7 Recipes That Will Have You Crazy About Coconuts
“I’ve got a lo-ve-ly bunch of coconuts (They’re lurvely!)” OK, so I don’t actually have a lovely bunch of coconuts — instead a lovely bunch of coconut recipes are on the agenda. Coconuts are great in the kitchen because there are so many ways to add them to recipes. You can use coconut milk in custards, coconut flour if you have a gluten allergy, shredded coconut for a natural sweetener — and all of that only begins to scratch the surface. To get you started on your own culinary coconut escapades, here are seven recipes.
1. Coconut Shrimp
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
- 3 egg whites, beaten until foamy
Directions: Preheat an oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Rinse and dry shrimp with paper towels. Mix cornstarch, salt, and cayenne pepper in a shallow bow; pour coconut flakes in a separate shallow bowl.
Working with one shrimp at a time, dredge it in the cornstarch mixture, then dip it in the egg white, and roll it in the coconut, making sure to coat the shrimp well. Place on the prepared baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining shrimp.
Bake the shrimp until they are bright pink on the outside and the meat is no longer transparent in the center and the coconut is browned, 15 to 20 minutes, flipping the shrimp halfway through.
2. Coconut & Almond Butter Energy Balls
For a naturally sweet, energizing snack, roll together The Honour System‘s coconut and almond butter energy balls. You’ll get pumped up with protein from the almond butter, and flax — great for a pick-me-up!
- ¼ cup almond butter
- 3 tablespoons coconut butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup oats
- 3 tablespoons ground flax
- ¼ teaspoons cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt
Directions: In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the oats, flax seed, cinnamon, and sea salt. Set aside. In a small saucepan, over low heat, melt together coconut butter, almond butter and vanilla. Pour the almond butter mixture over the oat mixture and stir well. Roll in the palm of your hand to form a golf ball sized energy ball. Store in the fridge for at least an hour to set. Keep refrigerated in a sealed glass container.
3. Coconut Cupcakes
When used as a garnish, coconut is a simple, aesthetically appetizing decoration. To test this out for yourself, make Ina Garten’s coconut cupcakes, topped off with shredded coconut.
- ¾ pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1½ teaspoons pure almond extract
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut
- 1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
- ¾ pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.
Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth. Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.
4. Kale and Coconut Chicken Salad
But coconut isn’t only for topping cupcakes, as shown by The Vintage Mixer it can be tossed in salads too. The farro is not a necessary component of the dish, and you can use rice or omit it entirely.
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil (the dark sesame oil has the best flavor)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or Tamari
- 5 cups kale, packed (about 1 big bundle), stems removed and town into large pieces
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1 cup cooked shredded chicken
- 1 cup farro, uncooked (2 cups cooked)
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl whisk together the olive oil, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Toss kale and coconut with three quarters of the sauce. Lay out the kale and coconut on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 14 minutes, flipping the kale once during baking.
Meanwhile cook farro, if using, in a large pot of boiling water (should take about 20 to 25 minutes for it to get chewy). Remove from heat and drain. Mix the kale and coconut in with the chicken, and faro, then drizzle additional sauce on top.
5. Coconut Blondies
Blondies are already a twist on brownies, and there are countless ways to adapt them. One sweet, chewy way to change up your typical blondie recipe is to make these coconut blondies from Better with Sugar.
- ¾ cups butter, melted
- 1½ cups brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg + 1 yolk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups white chocolate chips
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9 x 13 pan (or line it with aluminum foil). In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Then add the brown sugar. Beat in the egg and then the yolk. Then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour and salt, and stir just to combine — don’t overmix! Fold in the coconut and white chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 22 to 23 min. It’s done when the edges are golden, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.
6. Coconut Cream Pie
A coconut custard meets toasted coconut in this classic pie recipe from Add a Pinch. If you do not have coconut milk, you can use whole milk, or half-and-half, but you will sacrifice some flavor.
- 1 pie crust (bought, or homemade)
- ½ cup flaked, sweetened coconut
- 1½ cups coconut milk
- 1½ cups half-and-half
- 5 egg yolks
- ¾ cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups flaked, sweetened coconut
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions: Prepare pie crust according to instructions, or recipe. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. For the toasted coconut topping, spread coconut evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Place into oven for 8 to 10 minutes until coconut has just begun to turn brown. Set aside to cool.
To make the custard, pour coconut milk and half-and-half into a liquid measuring cup. Add egg yolks and whisk together with milks. Set aside.
Add sugar and cornstarch to a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk egg and milk mixture together once more and then slowly begin to add to the sugar and cornstarch, whisking together constantly. Bring custard mixture to a boil. Switch to a rubber spatula or wooden spoon and continue to stir constantly. Boil for one minute. Remove from heat and add butter, coconut, vanilla and salt.Spread custard into pie crust. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until set, about 30 to 45 minutes.
For the topping, add sugar and heavy whipping cream to large bowl. Whisk with an electric mixer just until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla and whisk just until combined. Spread whipped cream on top of coconut custard. Refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve, top with toasted coconut.
7. Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream Cookie Dough Blizzard
If you have an ice cream maker, or just want to watch a really cool video, check out Half Baked Harvest‘s blizzard-inspired creation. It makes enough for about three or four blizzards, or 1.5 quarts of ice cream.
- 2 tablespoons roasted cashews
- ½cup butter, vegan butter or coconut oil (butter works best, but coconut oil also works really well)
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup flour
- pinch of salt
- ¾ cup mini chocolate chips (use vegan if needed)
Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream
- ½ cup pure cane sugar or granulated sugar
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk, chilled
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds removed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
Directions: Put your ice cream bowl in the freezer the night before you make this recipe. For the cookie dough, add the cashews to a food processor or high power blender, process for 2 minutes or until the cashews are a fine powder. Add the butter (or coconut oil), brown sugar and vanilla and process another 30 seconds to 1 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Add the flour and salt, process until combined. If the mixture seems dry add a tablespoons of milk or water. Stir in the chocolate chips. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spread the cookie dough out in an even layer about ¼ inch thick. Place in the freezer until ready to use. Chop into small chunks.