THE COCONUT DIARIES: INTRO

Ditching personal care products for better health

Sadly, the majority of our person care products are loaded with harmful chemicals, compounds and synthetic ingredients.  Skin serums that make our skin worse rather than better, antiperspirant and deodorants that contain ingredients linked to breast cancer, chemicals in our shampoo and soaps that have been linked to birth defects and hairsprays and nail polishes that are potent neurotoxins.  All of these things hurt our body and disrupt our hormones.  In the coming weeks we will be discussing detoxing your life beginning with products that you can replace with coconut oil.

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So, what can coconut do for you?  So glad you asked, lets dig into it shall we:

Antibacterial Properties:

Coconut contains Lauric Acid, which converts to a substance in our bodies and acts as an antibacterial, antifungal and provides immune system support.   When used regularly as part of a natural skin care regime, coconut oil is able to protect the skin against environmental elements as well as provide sun protection to the rate of 20% of ultraviolet rays.

When used on cuts and scrapes, coconut oil works just as well as an over the counter treatment like Neosporin.  We use it regularly for first aid with fantastic healing and scar reducing results!

Internal Benefits:

Coconut oil can be used as a laxative and to keep ones system regular.  It also has the ability to aid in weight loss by providing easily digestible energy and healthy, nourishing fats.  A great metabolism booster, it tastes wonderful in sweet treats and is also fantastic for cooking.

Skin Care:

Coconut oil is a natural skin softener, gives excellent results in producing younger and softer looking skin.  It is a wonderful oil to use for the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM).  You can use it for shaving your legs and reducing red shaving bumps.  It can also be used as a scalp conditioner for those folks who have dandruff.  Coconut oils are also amazingly effective for skin issues such as eczema.  My son has had such severe eczema that we have had to give him topical and oral steroids and bandage his legs.  Since removing him from the medications and using coconut oil several times a day, his eczema is well under control.

Coconut oil is a do-it-all product that is a must have in your home!  I have saved so much money by never buying facial moisturizer, body moisturizer, shaving cream, first aid ointments and expensive all natural sunscreens.  I hope that you will consider what coconut oil can do for you and toss out some of those toxic and overpriced personal care products.

Stay tuned for my Coconut Diaries series as I dedicate a post each week to the specific use of coconut oil, complete with how-to’s and whys!

Perfect Beef Sliders on Gluten Free Buns

I’m fairly new to the food blogging game. I’ve been salivating over blogs like PaleoParents, Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations and Real Food Devotee for the past year. Always afraid to attempt such beautiful presentation, I just stuck with the basics and began to tinker with food. Recently I’ve become good enough at cooking whole and delicious meals that I’m actually proud enough to photograph and share.

So, for your viewing pleasure, I give you grass-fed beefsliders with bacon, organic tomatoes, lettuce and scallions on a homemade gluten free bun and topped with a generous dollop of homemade mayo . Coupled with a side of carrots, celery and homemade ranch dressing this meal was tested on a very hungry man, straight off of a 12 hour shift at work. In short, the pleased noises and request for seconds left me feeling that I have finally gotten closer to official food blogger status.

Here are the nitty gritty details of how I made my sliders. First up, gluten free buns.

GLUTEN FREE SLIDER BUNS

2 c. All-purpose gluten free flour

¾ tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp sea salt

2 eggs (or use equivalent egg replacer)

¼ c sesame oil

1 tbsp. active dry yeast

Prep:

Mix all dry ingredients into a large bowl.  I like to use a whisk to really spread out the xanthan gum.

In a smaller bowl, beat eggs (or egg replacer) with a fork and add sesame oil.

Make a “well” in the dry ingredients with your hands and begin to mix everything together.  Or, if you prefer to be less hands on, a mixer on low-speed is fine.  Be sure that all the ingredients are well mixed.

Sprinkle a dash of rice flour on your workspace and begin to roll the dough into a ball.  Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.  Use a dash of sesame oil to wet your hands and form smaller balls, when you have the right size, press into a bun shape.

Once all the buns are shaped, put them on a cookie sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper, cover the buns and put them in a warm place for 20 to 40 minutes depending on how high you would like them to rise.  I let mine rise for 15 as I like a more rustic feel to my slider buns.

Before your buns hit the oven, you can sprinkle them with coarse black pepper or any other seasoning you preferSAM_1454.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. (This is a great time to begin to cook your sliders)

Once they are done, remove from the oven and immediately slice them open.  You are now ready for your burgers.SAM_1461

SLIDERS!

1 lb grass-fed ground beef

8 strips cooked bacon

1 c. shredded organic cheddar cheese

1 organic roma tomato

1 shallot

4 leaves organic green leaf lettuce

Prep:

First, fry up your bacon but DO NOT discard the grease! Set the bacon aside and keep your pan hot.

While that bacon is sizzling, form small, very thin patties of hamburger meat and season generously with sea salt.  Add 1/4c. shredded cheddar and place another patty on top. Form the two patties together so that the cheese stays (mostly) inside the meat.

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Place your gorgeous burgers into the hot pan of bacon grease and let them cook to whatever done-ness you prefer.SAM_1462

Once those puppies are finished, place them on your bun with all the toppings, lavish with home-made mayo and secure with a long toothpick.  Add some cut up veggies and a dollup of ranch dressing for dipping and you are good to go!

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Please feel free to make modifications or comment with suggestions.  I hope you enjoy these little sliders, which are perfect for spring and summer entertaining.