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My Sad Coconut Story

What is Virgin Coconut Oil

Warning, sad coconut story ahead…

First, if you’re looking for the different ways to use coconut oil, click here.

Have you learned about all the health benefits of getting more coconut in your diet (or on your skin)


I went to the store Saturday to get the stuff to make a new fish recipe and needed some flaked coconut. I’ve only recently begun to like more and more foods with coconut, so I had never bought it before. I found out that the bagged kind is full of preservatives! I just couldn’t do it. (I’m assuming there is organic flaked coconut to be found somewhere?) So I bought a whole coconut, much to Kent’s dismay, and being the great guy he is, he showed that coconut who was boss. It took a while, but he got the milk out (and I used some to make the kids’ smoothies for breakfast), he chopped it open, peeled it (what a pain and a mess!) and shredded it while I threw the rest of the dinner together.

Here’s the kicker…

After all that, none of us liked it. However, it may have been because of an eensy weensy little problem. I started the recipe an hour before we planned to eat, and then realized it was supposed to marinate for a few hours. Oops. That would probably make a big difference…ya think? (Side note: Kent has only recently been willing to try eating fish, and heck if I can make it a way that we all like – I stink at making fish! And I can’t find decent fish around here anyway, it’s all farm-raised.)


  1. Hi Kelly,

    I’ve posted this recipe before in your “Health Benefits of Coconut” post, but it’s too good not to repeat! I’ve adjusted the recipe a little since the last post. I’m using honey now instead of maple syrup. For some reason the maple syrup made the chocolates stick to the mold and made them hard to remove. Honey gives a much better result. Anyway, this is my family’s absolute favourite way to get our coconut oil:

    1/2 cup of Raw Organic Cacao Powder
    1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
    1 tsp Vanilla Extract
    Raw Organic Honey to taste (I usually use about 2-3 big teaspoons)

    Mix all ingredients together until very smooth. Place in chocolate molds or ice cube tray and place in the fridge for an hour or so. Bang them out and enjoy!


  2. Kelly, you can get big tubs of flaked and shredded coconut from Tropical Traditions. I got both when they were on sale a while back. I need to use them more, though – I have an enormous amount on hand. Today’s recipes should be helpful.

    Sorry about the fish.

  3. Soak the fish in the coconut milk a few hours, then broil till fish is done. Any mild whitfish done this way will taste like lobster. In fact it is called poor man’s lobster. Dip the fish in butter.

  4. Hi Kelly,

    Whenever I make cookies for my kids school lunches I always substitue 1/2-1/4 cup coconut flour for the whole wheat amount. The kids don’t know and gobble them up.

    School lunch cookies

    The Wet Stuff: 1 Stick butter melted and cooled
    2 egg yolks
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 cup sugar

    The dry stuff: 1/4 cup coconut flour
    1/4 cup Almond flour
    3/4 cup whole wheat flour
    pinch salt
    1/2 t baking soda

    Mix wet stuff and dry stuff in seperate bowls. Then add wet to dry stirring just until moistened (like muffin batter) Roll into balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheets. I do top with 3 or 4 chocolate chips. Bake at 375 for 9-10 minutes or just till edges of cookies brown. Let cool 2 minutes on cookie tray before removing to wire rack

    Coconut oil bark or candy

    1 cup coconut oil that is solidified
    1/2 cup butter
    1 T vanilla
    1/4-1/3 cup honey

    Blend with hand mixer. Spread in 9X13 pan , freeze , then break apart. Or line mini muffin tray with paper cups and put 1 teaspoon in each of the mixture, freeze and enjoy bite size candies

  5. Hi Kelly… not so much a recipe, but a change I’ve made. Whenever I make banana bread I substitute coconut oil for the butter and then we spread butter on our slices of bread when it’s done. I’ve also successfully substituted coconut oil for butter in brownies and cookies. I found my cookies weren’t quite as soft, so now I go half and half with the butter. I know these are sweet treats, but butter seems easy to eat and the coconut oil has been more of a challenge. Besides baking and sauteeing, I also stir coconut oil into my oatmeal and add it to smoothies. I have yet to try coconut flour, but it’s next on my list. Lastly, I found organic shredded coconut without sweeteners or preservatives at Meijer. It’s not with the other coconut, but farther down the aisle with some other organic baking products.

  6. Mr. Temperamental Linky is working, pleeeeeease will you go back and add your links now???????

    Sorry for the trouble.

    Great recipes and tips so far, guys, thank you!!!

  7. Not a “recipe,” but I put coconut oil in my cups of coffee each morning along with raw whole milk. Soooo yummy AND my lips get a nice moisturizing treatment!

  8. My recipe is similar to Freddo’s, but uses maple syrup instead of honey. I don’t know if you can taste the honey, but you can’t taste the maple syrup. It is just barely sweet, like dark chocolate. And the Freddo’s uses raw cacao powder, but mine uses regular cocoa powder (I use dutch cocoa which is darker). I know raw cacao would be much better for you than regular cocoa, but I haven’t taken that step (yet). I’m giving the basic recipe, but I usually make it in larger batches, and I almost always add stuff to it….coconut, almonds, pecans, etc. It actually becomes a filling snack instead of just a “candy-ish” treat.

    Coconut Chocolate
    1/4 cup coconut oil, gently melted, but not too hot
    2 tablespoons maple
    3 tablespoons cocoa
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    Combine and pour into a pan (or ice cube trays as Freddo does). Freeze till firm and pop out. Break into pieces and store in the refrigerator.

    When I add coconut or nuts they are always cold as I store them in my freezer. This makes the oil firm up and I can drop the mixture by spoonfuls onto waxed paper or I can roll them in my hands and flatten them. More filling and less messy than bark. I’ll try them in ice trays soon.

