Coconut Amino Pluot Marinated Chicken Skewers

This unusual combination yields a most delicate and wonderful flavor. While chicken is featured here, this marinade would be an equally welcome flavor add to pork or beef on skewers. Grilling lends even more flavor.

Pluot Coconut Amino Chicken Skewers

Ingredients:

2 lbs chicken breast, cut into strips (or pork or beef)

2 ripe sweet pluots or plums

1/3 cup Coconut Secret coconut aminos

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 clove garlic finely chopped or crushed in a garlic press

Remove the skins and pits from the pluots/plums. Discard the pits. Eat the skins. (They’re good for you.) Use a small food processor or handheld blender to liquefy the flesh of the pluots/plums. You may be able to do this with a little more effort by hand – mashing them with a fork. However you accomplish this, put the resulting juice in a bowl. Add the coconut aminos, onion, and garlic to the bowl and mix well.

Pour this marinade mixture over the strips of chicken in a ziplock bag. Massage the bags to coat the chicken evenly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours.

Skewer the chicken strips and grill for 10-15 minutes, turning once halfway through.

Hint: If you are grilling a fatty meat like pork or beef, try to avoid letting the fat drip onto the flames (gas grill) or coals, as this creates carcinogenic chemicals that get on your food. Using indirect heat is the healthy way to grill.

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Almond Flour Lemon Bars, Gluten & Sugar Free

A delicious summertime sweet treat, that will satisfy all your gluten free and sugar free requirements, enjoy!

Ingredients:

Crust:

¾ cup almond flourlemon bar gluten free

¼ cup coconut flour

½ cup coconut oil or ghee (or a combination of both)

½ cup Lakanto

½ tsp sea salt

Lemon topping:

3 large eggs

½ cup Lakanto

½ tsp aluminum free baking powder

¼ tsp sea salt

4 tbls. lemon juice

Method: 

Mix crust ingredients in a bowl and pour into an 8”x 8” glass baking pan or a 9” glass round pie plate (lightly greased with a little coconut oil or ghee) and prebake at 325ᵒF for 15 minutes or until light brown in color. Then allow to cool.

Whisk together Lemon topping ingredients in a bowl and pour over the pre-baked crust. Then bake for 15-20 minutes at 325ᵒF until the topping is set. Poke with a toothpick or a fork in the center to test.

Cool, cut and serve.

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Cultured Quinoa Milk

This non dairy milk recipe is a great alternative to nut and seed milks!

Adapted from Body Ecology

Ingredients:cultured quinoa milk

  • 2 cups raw quinoa
  • 1 quart filtered water
  • Pinch sea salt
  • ¼ cup Tula’s CocoKefirTM
  • Alcohol free vanilla or stevia (optional) 

Method:

Rinse and soak the quinoa for 8 hours or overnight at room temperature with a pinch of sea salt.  Rinse and drain quinoa and put in a blender. Blend with the water until it turns very white and creamy.  You can use a nut milk bag or cheesecloth to filter your milk and separate out the quinoa pulp.  Pour strained quinoa milk into a sterile glass jar. Add ¼ cup CocoKefirTM  and close the jar tightly.   Leave the jar out on your counter or in a thermal lined bag for about 24 hours. If flavoring with vanilla and/or stevia stir in and refrigerate!

Note: You can see from the photograph, because there are no preservatives or stabilizers the milk will separate.  Simply shake to remix!

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When It Comes to Probiotics, More Species are Better

There are many recent studies focused on the effects probiotics have on a myriad of health conditions and challenges. One overarching truth that seems to be emerging from this growing body of evidence is that, indeed, probiotics are good for us. Our health and wellbeing are directly tied to the microbiota in our guts.

But there is another interesting development that is worth noting; there are a number of studies that, taken together, strongly suggest multispecies probiotics prove more effective than probiotics of a single strain or only a couple strains.

In a review published in the Journal of Food Microbiology by H.M. Timmerman, et al., the authors concluded there was enough evidence to suggest multispecies probiotics are more efficacious than single strain or even multistrain probiotics.

