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Go nuts for coconut

Gina is the author of the food blog, Running to the Kitchen where she shares healthy, whole food recipes in a fun, approachable way. She works full time as a consultant in higher education. When not in the kitchen, she enjoys CrossFit, r...

5 Ways to use it

Coconut has tons of benefits from good fats to hydrating water. Learn how to get the most out of it.

Coconut wild blueberry smoothie

1

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is perfect for cooking and baking (it's great for high-temperature cooking), but it also happens to be an excellent moisturizer. Loaded with vitamin E, you can use it on your skin and hair for moisture and protection. When it comes to eating it, coconut oil is a great, healthier oil option for baked goods. Just make sure you melt it first as it will stay in a solid state when it's cold outside.

2

Coconut water

Thought Gatorade was the best option for rehydrating after your workout? Think again. Coconut water has tons of natural electrolytes and four times as much potassium as a banana. It's a serious miracle worker when it comes to rehydration.

3

Coconut sugar

DIY coconut milk

DIY coconut milk

Want to try making
your own coconut
milk at home?
Learn how.

Unlike refined sugars, coconut sugar has a few health benefits (like high potassium, iron and magnesium levels), making it a more and more popular choice by health-minded sweet lovers. It's marketed as a low-glycemic food and considered safe for diabetics. If you're looking to swap out the sweet stuff for something a little healthier, this is a great option.

4

Coconut milk

For a dairy-free alternative, coconut milk is one of my favorites. Full-fat options give you so much creaminess you'd swear it was dairy based while light options make a great, lower-calorie alternative for creamy soups and stews.

5

Coconut flakes

There are tons of ways to use the actual "meat" from a coconut but unsweetened flakes (or shreds) are my favorite and the most versatile. Use them to coat a protein instead of breadcrumbs, sprinkle them on top of yogurt or oatmeal for breakfast, process them to make coconut butter or throw them into your favorite smoothie for some texture. The options are endless.

 5 Ways to use coconut

Here's an easy, coconut-filled smoothie to get you started. Change up the berries to whatever you have on hand and feel free to add in some protein powder for extra staying power.

Coconut wild blueberry smoothie recipe

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut water (from the bottom of a can of full-fat coconut milk)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Leaves from 1 sprig fresh mint
  • Handful of ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Garnish with unsweetened coconut flakes.

More coconut smoothie recipes

Thai coconut smoothie
Banana coconut smoothie

Flax, berry and coconut breakfast smoothie

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