We'll start with the fun stuff first. This tasty yogurt is made from the creamy milk of the coconut combined with plant fed probiotic cultures (including L.acidophilus and six others). It comes in a range of flavours and can be used in smoothies, curries, as a topping on desserts... or anything else you would use a yogurt for (I used a pot of Coyo Mango to make my Bircher muesli today). The texture is unique, similar to a thick greek yogurt, but the flavour is smooth coconut with a hit of fruit (mango, passion fruit, mixed berry or pineapple). If you're trying to reduce your dairy intake, or are lactose intolerant, then Coyo is a lovely alternative to soy or other products.
Coconut oil is a super healthy cooking oil, as well as a wonderful raw component for many recipes, vegan or otherwise. Coconut oil has some solid health and flavour benefits which are being backed in the lab and kitchens around the world. As a medium chain fatty acid it actually increases metabolism, it's anti-mircobial and it boosts your immune system while reducing stress (thanks to the way it helps the body produce the adrenal hormones you need to deal with stress). With a very high 'smoke point' of 230˚C, it remains stable and healthy even while frying foods (great with a stir-fry for instance). You can get Blue Coconut's deodorized (a non chemical clay and steam based process) version if you don't want the coconut flavour in your cooking or go with Niugini's oil if you like the rich coconut taste. I use Niugini for my kettle corn (a sweet & salty popcorn) and Blue Coconut for basic cooking. Kim's COCACHOC bars highlight Niugini's virgin oil flavour combined with a decadent raw cocoa powder by Loving Earth. Both coconut brands are virgin, in that they are naturally harvested and cold processed in Vanuatu and PNG without chemicals or additives. Niugini is certified organic, and Blue Coconut is just plain organic (healthy process without the certification). Check it out for yourself.
Coconut water is beautifully refreshing. It has a natural way of quickly revitalizing your entire body through a potent combination of electrolytes (calcium, potassium, magnesium and natural sugars). As nature's original 'sports drink', coconut water replaces the fluids and minerals the body expends during heavy physical activity. H2Coco adds other yummy antioxidant and vitamin benefits to coconut water, like their pomegranate and acai for instance. Coconut water oxidizes in light, so both C and H2 come in tetra packs filled at the plantation. This means the naturally pure water remains that way right up until you slug it down after your next bikram yoga session.
organic Coconut Flower Nectar
We would normally call both of these products 'substitutes' for other ingredients like flour or sugar. Truth is, they both make perfect 1st line ingredients for a number of baking recipes. Have a look at Kim's Rainy Day Coconut & Banana Pancakes or this list of ideas from the food blog 'My Natural Family'. If you have gluten issues coconut flour makes a great wheat substitute or, if you just want to try a fabulous sweetener with an astounding flavour, then try using the nectar drizzled over yogurt topped with roasted roasted nuts or in your smoothies etc. These unique flavours and textures will be a revelation.
Tried and true pantry staples, these dried and shredded sweet bits of coconut flesh are familiar to us all. So I simply want to highlight the fact that the Mediterranean Market has three kinds from the large flakes to the finely shredded desiccated coconut. The large flakes are delicious lightly roasted and added to granola or sweet treats while the finely shredded coconut is perfect for slices and other baking needs.
All in all, the humble coconut is starting to emerge as a real star in the foodies and chefs pantry alike. Have a go for yourself and see what you can cook up with this versatile and healthy ingredient. For starters, Kim kindly shared two of her favourite coconut recipes with us here:
‘an antioxidant infuser’
2 ½ cups Medjool dates
2 cups walnuts
1 cup cacao powder
½ cup coconut oil
1 tbl honey
½ tsp vanilla powder
1 cup shaved coconut – lightly toasted
½ cup hazelnuts – roughly chopped
½ cup Goji berries
• Put dates into a food processor and pulse.
• Melt coconut oil and honey together gently on stove top and add to the dates, pulsing again until combined and transfer to a bowl.
• Pulse the walnuts until reasonably fine, add in the cacao and vanilla powder.
• Mix the date and walnut mixtures together until combined (this mixture should stick together nicely without being too wet).
• Add in the roasted hazelnuts, goji berries, toasted coconut and gently mix to combine.
• Line a baking tin with baking paper and press the mixture down with the back of a large spoon until it is compact and the depth you like.
This moorish RAW COCACHOC is now ready to slice and eat…
Makes 3 pancakes
1 tbsp coconut flour
a pinch baking soda
Big pinch cinnamon
½ mashed banana
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 overflowing tbsp finely chopped walnuts
3 tbl of any kind of milk (cow, almond, coconut etc)
½ tsp honey
• Mix together the coconut flour, soda and cinnamon in a small bowl.
• Whisk the egg and add in the milk, mashed banana, walnuts, coconut and honey and mix.
• Add in the coconut flour to wet mixture and stir till combined.
• Using a low to medium heat - melt a little coconut oil in the bottom of non stick fry pan.
• Spoon in three large dollops of mixture or if you have a small pan one at a time.
• Flip when cooked half way through and once ready pile onto a plate.
• Top with a little yoghurt or coconut yoghurt and slices of banana, shaved coconut (toasted if you like), chopped walnuts and a drizzle of honey.
Sit down and enjoy this moorish and nutritious treat on a cold rainy day!