Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ode To Coconut


Being in Costa Rica with an unlimited supply of young coconuts was heavenly! I drank the water of 1-2 coconuts every day and either ate the pulp straight up, or (when J arrived with the magic bullet) made thick pudding/shakes with it. Oh how I wish I had access to my vita mix while down there though! It was a bit of a tease. I grabbed some coconuts in the city on my way home and have been happily putting them to good use in the kitchen. I've been making old favourites. Some tried and true recipes that keep the coconut flavor intact rather than disguising it with other flavors. Don't get me wrong. I love to use young coconuts solely as a platform for any and all flavors too, but this time I wanted a total coconut blast. In addition to coconut berry smoothies, I whipped up these sweet treats.


Coconut whipped cream is such a simple and delicious recipe. I enjoy it straight up by the spoonful, or in a bowl topped with fresh berries. It acts as a sinfully creamy frosting for brownies, and is delicious layered between goodies for a parfait.

I tried to keep the ocean theme going by using my turquoise beach coverup as the backdrop for the dessert. I layered the coconut cream with banana, cherries, dried black figs, and goji berries.


Coconut Whipped Cream

1 cup packed young coconut pulp
1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 cup cashews
3 tablespoons agave or maple syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon lecithin, optional
1-2 drops stevia, if needed

Blend the coconut pulp, coconut water, cashews, maple, lemon, vanilla and salt until completely smooth and creamy.
Add the oil and lecithin (if using), and blend again to incorporate.
Taste and add a few drops of stevia if you like it a bit sweeter.
Spread into a large bowl and chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours until it firms up.


Cinnamon coconut mashmallow mousse was the next thing on my list. I've made this many times - I always make it when I get my hands on young coconuts. While my original recipe has some cashews in it, this time I made it completely nut free. It turned out just as great! The irish moss in the recipe provides the moussey texture that I love. I like to garnish it with coconut flakes and cacao nibs to give some crunchy texture to the creamy, fluffy mousse.


Cinnamon Coconut Marshmallow Mousse

3/4 cup irish moss gel*
3/4 cup well packed young coconut pulp
1/3 cup coconut water
3 tablespoons agave or maple syrup
6- 8 drops stevia
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean
Pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more for preference)
1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Blend all but the coconut oil until smooth and creamy in a high speed blender.
Add the oil and blend again to incorporate.
Taste the mixture and add more cinnamon if you want, or more sweetener if necessary.
Pour into ramekins or small bowls and chill for at least 4 hours in the fridge.
Garnish with coconut shreds or flakes and serve!



*Irish Moss Gel

1 cup water
2 oz soaked irish  moss

1. Rinse a handful of irish moss in cold water until any bits of debris have been removed. Rinse until the water runs clear.
2. Allow the moss to soak in cold water for 6-12 hours.
3. Remove the moss from the soak water - do not rinse.
4. Chop the moss and blend it with the 1 cup water until it warms up and turns into a gel.
5. Chill the gel in the fridge for 6-7 days, or use immediately. When using in recipes where it's already chilled and firm, make sure to pack it into the cup to get a proper measurement.

Here's the mousse the first time I made it. I sprinkled with coconut flakes, cinnamon, and swirled yacon syrup on the plate.


I made it again and drizzled chocolate sauce on top - great combo!


I've also swapped the cinnamon for an Orange Vanilla Coconut Mousse. Deeelish and springy!


I collected a lot of beautiful seashells in Costa Rica. In fact, these are the most gorgeous shells I've found in all the places I've traveled. Wanting a nice way to display them, I put them into my sand box on my coffee table. Isn't the sand dollar pretty? I was so excited when I found this!!!


On a chocolate note, I'm running a raw chocolate special for Easter just like I did for Valentines and Christmas. Email heather@sweetlyraw.com to order. More details in the next post!


I hope you're enjoying spring temperatures wherever you are. We are all the way up here in the north and its been a total blessing!

10 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Love your shell collection!!
Peace and Raw Health,
Elizabeth

kelli said...

everything looks so creamy and delicious, and i love your shell art!

this post reminds me i need to make some irish moss gel!

Lauren said...

Yummy! That marshmallow one looks outrageous!! Mmm, I need more choccies, might be emailing you soon! :)

Sparrow said...

Those desserts look divine, Heather! Gonna have to try them for sure. Looks like your Costa Rica trip was incredible! We need a catch up, soon!! xo

Ela said...

Such yumminess!

Great to see how your Costa Rica trip inspired you. How gorgeous those shells look in the sand!

pure2raw twins said...

ok now I want some coconut based dessert right now :)
girl these look fantastic!!! YUM

Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner said...

What's irish moss gel?

Heather Pace said...

Thanks Kat - I forgot to put the irish moss gel recipe but have posted it in many recipes. I just added it.

Maury Ballenger said...

Can you buy fresh coconut pulp? Getting into a fresh coconut seems really hard. Also, I have found that using an avocado and a banana with coconut milk and berries makes a delicious mousse too.

Heather Pace said...

Maury, Ive never seen fresh coconut pulp... you might possibly be able to get it frozen. Ive head of it but never seen it. Its really easy to get into a coconut, you just need a knife with a good heel on it. Here's my video on how to open a coconut: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XglvAQN-cAg&context=C47c16f1ADvjVQa1PpcFNO-DnJ8GmccjFRc96gE1HpVDf-tD5u_jg=
Your mousse idea sounds delish!