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Coconut: Controversial and … Cheap?

29 April 2010 14 Comments

Yesterday and the day before I kept myself shuttered up inside with a hot mug of tea on the go at all times. Spring  you say? Not here. Inches and inches of fresh snow falling and 50 mph winds that reminded me of the Patagonia. Hmm, I think I will stay inside … and perhaps do a little online shopping? I deserve it, right?

So after dropping way too much money on the spring clothing sales yesterday (I’m really, really hoping those petite yoga pants fit!), I decided to end my shopping spree with some tried and true awesome foodie deals:

Nutiva Extra-Virgin Organic Coconut Oil

2 15-Ouncers for just $10.40 DELIVERED! (only $5.50 per lb)

I have been using this brand for years and it never disappoints. The quality is there and it has a very mild coconut flavor – not enough to impede recipes, but delightful on its own. The price after the almost 50% discount and another 15% off for Subscribe & Save comes out to just $10.40 (delivered!) for 2 jars that are nearly 1 lb each.

The packaging of Nutiva is compact, which is nice, and though I usually prefer glass, I appreciate their plastic and non-breakable container since we have lost our share of fragile coconut oil jars on the tile kitchen floor (um, just a wee bit of a disaster).

Let’s Do Organic Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

Okay, technically, I bought this …

Just $1.50 per 8-ounce package!

Love this stuff. The quality is excellent – but at my local grocer, this 8-ounce bag cost $3. After using the subscribe & save on Amazon (remember, you can cancel the subscribe & save at anytime and you still keep the discount and free shipping!), it came out to just $1.50 a bag, delivered!

Note: I have no idea how long these items will be on sale for so cheap. So if you like coconut and coconut oil, I recommend jumping on it!

Obviously, I fall in the “coconut is good” camp, perhaps for biased reasons. I love the stuff. The oil, the “butter,” the milk – all such rich and flavorful foods that fill in where dairy cream is no longer allowed.

I use the oil to make margarine-like spreads when the craving strikes …

Simply Cinnamon Spelt Bread

I also like the hardening power of the oil for firming up no bake goodies like these …

Chocolate Chip Flax 'n Oat Bars - Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

And as you can see, I do occasionally sprinkle some unsweetened coconut in or on recipes. Like the one above and like these mmmmMountain Cowboy Cookies (as I like to call them) …

I also find coconut milk to be an awesome dairy substitute when something creamy in order …

pbicecreamclose

And it helps that I love Asian-inspired foods, like Thai …

Dairy-Free Tomato Thai Turkey Soup

I wouldn’t say that I use coconut everyday, but definitely several times per week in some form or another. But, I’m cheap. Hence why I jump on the deals above.

I’m still trying to find my holy grail for coconut milk (right now I am content with the 365 organic whole fat coconut milk from Whole Foods – it is surprisingly competitive when both price and quality are considered). What are your favorite coconut milk brands? Any suggestions?

So what is your stance on coconut? Good, bad, ugly? I think this is a topic worth discussing further, so I will be gathering some research. Please feel free to share what you have learned (links are welcome) or note if you have a coconut question or concern that you would like answered. I will see what I can find.

14 Comments »

  • Katie said:

    Coconut = bad. BAD. BAD.

    Yeah, maybe it’s good for me, but I just don’t like the taste. I try, really I do. Coconut milk though, I like. But not the full fat…too coconutty. :D I think I am the only blogger to think these things, and I may be kicked out of the club for my indiscretions.

  • Kelsey @ CleanTeenKelsey said:

    LOVE this post!!! I am a huge fan of all things coconut, no joke. I love everything about them and consume some form of it at least twice a day, lol.

    I was going to ask: could you post links to the recipes for those pictures? Everything looks amazing and I’d love to make them. :)

    Thanks!

    Kelsey

  • Kelsey @ CleanTeenKelsey said:

    Sorry, the word “them” in the third sentence should be “it.” Typo. :)

  • Deanna said:

    Coconut gets BIG play in our house, too. I’ve found that I can get cheap coconut oil and both dry and fresh (frozen) shredded coconut at our local Asian market. Cheap, no shipping costs, and good. But, not organic.

  • theemptynutjar said:

    Well, I do use dairy ( alot). But I LOVE coconut butter and coconut oil. Holy yum! So expensive though, so its a rare buy :(
    I need to buy some shredded coconut, looks good to top off bowls of hot and cold cereals and baked goods.

  • Allie (Protein Girl) said:

    I love the Nutiva coconut oil and posted about that Amazon deal recently. But as for the Let’s Do Organic? Total disaster. I also bought the 40-billion subscribe and save pack about a month ago and it’s texture was an utter failure for my baking. Way too coarse. It’s really a coconut meal. I’ve been much happier with Aloha Nu or Bob’s Red Mill. Glad to see it’s working for you though! Maybe I need to try one of your recipes with it!

    Cheers,

  • alisa (author) said:

    Katie, I think we can let this one slide – but just this once!

    Kelsey, there are links! Just click on the pictures to get the recipes.

    Deanna, I love the idea of fresh coconut! We don’t live near an Asian market, but if I can find one on our next shopping venture I will definitely peak in. Thanks for the tip!

    Empty Nut Jar, hmm, $5 a lb seems pretty cheap to me :)

    Allie, bummer. We don’t find the let’s do organic too coarse, but it isn’t soft either, so I could see where you may not like it. It is definitely shredded though (that’s what I used on those “balls” above, where some brands seem more ground. Maybe rehydrating it? I’m going to try that and will keep an eye out for the brands your recommend.

  • 5 Star Foodie said:

    I love coconut! I haven’t used coconut oil yet but I do get this unsweetened shredded coconut!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) said:

    I am a huge coconut fan! I love coconut flour too! So tasty!

  • Danielle said:

    YUM… all of your gorgeous photos are making my mouth water. And I’m craving coconut. Thanks for the tips!

  • Denise said:

    The let’s do organic dehydrated coconut is not the same as shredded coconut we have in the US. It’s made to be used in dried coconut recipes, look at SE Asian stuff, lots of Australian & NZ cooks use it too. Lots of recipes out there if you search, but it’s not interchangeable with “baking” coconut.

  • alisa (author) said:

    Denise – all of the above recipes / pics use Let’s Do Organic coconut. By baking coconut I am assuming you are referring to sweetened coconut. I have always used unsweetened shredded coconut (like Let’s Do Organic) in all of my baking and it works fantastic, no complaints!

  • nik said:

    Gorgeous photos and excellent recipes! I clicked on the Mountain Cowboy Cookies and only got a photo…is there a recipe for these beauties? I’d love to make them! Thank you!

  • alisa (author) said:

    Hi Nik, the recipe for those cookies will be in my next book!

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