put the lime in the coconut

I have many memories of dinner parties in Toronto ending with Harry Nilsson's 1971 hit "Coconut." The groovy rhythm of the song is made even groovier with the lyrics: "She put the lime in the coconut, she drank 'em both up." This song always makes me a little home sick. I can listen to it over and over and over.

I feel the same way about coconuts. I can eat 'em or drink 'em in any form day after day. Who even needs the lime, really? Coconuts are brilliantly versatile and having spent the past few months in India I am even more convinced that they are essential to any kitchen. I still get excited each time I drink fresh coconut water out of the shell. Fresh coconuts are obviously ideal for cooking; however, most of us aren't lucky enough to live near enough to where they grow. Coconut milk, water, oil, flour and shredded coconut are all pantry essentials. Bake with coconut oil instead of butter. Make hot chocolate with coconut milk instead of milk. Add shredded coconut to your granola or even in just a bowl of bananas and clementines. The possibilities are delicious, healthy, and endless.

Below are some PaperDollParade Recipes which feature coconut in some form (mostly milk or oil). You can be certain that when I return to my kitchen in Munich this list will quickly be twice as long. South India has taught me well (thanks Kerala for teaching me to pop mustard seeds in coconut oil to use as a garnish for pretty much everything).

Sweet Potato and Coconut Milk Pancakes with coconut milk and oil

Petits pots de creme au chocolat et pommes with coconut milk

Mango and Blueberry Cashew Cake with coconut oil

Mango and Coconut Milk Icepops

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies with coconut oil

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