By Shannon Gierl
In a house where he can't eat meat and she can't eat gluten, fish is often-times our go-to filler for meals. Fish tacos, fish on salad, just fish, and then occasionally, shrimp. I usually don't get too excited about shrimp: they don't have a ton of flavor in their own right, and they have to be peeled and de-veined which, let's face it, is gross. But I leave that job for Anthony and since it reminds him of his childhood in Portugal (he gets nostalgic even at the smell of raw fish) he is all too happy to get those little buggers cleaned up.
Since we are talking about shrimp and I'm about to share with you probably my favorite way to prepare them, we might as well go over why shrimp are so dang good for you. (In moderation, of course: everything in moderation, especially when it comes from the sea, for environmental and other reasons. We eat shrimp about 1-2 times a month at my house.) Here is the nutritional bio of this cute little shellfish:
Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties
- Astaxanthin is a carotenoid found concentrated in shrimp that in animal studies has been shown to lower the risk of colon cancer and reduce immune-related problems of diabetes.
- Selenium is another antioxidant that is absorbed readily by the human body from shrimp. And since selenium-deficiency has been shown to be a risk factor for heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases, as well as for type II diabetes, compromised cognitive function and depression, it's a good idea to make sure your diet includes some selenium.
- Omega-3's are found in abundance in shrimp and the Omega-3: Omega-6 ratio is ideal (3X as many 3's). DHA and EPA are found in these Omega-3s, which are both great for nervous system and cardiovascular health.
Yee-haw, right!? But before you haul yourself off to your nearest Kroger, Winn-Dixie, or Safeway to buy the first jumbo bag of shrimp you see, take a "responsibly radiant" moment with me and consider their source. It is recommended that you follow the guidelines issued by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch and select the following types of shrimp: British Columbia spot prawns, California coonstripe shrimp (caught using submerged pots), Oregon pink shrimp, Pacific white shrimp farmed in fully recirculating systems, and any U.S. farmed, freshwater shrimp. Avoid internationally farmed shrimp (outside the US) as many have been found to contain antibiotics and high levels of mercury. If you know your fishmonger or shop for seafood in a place you trust, go ahead and ask them about these types and if they sell them. For more nutritional and buying info, see the World's Healthiest Foods write-up on shrimp here.
Ok enough teachin' and preachin'. Onto the recipe. Now, I am just sharing with you today my method of preparation for coconut shrimp, which is paleo and gluten free (and delicious!). But you probably want to include some other radiant-worthy side dishes or salad to round out this meal with some greens. Last time I made them we had cole-slaw and Anthony had cornbread as well (I had to skip that one because - warning - cornbread is not just made with corn! Gasp. It also usually has wheat in it, which contains gluten. Disappointing for me because I LOVE cornbread! Luckily Pamela's Products has a great gluten free cornbread mix.)
Start with three small bowls. In the first one put the egg wash (eggs and water mixture). In the middle bowl, mix almond flour and spices. In the final bowl, put shredded coconut. Specifics and measurements can be found in the recipe box below.
Then just dip, coat, roll, and place the shrimp on your hot frying pan. I fry on medium-high heat with refined coconut oil, which can withstand higher temperatures. Shrimpies don't take too long to cook, so just watch and flip when they plump and turn pink and hard. They are pretty hard to screw up (thankfully). Just watch they don't stay too long on one side or the coconut will burn (this happens sometimes when I make them; it doesn't ruin the dish though so no worries if it happens to you!). Then enjoy with your favorite (healthy!) dipping sauce. I found an amazing one by Naturally Ella that just takes a mango, jalapeño, and avocado!
The full recipe specs are below. I hope you enjoyed this post and recipe! I would love to hear from you: what would you pair with this coconut shrimp to round out your radiant meal? Leave a post in the comments below. And use the social links at the bottom to share the recipe with your friends and family if you think they'd enjoy (or, if you want them to make it for you ;))! Thanks, and stay radiant :).