Today I wanted to use up things in my house that were going bendy or threatening to go off. Half a bag of coconut flakes fell into this category along with the dregs of some coconut milk in my fridge. So I decided to experiment with a snack which pretty much turned into the easiest and most delicious cereal in the world. The result was perfect for snacking on and for using as a topping for things like ice cream, puddings, porridge and even salads, but when i combined it with the coconut milk, the milk became caramelised and smoky and I was momentarily transported back to a time when I would eat cookie crisp cereal out of my favourite spice girls bowl, which ended with me desperately slurping the remaining additive-infused milk. Unfortunately that bowl is no longer around, but the memories remain and this snack will bring back plenty of your own, i’m sure. It tastes so sweet and almost unhealthy but the coconut provides most of this flavour naturally; there is nothing bad in this recipe whatsoever. And by adding cinnamon, any rise that does occur in blood sugar levels will soon be rebalanced. I would definitely recommend this if you are struggling to get your children to eat healthily too. The great thing is it’s easy to make, and you don’t really need measurements, just flavour as much as you like and use as many coconut flakes for however many people you need to feed, or days you want it to last for.
+ These are my favourite things to make for a trip to the cinema. I recently co-hosted a festive film and supper club called F.east, and served these after dinner as sofa snacks. They make the perfect substitute for sugar popcorn if people are cutting out grains or heavily processed foods.
Raw Coconut Flakes
Coconut Palm Sugar
Thin Coconut Milk (not tinned - i like rude health)
Himalayan Pink Salt
Preheat the oven to 120c.
Pour enough coconut milk into a small bowl to cover whatever amount of coconut flakes you are using. I’d recommend about 100 ml for every large handful of flakes you use. Tip the flakes into the milk and, using your hands, make sure each one gets coated. Leave to soak for 5-10 minutes. Then add the cinnamon and salt (if you fancy a sweet and salty combination) and either sieve the flakes from the milk or just use your hands to lift them out, shaking them off. Place on baking paper on a baking tray and spread out evenly. Add more cinnamon if you want to and gently sprinkle the coconut palm sugar evenly over the flakes. I only used a very small amount of coconut sugar and don’t think it is absolutely necessary, but it definitely adds an intense caramel flavour.
Place in the heated oven and bake for about 25-35 minutes. After 6-8 minutes, check the flakes (they will burn quickly) and move them around with a spatula or a wooden spoon to ensure they cook evenly. Return to the oven for the remaining time, stirring regularly. Keep them in the oven until they begin to brown (probably no longer than 10 minutes). Ensure the flakes feel crispy when you remove them from the oven. Leave to cool and save for breakfasts or to satisfy cravings.
As well as making these using coconut palm sugar and cinnamon, you can also experiment with other flavours and can even turn these coconut flakes into a savoury snack. I like vanilla and cardamom, paprika and turmeric, tamari and nutritional yeast, and cacao coated flakes too. The savoury flakes make a great alternative to crisps, and are brilliant for adding extra crunch to salads or soups.