Written By Holly Brooke Edibles / Pantry / Recipes Oct 28, 2014 Coconut: The Wondernut SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter PinterestIn the last decade or so, coconut products have risen to star status. Coconut water is trending up a storm these days; rich in vitamins and nutrients, it’s a huge draw for health-conscious consumers. Markets are carrying coconut everything from coconut milk, cream, oil, flour to all sorts of skin and hair care products. With an increase in allergies and intolerances to gluten and dairy, coconut has become an excellent alternative — it is naturally gluten and dairy free, after all. Topmost photo: Coconut cream on pumpkin pie.For thousands of years and for a third of the world’s population, the coconut (the fruit of the palm Cocos nucifera) has been a staple dietary and economic resource (historians debate its exact origins). The word coconut first appeared in English in 1555 when Portuguese explorers noticed that the coconut’s three distinct germinating holes resembled a coco “monkey face.”Wherever the exact birthplace (the current theory is South East Asia), the coconut has been valued and utilized for its range of uses for quite some time. Grown extensively throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, the coconut is often referred to as “the tree of life.” Not only is coconut an excellent source of nutrition (see an extensive list here), virtually fat free, high in anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins, but the roots, leaves and wood can also be used for fuel, fiber, and various building materials. What’s more, the seed (the coconut itself) floats! Its buoyancy allows the coconut to travel long distances and to relocate in suitable climates.For more information on the coconuts exceptional versatility watch this YouTube clip from Survivorman “South Pacific” (at the 10 minute mark) to learn the many uses of the coconut.Where to find coconut in Victoria:Markets: Lifestyles Market – 2950 Douglas StreetMarket on Yates – 903 Yates StreetThrifty Foods Food:The Mint -1414 Douglas StreetThe Mint makes several dishes including mussels, prawns and curry entrees with coconut milk. Thai Lemongrass – 3838 Cadboro Bay RoadYou can’t go wrong with ordering any of their coconut curries; they’re amazing and full of flavour. They deliver too! Tapas Bar – 620 Trounce AlleyThe Tapas Bar serves a gluten and dairy free kale marinated in coconut milk, cayenne and lemon. They also serve a Gambas con Coco (prawns in coconut milk) that will knock your socks off. Drinks:Rebar – 50 Bastion SquareThe Rebar makes a refreshing Coconut Cooler from coconut water and fresh juices such as pineapple, mango, cucumber, ginger, and lime. Silk Road Tea – 1624 Government StreetSilk Road has created a super tasty beverage called the Chocolate Panda and Coconut Tea Slushie. Flavours of peppermint and chocolate mixed with coconut and served on ice. Yum! Find the recipe here. Swans Brewpub – 506 Pandora AvenueThe rich and creamy Coconut Porter is usually sold as a seasonal beer, but this particular beer is back by popular demand and currently on tap.Want to make something with coconut at home? Try this autumn coconut pumpkin pie. It’s delicious!Coconut Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Whipped CreamRecipe here. Crust1 Cup flaked unsweetened organic coconut 1 Cup pecan pieces 1/2 Cup all purpose gluten-free (coconut) flour blend 1/2 Cup coconut sugar or organic light brown sugar 2 Teaspoons ground cinnamon 5 Tablespoons vegan butter (Earth Balance) or coconut butterPlace all of the dry ingredients into a food processor bowl and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Add in the vegan butter and pulse several times in short bursts until the crumbs are moist and begin to fall away from the sides of the bowl. Dump the crumbs into 9″ pie plate and spread evenly in the bottom and up the sides using your fingers.Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 7 minutes- to set. Set aside.Filling15 oz Can pumpkin puree 1 1/4 Cup full fat coconut milk 3 Eggs 3/4 Cup coconut sugar or brown sugar 1 1/2 Teaspoons cinnamon 1 Teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, or to tasteMethodBeat or whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Taste, and add more spices to your liking as needed. Pour into the baked piecrust. Return to the oven and bake at 350F for 45-60 minutes (the edges will be brown and firm but the center should still be jiggly). Cool before eating.Coconut Whipped CreamRecipe hereIngredients1 Can full fat coconut milk (refrigerated over night)2-3 Tablespoons confectioners’ sugar or coconut sugar1 ½ Teaspoons vanilla extract MethodRefrigerate a can of coconut overnight. Once solid, remove top of the can and scoop out the cream, just off the top. Reserve the watery coconut liquid for another use. Place all ingredients in a chilled mixing bowl and whip on high for a few minutes until thickened. SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Holly Brooke Holly Brooke is a true B.C. gal. Having lived on the west coast most of her life, except for several years in the Kootenay's where she canoed and fished and lived in a tipi, she's very much at home outdoors and in the kitchen. ... Read More You may also like Food / Recipes October 25, 2021 Sopa Paella Try the iconic Valencian dish as a hearty fall soup brimming with seafood and chorizo. We were going through a heat wave in Victoria when I ... Read More Food / Recipes October 25, 2021 It’s a Pancake Day! That crisp edge in the fall air stirs up a craving for comfort that sometimes only a stack of hot pancakes can deliver. So get your cast-iron pan ... Read More Breads / Food / How to Cook / Recipes July 13, 2021 Rosemary and Feta Potato Loaf A delicious homemade bread is always a welcome treat that can really set the mood for a good day. This is an approachable recipe to bring to holiday ... Read More EAT Magazine News / Food News January 28, 2021 CITY EATS February | March 2021 If you haven’t yet taken advantage of Victoria’s free local delivery program, Downtown Delivers, you have until February 15 to try it ... Read More Food News / Pantry / Review January 28, 2021 Some Like It Hot — A Hot Sauce Tasting Party A Hot Sauce Tasting Party Gillie Easdon gathered 15 local, house-made hot sauces and four brave souls to taste-test them. It was a mid-October, late ... Read More EAT Magazine News / Food News December 7, 2020 EAT’s 2020 Gift Guide EAT’s 2020 Gift Guide. Not just for the holidays! Bolen Books Flavor by Yotam Ottolenghi ($45.00) Cat’s Meow Trivet ($6.95) Book Seat ... Read More Comments are closed.