Pros: Very informative, recipes by volume and weight
Cons: Lack of pictures
Having read other books by Bruce Fife, a certified nutritionist and neuropathic physician, I was eager to read his latest book “The Coconut Miracle Cookbook.” Just so you know, this book was previously published as Coconut Lovers Cookbook back in 2004. Fife is considered one of the world’s leading experts on dietary fats and oils. As well as being recognized as a leading authority on the health benefits of coconut, he is the president of the Coconut Research Center. Not only does he know all about coconut, he has found a way to share his knowledge with us in the form of healthful recipes that feature coconut. Consuming coconut oil as a dietary supplement can have a lot of benefits from weight loss, improved Alzheimer’s disease, prevent premature aging of the skin, and beautiful skin and hair. However, even with all this promising information, many of us may not enjoy sipping on two to four tablespoons of coconut oil a day, even if it means forgoing the locks of silky hair and hopes of putting off any degenerative diseases. What if we don’t like the taste of coconut? This is where Fife comes to the rescue. He has made it easy to get our servings of coconut oil by simply using his recipes. The Coconut Miracle Cookbook is not only full of a variety of recipes for you to try, but it will also inspire you to substitute coconut oil in your own recipes. At the beginning of the book Fife explains coconut and coconut oils so you understand what kind to buy, and which ones don’t taste like coconut at all. Very good to know for those of you who want to experience the benefits without the taste. Which oil you use in the recipes is up to your personal taste.
There are over 400 recipes in this book. Several of the recipes will also have substitutes available if you want to reduce sugar. I found the layout of the book to be easy to use. The categories are pretty standard with beverages: where you will find out how to make your own homemade coconut milk and cream as well as many other drinks. This is followed by salads, sauces and flavored oils, soups and chowders, main dishes, Asian style cuisine, side dishes, cakes, cookies, pies, puddings, and ice cream. The variety of recipes was a pleasant surprise. I expected and found coconut fried shrimp in the main dishes section and was happy to see beef stroganoff and other savories in there as well. The book is a medium sized soft cover. Be careful with splashing as the pages seem to be a bit absorbent. An important thing to mentions is Fife’s serving sizes. Fife feels that most serving sizes listed on Nutritional Fact labels to be unrealistically small–1/2 cup (120 ml) in most cases. His serving sizes are closer to 2 cups (475 ml). The serving sizes in this book reflect this. As you thumb through the cookbook looking for a recipe to try if it is noted with a “C” on a little flower, it indicates the author’s favorite recipe. To my disappointment there are not any illustrations in this cookbook. This is the reason I rated it only a 3.5 instead of a 5. The recipes themselves are all well written, I didn’t find one mistake, and are easy to execute. Depending on where you live, these products can be found in your local grocery store. I live in a small town in Germany so I simply ordered coconut oil off of Amazon.
Everything considered I found the book did what the author wanted. He educated us a little on the benefits of coconut then showed us how to use it. I was pleased with it and recommend it to anyone wanting to learn to cook with coconut. The recipe I chose to share with you is the Cream of Mushroom Soup. To me there is something magical when you sauté onions and mushrooms in fresh butter. I love listening to the sizzle of the butter as it melts, then adding the onions and mushrooms… the aroma fills my cozy kitchen. The recipe was very easy to execute. The only thing I would change, and it is personal, is I would puree all of it instead of half of it as the recipe calls. This is simply because I don’t care for the texture. This recipe turned out really nice. I used virgin coconut oil in my soup (the kind that tastes like coconut), which gave it a very mild coconut taste. The texture of the soup was silky smooth. Definitely a recipe I will use again, and again. For those of you that don’t care for coconut use refined or expeller pressed coconut oil. I hope you enjoy it.
Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick/28g) salted butter
1 cup (8oz/70g) chopped mushrooms
¼ cup (40g) chopped onion
2 tablespoons (16g) cornstarch
1 cup (235ml) water
1 can (14 ounces/400 ml) coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
In a medium heavy saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the mushrooms and the onion and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until the vegetables are slightly tender. In a small bowl, blend together the cornstarch and water and add it to the saucepan; heat, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes, until thickened. Add the coconut milk, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 12 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. In the bowl of a blender, puree half of the mixture at low speed; return the puree to the pan. Add the salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce and heat, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, until hot.