Coconuts are pretty dang amazing. First of all, every part of this tasty tropical fruit is edible. Except for the shell — please don’t eat the shell. You can crack open a young coconut and drink its water, which is high in potassium and also 100 percent electrolyte. If you’re looking to replace the sports drinks in your life, pure coconut water is the way to go. The meat of a brown coconut can be grated and made into coconut milk, which has so many uses in the kitchen. You can use it as a base for curries, like this Caribbean Pigeon Pea Coconut Curry or as a base for desserts, like this Raw Blueberry Ombre Cheesecake and this drool-worthy 5-Ingredient Salted Caramel Ice Cream.
We can even make dairy-free condensed milk from coconut! Try this Quick and Easy Coconut Condensed Milk and substitute it where you would use dairy condensed milk. We could go on because there are so many other ways to use every part of the coconut, but we would rather show you how versatile coconut can be. Savory, spicy, sweet — coconut can work in any kind of dish. Check out these 15 recipes that use coconut to see what we mean.
1. Vanilla Orange Coconut Creamsicles
How do you eat layered popsicles? Do you bite off chunks, one flavor at a time, or do you like to experience both flavors at once? You can’t go wrong either way with these Vanilla Orange Coconut Creamsicles. The vanilla cream layer is made from cool, creamy coconut milk, and the orange layer is fresh-squeezes orange juice with just a touch of zest. Enjoy these as the days warm up and you start to crave light, refreshing desserts.
2. Coconut Panna Cotta
Think you need cream and gelatin to make a fantastic panna cotta? Not in this Coconut Panna Cotta! This is a tropical dessert full of rich coconut flavor lightened up with a sweet and sour passion fruit topping. If you don’t have passion fruit, try replacing it with other tropical fruits, like mango, pineapple, or papaya.
3. Healthy ‘Raffaello’
These Healthy ‘Raffaello’ bites are made of wholesome, natural ingredients and will get you hooked before you can say “coconut.” Almonds are wrapped in soft, creamy, and sweet coconut “dough” made from coconut cream and desiccated coconut, then they’re rolled in coconut flakes. Sound amazing? Yeah, we think so, too.
4. Turmeric Coconut Milk Vegetable Curry
In this Turmeric Coconut Milk Vegetable Curry, creamy coconut milk is simmered with tangy shallots, garlic, and turmeric. As the flavors of the coconut milk and spices mingle, an assortment of fresh vegetables is thrown into the pot and cooked until tender. This simple, but flavorful recipe is ready for the dinner table in just 30 minutes! This dish is best when served hot, over a bed of fresh rice.
5. Raw Pistachio, Coconut, and Lime Cheesecakes
These Raw Pistachio, Coconut, and Lime Cheesecakes are simple to make but contain a delightfully complex flavor. The lime is citrusy sweet, the pistachio is salty, and the coconut adds a nice tropical flair. Enjoy these straight out of the freezer for an icy treat or allow them to soften a bit for a creamy dessert. Either way, they’re delicious!
6. Hemp Chocolate Tahini Coconut Bars
The flavors in these Hemp Chocolate Tahini Bars work beautifully together, without being too assertive. The crust layer is a mix of hemp seeds, almonds, dates, cinnamon, and tahini. The top layer is a creamy mix of creamed coconut, coconut oil, and tahini with a little bit of maple syrup and vanilla. Enjoy these simple bars for dessert with a cup of hot coffee and a good book.
7. Filipino Maja Blanca With Coconut Latik
Maja Blanca is a Filipino dessert made mainly of coconut and sweet corn. It’s light yet rich, creamy, and sweet. Sounds like the perfect summer dessert to us and a great way to try something different! These little dessert squares would definitely catch anyone’s eye at a party.
8. Spicy Thai Fusion Soup
It can be a bit tricky to get used to the different flavors and textures that come with raw food, but this Spicy Thai Fusion Soup gets it perfect. This spicy soup is a fusion of Thai, Indian, and Caribbean flavors. The creamy Brazil nut broth is spiced with turmeric, tamarind, and ginger, with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and raw, fresh vegetables mixed in. Serve in young coconuts for a fun, tropical presentation — and you can eat the coconut meat!
9. Coconut Rice Balls With Chocolate Sauce
These Coconut Rice Balls With Chocolate Sauce are sticky-sweet and delicious. Thai sticky rice is enveloped in coconut oil, sweetened with vanilla, rolled in desiccated coconut, and then drizzled with chocolate sauce. Such fun, and so easy-to-make!
10. Healthy Piña Colada
If you like piña coladas…and getting caught in the rain…then you totally need to make this Healthy Piña Colada. Say no to pre-made mixes! That should be your new motto! Believe us, this combination of frozen pineapple, frozen banana, coconut cream, coconut milk, and agave nectar is with the minimal effort that it takes to make.
11. Coconut Lime Ice Cream Pie With Chocolate Crust
Chocolate and lime aren’t a flavor combo you come across often, but this Coconut Lime Ice Cream Pie With Chocolate Crust is proof that it should happen more often. A sweet, creamy coconut and lime ice cream pie nestled in a rich, chocolatey almond crust. The flavors balance each other and the result is a cool, creamy, and refreshing summer treat.
12. Coconut Curry Linguini
This dish is called Coconut Curry Linguini. It has the texture and creaminess of a fettuccini Alfredo, but with Thai ingredients and flavors like rice noodles, coconut milk, red curry paste, and lime. It’ll quickly become one of your favorite dishes to whip up last minute when you want something easy that packs big flavor.
13. Mango and Coconut Granola Parfaits
Bring a little tropical sunshine to your morning with these delicious Mango and Coconut Granola Parfaits. Filled with chunks of mango, young, tender coconut meat, and pineapple orange coconut-milk yogurt, this is a sweet and nutritious way to start off the day! The granola adds a nice crunch too!
14. No-Bake Samoa Cookies
There No-Bake Samoa Cookies are soft, chewy, and decadent when dipped and drizzled in amazing dark chocolate and centered with a “caramel” filling. Hello, delicious. It’s everyone’s favorite chocolate and coconut cookie revamped with more wholesome ingredients!
15. Coconut-Mango Stew With Homemade Naan Bread
What could possibly be more comforting than dunking slices of homemade naan bread into a bowl of Coconut-Mango Stew? Not much, that’s for sure. Mango and coconut give this stew a tropical twist while quinoa and lentils add protein and heartiness. Oh, and by the way, the naan bread is totally gluten-free!
If you need more coconut recipes in your life, then check out all of our vegan coconut recipes. And if you make some vegan coconut ice cream, then please send some our way.
Lead image source: Raw Pistachio, Lime, and Coconut Cheesecakes