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You cannot escape it.
On Autoimmune Protocol it is most certain that you will come across at least one- if not a dozen, recipes containing coconut.
Coconuts are a wonder, who ever knew that so much can come out of it?
I certainly did not.
Prior to going on Autoimmune Protocol, coconuts were pretty much non-existent in my daily life, with the exception of an occasional Virgin Piña Colada.
The tropical drupe is so versatile that there are over 10 products that can be made out of it! Here is a list of my Top 10 Coconut Products, from the ones used the least in my kitchen to the ones that are utilized the most, providing how they are used or not used them from day to day.
10) Coconut Aminos
This darkened extract of coconut is reminiscent to soy sauce, due to both products being fermented. While Coconut Aminos have considerably less sodium compared to that of soy sauce, it still retains a sharp and distinct flavor.
Many other bloggers on Autoimmune Protocol have utilized this product for their Asian inspired recipes. The availability of such a product is wide, being in stock at Whole Foods, Asian Markets, and available on Amazon.
Due to Coconut Aminos being fermented, this product contains Brewer’s Yeast, which is a dietary restriction for those sharing my disease of Hidradenitis Suppurativa. In my case, consuming Coconut Aminos will cause a flare up three days later, with my cells responding to fermented foods by often attacking areas on my back.
For those without the restriction of Brewer’s Yeast though, this is a wonderful option to bring those wonderful Eastern flavors back to your plate.
If it was possible for me to have Coconut Aminos I would, because fermented Asian Cuisine is among my favorites, but alas my life will have to go on without it. For those of you that are able to try this be grateful and enjoy this product if you can have it!
9) Coconut Chips
Now due to the size of Coconut Chips many use them as a topping rather than an actual snack. I have seen a lot of people topping their casseroles or smoothies with Coconut Chips in order to have that added crunch which can vary depending on the brand.
Coconut Chips are not as crispy as Plantain Chips, the texture is smoother and the flavor contains a more distinct after taste. Similarly to the bite of an actual coconut, the bite of a Coconut Chip differs from the bite of oher AIP chips as well.
Many companies that make Coconut Chips bake them as strips, very similar to that of a typical corn chip. Remember to always read the ingredients of each brand as well, as many include added sugars and preservatives that are not in line with Autoimmune Protocol.
There were many notable brands that can be found on Amazon, however among those the “Dang” brand is my favorite, with the only other ingredient being Sea Salt and baked until golden.
The “Sea Salt” flavor is the only one that can be recommended because the original flavor of “Dang” Coconut Chips contains sugar, which is not in line with Autoimmune Protocol. Many other brands contain extra sugar in their Coconut Chips as well, which is why it is important to read all the ingredients before purchasing.
8) Coconut Flakes/Shreds
There is a distinct difference between Coconut Chips and their counterpart of Shreds and Flakes. That difference being their cooking processes and seasoning. Coconut Flakes and Coconut Shreds are cut flatter than chips while being unsweetened and unflavored. Though the size and shape of each will vary, Coconut Flakes and Shreds still have a powdery exterior and similar bite.
Like Coconut Chips, Coconut Flakes and Shreds are used to top various meals such as smoothie bowls. Some consume them purely with fruit for an added crunch, however Coconut Flakes and Shreds tend to be very dry.
Due to the dehydrated form of Coconut Flakes and Shreds they are often thrown in with other moist and juicy ingredients to create a balanced flavor profile. The “Let’s Do Organics” brand differs in this generalized notion however, with reviews for their Coconut Flakes being that the content is not too dried out.
“Let’s Do Organic” is my favorite brand when it comes to coconut products due to their pure philosophy. The brand does not include any added sulfites and maintains a high quality of ingredient processing, ensuring that the listed ingredients are both simple and pure.
The jury is out on this form of the fruit being Brewer’s Yeast Free, as the dehydrating process does cause it to create a pale powdery exterior that often indicates its’ presence. As such one may completely exclude or proceed with caution if considering adding this ingredient to your eating regimen.
Despite many people using Coconut Flakes and Shreds as mere toppings, they can easily be consumed as a handy snack while traveling.
7) Toasted Coconut
Coconut Chips are not as thoroughly cooked as Toasted Coconut. When coconut is fully baked the entirety of the fragment has a dark golden hue.
Many Autoimmune Protocol Recipes have various versions of Toasted Coconut Butter, which can be a great alternative to nut butters that are restricted on AIP. The Toasted Coconut creates a crispiness to remind you of crunchy spreads and butters from your past.
Like other coconut products, Toasted Coconut is used as a frequent topping as well, adding to the savoriness of the meal. Due to the extended cooking time, Toasted Coconut has a deep flavor which adds to the savoriness of the flavor profile.
Not to be discounted, trying Toasted Coconut will be a pleasant treat if you are craving the crunchiest form of Coconut there is.
6) Coconut Flours
As the Autoimmune Protocol movement grows, so will the baked recipes. This is certainly the case with my own blog, having the goal of making decadent desserts that even my picky Southern neighbors will eat and enjoy.
Baking is complicated, but the best way to start is by knowing what baking products are Autoimmune Protocol/AIP and work from there. Coconut Flour is one of those AIP products.
In my case though I do not use Coconut Flour for baking as much. Honestly in my kitchen Coconut Flour is often used to make Coconut Milk.
Making Coconut Milk is a pain in the neck and time consuming. In order to make Coconut Milk you have to boil the water, pour the Coconut Flour in, wait for it to cool, and strain the pulp out of a milk bag.
If you are anything like me you get impatient with the process and practically burn your hands when squeezing out the milk. Ringing out the flour has to be done strongly in order to release the precious fat from the coconut into the milk.