A single strain probiotic (called monostrain in the article) – defined as a probiotic supplement containing only one strain of beneficial bacteria.

Multistrain was defined as a probiotic supplement containing more than one strain of beneficial bacteria from the same species or at least of the same genus.

Multispecies contain strains from more than one genus.

We are often asked why Tula’s®CocoKefir™ works so well. Perhaps the answer to the question lies in the fact that, not only do our products contain 7 beneficial strains, they come from 5 different genera and interact synergistically with each other. We know this to be true because they worked for our daughter, they work for us, and we get calls and emails every day from customers who tell us they work for them.

This being said, we do not mean to imply that single strain probiotics are not helpful. We encourage people to get as many different strains of known beneficial bacteria in their diet as possible. In nature, biodiversity serves to promote a healthier ecosystem. The same is true in our bodies. If you take a single strain probiotic supplement, try taking it with CocoKefir™ to give it a boost. The same nutrients that feed the beneficial bacteria in CocoKefir will feed those found in your probiotic supplement.

Because, as always…Good Health Begins in the Gut.

Timmerman, H.M., et al. (15 November, 2004) Monostrain, multistrain and multispecies probiotics – A comparison of functionality and efficacy. International Journal of Food Microbiology. Vol. 96, Issue 3, p.219-233. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168160504002855

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Grain Free, Dairy Free Chewy Power Bars

This highly versatile recipe can be adapted to suit your families needs, a tasty way to start the day!

Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

Ingredients:gluten free power bar

1 cup quinoa flakes (gluten free rolled oats work as well – be wary of the glycemic load)

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup  puffed quinoa or puffed amaranth (rice puff cereal would work, keeping in mind the glycemic load)

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp quinoa flour (or flour of choice)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp alcohol free vanilla extract

2 tbsp coconut oil

1/3 –  ½ cup CocoYoTM

1-2 packs stevia or 1-2 tablespoons Lakanto or  liquid sweetener (to taste)

2 tbsp pumpkin puree or nut butter or additional CocoYoTM

Mix-ins: dried tart cherries, hemp hearts (for protein),  shredded unsweetened coconut, chopped walnuts, etc.

 Method: Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine first 5 ingredients, mix well. In a separate bowl, combine last 5 ingredients (starting with 1/3 cup CocoYoTM). Stir wet into dry and continue to add the additional CocoYoTM  or pumpkin puree until mixture is nicely coated and evenly wet. Use a sheet of parchment paper to squish evenly into a parchment-lined 7×5 pan (or double the recipe for a 9×13). Press the mixture firmly into the pan. Cook 18 minutes. Cool in the fridge for at least ten minutes before cutting into bars. If stored at room temperature, consume within 3-4 days. 

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Wanted: Real Coconut Water – Not Concentrate

Do you ever wonder if your favorite coconut water drink is real coconut water? You should. Here’s why.

Under federal regulations and guidelines, coconut water is treated like a fruit juice. Of course we know it isn’t a fruit juice, but we’ll let that inconsistency go for the time being.

100 % Juice

A typical juice label in the U.S.

Beverages that contain fruit juices (remember we are talking about coconut water here) are required to state how much juice they contain as a percentage of the total volume of the product. For example, a package label might say “30% juice.” A reasonable person would take this to mean that 30% of the contents of the package are juice and 70% other ingredients, such as water perhaps. (Be careful relying on “reasonableness” when it comes to food labeling laws; there are many inconsistencies in our food code.)

A label that states “100% juice” does not, in all cases, mean that 100% of the contents are real juice. Juice concentrates are allowed and are often used. The FDA maintains a table of Brix values for most juices.

“What is Brix?” you ask.

Brix is a unit of measure for the concentration of the solid constituents in an aqueous solution. More specifically, it is a measure of the sugar content of a liquid – expressed in Degrees Brix (ᵒBx). The higher the ᵒBx, the more sugars are dissolved in it. It is commonly used measurement in wine production and, as you are currently learning, in juice production.

