Raw Vegan Gluten-Free Delicacy
Bonus Recipe: Healthy Simple Syrup
There is something just so tasty about toasted coconut. It enhances anything from a sundae to a salad. But traditionally prepared, it has gone through processing that destroys most of its nutrients and likely includes a sweetener that you’d be better off avoiding.
Trader Joe’s carries a really delicious one that is steeped in coconut milk and “roasted with a touch of sugar and salt”. Just about anything labeled “sugar” these days translates to a combination of cane sugar and beets, which are genetically modified. Traditional salt is acidic to the diet – and there is no specification as to using sea salt. And finally, once you heat the coconut over 115 degrees much of the beneficial antioxidants and digestive enzymes are diminished.
These are made with coconut sugar, which is far superior to cane sugar as it contains powerful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and is reputed to have health benefits. (see meme below the recipe)
I have made these candy-like coconut chips with both organic dried coconut chips/strips and defrosted sliced coconut that I buy from Indian grocery stores. Both have been sensational, but I think I like the “meatiness” of the frozen defrosted ones better. When buying dried coconut, make sure you get the chips or strips rather than the small flakes or shredded variety. You could certainly flavor those as a condiment or sprinkle, but the will not work as well for snacking.
An added bonus to making this recipe in your dehydrator is that you will have a stupendous Simple Syrup substitute to use in shakes, smoothies, cocktails or to sweeten juices and beverages for your kids!
Un-Toasted Coconut Chips
1-2 packages of defrosted sliced coconut slices or dried organic chips
1 1/2 cups of coconut water
5-6 TB. coconut sugar
1-2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. natural vanilla extract
Optional: A few dashes of sea salt
Directions: Place coconut in a large bowl and pour on coconut water. Sprinkle in the coconut sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract and blend well using a large spoon or tongs, making sure everything is well-coated. Let the flavors soak in for 20 minutes to 2 hours.
Place the coconut onto parchment paper covered dehydrator trays (you can also try this is a very low temp oven but they will not be “guaranteed raw”.) If you like the sweet & salty type of snack, sprinkle on some sea salt. Dehydrate at 105 degrees overnight until very dry. You may want to turn off the dehydrator for 2 hours to bring internal moisture to the surface, then turn on again for 2 hours. I store mine in the freezer — they remain dry and don’t really get very cold! Great on salads, sundaes or as simple snacks!
Store the leftover liquid in a glass jar or covered container and use as a Simple Syrup or alternative sweetener. Coconut sugar and nectar are only 35 on the Glycemic Index!