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Coconut Clam Chowder
Known variously as the Tree of Life, the Tree of Abundance, the Source of the Genesis of Mankind, the Staple of Man’s Existence, the King’s Blessing and the Lazy Man’s Servant, the coconut (Cocus nucifera) has served inhabitants of the tropics since time immemorial, providing them with delicious food and drink, clothing, housing, boating gear, musical instruments, animal fodder, medicines, stationery, ropes, toiletries, fuel, lighting, cooking utensils, fertilizers, tools, personal decoration, legend, and songs.
Coconuts supply calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as B-complex vitamins. But the real merit of this delicious tropical nut is in its fat. The highly saturated fat component of the coconut contains a large portion of short- and medium-chain fatty acids which have antimicrobial properties. In particular, coconut is the richest dietary source of 12-carbon lauric acid, which makes up over 47% of the total fat content. Lauric acid is strongly protective against viruses, yeasts, and pathogenic bacteria in the human gut. Do these saturated fats cause heart disease? Coconuts grow in coastal areas between twenty-two degrees north and south of the equator — the Caribbean and Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines and Indonesia. These geographic areas have remarkably low levels of cardiovascular disease.
There are several commercial coconut products we can recommend. Pure, unrefined coconut oil is available from Omega Nutrition, (800) 661-3529. Whole, canned coconut milk is available in supermarkets — look for a brand that contains no additives. Shredded desiccated coconut meat can be found in health food stores. Finally, creamed coconut, which is the finely ground coconut meat, rich and creamy when melted, can be purchased in Oriental and Caribbean markets. It comes in seven-ounce blocks, and is found in the refrigerated section.
This article and the following recipes are adopted from Coconut Cookery by Valerie MacBean, available for $19.95 plus $3.00 shipping from V. MacBean, 101-1001 West Broadway, Box 554, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6H 4E4.
Coconut Clam Chowder
- 4 tablespoons butter or lard
- 3 large potatoes, scrubbed, trimmed, and diced to ½ inch
- 2 medium onions, peeled and diced
- 1 cup mushrooms, washed, well dried, and sliced
- 1 large can diced tomatoes in their juice
- 1 can whole coconut milk or 7 ounces creamed coconut
- 2 cups fish stock, chicken stock, or water
- ½ teaspoon lemon pepper
- ½ teaspoon tumeric
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 pound chopped clams, preferably fresh
In a heavy skillet, saute the potatoes in butter or lard until golden but still firm.
Transfer to a large pot.
Sauce onions and mushrooms and transfer to the pot.
Add the remaining ingredients.
Bring to a boil and skim.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Published in Health & Healing Wisdom
Spring 1998 | Volume 22, Number 1
Copyright © 1998 Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, Inc.®
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