Coconut is big in our kitchen and garden. With six coconut palms we have all the coconut we can handle, plus some, so thinking about coconut recipes happens often. This week I found a recipe from Australia for coconut bread that came with high praise for renowned Sydney restaurateur, Bill Granger. I adapted the recipe with my usual changes: decreased the sugar and used whole wheat flour. And I used coconut oil instead of butter. Then I turned the loaf into muffins. I can’t help myself — I have to fiddle with every recipe. Coconut muffins are especially good warm out of the oven, or sliced and toasted the next day.
About twice a year, our coconut palms are trimmed. This is a bonanza, as we eat coconut meat, drink coconut water, make coconut milk, freeze coconut, cook with milk and meat, give them away — do everything we can to deal with over a hundred coconuts. One year we cut down a coconut palm that was too close to the roof and causing damage with the falling nuts. You’ve heard of hearts of palm? Well, there is nothing in the food realm to compare to hearts of coconut palm. It was like eating ambrosia. I am considering planting more palms just to be able to harvest the hearts.
If I have the urge for fresh coconut water when Russ isn’t home to open one for me, I struggle with the machete to open one myself. If you only know coconuts from the grocery store, you might not know that each nut has a thick, tough husk of fiber enclosing it, which has to be cut away before the top can be lopped off. If this urge occurs during the summertime, when our humidity is in the 80-90% range, I’m soaking wet and desperate for a cold shower by the time I get it open. And wondering why I had to open this thing in the first place. One swallow of the cool, refreshing, invigorating nectar of the gods … I could go on and on like this … reminds me how much I love coconut water. Someone just told me she uses a wine opener, the kind with the spiral screw to pull out a cork. Screw in the opener. Pour out the water. This is genius! Now I’m eyeing our coconuts to see which will be the candidate for the first wine opener opening.
Coconut Muffins makes 12-18
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 2/3 cups (400 ml.) organic milk, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 1/2 cups (400 grams) whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon Sri Lanka (true) cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup (2.3 oz/.66 grams) organic sugar
- 2 cups ( 7.5 oz./200 grams) organic, unsweetened flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup (120 ml/100 grams) melted organic coconut oil
- Pre-heat oven to 350 deg. F. (180 C.). Oil muffin pan or use paper muffin or cupcake liners.
- Whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.
- Sift flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- Stir in sugar and coconut.
- Stir egg mixture into dry ingredients until just barely combined and a little bit of dry flour is visible. Don’t over-mix.
- Quickly blend melted coconut oil into batter. Again, don’t over-mix.
- Divide batter among muffin cups for 12 large muffins or 18 medium ones.
- Bake about 25-30 minutes, or until muffin tests dry with a wooden toothpick.
- Cool for 10 minutes in pan. If you want a bit of sparkle, sprinkle tops with coarse sugar, then move muffins to rack to cool. Best eaten while warm.
The paper muffin cups in Mexico are larger than those I buy in the States. If you have standard cupcake papers, make 18 coconut muffins.You will get 12 muffins if using the larger, Mexican muffin papers.
Mexico imports its cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicam), also known as “true cinnamon”, from Sri Lanka. This is different from the ground cinnamon, known as cassia (Cinnamomum cassia), found in US stores. Cassia is a hard stick, and can not be ground in your spice grinder. True cinnamon is soft, rolled bark, and can be ground in a home spice grinder (read “recycled coffee grinder). It is described as being sweeter and more delicate in flavor than cassia. It is also lighter in color. The two are similar, but can be distinguished. Apparently the US Food and Drug Administration does not make this fine distinction, and ruled that cassia can be labeled and sold as cinnamon in the US. Look on the label of your cinnamon container. It should tell you which one you really have. And look for Cinnamomum zeylanicam, the true cinnamon, next time you shop.
- Breaking Loose with Coconut Ice Cream (cookinginmexico)
- Coconut Harvest Day and a Recipe for Coconut Milk (cookinginmexico)
- Coconut Macaroons Dipped in Chocolate (cookinginmexico)
- Coconut Rice Pudding (cookinginmexico)
- Coconut Silk Gelatin (cookinginmexico)
- Fish Fillets Poached in Coconut Milk (cookinginmexico)