Monday, February 28, 2011

I Want to Let You in on
a Little Coconut Secret

I'm all about coconut! (One could say I'm quite cuckoo for coconuts!) Slather me in coconut oil, bake me some coconut cupcakes, let me slosh them down with a tall glass of chocolate coconut milk, pass me the French vanilla coconut creamer for my red rooibos chai tea, and please dollop some coconut milk yogurt
all over my bowl of fruit. (You get the picture.)

And then there's Coconut Secret. Hats off to my friend, Bryan Au, for turning me on to these wonderful raw coconut products. I'd heard of coconut flour, but coconut vinegar, coconut nectar, coconut crystals, and coconut aminos were all brand new to me, and I was quite eager to try them all!

As much as I adore the flavor of coconut, coconut vinegar, nectar, crystals, and aminos don't taste at all like coconut. That's because they're made from the nutrient-rich sap that exudes from coconut tree blossoms, rather than the coconut fruit. (This makes them perfect for those coco-phobes out there!) What you do get are raw enzymatically alive products that are grown without chemicals, pesticides, or herbicides, and taste as good or better than the alternatives. 

I've been enjoying the delightful earthy flavor of Coconut Crystals in place of sugar with my morning grapefruit and Coconut Nectar instead of agave with my afternoon herbal tea. Both are low-glycemic and sweetly delicious.

A broiled grapefruit sprinkled with ginger, cinnamon, and
Coconut Crystals brings a bit of sunshine to the start of my day! 

I fell in love with Coconut Aminos Soy-Free Seasoning Sauce. It's a blend of aged coconut sap and sun-dried mineral-rich sea salt that boats a smoky, much lighter-than-soy-sauce flavor. I preferred it with sushi over tamari or soy sauce, as it has a wonderfully mellow flavor that does not overpower with its saltiness. 

I tried cooking with Coconut Aminos in place of soy sauce, and I was delighted with the flavorful results. It worked beautifully in the Unfried Fried Rice and Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Mustard Tofu from Appetite for Reduction. And I was thrilled to see that my local Market of Choice carries Coconut Aminos Soy-free Seasoning Sauce, as it will now be a staple in my pantry.

I added little bits of "tofu egg" to the fried rice to remind me of the rice we used to order at the Dragon Seed Restaurant in Jackson Heights, NY every Sunday night when I was growing up. I recall that we always had to order everything without bean sprouts, because my mother would be horrified if a bean sprout came within 100 feet of our table.  

Coconut Vinegar was a nice departure from other vinegars. I like the idea of using it instead of apple cider vinegar to make "buttermilk" for baking, by mixing it with So Delicious Coconut Milk. 

I love to cook and bake with Coconut Flour. Chocolate Chip Coconut Flour Pancakes with Raspberry Sauce seemed like the perfect way to treat myself after a long, hard week at work.  So we had these for Sunday brunch!

Now that I've let you in on my little coconut secret, you can explore Coconut Secret's website, share, and enjoy!

Chocolate-Chip Coconut Flour Pancakes
adapted from a recipe on


1/3 cup Coconut Secret Coconut Flour
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour -or- gluten-free flour mix
2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbs evaporated cane crystals
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs canola oil -or- coconut oil (thank you, Karen!)
1 1/4 cups So Delicious Original Coconut Milk Beverage
1 Tbs pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips


Heat a large skillet or pan for 2-5 minutes. Lightly spray the pan with cooking spray.

Mix dry ingredients until well combined. Make a well in center, and fill with wet ingredients. Add chocolate chips, and mix until combined, but still a little lumpy. Spoon batter onto pan. I use 3 tablespoons per pancake. Cook until bubbles appear on top, about 3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Serve with raspberry sauce. Makes 8 pancakes.

Simple Raspberry Sauce


4 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup Coconut Crystals
1 Tbs cornstarch or arrowroot mixed with 2 tablespoons water

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for about 15 minutes until the sauce is thickened. (If using frozen raspberries, it will take a little longer.) Remove from heat, and let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving. Makes: 3-4 servings.


singerinkitchen said...

Yes, yes, yes! These are such great products indeed. I just ran out of the aminos and the sugar. I have to wait to go an hour away to get these products! SO glad you are enjoying them. :D

Kathy Hester said...

