Whole Story

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Cracking the Coconut Code

By Alana Sugar, August 12, 2013  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar

Coconut AmbrosiaCoconut seems all the rage these days. With news about the many benefits plus far greater availability of all sorts of wonderful coconut products, now’s the time to get cooking with coconut. Try fresh and dried coconut plus coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut butter and even coconut flour, a popular gluten-free, high-fiber alternative for baking and cooking. And, of course, a whole slew of coconutty recipes like Coconut Ambrosia, Coconut Fudge and Baked Coconut Lentils.

Here’s the rundown on the ways you can get in the kitchen with coconut:

Fresh – if you’ve never cracked a coconut, now’s a great time to go for it. Head to our produce department for a whole, brown coconut (full of delicious white coconut meat) or a young, green coconut (full of nutritious thirst-quenching electrolytes).   

Coconut Bread

Dried – available shredded or grated into sprinkles, flakes and chips, dried coconut is delicious in baked goods, breading, cereals, trail mix and more. Garnish main dishes, salads, soups and desserts. Be sure to choose unsweetened. Here are some great recipes: Coconut Bread, Coconut Crumb Cake, Coconut Oatmeal Cookies and Coconut and Macadamia Granola

Coconut milk – available in cans or in aseptic packages and milk-like cartons in the dairy case, coconut milk is a great non-dairy alternative for folks avoiding soy and tree nut-milks. It’s available in light or regular. Use it in place of dairy milk for most recipes. Try making Coconut Milk Ice Cream in the summer. Enjoy healthy leafy greens with our Coconut Milk-Braised Greens recipe, and for breakfast, how about this Orange French Toast with Bananas? Coconut milk is amazing in soups, main dishes, smoothies and desserts; it’s a great replacement for cream. Try Coconut, Carrot and Chickpea Soup, Green Curry Tofu, Butternuts Squash and Macaroni Casserole, Coconut Flan and Baked Brown Rice Pudding with Dried Fruit.

Coconut Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Coconut water – refreshing and sweet with potassium and minerals, this beverage is a popular drink for outdoor activities, sports events, hiking and biking. Drink it to cool off and recharge in the summer heat.

Coconut butter – made from whole coconut meat that’s been ground into a creamy butter. Delicious on toast, muffins, scones and biscuits.

Coconut oil – rich and nutritious, coconut oil is wonderful in baked goods, stir-fries, hot cereals and soups. Plus, it’s a great moisturizer for the skin. These recipes are some of my favorites: Coconut Oil Biscuits are fabulous with cherry jam! Coconut Oil Pie Crust is a vegan favorite. For more, there are Coconut Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Coconut Tofu with Spicy Pineapple Dipping Sauce, Seared Tuna with Cumin, and Sweet Potato Pancakes.

Coconut flour – this gluten-free flour made from ground coconut meat is low in carbohydrates and high in fiber. It absorbs a lot of liquid, meaning you can’t use it one for one in place of regular flour; you’ll need a good recipe like these Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies to get you started.

Are you coconut connoisseur? Got a favorite recipe or idea? Let me know.



Category: Food & Recipes




Mallory says ...
Do any of your locations near Denver sell Hawaiian Sun's Frozen Coconut Milk?! I'm trying to track it down as it's supposed to make a great coconut ice cream, without all the added sugar. Fingers crossed!!!! Thanks!
08/12/2013 1:29:18 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MALLORY - Our products vary between store locations so I would reach out directly to the store you plan to shop with. They will be happy to help!
08/12/2013 1:56:52 PM CDT
Karen Lafaro says ...
Try cooking your Rainbow Swiss Chard in coconut oil instead of olive oil - wait til you taste the difference. Saute with garlic and top with some golden raisins - finish with some grated fresh coconut..yummmm
08/14/2013 2:30:54 PM CDT
debbie says ...
what is the recipe for the chocolate coconut thing you have pictures in the email? dont see anything that sounds like that looks.
08/14/2013 4:07:24 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@DEBBIE - There is a link for the Coconut Fudge in the first paragraph that is featured in the newsletter. You can find it at http://wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/coconut-fudge.
08/14/2013 4:23:45 PM CDT
anne yeoman says ...
Link to coconut sweet potato pancakes goes to the tuna recipe.
08/14/2013 6:09:43 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@ANNE - Thanks for the heads up! We have updated the link.
08/15/2013 3:54:00 PM CDT
CAITLIN says ...
Do you know which locations sell the To Life coconut openers that punch a hole in them? Any in Los Angeles by chance?
10/01/2013 9:54:20 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@CAITLIN - Our products vary between locations, sometimes even if the stores are located in the same city. I would suggest reaching out to the specific store you plan to shop with to see if this is something they have heard of.
10/02/2013 4:42:29 PM CDT
Nicole says ...
What brand of coconut butter do you guys carry?
03/28/2014 12:09:41 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@NICOLE - Our exact options will differ between stores. Check with your local store directly to see what options they carry!
03/28/2014 1:16:56 PM CDT
Maria says ...
I'm have been trying to locate COCONUT FAT. Just pure COCONUT FAT. Does Whole Foods carry COCONUT FAT? If so, please contact me with this item information. Thank you, Maria
08/17/2015 9:37:29 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MARIA - Our exact product options will differ between stores. Check with your local store to see what they have in stock!
08/26/2015 1:47:37 PM CDT