Whole Story

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Complement with Coconut

I’m thrilled. Coconut is making a comeback! This reminds me of my tropical-wannabe mother who loved coconut almost more than she loved my dad. He would offer up a fine dinner date and she would say, “Oh, Alan, I think I’ll stay home and make coconut chicken instead.” I can still hear her “Loosiana” southern drawl: “Ya’ll want some coconut sprinkled over that?” Turns out, there is practically nothing that a few coconut sprinkles can’t enhance. Okay, maybe not a vodka and olive martini, but just about everything else. For instance, do you like soup? Try a little coconut to garnish the top, or maybe a little coconut milk to smooth and mellow the flavors. Are you an oatmeal fan? Sprinkle coconut over the top before you dig in. Or, cook it with a splash of coconut milk. Just about any recipe that’s complemented by coconut sprinkles would work just as well with a splash of coconut milk. Shopping for coconut sprinkles yields plenty of sprinkle sizes to choose from. All are good and can be used as desired and according to your recipe. If you’re ready to commence with some coconut concoctions, I’ve got some downright delicious ideas for both coconut sprinkles and coconut milk:
  • Sprinkle coconut flakes over your breakfast cereal. Try a splash of coconut milk with or in place of your regular or non-dairy milk.
  • Garnish grain dishes, bean dishes, soups, stews and salads with coconut sprinkles. Here is a great recipe for Butternut Squash and Coconut Soup with Shrimp.
  • Use coconut milk in place of milk or cream in favorite dishes, sauces, salad dressings and desserts. This Coconut Forbidden Rice Pudding is made with coconut milk. It’s delicious!
  • Add to fruit salads like we’ve done with this recipe for Coconut Ambrosia.
  • Add coconut sprinkles to cookies, muffins, cakes and bars. We love this recipe for Oatmeal Coconut and Sunflower Seed Cookies.
  • Make cinnamon toast and sprinkle on the coconut! Or make toast with almond or peanut butter. Sprinkle coconut flakes all over the top.
  • Make coconut chicken like Mom did by adding coconut sprinkles to bread crumbs and seasonings before baking or pan-sautéing, or by making your favorite chicken dish and garnishing with coconut over the top.
  • Coconut milk makes delicious, savory broth when paired with chicken, beef or veggie broth. Perfect for seafood, bean soups, chicken soup or this recipe for Shrimp and Fish in Aromatic Coconut Broth.
  • Sprinkle coconut flakes over yogurt, berries, ice cream or non-dairy frozen dessert.
  • These wonderful Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies are made with coconut flour, a wonderful gluten free, high fiber alternative to all-purpose flour.
  • Are you a bread baker? Sprinkle coconut flakes over the top before baking. Try this amazing recipe for Coconut Bread.
  • “Put da lime in da coconut and drink it all up….”
Remember, coconut products from store to store are not all the same. When shopping at Whole Foods Market, we’ve already read the labels for you, so you know ours meet our standards for being free of artificial preservatives, colors, flavors and sweeteners. If shopping elsewhere, you need to check the ingredients on canned coconut milk and sweetened coconut flakes (the kind that made me sick when I was 5 years old eating coconut cake at a little kid’s birthday party) to avoid additives and preservatives such as sodium metabisulphate and propylene glycol. Are you a fan of coconut? Got a favorite idea or recipe? I’d love to hear!

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Carmen says …

My favorite thing to punch up with coconut is in a chopped salad of cucumbers, green onion tops,1 seeded finely chopped jalapeno (optional if you are a fan of heat) and cilantro. Dress in 3 T lemon juice plus 2T raw honey. Toast 1/3 c coconut and 1/3 cups slivered onions and mix it in..Ooh, la la! This salad is even better the next day or two.

