COCONUT CORN SALAD

Photography by Hannah Baik.

Photography by Hannah Baik.

While the solstice on June 21st will mark the official start of the summer, Memorial Day weekend always feels like the season opener to me. As the next installment in my Healthy Hostess series, I wanted to feature this delicious coconut corn salad recipe just in time for the holiday weekend. I hope you will feel inspired to serve a new dish at your next gathering! 

Last month, a few foodie friends agreed to help out with some kitchen experiments. This salad was adapted from a 101 Cookbooks recipe, and I happen to think we made all the right changes! We substituted coconut oil for butter, scallions for red onions, and used small coconut shavings instead of large flakes. Between the four of us, there were no leftovers.

I promise this recipe is as easy as it is rewarding. Here's what you'll need:

  • 5 ears of fresh corn, shucked (best to buy local when in season, otherwise opt for organic; sadly way too much of our corn is genetically modified)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Himalayan sea salt (other kinds will do, but Himalayan is harvested naturally and has 84 minerals...it's time you make the switch if you haven't already)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 5 or 6 scallions, chopped (use white and green portions)
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 
  • sliced almonds, toasted (these are optional; I omitted)

Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the corn and sprinkle with salt. Mix well until the corn is coated. Cook for a couple minutes then stir in half of the thyme. Transfer the corn to a large bowl and set aside. Heat the coconut in a dry pan over low heat, until the flakes begin to brown slightly. Add the toasted coconut to the corn and mix. Add the rest of the thyme, the scallions, and the juice of half a lime. Sprinkle with more salt and have a taste. Add more lime juice as needed.

Garnish with lime wedges and a couple sprigs of cilantro!
Next time I will try substituting cilantro for the thyme for a different kick!

BEAUTY STAPLES

No, you won't find these beauty essentials on your vanity or in your bathroom cabinet; look no further than the kitchen pantry. This summer I purchased Jolene Hart's lovely book, Eat Pretty. Not only is it adorable (I try not to judge books by their covers, but how can you resist this one?!), but it is informative, inspiring, and easy to read. Consider it a guide book for achieving your most radiant self.

Jolene spent years working in the beauty industry as an editor and journalist, and she struggled with bad skin throughout that period. It wasn't until she replaced her processed diet with "glow-getting foods" that she finally found confidence in her complexion and began to feel her best. In her book, Jolene teaches us to "turn beauty inside out."

Now, it's time to build your beauty tool kit. Eat Pretty will provide you with a beauty food index, seasonal beauty foods, and wonderful recipes. I chose a few staples to highlight - items you can keep in your pantry year-round so your glow never has to fade!


GOJI BERRIES
Goji berries are chock-full of antioxidants, which help protect against cell damage and can keep us looking youthful. They contain 18 amino acids and are an excellent source of iron (more than spinach!) as well as many other trace minerals. They help stimulate production of the Human Growth Hormone, which is thought to help slow the anti-aging process. They are rich in Beta Carotene – great for healthy eyes and skin! Make your own trail mix with Goji berries and raw nuts (I love them with almonds), add them to your Greek yogurt, or enjoy an after-dinner treat: Goji berries, dark chocolate or cacoa chips, and cranberries. You’ll be glowing in no time.

 

BEE POLLEN
Rejuvenate your skin with bee pollen. These power-packed granules contain protein, 22 amino acids, nucleic acids, and B complex vitamins. Incorporate bee pollen in your diet for beautiful hair, skin and nails. For skin benefits, the pollen can be ingested or applied topically, though I haven’t tried the latter yet. I usually add it to my morning smoothie. It is often recommended for weight management, as it is thought to help suppress hunger and regulate metabolism. It’s best to buy local bee pollen; you are likely to find it at your local farmer’s market. If you live in the Northeast and can’t get to the farmer’s market, I recommend Maine Medicinal’s bee pollen, available at Whole Foods.

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COCONUT OIL
Coconut oil is popping up in health food store displays, beauty products, and plenty of health-related articles. All this attention is well deserved though. It is a saturated fat source, but don’t worry, it’s the good kind! The medium chain fatty acids can help boost metabolism and the lauric acid helps our bodies fight viruses and harmful bacteria. I add a tablespoon to my smoothie, but you can also apply it directly to skin or hair as an all-natural, impressive moisturizer. Enjoy!