Celebrating World Coconut Day

photo by tijana drndarski via unsplash

Yes, yes I did happen to go through one of those made-up holiday calendars and make note of the ones I found interesting. And no, they are not ALL Cat Days (although there seems to be at least one cat day pretty much every month). But perusing things that someone somewhere thinks merit holidays does give one opportunities to contemplate delightful topics such as World Coconut Day.

World Coconut Day is September 2, but like all of these made-up holidays, it seems like the kind of thing you could celebrate any old time. There is also a National Coconut Day on June 26; you could book-end your summer with coconut celebrations if you wanted to.

As a fan of the coconut, I decided that I would take advantage of today being World Coconut Day adjacent to learn some coconut fun-facts:

Coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm. It is used for water, milk, oil, and meat (coconut kernel). Coconut milk, cream, and oil are all extracted from the kernel which is mostly fat.

The fat found in coconuts is a medium triglyceride (MCT) which is considered a type of good fat. MCTs are considered a good source of energy because they can be absorbed directly by the small intestine. Coconuts also contains phenolic compounds, which are antioxidants (substances that help maintain the health of our cells).

Coconut shell can be used to make an iconic bikini top substitute, drinking vessels, and other crafty things.  It can also be processed into charcoal. The fibrous husk can be processed into coir, which can then be used to make things like doormats.

Rhythm of Hawaii by Dole Foods (15570182163).jpg

photo courtesy of wikimedia commons

Did you know there is such a thing as coconut flour? I didn’t. But I learned that it is made from dried coconut kernel and is gluten free. And if you’re in the market for gluten free flour, you might be interested to know that coconut flour has less carbs and less fat than almond flour.

All of these coconut fun-facts got me thinking about my favorite coconut applications:

One of my favorite coconut products from my youth was classic Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil (which turns out was mostly mineral oil). It smelled divine and helped me achieve that tropical, golden glow.

In my early grown-up years, I parlayed my love of Hawaiian Tropic into an affinity for Malibu Rum. These days, rum is not my go-to spirit, but I sure do like Pina Coladas (and getting caught in the rain). I also love a Blue Hawaiian (when I can get my expert Tiki drink-maker neighbor to make one for me – hint, hint).

Of course, coconut cream pie is another of those coconut treasures that I can’t get enough of (even though it’s been two years since I made one – what am I thinking!?).

coconut cream pie

In our ongoing homemade ice cream venture, we are still working on perfecting coconut ice cream. Mr. Man’s special touch is adding toasted, salted coconut flakes to the coconut milk/coconut cream base (yum!). The problem is we are having a hard time getting a consistently creamy texture. My sister recently sent us an article about adding spirits to your homemade ice cream to help it stay softer. I may need to get myself some Malibu Rum!

How about you?  What are your favorite coconut applications? How would you celebrate World Coconut Day?

Coconut Cream Pie

On my Instagram feed the other day, Martha Stewart posted a recipe for coconut cream pie as a great make-ahead Thanksgiving dessert option.  That made me think that this might be the right time for me to share my coconut cream pie recipe with you!

I had been obsessing about coconut cream pie a few months ago and after reading a bunch of different recipes on Pinterest, decided to take matters into my own hands. Now, I am no Martha Stewart, but this did turn out delicious and I’m looking forward to making it again very soon.

For the Filling:

Start with Martha Stewart’s No Fuss Pastry Cream.  BUT, make the following tweaks:

  • Replace 2 cups of whole milk with 1 ½ coconut milk (1 can) and ½ cup whole milk
  • Replace 2 tbsps butter with 2 tbsps coconut oil

This pastry cream recipe comes out extra silky with the coconut milk and coconut oil. I think that I might like the texture more than when I’ve made it with dairy.

After transferring cooked cream to a bowl:

  • Stir in 1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
  • Cover with plastic wrap (press the plastic wrap onto the surface of the cream)
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to overnight

For the crust:

  • 1 box of Trader Joes Cookie Thins in Toasted Coconut flavor
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 6tbsp coconut oil


  • Crumble cookies in the food processor
  • Add sugar, pulse to distribute
  • Add the melted butter and coconut oil, pulse to combine
  • Dump into pie plate and use a measuring spoon to pack it down
  • Bake for 7 minutes at 375 degrees

Let cool completely

Assemble the pie:

Fill cooled crust with refrigerated cream filling.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and put it back in the fridge.  Let it sit there for AT LEAST 24 hours (48 hours is even better).  Top with freshly whipped cream and toasted coconut slivers before serving.

bonus points if you serve it on flamingo-themed plates!
Just a note to let you know that I will be taking next week off from the blog but will be back on November 26!  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!!