Coconuts, when I hear the word coconuts I imagine; straws and cute tiny umbrella…
It makes you think of beaches straight away; the reality is the picture is way, way bigger. Coconut is considered a superfood, it is nutritious, vegan, gluten free and keto/paleo diet friendly.
This fruit is on the list of ‘my favorites’ for being so versatile in purpose and of course, coconut is undoubtedly tasty with a unique flavor.
If you have been wondering and asking “how can we use coconut in the kitchen?” or “what is coconut used for in cooking?” stay with me…
In this article we will check out various ways to use a fresh coconut; and how to use coconut bye-products in the kitchen.
- The flesh
- The husk
Bye-products of Coconuts;
Here are some bye-products of coconuts that are very essential in the kitchen.
- Coconut oil
- Coconut milk
- Coconut butter
- Coconut flakes
- Desiccated coconut flakes
- Coconut flour
This is extracted from the fleshy part of the coconut. Just as it is very popular in the beauty sphere in the kitchen it has a plethora of uses.
It can be used for cooking and frying because it can withstand high temperatures, it for stir-fries, for baking, as emulsifier for homemade nut butter… etc. in my favorite coconut pancake recipe I add coconut oil instead of melted butter in the pancake batter and I use it for making popcorn too.
This is also extracted from the fleshy part of the coconut, usually it is grated or blended to paste, then hot water is used to wash out the milk or in a powerful blender you can blend bite-size coconut pieces with hot water (if your blender jug is heat-resistant) …. The final step is straining and bottling. This keeps in the fridge for a few days and to keep for longer put it in the freezer.
Coconut milk can be used for making coffee, chai (tea), in cooking and baking. Dishes like Nigerian Coconut rice, Coconut fried-rice, Brazilian Chickpea stew, some Indian curries, Sauces, Pastas, and it is a staple ingredient in Thai cooking.
My favorite dinner roll recipe; the Samoan Pani Popo, it has coconut milk in the dough mix, and lastly before it goes into the oven, a generous cup or more of coconut milk and sugar poured into the pan… absolutely delicious. Follow this link to make yourself a batch of Pani Popo
This can be made at home in a grinder or high-speed blender. Coconut butter is used as a spread just like regular butter, it can be added to drinks like coffee, tea, smoothies, milkshakes etc. it can be used to make sweet treats and baked goods.
A baker knows how much this is worth. Coconut flakes can go with almost everything. Coconut flakes as a topping or ingredient in; cookies, biscuits, chocolate bars, crumbles, porridge/overnight oats, cupcakes, cakes, pancakes, muffins, banana bread, bread, waffles… etc.
It goes into granola, or can be served separately in or on the yoghurt/cake/custard parfait.
Desiccated Coconut flakes;
This is finer in texture than the regular coconut flakes, it mixes in well in doughs and batters to give that coconutty goodness, and a good fiber boost. Just add them into you pancake mix, waffles, bread, muffins… etc. and of course they look pretty and taste amazing as toppings too.
This can be made from the pulp after extraction of the milk, the pulp is dried and completely dehydrated then milled into flour.
Coconut flour can’t exactly substitute wheat flour, and you need to follow recipes tailored to coconut flour. In regular recipes that call for regular flour you can substitute a small of the regular flour for coconut flour.
With all that being said, this can be used for pancakes, baked food etc.
Note; when working with this floor, you might need more eggs, or as I said earlier work with a recipe for coconut flour.
Some recipes to get you started;
Watch a video on how to make coconut oil below:
The world of coconut bye-products still has more to offer like; coconut sugar, coconut buttermilk, coconut cream… etc. but those listed are the basic or let’s say the fundamental ones.
A part of coconut we didn’t discuss but I highly recommend for consumption is Coconut water; it is a very refreshing and nutritious beverage…guess what? I kinda pour some into my coconut pancakes batter, when I want a lighter consistency. Now that I think about I used every bit but the husk of the coconut (: for my coconut pancakes ( I will share the recipe soon, it is a quick and healthy breakfast option) .. Thank you for reading.