How to Use Coconut in the Kitchen

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Coconut products are all the rage, but you may not know how to use them in the kitchen. Here Joy McCarthy shares her favourite ways to use coconut in the kitchen.

Uses for coconut in the kitchen

While coconut products appear to be a newer trend, tropical regions have been using them as a staple in their diet for thousands of years because of their health benefits. We are just catching on to this in North America because of the health benefits ranging from weight loss, to heart health and brain health.

Coconut Flour

The Benefits

Coconut flour is the by-product of making coconut milk; the leftover solids are defatted and ground into flour. It has no gluten and lots of digestible carbohydrates. It has a mild coconut flavor and slightly grainy texture while being high in protein.

How to Use It

Joy uses coconut flour in baking great foods like muffins, cookies or pancakes. Click here for the recipe for her coconut flour cookies.

Coconut Flakes

The Benefits

Whether shredded or flaked, coconut is packed with healthy fats, fibre, and minerals. It’s low in carbs and naturally low in sugar, which makes it a healthy addition to any dish. Make sure to use only unsweetened and unsulfured coconut flakes so you know exactly how much sugar you’re adding to your food.

How to Use It

Joy likes to mix coconut flour into granola or add as a topping on a smoothie. There is a natural sweetness in coconut that goes well in sweet and savory recipes

Coconut Butter

The Benefits

This is the whole coconut flesh pureed into a butter, which contains the fibre, fat, protein, and minerals, unlike coconut oil, which is only the extracted oil. By choosing coconut butter you’re still getting the protein, good fats and fibre. The fats in coconut butter are incredibly healthy. Sixty-five per cent of the fat content is a unique form of fat called medium chain fatty acids. These fats are very easy to digest and are absorbed directly into the liver via the portal vein. Your body uses it as opposed to storing it as fat in the adipose tissue.

How to Use It

Joy likes to use the naturally sweet taste from the coconut butter and spread it on toast with sliced banana.