WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Coconut Tzatziki Abby Style.

As usual we are always on the hunt for a veggie, fruit or any food that has a great nutritional profile that Abby can tolerate. Abby asked the other day about cucumbers. Not a food that we have often here. We do like Tzatziki but in the past we either buy it premade or I've made it with dairy, so Abby hasn't eaten it. One of the few foods Derek really is not fond of is cucumber, and though I don't mind it, it just isn't something that I buy for myself. We aren't even that interested in pickles- though if I knew what I know now about their great nutrition I would have made an effort to put them on the table more frequently. This Tzatziki is the "cucumber challenge" for Abby.

Abby looked of up their value and we were very surprised to see that they are a spectacular source of vitamin K. They also have quercetin which is a favorite supplement in the allergy suffering world. One of our favorite online resources for researching food values is the WHfoods. Here is a couple bits of info I cut and pasted but if you go to their site you can read more about cucumber nutrition.
Nutritional Profile
Cucumbers provide us with a variety of health-supportive phytonutrients. Included among these phytonutrients are flavonoids (apigenin, luteolin, quercetin, and kaempferol), lignans (pinoresinol, lariciresinol, and secoisolariciresinol), and triterpenes (cucurbitacins A, B, C, and D).

Cucumbers are an excellent source of anti-inflammatory vitamin K. They are also a very good source of the enzyme-cofactor molybdenum. They are also a good source of free radical-scavenging vitamin C; heart-healthy potassium and magnesium, bone-building manganese, and energy-producing vitamin B5. They also contain the important nail health-promoting mineral silica.

1 pound (1 pint) plain coconut yogurt (whole fat to help it set firm in fridge)
1 cucumber, unpeeled and seeded
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt(I just use pink himalayan, works fine)
1/2 cup coconut sour cream
1 tablespoon Braggs Apple Cider vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh dill(dried works!)
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Place the coconut yogurt in a cheesecloth or paper towel-lined sieve and set it over a bowl(I did this a couple days ago because I was planning on using Abby's last batch of homemade coconut yogurt for baking and sauces). Grate the cucumber and toss it with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt; place it in another sieve, and set it over another bowl. Place both bowls in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours so the coconut yogurt and cucumber can drain. (Before adding the cucumber I still really squeeze it to get any fluid out)

Transfer the thickened coconut yogurt to a large bowl. Squeeze as much liquid from the cucumber as you can and add the cucumber to the coconut yogurt. Mix in the coconut sour cream, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. I refrigerator for a few hours for the flavors to blend. Serve chilled. We use it like Mayo for sandwiches or a dipping sauce. I was pleased with the flavor of this- it was a touch "milder" then the dairy version or store bought, but really very very close and I don't think you would know the difference if you weren't a frequent Tzatziki eater. :-)


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