  9. Thanks so much for all the recipes. I am very interested in the “Poor Man’s Lobster” recipe from Michael. Here in New England “Poor Man’s Lobster” is a fish called Monk Fish, which has become expensive so it’s really not “Poor Man’s Lobster” anymore. To be able to prepare a mild white fish (I’d use Haddock out here) by soaking it in coconut milk and then cooking sounds delicious! My mouth is watering.

  10. My regular grocery store has a small selection of wild caught fish which was frozen on the boat. I figure frozen on the boat is better than not so fresh at the fish counter. Maybe your grocery store has something like that in the freezer section? I’m slowly learning to like fish myself, so I’m not an expert on how to cook it. So far, it really doesn’t seem to be that difficult, though. I like the Grilled Swordfish with cliantro marinade in NT, and swordfish is one of the filets I can get at the store.

  11. These recipes look so good. I can’t wait to try fish in coconut milk. Why didn’t I think of that? Coconut milk is so good as a thickener in curries- which my family loves! I’m so excited to get to the end of the day to read all the recipes. And then, the fun really starts- trying them! I love coconut!

  12. Another thought…(there may be several before the day is out!)….

    I have been using coconut oil for 2 1/2 years now. During the initial adjustment phase, I had some in my fam who balked at the taste in many of my main dish recipes. We are Southern folks who aren’t really interested in adding much Thai foods to our fare! ;D Anything sweet was fine, and also chicken recipes, but we just didn’t like it in beef or tomato based dishes. I found that if I sauted onions in the coconut oil first, I could use it in just about anything…beef, chicken, spaghetti sauce, nearly anything without there being the telltale coconut/sweet-ish flavor. At this point everyone has adjusted, and it’s not even an issue anymore.

    I say this to encourage those who are wondering how they will incorporate it in to more main dishes. Saute some onions in a cup or so of oil and strain the onions out if you aren’t crazy about having visible onions in your dish. Then store the oil in the frig and use as needed. Gradually, you won’t even need to do this, and the coconut oil will become a more significant part of your family’s normal foods, even their favorites!

  13. Kel,
    In all fairness, I think you should post the coconut salmon recipe. I thought it was fabulous, even my non-fish eating family liked it. The proper marinating time and the lack of frustration from gathering your own coconut may have changed your opinion. I looked quickly thru your topic list (recipes, coconut,) and couldn’t find the recipe that others would be able to try it and judge for themselves.

  14. Coconut curry chicken

    2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
    1 tbsp coconut oil
    I can coconut milk
    2 tbsp green curry paste
    1 onion
    1 head cauliflower

    Saute onions in a large pan with coconut oil. add coconut milk, chicken, curry paste, and simmer until chicken is cooked. While chicken is cooking steam cauliflower. When chicken is cooked shred with a fork. Add chicken back to curry sauce and serve over cauliflower. Super yummy!

  15. Oh dear, Kelly, it looks like we’re in the same boat…I mistakingly decided to try a NEW recipe for this week’s carnival (coconut shrimp), and we hated it, too! And I LOVE coconut, always have! (Don’t like shrimp, though.) Now I’m going to look at everyone else’s recipes…

  16. Liz, wow, listen to you, it’s fun to hear about you getting used to the yummy saturated fats!

    Debbie, I want to try coconut oil in my coffee, but I’m scared! I love it so much how it is……..maybe in the morning I’ll try just a little.

    Nancy, GREAT tip on the onions.

    Here’s the coconut salmon recipe from Cindy at another post:

    I have a great coconut salmon recipe to share. (And I can

  17. Debbie, if you drink a little cream in your coffee it’s not as noticeable that there is oil floating on the top. I either take a little cream off my raw milk or use a dribble of whole/whipping cream. I drink about half a cup first with cream and about 2 teaspoons coconut oil. Then enjoy another cup as I normally would. Just a thought to help get the spoonful of “medicine” go down!! 😉

  18. Thank you for doing coconut oil recipes this week. I was just fixin’ to write and ask you where I could get some good recipes to increase my intake of coconut oil. I have been trying out the “Eat Fat Lose Fat” diet and just cannot do the oil in the tea thing before meals. It does fill you up, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I’ve already made someone’s candy to try (can’t remember who since I just finished browsing through all of the links). I’ll be kept busy with all the variety of recipes. Thanks again!

  19. Sourdough Pancakes
    1 cup of sourdough starter (my starter is fed 3/4 cups of water and one cup of flour, so it

  20. You can find line-caught salmon at Heffron Farms in the GR area (although they’re pricey!), and remember that even Nina Planck in Real Food says that farm-raised tilapia is the way to go for that particular fish. My husband just gave me the go-ahead to cook fish too, and tilapia is the only one he can stomach. It’s very mild, but at least it’s fish!

    Harvest Health has inexpensive, plain old flaked coconut – organic even – no yucky stuff.

    Can’t wait to join the next carnival!
    Katie at


  21. Katie, I had forgotten that Nina Planck said that! Yay! Now we can’t eat Tilapia (which I love) without worry. :)

  22. I added to Mr Linky — you can check out my adapted side-bread recipes for biscuits, cornbread and tortillas, all using coconut oil, at Kitchen Stewardship. All have a soaked option as well. I use the unrefined, and I swear, you can’t taste it in the final product (unless maybe you’re really sensitive to it).


  23. Somewhere on this site I read where someone mixed half butter and half coconut oil and then put into candy molds and refrigerated until firm. I did this and loved it. I am not a big fan of coconut taste but could definetly eat a lot of this.

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