8 Ways to Use a Coconut in the Kitchen

Crazy for coconut? These products prove that it's a cooking must-have.

IMAGE Patrick Martires

Coconut milk (or gata) is not the only coconut product you should keep in your pantry. Each part of this palm tree’s fruit can be used to add a distinct tropical flavor and an interesting texture to both sweet and savory dishes.


Check out these different products and how you can use them in the kitchen:


1 Coconut Cream (Kakang Gata)

It is the rich first-pressed liquid extracted from shredded mature coconut.


2 Coconut Milk(Gata)

Coconut milk is the second-pressed liquid from the same meat.


Want to try extracting at home instead of buying the canned or powdered variety? Here's how you do it:


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3 Coconut Meat

This is the soft flesh from young, green coconuts. Tender and nutty in flavor, you can use it in pies and kakanin, and as a topping for beverages and iced desserts. You can also add it to savory dishes like pancit sa buko, binakol, and even sinigang.


Both juice and meat of fresh buko are highlighted in this Pinoy classic.


4 Coconut Water

Coconut water is the juice from young, green coconuts. Use it instead of water when making shakes, popsicles, and sorbets. You can use it in savory dishes like chicken binakol.


5 Coco Sugar

Made from the sap of the coconut palm’s flower buds, coco sugar tastes like brown sugar with a hint of caramel. It’s a healthy alternative to processed sugar.


6 Coconut Oil

Extracted from the meat of mature coconuts, coconut oil can be used for sautéing. You can also use it when baking instead of butter, margarine, or shortening.


7 Coconut Flour

Coconut Flour is dried coconut ground to a fine powder. It’s gluten-free and is used as a substitute for wheat flour in baked goods. You can also use it as a breading for meats and fish.


8 Nata de Coco

Nata de Coco is sweet, chewy, jelly-like cubes made by fermenting coconut water. Aside from mixing it into halo-halo, use it to top coolers, puddings, and ice cream.


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Feature appeared in the September 2015 issue of Yummy magazine. Minor edits have been made by the Yummy.ph editors

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