Basically all parts of the coconut can be eaten and provides a nutritious source of meat, juice, milk and oil. Coconuts are generally a staple in the diet of many southern islands. 1/3 of our world's population depends on coconut to some degree either for their food or economy. Coconuts are rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins and provide many health benefits beyond the nutritional content.
Coconuts have made their way into culinary treats. Whether it be a dessert or as the base of a curry, they seem to be in more places then you think. Here are some great ways to incorporate coconut into your daily life!
Number one has simply got to be using shredded coconut as a topping for frozen yoghurt or vanilla ice cream! So simple and so delicious. Mix in a bit of fresh cut fruit like mango or pineapple and you are off to the races!
Martha Stewart's Coconut-Apricot Macaroons
- 3 large egg whites
Ingredients: Makes 20
Ingredients: Makes 20
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon pure almond extract (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 package (14 ounces) sweetened flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup soft dried apricots, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar, almond extract (if using), and salt until frothy. Add coconut and apricots; mix to combine.
- Using your hands, shape mixture into mounds, each equal to 2 level tablespoons; place 1/2 inch apart on prepared baking sheet (macaroons will not spread).
- Bake until lightly golden, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. Transfer macaroons to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 1 week.
Martha Stewart's Coconut Cream Pie
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1 large whole egg, lightly beaten, plus 4 large egg yolks
- 3 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 recipe Pate Brisee for Coconut Cream Pie (see end of recipe for this)
- Fresh or shredded coconut curls
- Chocolate curls
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch round, a bit less than 1/4 inch thick. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, trim crust to a 1/2-inch overhang all around. Fold under overhang so it extends slightly beyond edge of pie plate. Crimp edge as desired. Prick dough all over with a fork. Brush rim of dough with beaten egg. Chill pie shell until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Line chilled pie shell with a round of parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges of crust just turn golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove parchment and pie weights. Return crust to oven, and continue baking until golden all over 15 to 20 minutes more. Place pie shell on a wire rack to cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
- Place Coconut Curls on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, tossing occasionally, until fragrant and lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Prepare an ice bath; set aside. In a bowl, lightly whisk egg yolks; set aside. In a saucepan, whisk together coconut milk, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Bring to a simmer (do not boil), and cook, whisking constantly, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Whisk a quarter of hot-milk mixture into egg yolks; whisk in remaining milk mixture. Strain into a clean saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until custard is thick and bubbles appear in center, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto surface to prevent a skin from forming. Set in ice bath until completely chilled, 30 to 35 minutes. (Filling can be kept in refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, up to 1 day.)
- Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (do not let bowl touch the water), or in the microwave. Stir until smooth, and set aside until cool to touch, stirring occasionally.
- Using a pastry brush, coat inside of cooled crust with melted chocolate. Place in refrigerator or freezer until firm to touch, about 10 minutes
- Fill crust with coconut custard, spreading evenly with an offset spatula. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, combine cream and confectioners’ sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Using a small offset spatula, spread whipped cream on top of custard. Refrigerate pie at least 3 hours before serving. Garnish with toasted Coconut Curls and Chocolate Curls just before serving
Pate Brisee: Makes one double-crust or two single-crust 9-inch pies
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), cold, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender.)
- With machine running, add ice water through feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Turn out dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using
photo credit: marthastewart.com & google images