Go Coco-NUTS!

Well, pseudo-nuts anyway.

One paleo “cheat” I have found to be very helpful is the extreme diversity in coconut products that will effectively replace and erase some “no” items from your diet. If you’re a dairy enthusiast, I’m about to give you the keys to the coconut kingdom.

Coconut Butter

You can use coconut butter in place of regular butter or ghee in most recipes to make it Whole 30 compliant and delicious. Two words of warning: don’t use it for frying and don’t use it for desserts. Coconut butter will just burn after melting due to all the coconut pieces in it if you try to use it for frying, so that’s a no-go. And if you’re trying to make dessert while you’re on Whole 30, you’re just having sex with your pants on. Just throw shredded coconut (organic, no sugar/preservatives) into a fancy schmancy food processor and blend for about ten minutes. BAM. Emeril Lagasse would be proud. It should have a scoopable consistency; if it seems off near the end of the processing time, just add a little coconut oil to smooth things out. You can keep the sealed coconut butter in the fridge for a couple of weeks safely.

Coconut Milk

Available in cans in most specialty stores and a staple in curries and creamy sauces. Guar gum is okay as an ingredient, but the only other ingredients should be coconut and water. Check those labels, people!

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has a very high smoke point (450F or 232C) so it’s super for frying. I honestly can’t think of a time when you’d need to fry something in oil hotter than that. Coconut oil can also be used for sautéing, dressing salads, in coffee, and even by the spoonful for a quick hunger dampener. That’s not my thing, but hey, whatever works for the insidious rumbles.

Coconut Cream

Not looking forward to giving up greek yogurt/sour cream/heavy cream on Whole 30? I’m not a huge dairy fan, but I do love some creamy-dreamy yogurt sauces and I know I was loathe to give them up. But never fear, coconut is here! Same as the milk, coconut cream comes in cans and the ingredients need to be inspected. If you can’t find the cream, you can make your own and it’s even easier than the coconut butter. Step one: Buy can of coconut milk and place in refrigerator. Step two: Open after 24 hours and scoop cream from top. That’s it. The leftover liquid in the bottom can be discarded, used in coffee, or drunk on its own.

Coconut Chips

This coconut meat can be used for flavoring, garnish, or snacking and unless you’re living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve had coconut on something in your lifetime. But this will taste a little different. This will be little shingles of tender and savory flesh and not the sugar-coated confetti you’re used to seeing on top of pies and cakes. Watch the ingredients (of course) and make sure sugar in it’s more innocuous-sounding forms isn’t sneaking into your treat.

Coconut Aminos

I was dubious about being able to keep my Filipino fiancé happy on Whole 30 until I learned about coconut aminos. When mixed with Whole 30-compliant fish sauce it tastes very similar to soy sauce but without all the added sugar, female hormone-effects, and regret. Go (coco)nuts.

Coconut is life. Coconut is love.

Coco-NUTS

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