from top to bottom, avoiding the pit. Turn fruit and slice off the other side. You should have two halves and a central section containing the seed.

2) Score the mango halves, cutting through the flesh without cutting through the outer skin.

3) Remove the cubes of mango by scraping the cut sections with a spoon or by sliding a knife between the flesh and skin. I cut the strips into long sections and fillet off the flesh (see photo above).Cut the narrow strips from either side of the pit, slice through the flesh, and fillet off.

Use mangoes in smoothies, salsas and salads, eat alone or combined with other fruits. Frozen mango chunks, combined with frozen bananas, makes a great soft serve type dessert that is naturally sweet and oh so delicious.

Mangoes

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Two Raw Apple Treats

The 10th day of the Apple Challenge presents the perfect opportunity to offer not one, but two delicious treats. I’m grateful for the many recipes that author and teacher Anthony William offers. Both of these scrumptious and easy to prepare recipes are his.

Two Raw Apple Treats

Raw Applesauce

I prepared this simple dish a couple of nights ago, to include with a veggie bowl that included baked potatoes, steamed cauliflower and tomatoes fresh from the garden.

Raw Applesauce

4 apples, cored and diced

4 dates, pitted

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until a smooth, even applesauce forms. Serve immediately. Makes two servings. If there are leftovers, sprinkle fresh lemon juice over the applesauce and seal tightly. Store in refrigerator.

This recipe came together in minutes, and it was so good. I purposefully left my applesauce slightly chunky. And when I discovered I was out of dates, I substituted 1 tablespoon of organic maple syrup. The applesauce was the perfect accompaniment for the veggies.

Two Raw Apple Treats

Apple Pie Smoothie

I made these cold frosty smoothies after dinner, as a special treat.

Apple Pie Smoothie

2 red apples, cored and cut into chunks

1 1/2 – 2 frozen bananas, chunked

1 1/2 cups almond or coconut milk, unsweetened

1 tablespoon organic maple syrup OR 1 date

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Pinch of nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add more almond milk or water, if needed. Serve immediately. Makes two servings.

Two Raw Apple Treats

What a treat this was! The blended drink was thick and very cold, and did indeed taste like apple pie. The smoothie could be served as a meal replacement for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Or, as I discovered, it makes an excellent after dinner treat.

I am loving the Apple Challenge and getting my three apples a day in a variety of ways. And I know my liver is benefiting, as is the rest of my body. Watch for more nutritious and fun recipes as the challenge continues!

Two Raw Apple Treats

Parsley

This green leafy herb is recognized by most people as the garnish on their plate in a restaurant. Until recently, I would never have considered eating the garnish. What a deeply ingrained perception, to view parsley as decoration rather than the powerful healing food that it is. I’m glad my perceptions have changed!

Parsley

What is parsley?

Parsley is a species of flowering plants native to the central Mediterranean region that includes southern Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Malta, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. It is naturalized in Europe, and grown across the US. The plant is widely cultivated as an herb, spice and vegetable.

Parsley is often used in European, Middle Eastern and American cooking. The curly variety is most frequently placed on a plate of food as garnish. Beyond its culinary and decorative uses, this aromatic herb also has many health benefits.

Parsley

Benefits of parsley

Parsley is a nutrient dense food, full of vitamins such as B12, B9 (folic acid), A, C and K, and minerals including magnesium, sulfur, iron, zinc, manganese, molybdenum, chromium, selenium, iodine and calcium. The plant thrives well and has an adaptogenic nature, making it an excellent food when the body is weary and depleted.

When the body becomes too acidic, disease is more likely to occur. Parsley is one of the best alkalizing foods, for all systems of the body. It drives out acidity due to the special mineral salts that bind onto unproductive acids. This alkalizing ability makes parsley effective in preventing cancer, which thrives in an acidic body.

The herb fights pathogens, keeps bacteria, parasites and fungus away, and pulls herbicides and pesticides from the body. Parsley helps any mouth related disorder such as gum disease, tooth decay and dry mouth.

Bring more parsley into your life for these symptoms and conditions: cancer, anxiety, depression, adrenal fatigue, Epstein Barr virus, migraines, thyroid disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, COPD, endocrine system disorders, hepatitis C, nausea, dizziness, abdominal pain, weight gain, neurological disorders and pre-fatty liver. (Info from Life Changing Foods by Anthony William)

How to use parsley

For maximum benefits, choose flat leaf parsley over curly leaf, although it still has benefits if that’s all that is available. Juice it with celery and other veggies, add it to salads and sprinkle over foods. Fresh parsley can be brewed as a tea also.

