As an avid coconut consumer, I go through tons of coconut flakes. Tender and sweet and flavorful, this stuff is as much a staple for me as salt. I snack on these constantly throughout the day, raw or toasted or caramelized. My favorite way to eat these is in a simple and exquisite recipe I call crispy buttery salted caramel coconut flakes. I keep a canister of coconut flakes in my kitchen, and they're always gone before I know it. Let’s Do Organic offers some of the best coconut flakes I’ve had — soft and fresh and aromatic. It’s a lot of work to crack and slice and dehydrate your own coconut, but a bag of these will offer you immediate coconut gratification.
For the true, true stories behind this incredible foodstuff, read on.
I love coconut, in all of its forms. Fresh or dried, milk or water, shredded or flaked, butter or oil, I adore its creamy rich nutty taste, and eat it all the time. For a few decades, coconut was vilified by the American nutritional mainstream, but there’s been a reversal during the past decade, and coconut is now being celebrated as the health-giving food it truly is. Studies are coming out weekly, it seems, further supporting coconut’s role in supporting health in a whole spectrum of ways — from weight loss to energy-boosting to cognitive enhancement to immune boosting. Coconut is chock-full of lauric acid and medium-chain triglycerides, which have incredible effects on human health. Far from being unhealthy, the “saturated” fats in coconut are among the healthiest substances we can consume. People who once avoided coconut oil are now consuming it by the tablespoon, and loving the effects. Yes, it’s been a long road for coconut. But you can now feel good about consuming it with abandon.
As an avid coconut consumer, I go through tons of coconut flakes. Tender and sweet and flavorful, this stuff is as much a staple for me as salt. I snack on these constantly throughout the day, raw or toasted or caramelized. I add them to all sorts of recipes, as a topping or just blended into smoothies. I keep a canister of coconut flakes in my kitchen, and they're always gone before I know it. Let’s Do Organic offers some of the best coconut flakes I’ve had — soft and fresh and aromatic. It’s a lot of work to crack and slice and dehydrate your own coconut, but a bag of these will offer you immediate coconut gratification. You wouldn’t have a kitchen without salt and pepper, so always make sure you’ve got these wonderful coconut flakes on hand.
How to eat these
Coconut flakes are great straight out of the package, or lightly toasted. And of course they’re fantastic in smoothies. But my favorite way to eat these is in a simple and exquisite recipe I call…
Crispy buttery salted caramel coconut flakes
It’s amazing that something so exquisite and healthy can be so easy to make. This recipe turns coconut flakes into the best snack or topping you could ever imagine, and it’s effortless, and pretty much impossible to mess up. Whenever I’m craving a warm sweet umami blast, I sauté up a batch of these. Here’s how to make them:
First, don’t measure anything. It’s good to get a sense of how to make these by intuitive feel, so you can mix things up according to your whim.
Start by melting some grass-fed ghee or butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Be generous — use gobs and gobs. Grass-fed butter is good for you!
Once the butter is melted, add coconut flakes. You’ll probably eat however much of this you make. A few handfuls is a good place to start. You don’t want to over-fill the pan.
Stir-fry the coconut in the butter. The main thing you could mess up in this recipe is burning the coconut. Once you notice the coconut getting golden, take it off the stove immediately and get it out of the pan. Coconut goes from snowy white to acrid burnt in no time. Get to know how your stove and pan and coconut interact, and even if you burn coconut once or twice, it probably won’t happen again. The goal is to get the coconut a little toasty here, with some bits turning dark golden, but no further.
While you’re stir-frying the coconut, making sure it gets toasty without burning, you’ll want to add seasonings. These are usually just salt and sweetener for me, but sometimes I’ll mix it up and add cinnamon or chili powder. Start with a few pinches of salt, and add more as you taste the coconut along the way. You can always add more salt, but not less, so take it slow. Great sweeteners here are coconut sugar or honey or maple syrup. Either way, go light at first. You don’t want these crazy-sweet (unless of course you do). The entire cooking process won’t take that long — just a few minutes. I usually sauté the coconut for a minute or so in the butter, toss in a few pinches of salt, dump in a tablespoon or so of sweetener (less if you want these only barely sweet), sauté a minute more, taste and add more salt as needed, stir stir stir and take off the flame. The whole process only takes a few minutes.
Dump everything onto a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet, and spread it out so everything cools faster. Clumps are nice — you don’t have to get too compulsive about spreading everything out. Now try to wait for this to cool. You won’t be able to, but you’ll notice than when cooled, the coconut flakes acquire this amazing texture — crispy and melt-in-your-mouth all at once. So try to save some for later. It won’t be easy.
These are amazing on top of primal puddings and pies and ice creams, but they’re the perfect snack on their own. And yes, they’re healthy for you! For extra healthy points, use little-to-no sweetener, and turn the spice quotient up with a little pepper and garlic and chili powder or paprika. They’ll still be insanely delicious, and will be an awesome topping for anything savory you make, from omelets and frittatas to soups and stews and braises. You don’t have to refrigerate these, but they’re not going to last very long on the counter. The good thing is that you can make another batch post haste. In fact, I think I’ll go make some now.
Why coconut is so great for you
Coconut has been used by many cultures worldwide for thousands of years, and is well known for its many amazing properties. Coconut is so nutritious, its list of benefits reads like a patent medicine bottle. Many people eat several tablespoons of coconut oil daily, for the incredible host of benefits it confers. It’s full of health-boosting lauric acid and medium-chain triglycerides, and it’s been shown to:
- Help with weight loss
- Boost energy and athletic performance
- Help with Alzheimer’s and cognitive function
- Have antimicrobial and anti-viral qualities
- Nourish the thyroid
- Help prevent candida overgrowth
- Boost the metabolism
- Make skin and hair softer