In order to make this process somewhat easier, it is best to start with a better quality of coconut flour in order for you not to create and inferior coconut milk. Keep this in mind if you are ready to make your own fresh coconut milk that is free of preservatives and processed ingredients.
5) Coconut Cream
Speaking of coconut milk, do you know what the best part of it is?
The fatty cream.
Coconut milk is fantastic when made fresh and warm, with the downside setting in as it cools. Once cooled the coconut milk separates the glorious fat from the water. The cream fill float to the top and stay there unless chiseled out.
It is for this reason that I usually decide to drink coconut milk the day I make it, because it is just not the same afterward.
Once again the “Let’s Do Organics” brand comes through, providing a solid fat that can easily be heated and added to nearly anything. Most brands include Guar Gum or Xanthan Gum into their products which gives the illusion to the untrained palate of it being creamy when it is not.
After being on Autoimmune Protocol the palate becomes increasingly aware of fake ingredients. It is quite a shocking observation, but not an unwelcome one. At times you may know just by eating something what preservatives and chemicals they are stuffed with without needing to glance at the ingredients list.
It is sad but true, countless Coconut Creams out there have added ingredients, which make their products non-AIP compliant. Always be alert to what you are putting into your body.
Coconut Cream that is free of processed ingredients will pair perfectly with your Autoimmune Protocol Drinks and Desserts.
4) Coconut Oil
It comes at no surprise that Coconut Oil is one of the few oils one can have on Autoimmune Protocol. While many experts are increasingly comparing it to lard, the oil contains considerably more minerals and even vitamins in comparison.
Coconut Oil has a higher smoke point to that of Olive Oil, making it ideal to cook and potentially fry with. If you are looking for an oil to five a sweet after-taste to a fried dessert then Coconut Oil is the oil for you!
Personally Coconut Oil is all over my house, with the unrefined brand taking spots in the pantry and cabinets of by powder room. Coconut Oil stays solid at room temperature, making it a great base for salves and carrier oil for body hygiene.
For both herbal remedies and as a moisturizer I turn to Coconut Oil to create my sunscreens, chapstick, and natural perfumes. Organic Coconut Oil will melt on the surface of your body and be gradually absorbed. My skin always feel fresh and hydrated after applying my homemade products. Making your own beauty products from Coconut Oil can be both interesting and fun!
Palm Shortening is the most surprising form of coconut to come across. It is indeed a shortening that can be replaced as such in Autoimmune Protocol baking and as favorable unsalted butter substitute.
A hefty dollop of Palm Shortening is ideal for for caramelizing onions to go with a grass fed steak, as well as topping plantain waffles in the morning.
While Palm Shortening is available in various stores, it is a better value to purchase individually and in bulk on Amazon, especially if your purchase qualifies for free shipping.
2) Coconut Butter
The item that has gained considerable recognition, even to those not on Autoimmune Protocol, is Coconut Butter. This puree of whole coconut has risen in popularity over the years and that number is only to increase.
Coconut Butter happens to be the base of my Tigernut Butter, which aides the recipe in maintaining its’ thickness at room temperature, as well as adding a slight crunch to add to the flavor profile.
For other bloggers Coconut Butter is utilized a lot in dessert recipes as a sort of topping, similarly to that of a regular butter in the way it would be used.
There are varieties of brands now available for Coconut Butter, each touting various Organic or Non-GMO qualifications. My favorite brand, “Artisana Organics” comes in various sizes, from regular jar to miniature, and even travel size pouches for on the go.
1) Coconut Wraps
Coconut Wraps are slightly soft like a tortilla but thin like a pressed fruit leather. The bite is almost that of a fruit leather too except not nearly as chewy, and the flavor is light with a faint sweet aftertaste.
Overall the only use for Coconut Wraps is for wraps, though I have cut them into fun strips and consumed them like they were toppers for a knockoff tortilla salad or lettuce wrap. Unfortunately Coconut Wraps do not hold up well when cooking, and like most coconut products- will burn when exposed to more than a few minutes of heat.
Still, Coconut Wraps are a consistent favorite for my AIP Taco Nights, with my top flavors being that of Original from the “Sunfood” brand with tumeric from the “NUCO” brand as a close second.
Coconut Wraps contain pure ingredients, usually being 100% Coconut Meat. There are no additional salts or chemicals included. If there are varying flavors, then that flavor is usually a powder or seasoning that is mixed in before preparation.
An added bonus is that there are occasional suggested recipes on the back of the packaging to give you ideas on what to make with the Coconut Wraps, as well as enough quantity to enjoy multiple servings.
There are usually less than a dozen wraps in each packaging, which makes the individual wrap quite pricey, but I find it to be worth it in order to enjoy tacos again. These wraps are thick enough to hold a sizable amount of filling without falling apart, and take a while before they get soggy from the juices of the beef.
You have now officially picked my brain. This is an extensive list of coconut products and how I often use them. Every brand mentioned are ones that have been personally used by myself, and that I have found very useful on my Autoimmune Protocol journey.
Hopefully this list helps you on your journey as well as you see fit. If nothing else, this list may find itself as a guide to shed the light on more things that one can have on Autoimmune Protocol that you may not have thought that you could have before.
When I first began Autoimmune Protocol it was very confusing. People would be mentioning all sorts of products that I had never heard before and had to look up. There are still a lot of things that confuse me about Autoimmune Protocol and even more in the matter of the Brewer’s Yeast Free diet.
As stated repeatedly in my disclaimers, Kirsten of Funnily AIP is no expert, only a woman that just got her sea legs on life boat sailing a crazy current within the sea of doubt. All that can be done is to throw out a life raft in case someone cries for help.
Are you in need of one as much as I was?
How do you like coconut products?
Tell me by leaving a comment below!
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