Move this crucial herb from the sidelines, of your plate and your perceptions, and embrace the health and vitality it offers. I’ll be adding this plant to my herb garden next spring so I can enjoy it and reap the benefits more often.

Parsley

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Powerful Pomegranates

These colorful fruits are very popular and known primarily for being high in antioxidants. However the pomegranate has amazing health benefits making it a food to indulge in often. Anthony William writes that each juicy ruby colored seed inside powerful pomegranates contains a universe of healing. Breaking open those seeds, called arils, releases the full potential of those tiny universes to come to our aid.

Powerful Pomegranates

When we eat fresh pomegranate seeds a chemical reaction occurs whenever the fruit’s acids, which are full of phytochemicals, come into contact with unhealthy hardenings of bile, protein buildup and toxic forms of calcium. They immediately begin to break down, making pomegranates helpful for dissolving gallstones, kidney stones, nodules, calcifications and small cysts.

This fruit strengthens red and white blood cell counts. It restores glucose reserves in the liver, so that the organ can release glucose into the bloodstream as needed. This helps to protect the adrenal glands. If the liver doesn’t have an adequate supply of glucose then the adrenals are forced to pump hormones such as cortisol into the blood to keep the body going. This can lead to overactive adrenal glands and eventual burnout. Pomegranate’s high quality glucose is excellent for the brain as well, supporting the abilities to focus and concentrate.

Powerful Pomegranates

In addition pomegranates contain trace minerals such as iron, manganese, potassium and chromium that are very bioavailable and easily assimilable, and high levels of vitamins C and K.

Eating pomegranates regularly unclogs pores and hair follicles, encouraging hair growth and benefitting the skin and scalp, lowers blood pressure and eases the symptoms of arthritis.

Pomegranates curb excessive hunger and the tendency to overeat if the seeds are consumed before a meal. They also regulate hormones by flushing out unproductive estrogens that contribute to cancer. Pomegranates detoxify DDT and other pesticides, eliminate lactic acid build up in the muscles and prevents the overproduction of earwax.

Bringing more pomegranates into the diet also helps with these conditions and symptoms: Alzheimer’s, dementia, brain fog, memory loss, insomnia, adrenal fatigue, diabetes, Epstein Barr, Lyme’s disease, Raynaud’s syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome, muscle cramps, myelin nerve damage, eye floaters, body pain, head pain, inflammation, itchy skin and hives.

Powerful Pomegranates

So the thing about pomegranates is being able to easily get to those amazing seeds. My first experience with deseeding a pomegranate turned into a huge mess, with seeds everywhere, including on the floor. Very few of those sweet-tart bubbles of goodness ended up in my bowl.

I love pomegranate seeds though, and I persevered. One method that works well is to score the skin around the middle of the fruit and then carefully pry the pomegranate apart into two halves. Gently…oh so gently…flex each half to loosen the seeds. Using any force snaps the fruit into sections and scatters the seeds. Turn the pomegranate half cut side down over a bowl and whack the other side with a wooden spoon. The seeds will fall into the bowl.

I have not tried the bowl of water trick yet, for removing seeds. See this method demonstrated in the video below.

Enjoy pomegranate seeds fresh from the fruit, run through the juicer with other fruits, or sprinkle on salads, hummus, stir fry, or cooked veggies.

Don’t forego enjoying powerful pomegranates because they can be messy to open and deseed. They are well worth the effort. Pomegranates teach us to prepare for life’s messes and embrace them so that we can receive the most from what comes our way.

Powerful Pomegranates

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Miraculous Raw Honey

There are so many reasons to appreciate this golden wild food. Anthony William, author of Life Changing Foods, calls raw, unprocessed honey “nothing less than a miracle from God and the earth”.

Miraculous Raw Honey

Let’s put to rest the main concern about people have about consuming honey: it’s not sugar. Don’t confuse the natural sweetness of this nectar with processed sugar or high fructose corn syrup. The fructose and glucose in honey is good for us. It is full of thousands of phytochemical compounds, including pathogen killers and protectors against radiation damage and cancer. In fact, raw honey can shut down the cancerous growth process in tumors.