So, a bottle of orange juice that states “100% juice” can actually be a mixture of filtered water and orange juice concentrate, mixed to 11.8ᵒBx. (21CFR 101 Sub. B §101.30)

“Why is that a problem?” you ask.

First, concentrated sugars, even if they are concentrated fruit sugars, are metabolized within the body in the same way a refined sugar is. Concentrated orange juice will spike your blood sugar in the same way refined table sugar or high fructose corn syrup will. They cause your pancreas and endocrine system to work harder creating insulin to cope with the increase in blood sugar. Concentrated juices may play a role in the increase in the number of people with diabetes in our country today.

Secondly, nutrients in concentrated juices are not as bioavailable as those found in fresh juices. Orange juice from concentrate will not nourish the body in the same way fresh squeezed orange juice will.

“What does all this have to do with coconut water?” you demand.

powdered coconut water by worradmuThere are companies in Southeast Asia that produce coconut water concentrate (referred to in the industry as CWC) and sell their product to coconut beverage manufacturers in the federal guidelines allow coconut water manufacturers to label their products as “100% coconut water” as long as they mix the CWC with filtered water to a minimum concentration of 5ᵒBx.

The same deficiencies inherent to concentrated fruit juices apply to CWC. Blood sugar spike and stress on the pancreas and endocrine system will be more pronounced with a coconut water concentrate. Nutrition will be compromised.

So, that coconut water you’ve been drinking may actually be a reconstituted coconut concentrate.

This is not to say all coconut water manufacturers use CWC in the manufacture of their products, but some do.

Young coconutAt Tula’s®CocoKefir™ , we never use CWC. In fact, we don’t even use bulk, pasteurized coconut water (another commercially available version). We extract real, raw coconut water from whole coconuts, one by one. This is a time consuming and expensive process, but our testing has proven that this is the only way to deliver high concentrations of thriving, viable probiotics, as well as bioavailable nutrition.

We’ve never tried to ferment CWC and we never will. Admittedly, we have had bulk, pasteurized coconut water suppliers urge us to test their coconut water and we have, reluctantly. The results were not good. The probiotics did not grow to the same high levels as they do in our fresh coconut water and the flavor was terrible. The testing proved to us what we intuitively knew; the best coconut kefir comes from fresh, raw coconuts. That is what we use and that is what we will continue to use – no filtered water, no pasteurization, no CWC.

We are committed to this way of doing things because we know – Good Health Begins in the Gut.

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Chocolate Whoopie Pies & Pumpkin Filling

Our family enjoyed this fun holiday cookie, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free!

Adapted from Elana’s Pantry

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Ingredients Chocolate whoopie pie

- 1/4 cup coconut flour

- 1/4 cup cacao powder

- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

- 3 eggs, organic if possible 

- 1/4 cup coconut oil

- 1/4 cup Lakanto

- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla stevia or alcohol free vanilla extract

Method

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse together dry ingredients in a food processor.  Pulse in wet ingredients until smooth. Using a tablespoon sized spoon, scoop the batter into 16 portions and onto prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 7 to 9 minutes. Cool for 1 hour. 

Pumpkin Whipped Cream

Ingredients

- 1 can coconut milk (be sure not to shake up the can)

- 1/4 cup freshly roast pumpkin or canned pumpkin puree

- 1 tablespoon Lakanto

- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

- 12 drops vanilla creme stevia or teaspoon alcohol free vanilla

Method

Scoop solid cream off the top of a can of coconut milk (you can refrigerate the can to make this a little easier). Place the coconut cream in a high powered blender or Vitamix. Add pumpkin, Lakanto, cinnamon and stevia (or vanilla) to blender. Puree on highest setting. Mixture should be thick, occasionally stop the blade and scrape down sides. Continue to puree until smooth. 

Assemble the whoopie pies by filling the chocolate cookies with the pumpkin whipped cream. Enjoy!

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