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Coconuts are much like cows – truly blessed. They give milk and every single part of them can be used for our benefit.
I’ve written about the amazing properties of fresh coconut milk/water (check out ‘Hydrated and Saved’),  and now the time has come to reveal coconut’s two other super charms:
Raw Coconut Oil*
Raw Coconut Sugar/Nectar**
But before we learn more about them, here is a way to experience them in action.
I picked this simple recipe from Matthew Kenny’s book ‘Raw Chocolate’ that combines raw loveliness of coconut and cacao beans into what he calls ‘Coconut Haystacks’.
 I call these scrumptious babies –
Coconutty Choco Balls’
Makes ca. 20 pcs
Ingredients:
3 cups coconut flakes
1 cup cacao powder (raw if possible)
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1/2 cup coconut sugar (powdered in a spice or coffee grinder)
1/4 cup raw honey or agave nectar
1 TBS vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut oil or butter (melted) – Matthew uses melted cacao butter instead.
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Instructions:
1. Toss dry ingredients into a large bowl. Mix well.
2. Add honey and coconut oil and stir well to combine.
3. Using a small ice-cream scoop or tablespoon, spoon rounds of the dough onto a clean tray.
4. Refrigerate to firm (ca. 30 min).
5. Enjoy in good company as a treat for Iftar! This loveliness is meant to be shared.
 And now, let me share some facts that show just how much coconuts are beneficial for your health:
 *Raw cold pressed coconut oil:
– Great for the entire body, inside and out. All purpose oil!
– Jammed packed with healthy nutrients, vitamins and fatty acids.
– Promotes a healthy heart, thyroid gland and normal cholesterol levels.
– Boosts the body’s immune system, increases metabolism and energy, and helps with weight loss and sustaining a healthy weight.
– Soothes and treats skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis, helps skin and hair become healthier and more vibrant.
– Recommended daily use: 2-4 TBS/day.
 
**Raw coconut sugar/nectar:
– Consisting of the sap from the coconut tree (much like maple syrup), coconut nectar has the benefit of being a raw, pure sweetener.
– It contains 17 amino acids, as well as a host of minerals and vitamins B and C.
–  It can be used anywhere sweeteners are normally used, and also have the benefit of a low glycemic index. With a glycemic index of 35 (compared to organic sugar’s 47, raw sugar’s 65, and refined sugar’s 80), coconut nectar offers the same sweetness, but is a safer alternative for diabetics or anyone who wishes to maintain healthier, more consistent blood sugar levels.
(For more info check out http://www.22daysnutrition.com/blog/2012/08/22/the-health-benefits-of-coconut-nectar/)

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