Food Feature Friday: Coconut

I’m constantly looking for recipes ideas, though I hardly ever follow one recipe to a T when I cook. Needless to say, I come across a lot of amazing ones (I have a whole email folder devoted to them!) that I never have a chance to make. Every Friday I’m going to feature 5 recipes from different blogs and sites based around a certain ingredient that I’m totally digging. Just think of it as a little bit of healthy food porn before you start your weekend.

This weeks recipes all feature coconut! Mildly sweet and slightly nutty (aren’t we all?) coconut contains essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, iron, manganese, selenium and potassium, with the oil containing medium chain fatty acids that can help lower cholesterol, decrease abdominal obesity, enhance your immune system, and even protect against STDs – pretty impressive, right? It’s delicious and wholly nutritious, so try it out!

Munch and Chew: Pumpkin Coconut Quesadillas
You read that correctly. I stumbled across these babies today and knew right away they needed to be shared. These are vegetarian and gluten-free (with corn tortillas) and can be made vegan/dairy-free if you omit the cheese and sour cream. She also has a ton of other great recipes, so check it out!

The First Mess: Vegan Coconut, Almond + Quinoa Breakfast Cakes
These vegan breakfast cakes look like perhaps the best kind of pancake I’ve ever seen. They can be made gluten-free by using all-purpose GF flour. With healthy quinoa, bananas, cacao, and 3 different coconut-derived ingredients, your belly is going to be just as happy as your taste buds.

Food and Wine: Carrot-Ginger Soup with Coconut-Roasted Shrimp
Spring brings gorgeous aromatic bunches of carrots to the farmers markets here in Southern California, and this combination of the sweet carrots, spicy ginger, and tropical coconut shrimp  seems perfect for the transition from spring into summer.

Honest Cooking: Coconut Milk and Honey Pops
I could have included coconut milk ice cream, but I don’t have an ice cream maker so I included something a little easier– pops! This frozen treat uses three ingredients max and includes no added sugar!

This Chick Cooks: Chicken Bites Fried in Coconut Oil
If you’re like me, there’s a good chance you get a craving for some fried chicken every now and then. Frying with coconut oil is probably the healthiest (and tastiest) way to accomplish this (and they’re gluten- and dairy-free!)

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