Spring is the time people normally decide to eat more fruits and veggies in place of the heavier comfort foods enjoyed during the winter. Among the many berries, apples, oranges, bananas, melons, and cherries enjoyed this season, why not enjoy one of nature’s most amazing fruits of all? Though not normally thought of as a fruit (which it is), coconut is one of the best tropical delights to add to your menu. A powerful, healthy fat for your brain and incredible energizer to your body, coconut comes with almost too many benefits to count. It has anti-bacterial properties, boosts serotonin levels in the brain, and can help keep your liver and digestive tract in line and working at their best.

Instead of the processed, sugary shredded coconut you find in bags at the store, opt for unsweetened coconut that’s either raw and organic, or go with whole coconut meat, coconut butter, coconut flour, and even coconut water and cream as well. These forms of coconut are full of all the benefits that real coconut has to offer, and they even taste better too! In honor of one of nature’s most exotic, yet easy-to-find fruits, we’d like to share with you some of our favorite coconut recipes with you. Whether you’re looking for something light, sweet, or rich and indulgent, there’s a recipe here for you to enjoy “the other white meat” a little more often!

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1. Blueberry Coconut Cake

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Featuring coconut flour and shredded coconut, this is a mini cake you could even enjoy for breakfast. It features minimal ingredients and has no refined ingredients like traditional bakery cakes do. Plus, blueberries are another great food for your brain, which makes this recipe a fantastic option to start the day off with on the right foot – coffee optional!

 

2. Lemon and Fig Tarts

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Figs are one of the most healthy fruits of all, though they’re often overlooked in the midst of all the other choices we have available to us. Whether you enjoy them fresh in season, or in dried form (choose organic and unsulphured), figs are packed with magnesium, calcium, fiber, potassium, and are fairly low in sugar compared to other fruits. Paired with coconut in these tarts, figs take on a rich, creamy and exotic flavor. Even if you use dried figs, it will still make a great crowd-pleasing recipe!

 

3. Carrot Cake Bites

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Carrot cake is one of the most popular types of cake available in the spring, but you don’t have to enjoy the typical kind with mounds of sugary cream cheese that leaves you with a bit of a tummy ache shortly after. How about making these raw energy bites that taste like carrot cake instead? They’re sweet, easy to digest, and packed with flavor. They’d even make a great quick breakfast on hurried mornings where you crave something different. For a more traditional, but still raw recipe, try this Raw Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream Cheese frosting too!

4. Lemon Cashew Tarts

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Tarts are just a great spring recipe to make because they can serve as both a snack and a dessert; no one will argue which is best, we promise! They’re easy to eat like cupcakes, but somehow seem a little more special. Vegan tarts can be made raw and so much faster than regular tarts made with dairy because they are made with minimal ingredients and are normally fairly simple. Think of these lemon-flavored tarts as a lighter, mini version of lemon cream pie. They’re fresh, creamy and satisfying, just what coconut is all about!

 

5. Whipped Coco Cream Tart With Fresh Berries

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Bananas and strawberries are one amazing combination all on their own, but with coconut? You can’t even imagine. The combination of natural sweetness with the creaminess factor is almost too much too handle. If you’re looking for a vegan recipe to share with friends and family to inspire them to eat more vegan foods, why not start with this incredible tart? It’s easy to make and sure to please everyone!

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6. Raw Chocolate Coconut Balls (Bounty Truffles)

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Okay, we know chocolate cravings don’t go away just because you’re craving healthier foods this time of year. Luckily, we’ve got you covered here without worry. Chocolate and coconut are both two very healthy fats, so don’t feel bad about eating them; just be sure to choose the best versions of them. For instance, don’t waste your money on those store bought coconut chocolate treats – make your own instead! They’re much healthier for you and less “fake” tasting. No processed ingredients included and minimal effort required, these chocolate coconut truffles will remind you of the classic candies so many of us love. Keep them on hand in your freezer for those chocolate (and coconut) emergencies we all get!

 

7. Cocoa-Coconut Mint Smoothie

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For something lighter, yet still very satisfying and sweet, opt for a smoothie using instead of a dessert. Coconut can be used in limitless ways in smoothie recipes, though coconut butter, shreds, milk, and even coconut flour all work as some of the best. This smoothie pairs coconut with cocoa and mint for a pretty incredible combo if we do say so ourselves!

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8. Papaya and Coconut Yogurt Breakfast

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For all the coconut purists out there, this recipe has your name on it! It features homemade raw coconut yogurt dolloped over sweet and juicy papaya for a digestive and mood-boosting breakfast that requires no fancy ingredients whatsoever. If you can’t find probiotic powder at the store to make this yogurt, just pop open a probiotic capsule and use the contents inside instead.

 

9. Almond Joy Bars

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As another healthy candy option, try this raw version of the classic Almond Joy bars. Hey, it’s okay to admit you love the store bought version – we all understand! The key to making a plant-based (and even raw) diet work for you, is just to learn to make healthier versions of your favorite foods. It’s really much easier than you think and can even inspire you to try new foods more often. Start creating your own healthy snacks, starting with these raw Almond Joy bars.; you won’t believe you ever enjoyed the traditional version after you taste these!

 

10. Toasted Coconut Cream Bars

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These can serve as a light breakfast, snack, dessert, or just a nice accompaniment to any cup of coffee or tea throughout the day. Lemon and coconut make one of the most surprisingly awesome combinations because something about the lemon’s acidity brings out the natural sweetness in the coconut and adds so much life to the recipe. Give these bars a go; they require little effort, time or ingredients before you can enjoy them.

11. The Perfect Chocolate Banana Smoothie for Active People

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Whether you’ve got a long day ahead, are going for a run later, or are just a generally active person, this indulgent (though still healthy) smoothie can easily keep you fueled up ready to conquer a long shift or grueling workout. You could also enjoy it post-workout, or just when you have a craving for a chocolate milkshake!

 

12. Raw Coconut Chocolate Chip Smoothie

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Another must-try recipe is this version of a Mounds bar in a smoothie form! There’s few combinations better than chocolate and coconut, at least we think so anyway. You don’t need a fancy blender to make this smoothie, just a few ingredients and this sweet, natural delight is yours with only a few blends!

 

13. Chocolate Coated Coconut Key Lime Pie

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We can’t include a list of our favorite coconut recipes without a proper pie recipe, right? Key lime pie is one of the most popular spring pies, and it’s easy to see why when you consider how light, refreshing and creamy it is. This recipe is not just vegan, but actually pretty healthy for you compared to most store bought key lime pies. It also features a unique chocolate coating that you could always leave off if that’s not your thing. Here’s more pies to explore if you want to try other vegan pie recipes this spring.

Which one are you going to make first? Can’t decide or want more options? Here’s some of our other coconut recipes you can enjoy too!

Lead Image Source: Chocolate Coated Coconut Key Lime Pie