While coconut water is a fine hangover treatment and a decent natural sports drink, let us not forget the other uses of this fruit that’s trending in certain culinary subcultures. The paleos like it for its hunter-gatherer origins, and the Ayurvedic crowd touts its healing powers, but we love it for its versatile, umami-rich, fatty yum factor. Here are three satisfying ways to crack the coconut code that don’t feel a bit like dieting.
1. SZECHUAN COCONUT SHRIMP
Combine ½ cup shredded coconut, ½ cup panko bread crumbs and 1 teaspoon ground Szechuan peppercorns in a bowl. In another bowl, beat two eggs. Dip shrimp in eggs, then in coconut mixture. In a medium pan, fry shrimp in ½ cup 375-degree vegetable oil until golden brown on each side.
2. COCONUT COLLINS COCKTAIL
In a tall glass filled with ice, combine 2 ounces gin, ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, ½ ounce agave syrup (made with equal parts water and agave nectar) and 4 ounces raw coconut water. Top with sparkling water and garnish with lime wedge.
3. COCONUT RUM ICE CREAM
Combine two 13-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk, 1½ cups sugar, 2 tablespoons dark rum and ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract in a blender. Pour into a large metal bowl and put in freezer. Whisk every 30 minutes until creamy and frozen.