I currently live in Bombay and work as a freelance photographer and writer. My interests vary from organic farming to natural health.
Don't Let Your Coconut Pulp Go to Waste
If you make your own coconut milk at home, you will inevitably end up with a lot of left-over pulp. I hope you haven't thrown it out yet, as your coconut milk pulp (or any other nut pulp because you can simply replace it in the described recipes) is still very nutritious, high in fiber, low-fat (most of that good fat went into your milk), and storable.
There Are Three Ways to Use/Store Your Coconut Milk Pulp:
- Use it fresh right after pressing.
- Deep freeze your fresh pulp. The best way to store it is by pressing it thinly into a ziplock bag so you can break off convenient chunks without defrosting the whole packet.
- Dry your pulp, and keep it in an airtight container. I've had the best results with a glass jar.
In some of the following recipes, you can use your fresh pulp right after pressing. In some, you will have to use a dried version of your pulp. How do you dry it? Simply let your de-hydrator do the work. Or if you don't have one, spread your wet coconut pulp thinly on a baking tray, and bake it at the lowest temperature for a few hours (in my oven at 100°C, it usually takes 2-3 hours). Periodically check to see if it feels dry. Then let it cool down, and pass it through your blender to turn it into a finely-ground flour. Keep it in an airtight jar for your next use. It will stay fresh for a couple of weeks.
Step 1: Bake the pulp for a few hours.
Step 2: Pass the dried pulp through your blender to turn it into a fine flour.
Step 3: Put pulp into a ziplock bag, flatten it, and store it in the freezer.
Five Ways to Use Your Coconut Pulp
- Make Muesli
- Make "Bread" Crumbs
- Use as a Smoothie Thickener
- Make a Cake
- Use as a Facial Scrub
1. Make a Grain-Free Muesli
A Paleo muesli consists of lots of fresh fruits, nuts, and dry fruits and is usually eaten with almond milk or coconut milk. Adding coconut pulp gives this recipe a nutritional and flavorful boost because it adds extra fiber, protein, minerals, and vitamins to your muesli without adding more fat. It's a simply scrumptious way to start your day!
2. Make Breading for Mini-Schnitzels
Dried coconut pulp is an excellent grain-free and gluten-free breading choice. I especially like it on Paleo mini-schnitzels! I have tried other nuts, such as hazelnuts, and found that the coconut pulp's neutral flavour is more suitable.
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- Simply beat a two or three eggs, and mix a few pinches of your favorite spices in your flour (salt, pepper/red chili powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, etc).
- Cut your chicken into small schnitzel sizes or into strips (you can flatten it if you want, but you don't need to). Then dip it in the egg, and roll it in your spicy flour.
- Now simply add it to a hot pan, and fry it in melted ghee. Don't be stingy on your fat; otherwise, the coconut pulp will turn out a bit dry.
3. Make Your Smoothies Extra Thick
Try this scrumptious banana-strawberry smoothie, and add a few spoons of fresh coconut pulp to give it a richer, yet smooth texture!
You will need:
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1/3 cup creamy coconut milk (use homemade for the best results)
- 10 frozen or fresh strawberries
- 2 tbsp of Paleo strawberry jam (made with honey) or use honey/agave syrup
- 1-2 tbsp coconut pulp
- kitchen blender
- Toss it all in a blender, puree, and serve!
Put your smoothies into small glasses/bowls, and pop it in the freezer for a half hour. It just tastes like frozen yoghurt despite being completely vegan! And your kids will love it, too.
You could also freeze it in a proper ice cream maker—voilà your homemade coconut-banana-strawberry ice cream is ready!
4. Bake a Diabetic-Friendly Grain-Free Hazelnut Cake
There's no flour in this delicious hazelnut cake—only ground hazelnut and dried coconut pulp. Additionally, the use of coconut sugar instead of regular sugar makes this cake even more diabetic-friendly!
5. Make a Fully Organic Face Mask Scrub
Coconut pulp makes great face masks! The oils are known for nurturing skin and for having powerful soothing properties. Its fine, grainy structure also makes the pulp very suitable for a gentle face scrub.
Ready for glowing skin? Simply add
- 1/4 cup of fresh coconut pulp (make sure it is well-pressed and contains very little water)
- 1 Tbsp honey (water binding and mildly anti-bacterial properties)
- 1-2 Tbsp of aloe vera gel (It's best if you make the gel yourself.)
- Mix all ingredients well, or blend them in your kitchen blender.
- Then simply apply the mixture as a facial mask, and let it soften and nurture your skin for 10 minutes.
- When done use the still-moist paste on your face as a scrub while removing it.
- Hold your face over the sink, and slowly rub your face in circular movements. This will remove dead skin cells and the paste.
- Rinse your face afterwards with tepid water.
Your skin will feel like newborn! If you have paste left over, you can keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days and repeat the treatment.
Still Have a Bunch Left Over?
If you consume as much coconut milk as we do, you will inevitably end up with a lot of pulp. Over time, I have tried endless ways to use this stuff up. I've used it in macaroons, pancakes, and every recipe that otherwise uses coconut flower. I found that in most recipes the low-fat coconut pulp renders the recipe too dry. It has to be paired with something fatty, like butter or hazelnuts, to stay moist. I have often thought, "Well, this is edible, but it would be so much better if I would have used the ground, shredded coconut instead." I end up throwing about half of my coconut pulp in my compost, but I am steadily looking for more ways to integrate the stuff into recipes. You could always give it away to your friends if you find that you have exorbitant amounts of it left over. If you experiment, I would recommend not adding too much at a time because you don't want to accidentally make your food too dense or too dry. And please always feel free to share your ideas and inspirations!
Happy cooking, everyone!
© 2014 Wasteless Project