Coconuts are not nuts to many people’s surprise, which is an amazing gift to those embarking on an autoimmune nutrition protocol. During the autoimmune nutrition protocol, nuts and seeds are avoided temporarily to aid digestion and gut healing. The low glycemic coconut meat and water inside contain many healthful macro and micronutrients to support gut healing, fight inflammation and boost immunity.

Coconuts contain 65% fat in the form of medium chain triglycerides (MCT) which are shown to contribute to increased metabolism of fat for fuel, help satiate appetite and cravings, and improve brain function in epilepsy, Alzeihmer’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases. The fatty acids in coconut oil are much more easily converted into one of the mitochondria’s prefered fuels: beta-hydroxy-buterate (BHB). BHB is a ketone molecule that can be made in the body by restricting carbohydrates, exercising, and increasing coconut oil intake. The benefits of feeding your cells BHB over glucose is that beta-hydroxy-buterate protects your neurons and reduces the burden of insulin demand on the pancreas. One study showed successful reduction of neurodegenerative symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease. BHB is a clean burning fuel for your mitochondria, which are the power plants of your cells, and can reduce the production of potentially harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS) inside the cell and even clean up the damage of oxidative damage done by ROS. 

The meat and water of the coconut contain a considerable amount of minerals and phytonutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and iron. Phytonutrients such as shikimic acid aid in coconut’s antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Coconut also contains galactomannan and pectin which improve blood sugar regulation and support healthy cholesterol levels. These are the many reasons to include coconut in your daily diet while healing from Hashimotos, neurological degenerative disease, heart disease, and diabetes. Enjoy some of Dr. Autoimmune’s TOP 10 ways to use coconut!

Shaved coconut and coconut millk

Homemade Coconut Milk

  • 2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup dried coconut shavings

Add dried coconut shavings and warm water to blender. Blend ingredients in a high speed Blender. Place your nut milk bag in a large wide mouth jar. Pour the blended nut mixture into the nut milk bag jar. Squeeze out the nut milk using your hands and milk bag.

Coconut Water Kefir

  • Glass mason jar with lid
  • Piece of cheesecloth
  • Plastic strainer
  • Plastic measuring spoons
  • 1 quart organic coconut water
  • 3 tablespoons water kefir grains https://shop.culturesforhealth.com/collections/kefir/products/water-kefir-grains
  • 1 cup fresh berries

Place the water kefir grains in the coconut water.

Cover the jar with cheesecloth so that grains can breathe – allow the kefir grains to culture the coconut water for 24 to 48 hours, out of direct sunlight.

Once the culturing process is complete, remove the kefir grains using a strainer.

Puree the fresh fruit and coconut water to add fabulous flavor.

To refresh kefir grains, add them to a quart of water with a ¼ cup of coconut sugar. Let this sit for about 48 hours so that the sugar water has time to feed the grains.

Note: Never use metal utensils when dealing with live cultures.

Coconut Curry

  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 1 oz fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1 oz fresh turmeric, sliced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup curry powder (homemade: omit cayenne powder for nightshade free curry powder. Include  2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander, ½ tsp fenugreek, 1 tsp ginge, ¼ tsp black pepper)
  • 1 jalapeño (optional)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lbs stew meat
  • 1 tbsp Coconut oil
  • Salt to taste at the end

Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a large sauce pan at medium-high heat. Add the stew meat and let brown for 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, and jalapeño and stir until garlic becomes aromatic. Add coconut milk, bay leaves, and curry powder. Bring to boil then simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add salt to taste at the end.

Serve with vegetable stir-fry or oven roasted vegetables.

Blueberry Cobbler

  • 2 pints organic bluberries
  • 1 juice from one lemon
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut shavings
  • 1-3 Tbps of raw honey or sweetener of choice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix half the lemon juice and blueberries in a 9 x 9 inch baking dish, drizzle with a little Honey. In a mixing bowl, mix remaining ingredients plus remaining honey. Crumble the coconut dough on top of Blueberries. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Ranch Dressing

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk 
  • 5 tablespoons of fresh dill, chopped finely (2-3 tbsp dried)
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil (can adjust for desired consistency)
  • 2-4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2-1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled

Place everything except the dill in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a larger bowl and stir in dill. Reserve in a glass jar and store in the refrigerator. Keeps about one week.

Vibrant Coconut Panna Cotta

  • 1 cup thick coconut cream
  • 1- 1 1/4 tsp organic gelatin
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1-2 tbsp Raw Honey
  • 1- 1 1/2 tsp organic Raw Beet powder
  • 1/2 -1 tsp vanilla
  • Optional add in or replacement: Food grade peppermint, rosemary, or basil essential oil; or replace beet powder with cacao, matcha or spirulina powder

Add gelatin, water and beet powder together in a small saucepan using a spoon to create a paste. Set this aside for a minute or two as it will allow the gelatin to bloom and thicken. Add remaining ingredients to saucepan and heat on medium-low heat until the gelatin has dissolved (1 – 2 minutes). Make sure all the ingredients are evenly combined. Taste the mixture and adjust any of the flavor or sweetness to your liking.

Pour mixture into a glass jar or mug and place it in the fridge to set. Let chill for 2.5-3.5 hours

Coconut Sour Cream

 Makes 1 to 2 cups (varies depending on how much cream is in each can)

  • 2 (13.5oz) cans full fat coconut milk, chilled
  • 1 tsp probiotic powder (bodyecology.com)
  • Pinch sea salt

Place the cans of coconut milk in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. Then open the cans and scoop the thick white cream at the top into a small saucepan. Pour off the coconut water into a jar and reserve it for another use (such as a smoothie). Heat the coconut cream over the lowest heat to about 98°F. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the probiotic powder. Pour the mixture into a clean quart jar and cover with a clean dish towel secured with a rubber band.

Let the jar sit out on your counter for 24 to 48 hours to culture.

Then stir in a pinch or two of sea salt, cover the jar with a lid and refrigerate to solidify. Use as desired.

Coconut Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potato

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 to 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Put the sweet potatoes, oil, cinnamon, and salt in a large baking dish or rimmed baking sheet and mix well to coat with the oil using your hands or a large spoon. Bake, uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes or until the yams are very tender.

Homemade Dark Chocolate

  • 1/4 cup melted coconut butter  (measure after melting)
  • 1/4 cup carob powder, cocoa powder or cacao powder  *NOTE: if using carob powder, add 2 Tbsp of coconut oil
  • 2 Tbs date paste or raw honey, OR stevia sweetener to taste

In a small bowl, blend all ingredients well. Make sure there are no lumps. It should only take a minute. Pour the mixture into molds. If you use chocolate bar molds , it should take about an hour for everything to firm up. If you use something larger, it may take a bit longer.

Vanilla Coconut Snowballs 

 Makes about 12 snowballs:

  • 1 cup coconut butter
  • 3 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp stevia, Lakanto or coconut sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/2 tsp raw vanilla powder
  • Pinch of sea salt

Place the coconut butter and coconut oil in a small saucepan and warm over the lowest heat until softened but not completely melted. Pour the mixture in the food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Add the honey and process for a few seconds. Then add the shredded coconut, vanilla powder and salt. Process until combined. Scoop the mixture into a bowl and form into balls. If the mixture is too soft to form, place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, then try again. Roll each ball in shredded coconut and serve. Store extra snowballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Ian really knows A LOT about thyroid problems! His knowledge and confidence convinced me to make the lifestyle changes -including no gluten, no sugar, and more exercise-that are essential to healing hormonal imbalances and to staying well. Several months later, I feel stronger, more energetic, and am happier than I have felt in a long time. Many thanks for all your help!

- Anonymous

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