Posts Tagged ‘coconut’

Coo Coo for Coconuts

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Coconut water seems to be the big craze with celebrities these days, and it’s not without merit. It’s a natural isotonic beverage with a comparable level of electrolytes as our blood. In fact, during World War II, coconut water was administered intravenously as a replacement for dextrose on the battlefield. Think of it as nature’s Gatorade, but better: it’s got 2 to 3 times as much potassium as sports drinks while having less than half the amount of sodium and a fraction of the sugar (and these sugars are completely natural no less!).

According to ABC’s Good Morning America:

It’s low in calories, fat-free, natural and serves a purpose: hydration. Some consumers are likely to choose it over sugar-laden sports drinks, so it’s no wonder big name beverage companies are vying for their piece of the coconut pie.

Right now, coconut water represents a perhaps $50 million niche industry. Given the maturity of the sports beverage market and recent controversy surrounding energy drinks, could coconut water be the next big thing? Here’s the segment from GMA:

Cracking the Coconut Water Craze

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Coconut Sugar

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Palm Tree

We’re pretty excited about natural sweeteners, and feature yacon syrup with an ultra low glycemic index. Another product we like is coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is made from fresh coconut sap collected from the cuttings of the flower buds on dwarf coconut trees. The sap is caramelized, then crystallized into a fine grained brown sugar. It’s 100% natural, and the perfect alternative to refined sugars in applications such as confectionery and desserts. The creamy, almost caramel-like sweetness also works well in the flavouring of curries and rich sauces for savory dishes. On a personal note, we’ve been using coconut sugar in our coffee for a while now and it’s great!

Besides its amazing texture and flavour, it also has a low glycemic index, much lower than refined sugar. Glycemic index (GI) is a tool that was developed at the University of Toronto back in the 1980’s. An ingredient’s glycemic index measures how it affects blood glucose levels in an individual. Carbohydrate foods are assigned a number between 0 and 100 based on that effect. Glycemic Index is often categorized into three levels:

  • High: a GI of more than 70
  • Moderate: a GI between 55 and 70
  • Low: a GI below 55

Due to its low glycemic index, research suggests that using coconut sugar can help stabalize insulin levels in people with type 1 & type 2 diabetes. It is also suggested that a the use of low glycemic index foods can lower the LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol, otherwise known as the “bad” cholesterol. Low glycemic index foods should also help with weight maintenance, preventing obesity and being overweight.

We encourage you to look into the research on lower glycemic index foods for yourselves. In the mean time, you might want to consider trying coconut sugar. If you’re a food manufacturer, contact us and we’d be happy to arrange for a sample. Consumers can purchase coconut sugar directly from sources such as Amazon. If you use coconut sugar, we’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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Creative Commons License photo credit: HeyDanielle

Thai One On

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Thai One On opened a new location in Pickering this week and we decided to try it out. They also have a few other locations in the Toronto area.

Thai One On

Even though it had only been open for a week, they had a decent amount of people coming in for lunch. While there seems to be a plethora of Thai restaurants in the greater Toronto area, there is only a couple other Thai places that we know of in Pickering, so it’s probably a good location for them. We ordered a shrimp seafood fried rice and a coconut chicken with mango dish. The fried rice was truly cooked in the Thai style and was excellent. The chicken was tasty. Each dish was in the $10 territory which seems typical for most Thai restaurants. For the next little while they are offering 20% off for dine in as part of their grand opening promotion for this location. Overall, a pleasant experience and we’re looking forward to going back again to try some of the other dishes.

Seafood Fried Rice

Coconut Chicken with Mango

Of course, we know a lot about Thai food at Ingredient Hotline: we offer a full line of authentic Thai spices, dehydrated herbs and vegetables for food manufacturers sourced directly from Thailand.

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Grilled Tilapia & Mango Salsa

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Grilled Tilapia
Fish on Fridays is a tradition we try to maintain at our house, if only to ensure we have seafood at least once a week. A perennial and simple favourite is to simply fry up a whole tilapia fish. Fish CounterWe splurged this past week and bought some fresh tilapia fillets (at our local fish counter, a tilapia fillet is $5.99/lb. compared to just $1.99/lb. for the whole fish – yes, we could probably fillet it ourselves, but it seems like a lot of work). It was very busy at the fish counter, presumably everyone was getting fish for their Good Friday meal.

With the abnormally warm weather we’ve been having, it was also time to put the fry pan away and break out the grill. A quick search on the internet yielded the following marinade for the fish:

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt


According to the recipe, you whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, basil, pepper, and salt in a bowl and pour it all into a resealable plastic bag.  We added the tilapia fillets and made sure they were coated with the marinade. We sealed the bag and put it in the refrigerator for a little over an hour.

Mango Salsa IngredientsWe had to come up with our own recipe for the mango salsa based on what we had on hand. We combined the following ingredients in a bowl:

1 1/2 diced fresh mango
1 small tomato diced
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of one half a lime
Salt and pepper to taste

When it’s all mixed together, the salsa looks great:
Mango Salsa

After an hour in the refrigerator, we took the fillets out of the marinade bag. I’ve always had trouble grilling fish fillets directly on the grill, so we use a grill pan with some foil on it. We get the grill extremely hot before putting the fish on the grill pan. The high heat sears the outside of the fish, and the oil in the marinade makes it easy to get under the fish and flip it to evenly cook each side. It’s also critical that you don’t overcook fish. Once you can easily flake it with a fork, you’re good to go. The fish was delicious. Besides the mango salsa, we served it with coconut rice (we’ll save that recipe for another day). This was an easy dish to prepare. If you’re looking for a nice alternative to grilled meat, this is a great one.