Some of my readers may remember that a few weeks back the wonderful people at NUA Naturals sent me out some of their coconut flour, coconut sugar and some goji berries to review and get creative with.
If you haven’t heard about NUA Naturals before then shame on you!!! Not really I’m just messing with you… Let me tell you a little bit about them…
They are an Irish health food business who are at the cutting edge of the global trends of ‘Raw Food’, ‘Gluten Free’, and ‘Vegan’. They’re lovers, suppliers and artisan producers of organic health foods. 95% of their range is Organic (excluding their goji berries, MSM & bee pollen) and the only product of theirs that is not Vegan is, well, the bee pollen.
They are such a lovely and fab company that could definitely do with a bit more exposure in England I think! So hopefully this review will help – if even just a little!
NUA Naturals Coconut Flour
This coconut flour is made from organic coconut meat. It is dried at low temperatures to preserve it’s nutrient content and then ground into a fine flour. In fact this flour is very fine and I’d say it’s one of the finest coconut flours that I have used. It has the texture of a slightly heavier regular plain wheat flour. It isn’t as dense as almond flour and so is great for cakes, pancakes and muffins etc.
Coconut flour may well be a little pricey but a little goes a long way. For instance you could use only 1/4 cup and require 1-2 eggs and a substantial amount of liquid to accompany it – this can be milk, raw honey, maple or date syrup etc. In fact I’d say 1/4 cup of extra liquid on top of the eggs! The wet to dry ratio pretty much doubles in comparison to regular cooking, i.e. cooking with wheat flour. What I am trying to say is that coconut flour is super absorbent. I see a lot of recipes requiring a billion eggs but this isn’t necessary, while the eggs will help to bind your ingredients together it’s more the liquid content you require so that you don’t end up with some sort of stodgy brick of a cake or whatever it is that you are making.
I personally don’t tend to cook with large quantities of coconut flour, or any flour for that matter. I am more of a flour blend type of lady. For instance when I use coconut flour in my pancake mix I’ll typically use just 1 tbsp. I always feel that you need some ‘stretch’ when using coconut flour and so I usually blend it with something starchy like tapioca flour when using large amounts.
Coconut flour is also an excellent thickening agent, and as it can be eaten raw you can chuck it into anything from protein balls, to shakes to even yogurt or – sprinkle it onto your roasties with some tumeric to help crisp them up!
Coconut flour is gluten free, low in carbohydrates, high in protein and high in fibre – in fact it contains more dietary fibre than regular wheat flour or wheat alternatives… Let’s look at the nutritional breakdown shall we?
100% Organic Coconut Flour (yup that’s all)
Nutritional Information per 100g
Energy: 233 Kcal
Carbohydrates: 20.8g (of which 18.7g are sugars)
Fat 8.1g (of which 7.54g are saturates)
It is also Vegan and Organic Certified!
So as you can see pretty much 1/5 of coconut flour is protein and the majority of the nutritional make up consists of dietary fibre – it really doesn’t get much better than this!
My best use of the NUA Naturals coconut flour was this Paleo Semolina recipe!
You can buy Nua Naturals coconut flour from here!
NUA Naturals Goji Berries
Goji berries were originally used in Chinese medicine but these little fellas have found their way over to the UK due to the huge number of celebrities that are in utter awe of them. They are packed full of antioxidants and the beta-carotene that they contain gives your skin a lovely, radiant glow. (I feel like I should be smothering these on my face – not eating them, or maybe I should do both?!)
These bright red, juicy miniature superfood warriors are immense! Goji Berries (also known as ‘Wolf Berries’) are high in fibre, and vitamins E, C, B1 & B2.
100% umm Goji Berries!
Nutritional Information per 100g
Energy: 309 Kcal
Carbohydrates: 53.4g (of which 53.2g are sugars)
Fat 2.6g (of which 0.8g are saturates)
Vitamin E: 184mg (1553% RDA)
Vitamin C: 43.4mg (54% RDA)
Thiamin (B1): 1.52mg (138% RDA)
Riboflavin (B2): 11.3mg (807% RDA)
What do all of these figures mean?
- Vitamin E for a start will really help your skin as well as boost your immune system, so even with a small portion of goji berries you’ll get your fix.
- Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) aids in wound healing, cell and organ function
- Thiamin helps to create energy to essentially keep your organs running smoothly, improves cardiovascular functions (your heart!), prevents cataracts and improves eye health, improves brain function i.e. concentration and memory and aids nerve function by improving myelination (the production of myelin sheath). The myelin sheaths cover your nerves like a little bit of electrical insulation and without them your nervous system wouldn’t function. Top stuff!!!
- Riboflavin helps increase red blood cell production, boosts mineral absorption, aids in energy production, maintains healthy skin & eyes, and strengthens your immune and digestive system.
So as you can see you’re likely to get close to your RDA for all of these vitamins in just a small handful. Goji Berries really are a top superfood!
For those of you that haven’t tasted goji berries before they taste sweet with a slight tang and bitterness to them, much like the bitterness of a cranberry and the sweetness of a cherry. They’re about the size of raisins and the NUA Naturals ones have such a lovely chew and juiciness to them – I love them!!!
What I also loved about NUA Naturals goji berries is that they are sold in a tub not a bag which keeps them nice and fresh as well as looking vibrant and stylish in your kitchen cupboard or on your countertop!
I made some lovely grain-free granola and cookies with goji berries so check them out!
You can buy Nua Naturals goji berries from here!
NUA Naturals Coconut Palm Sugar
Coconut sugar is not produced from the fruit but from the sap of the coconut flour itself. The sap is boiled and then dehydrated to create a granulated brown sugar looking substitute. It’s just as sweet as sugar but it is rich in nutrients – it’s high in potassium and chloride, and vitamin B1 which is an added bonus. But sugar is still sugar so remember not to get too carried away with the nutritional content. As it is low on the glycemic index it will not cause your blood sugar to spike and it is 45% fructose it won’t be adding too much stress to your lovely livers. It is a perfect vegan alternative to raw honey or just as an alternative to other Paleo friendly sweeteners.
Coconut sugar is also one of the most sustainable sugars in the world so you can indulge in this guilt free!
100% Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
Nutritional Information per 100g
Energy: 376 Kcal
Carbohydrates: 91.9g (of which 86.6g are sugars)
Fat 0.1g (of which 0.1g are saturates)
Vitamin C: 23.8mg (30% RDA)
Thiamin (B1): 0.45mg (41% RDA)
Potassium: 934.7mg (47% RDA)
Chloride: 466.49mg (58% RDA)
Iron: 2.79mg (20% RDA)
The NUA Naturals coconut sugar will add a lovely caramel flavour to your sweet and savoury dishes or even to your coffee. I like to make a ‘coffee creamer’ using coconut sugar and find it great in the base of a raw cheesecake to help to give that ‘sandy’ biscuity texture. I also find that it has quite a similar taste to ‘jaggery’ used in Indian cuisine.
You can use this pretty much at the same ratio as normal brown sugar in your recipes.
Well… what can I say?? I am sold!
I was completely bowled over by the funky packaging, the company ethos, the amazingly wide range of products (acai, lucuma, maca, cacao etc) that there just isn’t anything negative to say whatsoever. I kind of just wish that this company was based in the UK!
If you’d like to follow NUA Naturals online then check out the links below: