Desiccated (or dried, shredded) coconut has a good percentage of fiber and many minerals. What is considered the big advantage of coconut, coconut milk and coconut oil, are its medium chain fatty acids (MCTs) as compared to long chain fatty acids in other saturated fats. While coconut does have saturated fat - which we normally associate with meat and dairy products - the main fat found in coconut (as well as nuts and avocados) is lauric acid. Lauric acid has been found to increase levels of good HDL cholesterol. So while it also raises the bad LDL like other saturated fats, it won't negatively affect the ratio of the two. There are many who claim numerous health benefits of coconut oil: that it raises the metabolic rate, aiding in weight loss; appetite suppression; lower rates of hardening of the arteries; antibacterial and antiviral properties; lowering of blood sugar; protection against insulin resistance (affecting Diabetes and Alzheimers). While hopeful, I can't find much evidence of a truly scientific nature. There is research to be done.
While I'm waiting for the research - I'll have my 5 cookies. If you're going to have 5 like me, these will be better for you than others. And so good.
INGREDIENTS: (makes approximately 16 cookies)
3 bananas - ripe & mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup vegetable oil (if you can get coconut oil at a health shop, try that)
2 cups porridge oats
2/3 cup ground almonds
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
100 grams plain chocolate cut into chunks (70%) (can use milk if you prefer, but I think the bite of plain chocolate contrasts well with the sweet cookie)
Pre-heat oven to 180º (160º fan)
In a large bowl, mash bananas with a fork and/or whisk.
Add vanilla and vegetable/coconut oil and set aside.
In second bowl, combine oats, ground almond, coconut, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Stir or whisk to combine.
Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir, combining well.
Fold chocolate chunks into mix.
Drop large spoonfuls onto baking tray.
Bake for approximately 12 minutes. Should feel firm but slightly doughy. Remove to cooling rack.