Featured food of the week: coconut. When people mention coconut, it can be a reference to the entire palm, the seed, the nut, or the fruit. It is technically a drupe, which is a fruit that has an exterior fleshy part that surrounds a shell with a seed inside. When we consume it, we’re basically eating the fleshy, white meat and drinking the watery juice of a giant, fuzzy seed. More information on the coconut.
Nutrition Facts from Self.com (1oz raw / 1oz dried, unsweetened):
- 99 / 185 calories
- 4g / 7g carbs
- 9g / 18g
- 1g / 2g protein
Coconut Health Benefits:
Coconuts, whether raw or dried, provide for a good source of fiber. They also contain high levels of essential trace minerals such as copper (a key component in the formation of red blood cells) and manganese. Many people use coconut oil and butters topically for hair and skin care health.
Common Preparation Methods:
The coconut is an extremely versatile food as it is used in multiple forms across the globe. The top three coconut producers in the world are the Philippines, Indonesia, and India. In the culinary world, it is extracted as an oil, made into butter and margarine, dried for desserts, and harvested for its juice or water, to name a few. I’ve had coconut raw, dried, in curries, in beverages, and in desserts. There was never a time that I did not enjoy eating, drinking, or being in close proximity to its pleasantly sweet aroma. In the recipe below, I’ve incorporated both coconut flour and dried coconut to create a paleo-friendly dish.
Paleo-Friendly Coconut and Almond Crusted Chicken Cutlet:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Slice chicken breasts into halves to form cutlets
- Tenderize the chicken breast by pounding and flattening it a bit (if you don’t have a meat tenderizer, use a fry pan shown below)
- Prepare one plate with coconut flour
- Prepare one plate with dried, shredded coconut combined with chopped almonds
- One pinch of salt and coarse ground pepper optional
- Prepare a bowl with one beaten egg
- Coat the chicken cutlet in the flour, then dip it in the egg, and lastly coat in the shredded coconut and almond mix
- Place the chicken cutlets on the baking pan
- Bake for 30 min
- Depending on cutlet thickness, you may want to trim the time down to 20-25 min. Baking for too long will dry out the chicken.
- Serve with a drizzle of lemon and tobasco sauce