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Journey to Fiji

Packed full of fun and nutritional treats, Fiji offered a castaway experience for Dr. Riba and family last week. While on the South Pacific island, Dr. Riba celebrated her 50th birthday and brought back a delicious, nutrient-rich ceviche recipe for everyone. Unlike traditional ceviche, Fijian ceviche known as Kokoda is made with a twist. The twist, coconuts! In Fiji, coconuts are in abundance and frequently used in dishes to spark flavor. Especially in ceviche, the coconut milk aids in balancing the acidity of the dish creating a nice blend of flavors. Below is a similar recipe of the Kokoda to try at home.

Ingredients 1 lb. boneless, skinless snapper fillet, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces 1 cup white vinegar 3⁄4 cup coconut milk 1⁄4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro 3 scallions, thinly sliced 1 vine-ripe tomato, cored, seeded, and finely chopped 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped 1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped 1⁄2 small red onion, finely chopped 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice, plus wedges to serve Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions In a large bowl, toss the snapper with the white vinegar. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes, then drain and rinse the snapper. Return snapper to bowl along with the coconut milk, cilantro, scallions, tomato, bell peppers, and red onion and stir gently to combine. Add the lime juice, salt, and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Benefits of Coconut:

Coconuts are categorized as a fruit specifically a stone fruit. Common stone fruits include peaches and nectarines which are also great sources of nutrients. The coconut is great for digestion and satiating fiber. Rich in vitamin B6, iron, and minerals like magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium the coconut is great to meet daily goals. Consuming coconuts can also increase HDL levels and cause positive heart function. When drinking the juice of the coconut, this is rich in potassium increasing hydration levels and decreasing blood pressure. Not only are the health benefits a great reason to consume coconuts, there are many different forms and uses for coconuts. Common forms of coconuts include oil typically used in cooking or applied to hair/skin. Coconuts are a universal food, so live that coconut kind of life.


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