Danielle says …

Coconut milk used to make tapioca, French toast batter, tropical smoothie, and anything dairy-free. Dessicated unsweetened coconut to make coconut shrimp or scallops, German chocolate cake, baked chicken nuggets,and coconut shortbread and macaroons that usually are already too sweet. Now, if someone will only develop a whipped coconut milk topping!

ivory says …

ISLAND COOKIES: My Fave COcoNut Treat! Ingredients 1 cup butter flavor shortening 1 cup white sugar 1/2 cup light brown sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon butter extract 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 bar Lindt’s white coconut chocolate, chopped 2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut ½ cup Macadamia nuts chopped Directions 1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees 2.Cream shortening and sugars 3.Add eggs and butter extract 4.Blend in salt, soda 5.Gradually add flour 6.Stir in chopped chocolate, macadamia nuts and coconut 7.Drop spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet, bake for 12 minutes

Moriah says …

Yes! I am a huge fan of coconut...the scent, the taste, and the smell. My favorite coconut product is Artisana Coconut Butter...this stuff is AMAZING! Not sure if Whole Foods carries it or not, but they should. I use it in oatmeal, as a spread in place of butter, and so much more. I even eat it with a spoon straight out of the jar :)

susie bee on maui says …

just made some tropical whole wheat pancakes with toasted coconut: http://eatlittleeatbig.blogspot.com/2011/05/recipe-for-tropical-pancakes.html

Micah says …

Since going casein-free in January, I have come to lean heavily on the coconut. :) I'll post a few more recipes later, but for starters, one of my (and my almost 3-year-old daughter's) favorites is air-popped popcorn with unrefined coconut oil drizzled over it, sprinkled with just a little bit of salt and some cinnamon sugar. Yum yum yummy!

Nicole says …

http://blog.innatplayadelrey.com/2011/04/recipe-monday-raw-apple-cake.html Above is a link to an AMAZING apple bread recipe made with coconut. I work at a B&B and we make this one all the time. It's easy and fabulous!

Diana Murray says …

I am indeed a fan of coconut...organic dessicated coconut and organic virgin cold-pressed coconut oil> I even make my own coconut milk from dried coconut and use it in place of dairy milk in everything! So many now in our village take coconut oil for health, at least 5 women who have had their gall bladder removed...it works wonders. Home made coconut milk in Belgian waffles is awesome http://dianasfood4thought.info/2011/04/04/belgian-waffles/ and anything you need to deep fry is fantastic in coconut oil...it actually reduces overall cholesterol by raising your good cholesterol.

Allysson says …

My kids normally don't eat plain rice - but they love coconut rice! I substitute light organic coconut milk for about half the water. It's delicious.

Jerry Eckardt says …

COCONUT MILK - 1 cup of grated/shredded un-processed coconut and 4 cups of water. Warm water to below boiling add coconut and let stand for 20 minutes. Strain and cool. Viola.

Barbara Garrett says …

My daughter uses coconut oil, comes in a jar like crisco. She cooks Talapia in the oil, the fish is seasoned with oregano, cilantro, lime zest and garlic and a little salt. It is the best tasting fish cooked in the coconut oil, so amazing!! I am not sure Whole Foods carries this coconut oil but going to call and find out. My daugher lives in San Diego and found it at a local natural food store called Henry's.

BombLogic says …

There are so many recipes! where can i find coconut flour? My sister can't eat gluten but used to love cookies and i'd like to make some for her...something she could eat

michelle says …

I LOVE coconut in all forms! The Coconut Bread recipe Whole Foods posted is awesome. It's the best bread I have ever eaten. I've made it numerous times. Thanks for the recipe!

Steve says …

Where or what aisle can I find coconut milk at Whole Foods? Refrigerated section or canned?

Susan says …

There are so many people who are on restricted diets. Would it be possible to add a "link" that would list or assist customers searching for low sodium items such as bread crumbs, seasonings, can goods, and more? When I searched for low sodium, only recipes were provided. Thank you.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@SUSAN - Since our products differ between locations, some stores will offer a low sodium product list on their store page on the website. If they do not, check with your local store directly to see if they have a list of their products.