Coconut Aminos: This is one of a few soy-sauce alternatives on this list, but not as similar in taste as tamari (mentioned below). This product is a bit on the sweeter side, so it is not an exact substitute. However, it is still an incredibly tasty and versatile ingredient. It can still be used in many Asian-inspired dishes or even as an alternative to a sweetener in the right situation. You can find this in virtually all health food stores.
Coconut Butter: Coconut butter is made by taking the flesh of the fruit and grinding it down. It contains only one gram of sugar per tablespoon, and is a fantastic source of healthy fats to add to shakes and smoothies. You can find coconut butter in most health food stores.
Coconut Cream/Milk: The difference between coconut cream and milk is the consistency and fat content. Coconut milk can be found in drink or can forms, and has a thinner liquid associated with its thicker parts. Coconut cream, on the other hand, is just the cream itself, and is not watered down. Whether you want the milk or cream, avoid ones with added sugars, labeled “low-fat,” or have cans lined with BPA. Either product can be found in almost any supermarket or health food store. Here’s a kitchen hack: buy coconut cream. If you just buy the cream, then you can add water and thin the mixture down to your desired consistency. It can save you from buying multiple cans of coconut milk, when one can of coconut cream will last you much longer.
Coconut Flour: This type of flour is much denser than the other flours on this list. Because of it this, it is able to absorb more liquid. If you want to use coconut flour, it may be best to follow recipes that call specifically for coconut flour, because the ratios of ingredients may differ compared to other flours. This can be found in many supermarkets and most health food stores.
Coconut Nectar: A great choice as a sweetener. It is very low glycemic index, meaning it will not spike your blood sugar to the same extent as those processed, refined carbohydrates and sugars. It is also full of minerals and nutrients so it has health benefits as well. You can find this is most health food stores.
Coconut Oil: Another solid oil to use for cooking, especially when cooking at high temperatures. Coconut oil will stay in its solid form unless the surrounding area is warmer than about 70°F. If you are sautéing with it, simply place it in a warm pan and it will melt as the pan heats. If you are looking for a good coconut oil, stick to organic, extra virgin products.
Coconut Sugar: Coconut sugar is a great alternative to white sugar because it is the only one on this list that is actually in a solid form. If you need a solid sweetener that is low on the glycemic index (meaning it will not easily spike blood sugar levels on its own), then coconut sugar can be a great alternative for you. Coconut sugar can be easily found in all health food stores today.
We have actually come out with a few podcasts where we talk about other healthy food swaps that I can link below.
Hope this helps!
Though based in research, personal, and clinical experience, the opinions in this article should not be taken as medical advice. Botanical medicine and nutraceuticals should be treated with the same caution and care as pharmaceuticals, as both have the potential for strong, potentially adverse effects and allergic reactions. Please consult a trained, licensed health care practitioner before proceeding.