Coconuts are the fruits from the Cocos nucifera tree. And what versatile fruits they are. From it, we get coconut water, coconut milk, coconut oil, and coconut flesh. Even the husks are used! Well, not in cooking, but it’s still amazing how useful these fruits are. If you want to cook more with coconut, then we have just the inspiration you need. Read on for coco-fabulous ideas to try out!
Coconuts are not just tasty, they’re also packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. If you want inspiration on how to use different parts of the coconut, then you’re at the right place!
Did you know you can roast and braise meat using coconut milk? You’ve probably heard about Jamie Oliver’s chicken in milk recipe? Well, you can use coconut milk in exactly the same way. The result will be tender chicken and a rich, flavorsome sauce! For extra flavor, add a curry paste (or a few extra herbs), and you’ll be rewarded with a delicious meal.
Sometimes all a curry needs, is a splash of curry. It’s extremely popular in Thai and Indian cooking, and if you want it to taste like the real thing, then the addition of coconut milk is essential. It gives just the right amount of sweetness that brings out the rich curry flavor. The sweet coconut flavor also matches well with the savory taste.
Just as you would finish off a soup with a pouring of cream, you can also add coconut milk to your soup for a dairy-free option. This is especially great if you want to make a vegan soup, but need to give the soup a bit more richness. It makes the soup rich and creamy, and will also give it a slight coconut.
If you’re making a curry, then coconut rice is the perfect side dish to serve with it. Basmati or jasmine rice infused with coconut milk has just the right amount of delicate coconut flavor to accompany a strong curry. And it’s easy to make too! Simply cook 2 cups of raw jasmine rice (rinsed several times), with 1 can of coconut milk, 1 ½ cups water, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp sugar. When the rice is cooked and all the moisture has absorbed, fluff it with a fork, and garnish with fresh cilantro.
Coconut macaroons are one of those quintessential coconut desserts you have to try. You only need basic baking skills and lots of coconut. To make it, you simply mix 5 ½ cups sweetened or unsweetened dried coconut with 1 (14 oz) can condensed milk and 2 tsp vanilla extract. Scoop balls of coconut mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 325°F/165°C until golden. Enjoy!
If coconut macaroons are not your thing, then there are many other coconut recipes you can try. For something more intricate, try out these Coconut and Ricotta Amaretti Biscuits made with coconut flour. Or our coconut version of classic palmier cookies. If you like baking pies, then you will love this creamy Coconut Cream Pie.
While we’re on the topic of desserts, did you know you can make vegan dulce de leche? The classic recipe is made with cream, but this of course means that it’s a no-no for vegans. Well, they no longer need to feel left out. To make your own, simply add 1 can coconut cream, 1 can coconut milk (14 oz each), 1 ½ cups brown sugar, and ½ tsp salt to a large pot over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring continuously. Turn the heat down and continue to stir until the mixture thickens and darkens in color. Allow to cool and rest in the fridge until it thickens.
Coconut milk is a great way to add creaminess to beverages if you cannot consume dairy. You can add coconut milk to your daily smoothie with mango, pineapple and other fruits, add coconut cream to your evening hot cocoa, or even create a turmeric latte. Or even better, use it to make milkshakes…Pina Colada milkshake, anyone?
We bet you didn’t know you can add coconut to vegetables! It’s the perfect substitution for cream or milk, which is especially great if you or one of your guests cannot consume dairy. Use coconut milk to make ‘coconut creamed spinach’, or add a small can of coconut cream to mashed potatoes. Your vegan friends would love your recipe!
An oldie, but a goodie. Seriously, coconut shrimp needs to be mentioned in this article, because it’s just so good! To make this delicious appetizer, you only need 12 large shrimp, 1 cup shredded coconut, 1 cup panko bread crumbs, eggs, whole milk (or coconut milk), and coconut oil. It’s easy too! Follow our recipe here.