Complement with Coconut

Add flavor to many of your favorite recipes with a splash of coconut milk or a sprinkle of coconut over top. From sweet to savory, try these ideas for complementing 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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