4 Crazy-Good Recipes for Cooking With Coconuts

You can make a lot more than you'd think with this versatile fruit.

Coconut Recipes

This fiber-rich superfruit puts the tropical in vacations, the bearable in hangovers, and the moisture in hair and skin. Coconuts are also incredibly versatile; what other fruit can you transform into (wait for it) 11 different ingredients — from butter to milk to vinegar to flour — and then turn the shell into charcoal? No wonder these drupes (not, contrary to popular belief, nuts) are having a serious moment in the culinary world, popping up in healthy packaged snacks, menus, and cookbooks, including The Whole Coconut Cookbook by natural-foods chef Nathalie Fraise. Here are four of her game-changing recipes that we know you're gonna love. (Not sure how to pick and/or open a coconut? Use our handy guide, here!)

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1 Creamy Vegetarian Polenta

It's the dead of winter and you need comfort food stat, but that box of mac 'n' cheese doesn't make the Day-Off Diet cut. Polenta to the rescue! Topped with sautéed veggies and lentils, this vegan take on an Italian classic will keep you warm and full — sans any cheese-laden guilt. The star ingredients — coconut butter, milk, and oil — are what really separate this polenta from all the rest.

Grab the recipe here.

2 Herbed Coconut Hummus

You've probably already tasted a rainbow of wildly creative hummus recipes, but nothing like this: Fraise's take on the classic fiber-rich dip ups the flavor ante with fresh coconut meat, ginger, tahini, cilantro, and garlic. Serve it up on game night instead of guac and prepare for major compliments, even from the guys.

Grab the recipe here.

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3 Shredded Kale, Jicama, and Apple Salad With Toasted Coconut

Chock-full of antioxidants, iron, omega-3s, fiber, and protein, this salad has some serious superpowers. It's a little sweet and a little bitter with a whole lot of crunch thanks to the fresh jicama, apples, coconut flakes, and walnuts. This is one surprisingly addictive salad.

Grab the recipe here.

4 Date and Almond Truffles

A roundup of coconut lovers' recipes would not be complete without some kind of star-studded dessert, and this one does not disappoint. Fraise swaps the typical chocolate truffle for moist, rich dates so you can enjoy this seemingly decadent treat completely guilt-free. Baker's bonus: these balls of healthy, sweet goodness will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to two weeks!

Grab the recipe here.

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