Pure Coconut

Coconut! What a wonderful food! Its versatility makes it a prefect ingredient for both sweet, and savory dishes. I use it in a lot of my desserts- dried coconut in crusts, cookies, cakes, or as a garnish...and ground, dried coconut used as flour. I love young thai coconut eaten straight up, out of its shell, in a smoothie by itself (the water/pulp blended with a bit of ice), with fruit, or combined with cacao powder and dates for a super treat! Mmm, the possibilities are endless.

(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.

Chocolate Decadence

1 young coconut
(water and pulp)
large handful walnuts
cacao powder
carob powder

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!

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  1. Anonymous
    March 12, 2009 at 22:28

    I can't wait to try some of these out. I just need to find the coconuts!! I love the flavour of coconuts.<br />:)<br />Thanks for sharing - especially the wonderful pics!<br />-Grace in Canada

  2. March 13, 2009 at 02:08

    yUM! Coconut is definitely a perfect perk-me up drink this summer. We also have a lot of coconut trees in our lots back innourn province. Good post!<br /><br />Have a nice day! <br /><br />Much love, ABby

  3. March 13, 2009 at 03:20

    i just found your blog and i love it!!! ive been vegan for a year and am going high raw... :)<br /><br />I just had a young coconut for the first time last week.. im obsessed

  4. March 13, 2009 at 13:56

    Wow Heathy! That ice cream along with everything else looks amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe! <br /><br />Hey, the coconut cream pie in 'I am Grateful' and 'Sweet Gratitude' is another wonderful dessert for the coconut lover. It's sooooo good! Although perhaps you and Carmella already made that one?<br /><br />Have a great weekend. I just love your blog! Always inspiring! And I have to start making some candies from Sweet Gratitude. Yours look awesome!!!<br /><br />Cheers!<br />Joyce

  5. March 13, 2009 at 15:30

    OK I'm going to need to go to a surgeon for a saliva gland transplant if you keep posts like this up! ;)

  6. March 13, 2009 at 16:54

    My daughter and I love smoothies with coconut! Thanks for these recipes. I wonder if you use something else to substitute nuts in your cake recipes. My daughter is allergic. there are not many raw cookie and cake recipes without nuts as a main ingredient(that I have found). Any thoughts or advice? Would the dried ground up coconut meat work?<br />thanks, from one coco-''nut'' to another.<br />Dianna in Cleveland, Ohio

  7. March 14, 2009 at 00:44

    Grace - you can find young cocos at The Superstore, or Extra Foods, thats where I get mine. <br /><br />Abby - lucky lucky you having coconuts in your backyard!! I'll have that too....one day ;)<br /><br />Vegan - that's great! Yeah for sure, once you try a young coco there's no turning back!<br /><br />Joyce - nice to hear from you! Actually, I haven't made the coco cream pie from CG...that's one I'll have to try - gee, the list keeps growing!<br /><br />Yard, hahaha, you're halarious! How've you been?<br /><br />Dianna - hmm, no nuts is a hard one. I've got a good friend who's allergic. Can she have seeds? Ground flax with sunflower, hemp, and pumpkin seeds would make a good base for a cookie/cake, and of course, dried coconut, like you said...there is even coconut flour out there. ALso, you can use oat groats in place of nuts. <br />Hope that helps! Take care!

  8. March 17, 2009 at 02:46

    Oh my goodness! Coconut is a favorite around here. These recipes look wonderful, thanks so much!

  9. March 17, 2009 at 19:07

    mmm mmm mmm mmm! Love love love love coconut (I affectionately call it coocoonut). Waiting for our case to arrive at our local grocer.<br /><br />Your pics as usual, make me drool.

  10. Anonymous
    March 19, 2009 at 23:33

    Wow those look good - i'm gonna have to make those cookies, for sure! I just wanted to point people in the direction of artisana nut butters for the coconut butter if they can't find it... and while you're at it, their bliss blends... holy yum.<br /><br />http://www.shoporganic.com/prod_detail_list/brand_artisana

  11. March 24, 2009 at 13:52

    I heart coconut SO much. I love those truffles. They look amazing!

  12. Anonymous
    March 28, 2009 at 18:59

    Is your blog title supposed to be Raw Goddess Heathy? or Healthy?<br /><br />Love the photos and ideas!!

  13. April 1, 2009 at 01:48

    Glad you guys are enjoying the coconut. And thanks Anonymous - Artisana coconut butter is the kind I use. Actually, I have yet to try another brand. <br /><br />Anonymous - its Heathy, not healthy - LOL, a lot of people get mixed up on that! But they both go together - Im Heathy and Im healthy :D

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