(This photo was taken in Fiji when I picked and ate coconuts in total abundance...Oh how I dream of doing that again soon!...)
I've been thinking about how even though I use coconut so much, it's not usually a feature flavour - poor coco is getting taken advantage of! I mean, I use coconut oil in raw ice creams, cheesecakes, whipped cream, and cakes - not for the flavour, but rather to create a firm, yet creamy consistency. Same thing with the young coconuts...the soft pulp makes great ice cream, whipped cream, puddings, and shakes, but again, I use other ingredients to disguise this fabulous flavour.
I suppose it was this thought that recently motivated me to make a few coconut recipes. Young coconuts are hard to come by in my town, but weeks ago, my friend Denyse brought some from the city for me to play with. For the first time ever I made coconut ice cream! I seriously can't believe I've never made it before. We sure enjoyed it so much that it got eaten pretty quickly around here. With the mind of a chef, I've been conjuring up all kinds of other flavours that I think would make yummy additions, like: cacao nibs or raw chocolate chunks for coconut chip; mango, pineapple, and banana for tropical, caramel sauce for coconut caramel; berries, etc...
Coconut Ice Cream
2 cups young coconut flesh
1 cup cashews
1 1/2 cups water
1/3-1/2 cup agave
1 tbs pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil
Blend all but the coconut oil, until smooth and creamy. Add coconut oil and combine. Chill the mixture and then process through an ice cream maker. Garnish with dried coconut.
My favourite way to eat ice cream is freshly out of the ice cream maker while it's still super soft (or put into the freezer for only an hour or two to firm slightly) - you can definately tell in this pic, as it's becoming a pile of melty balls rather quickly! Another coconut recipe I've recently made is the vanilla almond macaroons from Matthew Kenney's book, Everyday Raw. Boy, are these ever delish! It combines dried coconut with almonds, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and almond extract - I thought they might be similar to the mac macs from The Raw 50, but the batter was much much more wet and they turned out to be a cookie more than a macaroon. After dehydrating for 12 hours, they're firm enough to hold, but super soft and moist on the inside - perfect for me!
Needing a little choccie with my coco, the coconut almond joy truffles from Sweet Gratitude satisfy my cravings for this combo. I've gotten so hooked that I've made them a number of times since Christmas, yet they never stay around long enough to snap a photo. The secret ingredient is coconut butter (not to be confused with coconut oil), a blend of pure raw coconut pulp. You've gotta try this stuff on it's own, it's absolutely amazing - like candy!!! I'm not sure why I waited so long to purchase my first jar of coconut butter, which was back in December, but I'm glad I did. Even though I don't use it often, (the truffles are the only thing I've used it for so far) it will be a staple in my kitchen forever. Anywho, in addition to the butter, these gems are made with dried coconut, agave, vanilla bean, sea salt, almonds (which I omitted in this batch), and a dark chocolate cover (I use the one from my Just Desserts ebook).
As I've been writing this post, a yummy coconut based smoothie from my Summer Sippers post last summer keeps coming to mind. So I headed back to the old archives, and pulled the recipe out to share again.
Blend everything together and then add ice at the end to make it frosty. This is more like the consistency of cream, rather than a thick smoothie. I add about 1 tablespoon each of the cacao and carob, and then just a bit of the other powders, and agave to taste.
If you like coconut, I'm sure you'd enjoy any of the above recipes...and if you have any great ones featuring coco, please please, share em with me! 🙂
You'll have to look closely to spot the guy near the top of the tree - see him?! That was in Fiji - he climbed with his bare hands and feet to get us heaps of fresh young coconuts. I was amazed!