What kid doesn’t go wild for donuts? And with three forms of coconut (oil, butter, and flakes), these mom-approved donuts are packed full of heart-healthy saturated fats. Wait, what? Aren’t saturated fats bad for you? No! I’m here to bust this myth. Saturated fats, like cholesterol, get a bad reputation, however, if they’re so bad then why is it that 50% of the fat composition in breast milk is saturated fats?
Saturated fats are found in animal fats or tropical oils and are solid at room temperature. Saturated fats have several important functions, these include: energy production, slowing the absorption of meals to maintain blood sugar balance, carriers for fat-soluble vitamins, providing building blocks for hormones, and the list goes on.
Many people are terrified of saturated fats, but in reality, a 2010 study in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that there was ‘no clear evidence that increased saturated fats lead to heart disease or stroke’. Furthermore, the Inuit whose diet consists mainly of animal fat have the lowest rates of heart disease worldwide! Chew on that for a minute.
It is worth noting that long-chain saturated fats, like animal fat, can make platelets sticky when consumed in excess AND the environment is hostile due to inflammation and/or inactivity. Bottom line: if we work hard then our bodies can burn fat as fuel and if we consume optimal amounts of anti-inflammatory essential fats then we can eat saturated fats in moderation without fear.
Phew! Let’s have a snack! You may want to double this recipe because one batch doesn’t last longer than 20-minutes in our home.
For the donut dough:
1 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight or boiled for 15-minutes)
2/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2/3 cup pitted and chopped dates
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
Heavy pinch of sea salt, adjust to taste
For the coating:
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon coconut butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup coconut sugar, ground into fine flour with a food processor (reserve this for the garnish only, do not mix in with the coating step)
For the donuts:
- In a food processor grind all the ingredients into a thick, moist dough in a blender or food processor.
- Use about 1 tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball using your hands. Place on a plate lined with parchment paper and put in the freezer for about 30 minutes to chill and firm. In the meantime, make the coating.
For the donut coating:
- In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil, coconut butter, and maple syrup on low heat just to combine. Take off heat and add vanilla and sea salt.
- Take donut holes out of the freezer and roll them into the melted coating mixture, place back on the parchment paper plate (or you can use a cookie sheet if it’s easier). Place in the freezer for 20 minutes until hard and then repeat this another time to coat the donut hole a total of 2 times
- Before serving, roll the donut holes into the coconut sugar flour on top, this mimics “powdered sugar”.
- Store the donuts in an airtight glass container in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for several weeks. Enjoy!