Essential Edibles

_I absolutely love coconut milk! So rich and creamy – YUM! But what the heck is in that can of heavenly goodness, one of my very favorite foods? The ingredients don’t look like much, most “seem” to be just coconut and water, maybe some guar gum. No biggie. But wait, what about BPA, there’s always that! But as I dove deeper into the world of canned coconut milk I discovered that just because it is not listed on the can, doesn’t mean it isn’t in there! If the amounts are small enough, you don’t have to list them. But when those “small amounts” are things like sodium benzoate preservative, well, I just can’t resist putting the can down and walking away! Second, shelf stable canned foods just don’t meet my criteria of “eat fresh food”. Canned foods, by design, are denatured by the very industrial processing that makes them shelf stable. Third, I am trying to eliminate as many food sources of BPA as possible. Fourth, it’s food in a … can, made of mostly water, which has been shipped 1/2 way around the world! Think about the shipping costs to transport canned water 1/2 way around the world! And last but not least, the stuff I make at home is so much better … you just have to try and you will become a believer too.

And so … *_COCOlavida_ *was born!

Making coconut milk at home is messy and loud and you need the right equipment. Many of us would like to cook entirely from scratch, but that is so hard! Especially if you have a family to feed! I hope you will let me do it for you. For price comparison, the suggested retail price of the high-end organic coconut milk is almost $4 per 12 oz can. My COCOlavida Homemade Coconut Milk is made with filtered then boiled water and kiln dried organic pure coconut meat from Tropical Traditions. It’s simple, fresh, BPA FREE, and absolutely delicious. COCOlavida Coconut Milk is $5.50 for the same amount (most of that is the cost of the jar, I will give $1 back for returned jars).

But wait, there’s MORE!! I saved the best part for last, introducing … MAYA NUT Coconut Milk Beverage!

I began experimenting recently with making beverages with coconut milk. My dear friend, founder and director of The Maya Nut Institute, Erika Vohman, called to tell me that I had inspired her to try adding some Maya Nut to her coconut milk. I tried it too, but I have such a intolerance for the canned coconut milk now that I didn’t love it! But when I made it with my homemade coconut milk with Maya nut and honey … well, I just about fell over, this stuff is just over the top delicious! I know we are onto something here!

I know how hard parents are searching for healthy beverage options for their kids. Maya Nut tastes a lot like chocolate, so if you give it to your kids be prepared to have them begging for MORE! Freshly made _COCOlavida MAYA NUT Coconut Milk _might just be the one healthiest, tastiest treats you can find! The Maya nut tree grows naturally in fertile rainforest soils and is harvested by hand in the forest. As a wild-crafted food it is much higher in many vital nutrients including antioxidants than foods grown on farmed soils. Maya Nut is extremely high in Fiber, CALCIUM! Potassium, Folate, Iron, Zinc, Protein and micronutrients making a healthy addition to anyone’s diet, especially your child’s. You might even consider it as a replacement for dairy milk and is certainly a better choice than soy milk especially for kids. Maya Nut has a low Glycemic Index (<55), making it a good food for diabetics or people watching their sugar and/or carbohydrate intake, or those following a Paleo/Prinal type diet.

The Maya Nut tree itself is very important in the rain forest. By purchasing foods with Maya nut you are helping sustain the rainforest! The Maya Nut tree is one of the largest trees in the forest, growing to over 50m (150 feet) tall in some places. Without killing the tree it can provide seeds which can be eaten as food, the leaves can be fed to livestock, the sap, or latex have medicinal properties (for asthma in Central America, for anemia in Mexico and for rheumatism in Peru). One adult Maya Nut tree can produce up to 800lb of food per year and will remain productive for more than 100 years and grows to nut bearing stage quickly. It is by far one of the most useful trees in the forest. It was once abundant throughout Central America but is now highly threatened and even extinct in parts of its range due to cutting for firewood and to plant corn.

For more nutritional information about my _COCOlavida Coconut Milk _and COCOlavida Maya Nut coconut milk beverage, click on the “nutritional information” link on the Local Farms First market page listed under my “coconut products”. For more information on the Maya nut visit COCOlavida website is currently under construction.

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