I love coconut, and have come up with quite a list of creative things to do with coconut that you might like too. Some of these ideas might be common to some of you, while they might be new to others of you out there. If you’re new to using coconut, I highly recommend trying it! It’s one of the most nourishing, but beneficial foods you can consume. Regardless that it contains a good bit of fat, these fats are great for you, your hair, skin and nails. Next time you’re looking to try this magical food in a new, healthy way, check out some of these things to do with coconut. I promise, there are many options out there besides just consuming it through a Mounds bar!
1. Coconut Milk
Stop buying those store bought coconut milks and try one of my favorite things to do with coconut, which is to make your own! All you need to do is blend one cup of unsweetened shredded coconut in your blender with 4 cups water. Blend for two minutes and sweeten with stevia or a date if you wish before blending to give it a sweeter taste. Then, just strain all the coconut through a cheesecloth, or nutmilk bag, or even a thin towel. Do this over a bowl and squeeze out all the liquid into the bowl. Now you have your own delicious coconut milk! You can use this milk however you like and it will last 4 days in your fridge. Best of all, it contains no additives or funny ingredients like store bought varieties have either.
I love making pancakes with coconut flour. Simply use 2 tbsp. coconut flour per 2 egg whites, or a banana, mashed. Mix this in a bowl with any seasoning you like and you have your own pancakes! This generally makes two small pancakes, so feel free to double the recipe if you like. Coconut is rich in fiber, so you need less of the flour to get the results you want. If you prefer you can even add 1 tbsp. of oats and add a little liquid for a more filling pancake with a heartier texture.
3. Coconut Pudding
Another fun idea is to mix 1/2 cup of shredded, unsweetened coconut in a blender with a little yogurt and make your own pudding! If you want, you can also blend it with a banana for a cleaner recipe, and feel free to add spices and flavors. I also like adding stevia too!
4. Raw Cookies
If you haven’t tried making your own raw cookies with coconut yet, do give it a try ! Mix one cup each of cashews or almonds, with 1 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut and ½ cup of dried dates or figs. Mix this in your food processor and in a few minutes, you’ll have raw cookie dough. You can shape this into bars, bites or cookies, however you prefer.
5. Coconut Kefir
Have you ever had coconut kefir? If not, it’s delicious! Buy a vegan kefir starter or a regular dairy starter from your store, or online from Cultures for Health, and follow the directions on the package using homemade coconut milk.. In a day or two, you’ll have your own kefir, completely homemade. You can find Cultures for Health at: culturesforhealth.com .
6. Oatmeal Add-in
I love my oatmeal, but tend to get a little bored with it out of habit. To really take things up a notch on days I’m hungry or just need something fun to eat, I like to add unsweetened shredded coconut to my oatmeal. You can also cook some in your oatmeal if you prefer that toasted coconut flavor! The fiber and healthy fats will help keep you fuller longer and they’re easy to digest, so you don’t have to worry about digestive issues at all. This is great to have right before a workout, by the way!
7. Coconut Water
Just like making coconut milk is simple enough to do in your own kitchen, so is making your own coconut water! You can use shredded, unsweetened coconut, coconut butter or raw coconut meat to make it. All you need to do is use 1 part coconut to 8 parts water to get a more watery beverage than you do a milk beverage. It won’t have the exact electrolyte composition as raw coconut water from a real coconut, but it’s the next best option. Follow the same procedure as coconut milk, but use 1 part coconut to 8 parts water, and make however much you want, based on your needs. It will last about 4 days in the fridge.
I like blending coconut into smoothies as well, especially using coconut butter. The oil is also great to cook with, along with its uses as a beauty aid. Aside from those most basic uses that most people know, I thought I’d share with you some of my other favorite things to do with coconut. Do you have any to share with me?