Delicious nutritious coconut oil fudge
As you may know, nourishment is one of the main tenets of the Wise Woman Tradition, right up there with local plants and self-love.
Unlike the "heroic tradition" which focuses on denial and cleansing (therefore inherently viewing our bodies as dirty), we prefer to nourish our bodies to health and wholeness. For example, rather than doing a liver fast/cleanse, we use herbs like dandelion to support our liver. Because when the liver receives optimum nourishment, it is able to effectively perform its function of filtering the blood!
When I arrived at Susun Weed's home as a young apprentice, I had been very much caught up in the heroic tradition. I fasted regularly and ate a very low-fat vegetarian/vegan diet, unwittingly contributing to nutritional deficiencies that had already begun to manifest in a variety of health issues in my early twenties. Susun helped me recognize that I had been denying myself some of the basic nutrients my body needed—most importantly, the healthy fats.
Around the same time, I discovered Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and the work of the Price Foundation identifying common elements of traditional diets worldwide.
It turns out that across the globe, traditional people received 30-80% of their calories from fats, almost all as saturated fats! This was shocking for me to learn since both mainstream and alternative nutritionists were touting low fat / no fat diets as well as polyunsaturated vegetable oils like canola.
Nowadays, I am relieved to see that more and more people are getting turned on to the healthy fats—including organic butter, olive oil, and coconut oil—as a central food group. And we still have a lot of questions pop up!
I'm scared, why would I eat fats?
For many women, the thought of eating "fats" brings up our body shame and socialization around unrealistic body image.
Many women are recognizing that these beneficial fats can actually help to regulate weight to healthy levels as well as reducing sugar cravings. Sally Fallon and Mary Enig's book Eat Fat, Lose Fat corrects much of this misinformation. They also suggest eating coconut oil 20 minutes before a meal to provide satiety, allowing smaller quantities on the plate.
The healthy fats have myriad benefits, including stabilizing the blood sugar with the longest-lasting energy source, calming the nerves, and regulating the hormonal system. Coconut oil contains especially high levels of fatty acids which support brain development, improve memory, and fuel clear thinking.
So where do you get coconut oil?
You can easily buy coconut oils at natural food stores. My personal favorite source is Healthy Traditions (home of Tropical Traditions), which is of the highest quality. I especially love their coconut cream concentrate—also known as coconut butter—which I enjoy by the spoonful. I order through the mail as I like to buy coconut oil by the gallon and coconut cream concentrate by the quart.
How would I eat that much coconut oil?
While I eat coconut oil in various forms, my favorite way is an ever-evolving version of what I fondly call fudge. No, this is not the complicated double boiler method of cooked candy fudge that is chock-full of sugar. Rather, this is a delicious method of receiving the health benefits of coconut oil.
My current version of coconut oil fudge consists of an almond butter layer over a carob base, and receives rave reviews from all who taste it. Sweetened only with liquid stevia herb extract, it is nutrient dense, satisfying, and delicious!
Carob - Almond Butter Fudge Recipe
Allow about 20 minutes to prepare. The key is to soften all the oils (even the almond butter) in a warm spot first for several hours so they are easy to work with.
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup coconut cream concentrate (see above)
1 cup carob powder (or cocoa if you prefer)
3 droppers of stevia liquid extract (optional)
2 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 cup almond butter
1 cup coconut oil
2 droppers of stevia liquid extract (optional)
¼ tsp salt
Mix bottom layer ingredients, pour into a tray, refrigerate until firm. While it is cooling, mix the top layer ingredients.Take the tray out of the fridge and pour the almond butter mixture on top of the (cooled) bottom layer. Return to the fridge to chill until firm enough to cut into squares. Gather squares into a container to store in the fridge.
So to get your recommended daily dose of healthy fats, just eat a few squares before each meal! Ah, the Wise Woman Tradition of nourishment, turns so much of modern nutrition on its head. Are you ready to give it a try?