– Firstly the CACAO POWDER because well as a massive chocoholic, I am forever looking for ways to make my breakfasts/ food creations more chocolately, decadent and desserty so the cacao powder is simply perfect for this! Totally versatile and can be mixed into practically any dish whether it’s a smoothie, bowl of oatmeal, pot of yoghurt or even for baking a cake, you can substitute it for cocoa powder (same quantity) and have the same effect but a million times more nutrients – cacao is rich in natural antioxidant compounds such as flavonoids, a type of antioxidant compound that promotes general health and might lower your risk of several diseases.
– Secondly, is their COCONUT SUGAR. It’s of course, as in the name, derived from the coconut palm tree and much healthier than regular sugars/ agave nectar/ honey since it’s more nutritious and lower on the glycemic index. Moreover, it contains much more nutrients than regular sugar: most notable of these are the minerals Iron, Zinc, Calcium and Potassium. I love the coconut taste it has as I’m a sucker for tropical flavours so prefer it to something like xylitol. It’s therefore truly divine to sprinkle over your porridge to sweeten it or to be used in baking as a substitute for sugar! However having said this, I am still cautious to use it everyday as coconut sugar is made of 70%-80% sucrose, which is half fructose! For this reason, coconut sugar supplies almost the same amount of fructose as regular sugar, gram for gram. So consumed in excess, can cause all sorts of problems like metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease… Not good! So in moderation and in baking, absolutely perfect but not to use in every dish!
– Thirdly and finally, the Big Tree Farms COCONUT NECTAR is probably the most surprising for me at how much I’ve grown accustomed to it. You would think that coconut nectar tastes like coconut but it really doesn’t. It has a very pleasant sweet mineral dense flavour that could be likened to molasses or palm tree fruit with a maple syrup type sweetness which is just simply delicious! This is due to the fact that the roots of coconut trees are known to pull up many nutrients from their rich volcanic soils and so adds a lot of flavour as well as nutritional profile. Now we’ve all heard the horror stories of syrups like agave nectar, honey, maple syrup and their high glucose content (see above in coconut sugar) however coconut nectar has a low glycemic (a GI of 35, compared to white cane sugar with GI 58-65 and high fructose corn syrup with GI 87) so is a much better choice as it doesn’t cause addictive eating behaviours and cravings soon afterwards. That’s why it’s perfect to sweeten hot teas, drinks, shakes, smoothie and desserts or drizzled over foods as a syrup. My new found love!
Mindfully, Moni x