Friday, July 03, 2009

Coconut Chili Lime Corn on the Cob—For Your Vegan Friendly BBQ

Happy 4th of July!
Corn on the cob is a favorite this time of year, especially as a side dish for your 4th of July BBQ. Unfortunately, it is usually drowning in butter. For a healthier and vegan friendly way to serve this popular food, try this easy recipe.

Instead of butter, the fat used in this recipe comes from virgin, expeller pressed, unrefined, organic coconut oil. This type of coconut oil has been extracted by methods that do not use harmful chemicals or high heat and is readily available at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's or your local health food store.

There is much debate and even more confusion as to the health benefits of tropical oils. Coconut oil is high in saturated fat but has no cholesterol. Being saturated, it is a stable fat which makes it less likely to form harmful trans-fats when heated. Although there has been much negative press in the past about tropical oils, (much of it sponsored by the American Soybean Association and the Corn Products Company), the places in which coconut and other tropical oils are consumed on a daily basis do not have a high incidence of heart disease. Coconut oil is high in lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid which the body converts into monolaurin. Monolaurin has antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoan properties.

That being said, coconut oil is high in calories and should be eaten in moderation. I get a bit concerned when I see the quantity of coconut oil used in raw food dessert recipes. In a recipe like this, however, a few tablespoons is a good alternative to butter.


Coconut Chili Lime Corn on the Cob [serves 4]
4 medium ears of corn, each cut into 4 equal pieces
2 tablespoons virgin, unrefined, organic coconut oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, room temperature
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt

Gently melt coconut oil (put on low power in microwave for 10 seconds or more). Mix with lime juice and salt. Put all 16 pieces of corn in a large bowl. Pour the lime, coconut mixture over the corn and with your hands, thoroughly coat each piece. Sprinkle the chili powder evenly over the corn and place on a BBQ grill at low heat. Cook on all sides for a total of 10 to 15 minutes.

Per 4 piece serving: 139 calories, 8 g fat, 6.5 g saturated fat, 0 g cholesterol, 3 g protein, 17.6 g carbohydrates and 2 g of fiber.

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