Pumpkin Protein Bites & The Wonders Of Coconut Oil

Monday, October 8, 2012

Howdy!

How did Monday treat you? Pretty good I hope! Mine was busy to say the least. I got to work around 9:00am and headed out around 8:30pm. We had our annual bench press competition yesterday evening so it was busy but fun! I had to scrap my cardio workout for the day because my IT band was super angry for some reason. I have no idea why! I did manage to get in a good strength workout. I'll take what I can get. :)

I had fun on Sunday experimenting with my new favorite ingredient - coconut oil! I have two yummy recipes to share with you this week freaturing this ingredient, but why is it so special you ask? Let's chat about it!

There is a lot of mixed information out there about which fats are "good" fats and which are "bad" fats, so I thought I would do a little bit more research on why coconut oil has become so popular over the last few years. I had never even heard of using coconut oil in cooking until a few years ago, and now it is everywhere and for good reason. Check it out.


Source
The naturally occurring saturated fat incoconut oil has been shown to:
·        Improve heart health
·        Boost your thyroid function
·        Increase your metabolism
·        Promote a lean body and weight loss
·        Support your immune system
So howis the saturated fat in coconut oil different from other saturated fats? Let’shear what the doctor has to say about it!
Nearly 50 percent of the fat incoconut oil is of a type rarely found in nature called lauric acid, a"miracle" compound because of its unique health promoting properties.Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral,anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties. (6)

Coconut oil is also nature'srichest source of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chaintriglycerides or MCTs. By contrast, most common vegetable or seed oils arecomprised of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs), also known as long-chaintriglycerides or LCTs.

LCTs are large molecules, so theyare difficult for your body to break down and are predominantly stored as fat.

But MCTs (7) , being smaller, areeasily digested and immediately burned by your liver for energy -- likecarbohydrates, but without the insulin spike. MCTs actually boost your metabolism andhelp your body use fat for energy, as opposed to storing it, so it can actuallyhelp you become leaner.”
– Dr. Joseph Mercola

I have just recently started experimenting with coconut oil in my cooking, and love it. It has a nice slightly nutty flavor and helps your cooking to have more depth. I used it in two recipes this week starting with my Pumpkin Protein Bites.

Pumpkin Spice Protein Bites

by Lauren George
Prep Time: 10
Cook Time: 0
Keywords: raw breakfast snack gluten-free oatmeal

Ingredients (16 bites)
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp flax
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 3 tbsp apple sauce
  • 2 packets of Stevia
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour (or flour of choice)
Instructions
Pour oatmeal and flax seed into food processor. Pulse for a few seconds to grind.
Add in remaining ingredients and pulse until smooth. It may take a few minutes depending on how strong your food processor is.
Roll into 1 inch balls and store in fridge to keep hard.
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These guys were absolutely delicious and perfect to throw in your purse or gym bag for a powerful snack! Let me know if you try them out! If you keep them in the fridge they stay nice and round!



What is your go to healthy snack?

Have you tried cooking with coconut oil yet?

In health,

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