Honey is highly absorbable and its B12 coenzymes make it a powerful brain food. Plus raw honey repairs DNA and it is extremely high in minerals such as calcium, potassium, zinc, selenium, phosphorus, chromium, molybdenum and manganese. Its anti inflammatory properties inhibit pathogens from procreating and releasing toxins that further elevate inflammation.

Our immune systems are constantly bombarded by the microorganisms that we encounter. Raw honey, one of the most adaptogenic foods in existence, supports the immune system so it can combat those microorganisms. When we are dealing with a weakened immune system and infectious diseases such as colds, flus and stomach bugs, or food poisoning, raw honey helps strengthen the body’s defense systems.

We can bring more raw honey into our lives to help with these conditions: sinus and ear infections, diabetes, hypoglycemia, allergies, staph infections, MRSA, SIBO, infertility, insomnia, adrenal fatigue, colds, cancers, Alzheimer’s, dementia, memory issues, autoimmune disorders, respiratory infections, bronchitis, joint pain, headaches, stomachaches and dry skin. (Info from Life Changing Foods)

Miraculous Raw Honey

This is how I have brought more honey into my life. I purchase raw organic honey locally. It’s important to purchase honey from local bee keepers because the bees collect pollen from area flowers and plants, including the ones we can have allergic reactions to.

During allergy season, spring and late fall for me, I take a spoonful of raw honey daily, along with an Ester C vitamin and a spoonful of sugar free elderberry syrup, to prevent allergic reactions. I have not had allergy symptoms in two years, and I formerly suffered from severe seasonal allergies.

I add raw honey to a bowl of berries for a special treat and use it in place of sugar in recipes such as curries and sauces. Raw honey is great in turmeric milk, made with unsweetened almond coconut milk, and can be added to herbal teas or lemon water for an extra boost to the immune system. Drizzle it over frozen banana ice cream or chopped apples.

And I add 1/4 teaspoon of raw honey to the face serum that I make, because it is wonderfully restorative to the skin. It also is beneficial for healing small wounds and abrasions and helps to heal scars.

I used to laugh at Winnie the Pooh and his obsession with eating honey. Now I realize that silly old bear was on to something amazing.

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Health Benefits of Coconut

I’ve been aware of the benefits of coconut for some time, primarily through the use of coconut oil. I use coconut oil as a base for skin and hair care products that I make myself. In fact, I just made a batch of my skin serum today, that I’ve been using for years on my face, neck, chest and hands. Find my recipe HERE.

I’ve only recently discovered coconut water…yum…and the extraordinary healing powers found within this wild food.

Health Benefits of Coconut

In his book Life Changing Foods, Anthony William shares that the coconut enhances the power of everything it touches. When combined with any healing food, coconut supercharges it. For example, if coconut water is added to a smoothie that contains parsley, it increases parsley’s ability to remove unproductive acids from the body by 50% and dramatically improves the effects of parsley’s trace minerals.

When coconut meat is added to a salad, it enhances everything else in the salad…cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach…and their healing properties. Coconut drives a food to fulfill its highest purpose as it nourishes the body.

Health Benefits of Coconut

Coconut water provides important glucose and crucial mineral salts, including potassium and sodium, to the bloodstream. This is a fundamental component of neurotransmitter production. Without these chemicals we don’t sleep well and can experience insomnia, neurological sleep apnea and other sleep disturbances. To avoid these issues, drink coconut water.

Coconut water’s trace minerals and electrolytes nourish reproductive tissue. It also helps people with hypoglycemia, diabetes and blood disorders. Coconut water is crucial for those with over or under active adrenals as well as brain and neurological disorders. It benefits people with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other forms of dementia. And it prevents the onset of seizures and supports eye conditions.

Consume coconut water that is clear or very slightly tinged with pink, and avoid any that contain citric acid, natural flavors, or any kind of sweeteners.

Health Benefits of Coconut

Coconut meat and the oil derived from it is antipathogenic, antibacterial, antiviral and full of antioxidant properties. As coconut moves into the intestinal tract it kills off pathogens. Plus it helps to break loose fats and push them out of the body.

I occasionally use unsweetened shredded coconut in salads or to make a healthy sugar free treat. I keep cans of unsweetened coconut milk on hand, for recipes such as madras curried lentils and sauces. Coconut oil is great to cook with, however my favorite use for the oil is to create chemical free products. My strong intention is to increase the amount of coconut water that I drink and continue reaping the benefits that this power food offers.

Health Benefits of Coconut

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