I have to take a look at the coconut aminos. Do you know the salt content? I'm looking for something to replace the low sodium soy sauce. It's not really that low in salt.

Looking at your yummy veggie sushi has given me a huge craving for some!

Vegiegail said...

Hi Kathy! Great question! The sodium content in the Coconut Aminos is significantly lower than low-sodium soy sauce—Only 113mg compared to 460mg for lite soy sauce!

amber said...

yum! I have to try these products! I really want to try the vinegar!!! I love everything coconut!!!!

stampylisa said...

we LOVE their products. have only tried the vinegar and the aminos but it's perfect cause my husband can't hve gluten or soy, and this replaces the soy sauce he used to sprinkle on rice or rice noodles. I love the aminos w/veggie sushi too!

Anonymous said...

Ooh, coconut sugar and nectar? I'm intrigued!!!

JL goes Vegan said...

I'm so excited to read this post! I just got some Coconut Aminos and have yet to use them. I'm going to try it first in a raw chickpea humus this week. So glad you hear that you like it!

karensrandall said...

Why not use coconut oil instead of the canola oil?

Anonymous said...

All of these products look amazing, so many new things to try! I'm especially interested in the soy sauce!

Teresa said...


Vegiegail said...

Hi Karen! Thanks for your comment! I'm having one of those "duh, why didn't I think of that?" moments! You could certainly use coconut oil, instead of canola. It will make the pancakes taste even more coconutty and your kitchen smell wonderful!

Millie said...

wow Gail...this looks divine and very coconutty. Everything looks great and I bet it was all very delicious.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little coconut cooky, myself! Everything here sounds great! I'm going to check them out! Thanks!

Patty DuPres said...

I'm so happy I found your blog. I hadn't ever seen coconut aminos before, and now I can't wait to try them. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Wow! This sure looks like coconut heaven! I can't wait to try those pancakes. YUM!

Anonymous said...

There's so much yumminess happening on this page, I can hardly stand it!

Anna (Green Talk) said...

I have been using coconut palm sugar instead of sugar and I like it. (but it is expensive.) I will have to try these products.

Angel said...

I have been using So Delicious coconut milk in all of my baking with superb results! I can't wait to try coconut flour and coconut crystals!

You pancakes and fried rice look so delicious! It even looks like you have little pieces of scrambled egg in the rice!

Domestic Dharma said...

We love these products too (aside from the crystals and flour, haven't tried them yet)! I am in LOVE with the vinegar, nectar, and aminos, yummy =)

Helen said...

These products all sound wonderful! But I'm just curious: If you tap the coconut trees for their sap, what happens to the coconuts?

Vegiegail said...

That's a great question, Helen! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to address it, as it recently came to my attention that a supplier of coconut oil (and other related products) has a web page denouncing the sustainability of coconut tree sap products. I wrote to the nice folks at Coconut Secrets about this, and their response makes a whole lot of sense to me. Here's what they said:

"The coconut industry, like most rapidly growing industries, has gotten highly competitive. Keep in mind that we are talking about a part of the world that has an abundance of coconut trees. As has historically been the case, some are designated for sap production and others for coconut production. Tapping a coconut tree for its sap is a centuries old tradition that clearly does not harm the tree in any way. It is interesting to note that coconut oil and flour sales are at an all time high worldwide (FAR EXCEEDING sap-related products), so it is highly unlikely that already thriving coconut farms would be converting to sap production solely for economic reasons, when they are already successfully operating at full capacity. From that standpoint, it makes much more sense for farms to continue devoting their resources to coconut production, rather than converting to sap production, which requires entirely different equipment and expertise. However, for those farms which are focused on the collection of sap, once a coconut tree is tapped, the sap continues to flow for over 20 years, a process that is quite sustainable and supportive of the living organism."

Kim Lutz said...

Thank you for helping me expand my own personal coconut obsession with the introduction of coconut aminos! I can't wait to get some and get cooking.

The Vegan Version said...

How did I miss this until now? You know how I adore coconut and coconut products. I cannot wait to try and find this stuff. Hopefully they will have it at my local Wegman's!

VeganMarr said...

It all looks yummy!!! :-)