Growing up I detested coconut. I couldn't understand what it was everyone loved about those weirdly tasting shredded coconut flakes that smothered my favorite chocolate desserts. Then something changed. I tried coconut milk. Then coconut water. Then toasted coconut flakes. Then I realized how much I actually love coconut. From coating juicy shrimp to making rich curries, I quickly learned about the wonderful versatile nature of this tropical fruit.
If you too have found yourself crazy for coconut, then get ready because you're in for a tropical treat with these coconut recipes. From the sweet to the savory, there's a coconut recipe for everyone to enjoy.
1. Tom Kha Gai
This classic Thai soup would be nothing without coconut milk. Giving it a creamy, tropical base, the rest of the ingredients meld together for one spicy, flavorful bowl of soup.
2. Anything You Have Coconut Curry Soup
You know what makes this recipe so great, you get a tasty coconut red curry broth and you get to add anything you have in the kitchen to go along with it. Seriously, whatever you can scrounge up will probably taste phenomenal in this dish. As long as you have the coconut-y base down this dish is a win-win.
3. Pescado Encocado
I am one hundred percent obsessed with this Ecuadorian recipe. Honestly, I think it's one of the best coconut recipes around. The refrito gives the coconut milk a rich flavor that is only enhanced by the chunks of citrusy spiced marinated fish. While you can use a white fish like the recipe suggests, I often make mine with salmon.
4. Coconut Curry Mussels
Steamed mussels swimming in a flavorful packed coconut red curry sauce? Yes please!
5. Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce
I've never really been a big shredded coconut fan, that is until I tried coconut shrimp. This stuff seems to go together like peanut butter and chocolate. There's something about the succulent shrimp battered in sweetened shredded coconut that has completely changed my perspective on the stuff. As a bonus, with this recipe, you get the perfect mango dipping sauce to pair.
6. Cilantro-Lime Coconut Rice
Why eat boring plain white rice when you can doctor it up with coconut? Rather than using just water to cook the rice, cook it with coconut milk then add a hint of lime juice and fresh cilantro. This would be terrific served with some barbecue chicken or used in a Buddha bowl.
7. Coconut Chicken & Mango Summer Rolls
If you know me, you know my love for fresh summer rolls and stuffing them with scrumptious ingredients like this recipe does. It takes coconut milk poached chicken and stuffs it into rice paper with cucumber, Vermicelli noodles, carrot, mango, and fresh herbs. And there's a tasty homemade peanut dipping sauce to go with it.
8. Mini Coconut Ricotta Pancakes with Strawberry Syrup
This recipe is reason alone to celebrate weekend brunch. The pancake batter gets a double dose of coconut flavor in the form of coconut milk and shredded coconut and is made extra rich by adding ricotta. If that weren't enough, the whole stack gets topped off with fresh strawberry syrup and a dollop of coconut whipped cream. Now all you need to decide is which brunch cocktail to pair with it.
9. Quinoa Coconut Cacao Bars
These power-packed superfood coconut bars have the burst of energy you need to get through the day. They come packed with quinoa, cranberry, coconut oil, coconut butter, cacao, and a hint of maple syrup.
10. Rainbow Coconut Smoothie Bowl
Hello Rainbow Coconut Smoothie Bowl. Loaded with fresh fruit, this tropical coconut smoothie infused with coconut milk, coconut meat, and unsweetened coconut is what happiness tastes like. Especially when served in a coconut shell.
11. Coconut Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream
One of my favorite things about coconut milk is a full fat can makes the creamiest, dreamiest coconut ice cream around. Wait, scratch that. This recipe makes the dreamiest ice cream around. Vegan and lactose-free, coconut ice cream is sweetened naturally with salted date caramel and maple syrup and gets an extra rich boost from a touch of coconut oil. Even if you eat dairy, you'll want a double scoop of this stuff.
12. Triple Coconut Tres Leches Cake with Mango and Lime
If you're in dire need of a rich coconut-y dessert with a fresh spin, you must try this recipe. Unlike most tres leches cakes which use condensed milk and heavy cream, this cake uses the richness of coconut milk with a little help from a vanilla bean and rum to really make it shin. Topped with unsweetened coconut flakes, mango, and lime zest, these adorable mini cakes are perfects for any special occasion.
13. Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie
Of course, we couldn't leave a delectable coconut cream pie recipe off the list. This creamy rich pie is filled with coconut and chocolate pudding with shredded coconut and a whipped topping folded in. The whole thing is then topped with a massive heaping of chocolate curls and more toasted coconut. And, this coconut dessert only takes 15 minutes to make. Does it get any better than that?