All Bunnery Natural Foods granola recipes are unique blends, and one of the ingredients that sets them apart is a healthy dose of coconut. We have always loved the chewy hint of nutty sweetness coconut lends our granolas, so we set out to develop a product in which it plays a starring role: Coconut-Vanilla Pancake & Waffle Mix. Along the road to perfecting our recipe, not only did we discover how coconut explodes in a burst of flavor when baked in a pancake or waffle, but also how vanilla points up its exotic tropical flavor. Combined with the toasty heartiness of oatmeal, sunflower seeds and millet on which our original O.S.M. recipe is based, this gets our vote for the breakfast of champions, whether surfing the waves or the snow. Try this delicious mix with fresh fruit or fruit syrup for a day full of island sunshine.
Throughout the tropics and subtropics, the coconut has provided a dietary and medicinal staple of diverse cultures for centuries. As a source of food, the fruit is a highly nutritious dietary staple and source of copra (fruit pulp), milk, juice and oil on which nearly a third of the world’s population depends. Traditional medicines recognized the coconut, and particularly coconut oil, as a treatment for a long list of problems from asthma to ulcers, earning the coconut palm the name of “the tree of life.”
The origin of the coconut palm is uncertain, but fossils dating to more than 55 million years ago have been found in Australia, India and the Americas. It is evident the plant’s wide dispersal was by sea, not only as food taken aboard ships, but lost overboard and washed ashore. The tree requires a warm, humid climate, generous rainfall and direct sun to thrive, yet tolerates a sandy, saline soil. These conditions converge primarily on tropical shorelines.
Coconut is referred to as a “functional food” due to the health benefits it offers in addition to its nutritive value. High in calories and rich in fiber, one ounce contains 187 calories, or 28 percent of the daily value of fat and two percent daily value of carbohydrate, with small amounts of protein and natural sugar. This ounce provides nearly a fifth of recommended daily fiber and five percent of daily iron. Coconut also delivers significant amounts of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and trace amounts of numerous vitamins. Although coconut oil is primarily saturated fat, it is, in its unhydrogenated state, an extremely healthy fat due to its structure. A medium chain triglyceride (MCT), in contrast to long chain triglycerides (LCTs, which include most fats whether plant or animal), it has a neutral effect on cholesterol and protects heart health.
Relatively recent medical studies have suggested that the various forms of coconut may offer various health benefits. In protection against disease, it may kill viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites that cause numerous problems from STDs to tapeworms. It has been shown to improve nutrient absorption as well as management of insulin and blood glucose in diabetics. It is beneficial to thyroid function, skin and tissue repair, in prevention of osteoporosis, inflammatory conditions and symptoms related to Crohn’s disease and ulcers. It also has antioxidant properties and aids in weight loss by boosting metabolic rate.
For more about sunflower seeds, read about our O.S.M. Pancake & Waffle Mix.