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Layered Coconut Cake

I am most certain that nearly each person who reads this blog post has heard about coconut oil and the many magical powers it holds! Not only can it provide benefits for your health, but it can act as a beauty, household and cleaning product! Coconut oil is made by pressing the fat from the white coconut flesh! About 84% of its calories come from saturated fat (14% of olive oil’s calories are from saturated fat and 63% of butter’s are), though coconut oil’s saturated fat is made up mostly of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and studies have shown that your body handles them differently than the longer-chain fats in vegetable oils, dairy, and fatty meats. Those who have tried coconut oil may agree that it is SUPER greasy and has a very distinct flavour (some like it, others don’t) and so can influence the degree of which people like to use it within cooking! But BE AWARE, not all coconut oil is the same! In order to enjoy the health benefits outlined below, you must get organic, virgin coconut oil, not the refined stuff!

BENEFITS

The following is a list of the many benefits coconut oil can provide to you!

  • MEDICINAL PROPERTIES - Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is Lauric Acid, which when digested, forms a substance called monolaurin. Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi !

  • REDUCE HUNGER - the way the fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolised, can decrease appetite, as ketones can have an appetite reducing effect! This in turn can cause you to eat less and therefore lose any excess kilos you are trying to shed! A little trick is to have a tsp of coconut oil when you’re feeling that bit peckish, but have only just eaten!

  • IMPROVE CHOLESTROL – Coconut oil may be the richest source of saturated fat, though as mentioned, the saturated fats in coconut oil are healthy and may increase “good” HDL cholesterol in your body, but also help convert the “bad” LDL cholesterol into a less harmful form! This can in turn protect against diseases such as heart disease!

  • PROTECT HAIR & SKIN – not only can coconut oil be consumed, but it can be used topically! Studies on individuals with dry skin show that coconut oil can improve the moisture and fat content of the skin, be very protective against hair damage even shows effectiveness as sunscreen, blocking about 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays! Another popular use is via oil pulling, which can kill some of the harmful bacteria in the mouth, improve dental health and reduce bad breath!

  • BOOST BRAIN POWER - Studies show that the fatty acids in coconut oil can increase blood levels of ketones, which can supply energy for the brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients and relieve symptoms

USES

The thing I love about food is that there are endless possibilities of ways you can use it, some which can make the food more tolerable, some which can increase the nutritional properties and some which don’t even require eating! Here are some of my favourite uses for coconut oil:

  • Using it as the oil base in a dressing

  • Using it as a shaving cream

  • Using it as a hair treatment - http://www.livestrong.com/article/23594-use-coconut-oil-hair-conditioner/

  • Using it to make chocolate - ¼ cup coconut oil + tbsp cacao powder + tbsp maple syrup – mix, pour into mould and freeze for 30 min! YUM!

  • Smoothie booster! Just simply add a tbsp!

WATCH OUT!

I must admit I am one of those people who when told “less is more” ignores that advice COMPLETELY and will instead use half the product in the first use or drench my whole meal with the “SUPERFOOD”. I think that especially in regards to products and foods that are deemed “healthy” for you, people are more likely to consume/use extra in the hope that it will make them SUPER HEALTHY, SUPER QUICK! Though I have come to realise that sometimes having too much of a good thing can actually to more harm than good! It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease prevention and achieving good health, therefore, it is better to eat a diet with variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health! Some of the not so happy side effects that can occur if you overdo it are:

  • DIARROHEA – Due to its antibacterial and germ-fighting qualities, the digestion of this oil might get interrupted within our intestine, which often leads to severe diarrohea!

Recipe

Serves: 8 generous slices

FOR THE BASE

  • 1 cup raw walnuts

  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

  • 2 tbs coconut oil

  • 1 tbs raw cacao powder

  • 2 tsp Norbu sweetner

FOR THE CHOCOLATE LAYER

  • 2 cups raw hazelnuts soaked in water overnight, drained, rinsed

  • 1 ¼ cup coconut milk

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil

  • 2 tbs raw cacao powder

  • 1 tbs Norbu sweetner

  • Pinch of salt

FOR THE BERRY FILLING

  • 1 1/2 cup raspberries

  • 2 tbs chia seeds

FOR THE VANILLA LAYER

  • 2 cups raw macadamias soaked in water overnight, drained, rinsed

  • 1 ¼ cup coconut milk

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil

  • 2 tsp Norbu sweetner

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • Pinch of salt

TO DO

  1. Line the base of a 20 cm spring form cake tin with baking paper

  2. In a food processor blend all the dry “base ingredients” until a fine meal forms.Then add the coconut oil and continue to whiz until the mixture becomes smooth

  3. Transfer in to the prepared cake tin and press the base down, forming a smooth, even surface. Leave in the freezer, to firm up.

  4. Now add all the “chocolate layer” ingredients into the blender and process until completely smooth, this can take up to 5 minutes – so be patient! If your processor begins to give off a smell like it’s about to burn out like mine does, just give it a break for a few minutes!

  5. Pour the chocolate layer mixture on top of the base and place back in to the freezer to set this layer

  6. To a clean food processor add the raspberries and chia seeds and blend until pureed. Pour the berry filling on top of the chocolate layer and place back in the freezer. If the chocolate layer was still a bit too runny, just wait another 10 minutes before adding the berry layer!

  7. Place all “vanilla” layer ingredients into a clean food processor and blend until completely smooth!

  8. Pour the vanilla layer mixture on top of the berry filling, when it is relatively set and place back in to the freezer for 2 hours.

  9. After the 2 hours feel free to serve straight away as is, or decorate it with more berries and shaved 90% dark Lindt chocolate!

  10. Store leftovers in the freezer and thaw out when you’re ready – you do not want it to be too cold otherwise it can be super tough to eat!

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