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10 Ways to Cook with Coconut

The Whole Coconut

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You probably already have a love affair with coconut oil, coconut flakes, or even coconut milk, and you're not alone! (Have you tried these 10 Tasty Coconut Oil Recipes?) Not only is this highly versatile fruit a great replacement for dairy, sugar, and oil, but it also adds a sweet, tropical flavor and a little extra creaminess to your recipes. In her recently released cookbook, The Whole Coconut, Nathalie Fraise travels back to her youth in Madagascar where coconut was king, to bring you healthy, creative recipes that will make you rethink what you could do with coconut.

Creamy Vegetarian Polenta

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What starts as pure comfort food quickly turns into an elegant and filling meal with the addition of creamy coconut milk, fresh colorful veggies, and protein-packed lentils.

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Shredded Cabbage, Chickpea, and Celery Salad

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This beautiful mix of veggies may be one of the easiest recipes from the book, but it tastes like you spent hours making it. Plus, you can up the serving size quickly and affordably for meal prep Sunday or a dinner party! Coconut vinegar perfectly accents the crunchy, hearty veggies.

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Lemony Mushroom Risotto

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Creamy coconut milk brings a whole new level of texture and flavor to this savory risotto dish. Top it with mushrooms cooked in coconut oil to enhance that subtle sweetness, for a rich, delicious plate.

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Herbed Coconut Hummus

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Classic hummus gets a tropical twist with this smooth, herb-filled adaptation. Fold fresh coconut meat into chickpeas, garlic, and citrus for an extra silky texture. Fresh herbs add a flavor pop to every bite.

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Date and Almond Truffles

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You won't even miss the chocolate in this cocoa-free take on truffles. Free of refined sugars or processed ingredients, this healthy treat uses almonds, dates, and coconut in three different forms to create the perfect blend of nutty, sweet, and crunchy.

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Coconut Sesame Noodles with Baby Bok Choy and Tamarind Dressing

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Turns out, the spiralizing trend doesn't stop with veggies like zucchini and carrots. Here, finely sliced strips of coconut meat replace gluten-filled noodles. When paired with bok choy and a tangy tamarind and jalapeno dressing, you get a highly nutritious side dish that still feels totally indulgent. (Pro tip: Add your favorite lean protein to make it an entree.)

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Chicken Vegetable Red Thai Curry Bowl

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When you're talking about coconut, it's only appropriate that curry enters the conversation at some point. All the traditional flavors of Southeast Asia—lemongrass, kaffir leaves, ginger, and red curry—plus a heap of fresh veggies get doused in a creamy, perfectly spiced coconut curry sauce. This plate will beat your go-to takeout order any day.

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Grain-Free Pancakes with Orange Vanilla Whipped Cream

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Good news: You don't need gluten to enjoy pancakes at Sunday brunch. This time, they get a grown-up spin mixing coconut milk and oil as well as chia seeds and cinnamon into the batter. Dairy-free whipped cream dreams become a reality with this coconut milk-based recipe, seasoned with orange zest and vanilla.

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Shredded Kale, Jicama, and Apple Salad with Toasted Coconut

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Raw kale leaves (sometimes a little tough and bitter) are balanced by sweet apples and toasted coconut flakes. A creamy but light coconut milk dressing makes this salad taste like a treat.

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Coconut, Ginger, and Cilantro Mussels

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Don't let the mention of mussels intimidate you. This pot full of flavor will come together in minutes once you clean the shellfish. Ginger and lemon juice meet coconut oil and coconut milk to create an addictive broth. Peppered with tons of herbs, like cilantro and basil, and some light white wine, you can eat spoonfuls guilt-free.

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