In the Kitchen: Coconut

From coconut water to coconut flakes, and from coconut milk to coconut oil; the coconut is an amazingly versatile product! Used in foods, body care, hair care, and even dental care; the coconut not only smells great but includes a number of health benefits too.

coconut milk ice cream

Coconut is frequently used in a number of health and beauty products because it is known to be naturally antibacterial and antifungal. Coconut oil, in particular, can be utilized for cooking, oil pulling, and skin care. It also penetrates better than other oils, making it a powerful moisturizer for both hair and skin. Plus, you get the added benefit of smelling like a tropical paradise when you use it!

Ritual Roasters cold brew mint coffee soap bar

Here are a few of our favorite coconut-based recipes, beauty products, and more.

Coconut Gin and Tonic: Nothing says summertime like cool and refreshing cocktails enjoyed outside in the sun. The coconut water in this cocktail not only adds electrolytes and minerals to your drink, but it lends a great coconut flavor without being too overpowering. Garnish with some lime, mint, and a little umbrella and you’re all set to relax.

Ritual Roasters Cold Brew Mint Coffee Soap: The star of this show is Ritual Roaster’s cold brew coffee, but the main ingredient in this soap is a coconut oil base! The mint in this organic soap bar adds the just right amount of uplifting kick to the soothing and familiar aroma of coffee. Combined with coffee oil (for skin soothing antioxidants) and coffee grounds (to help exfoliate dead skin cells), this soap helps stimulate circulation, get you clean, and make your bathroom smell amazing!

Coconut Milk Ice Cream: Don’t have an ice cream maker? Don’t worry; you don’t need one for this recipe. This 3-ingredient vegan ice cream is not only easy to make, but it’s versatile too! You can use this coconut milk ice cream as a base to add your favorite flavors and topping to, or even make an “adult” version of it by spiking it with any booze of choice.

Coconut Oil Hair Mask: Coconut oil makes an excellent deep conditioner for your hair. This particular mask—combined with honey and heated slightly to help hair follicles open up and absorb the mixture—leaves your hair soft, shiny, and smelling like cookies! Just leave it in your hair for 30-45 minutes then shampoo, condition, and style as usual.

Recipe: How to make Cold Brew Coffee

Cold Brew CoffeeI was excited when Alana asked me to guest blog for her. She knows I’m as passionate about coffee as she is about Etta + Billie. She also knows I don’t have a lot of time to spend doing fancy things with fancy equipment. So, when I say making your own cold brew is easy – it’s EASY. It requires no fancy equipment and it is practically no-fail. Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty grinds!

Why cold brew? Cold brewing gives you a wonderful, delicious cup of coffee without the bitterness and acidity that heating the grounds imparts. You’ll start to enjoy coffee for all the nuances and ‘notes’ your beans have. If you are sensitive to the acids in coffee this is a way to enjoy your favorite beverage again. If you love iced coffee it’s the way to go, incredibly convenient. I’ve even heard that some people will make an extra strong batch then add boiling water to make a hot cup. I haven’t tried it this way yet, but it’s an interesting idea.

For a basic set up you need beans, some sort of filter to put them in (like a nut milk bag, here’s the one I have; or disposable filter bags for tea), a 2 liter pitcher, and a refrigerator. I also like to use a mesh strainer to capture some of the sludge. Here’s a shot of mine.Cold Brew Coffee Setup

Today I’m using a nice dark roast from Paramo Roasters, Shadowplay. I’ll use enough beans for about 1.5 cups at a medium to coarse grind. Finer and you’ll have a lot of sludge. Here’s the beauty of all this, just about nothing you could do is wrong. You can’t really do too much or too little! If you make it too strong then you have a concentrate that you can then add water to taste.  Too little and no need to dilute, you can just drink it straight. Well, I suppose you could make it too weak, but that’s subjective.

The how:

  1. Grind your beans. (or get the shop to do it for you, even easier!)
  2. Scoop into filter bag. (use at least 1.5 cups for a 2L pitcher)
  3. Place in pitcher.
  4. Add water.
  5. Place in refrigerator overnight (or longer).
  6. In the morning remove the bag and give it a good squeeze.
  7. Set grounds aside for use around the house. (more on that later)
  8. ENJOY! – Add water, sugar, and/or milk to your preference

Cold Brew Coffee StrainedSome final notes:

If it lasts that long, cold brew will be good for up to a week-and-a-half in the refrigerator. If you run out of time the next morning and have to decide between catching the bus or straining your coffee grounds – go get that bus. Trust me, your cold brew won’t be ruined if left longer – I’ve done it, it’ll just be just more concentrated! I keep repeating myself on this, but there’s just about nothing you can do to cold brew to make a bad batch!

Some people think you should only use espresso roast. I disagree, I say use what you have on hand! This will work with just about anything. Do you have family who love you and know you love coffee but know nothing about it themselves? This could be the only way to salvage that nearly undrinkable bag of beans they gave you. Cold brew requires no special equipment. Some sort of filter bag if you want, but even then some people put the grounds straight into the pitcher and filter through a fine mesh strainer afterward. Can you get fancy equipment? Sure, but I say go lo-fi and spend the money you saved on something wonderful like Etta + Billie Ritual Roasters Coffee Soap or Mint Coffee Scrub!

What to do with all those coffee grinds:

  • Use the them in your plants. They’ll love the nitrogen, especially starter plants.
  • Use them as a natural pot scrub. Used grinds are great for scouring pots and pans. Just put a scoop on your sponge.
  • Also scrub your hands when you need a little extra power. They’re great if you’ve been chopping garlic or onions, too.

There you have it, cold brew coffee in a few easy steps.

About Dawn:Dawn at Grounds for Review

Coffee and chocolate are my two favorite food groups, the darker the better!  I can talk a lot about both, but prefer not to get overly snobby and pedantic about either. When I’m not discussing the finer points of ground cacao or coffee I am hanging out with my honey and two fantastic kiddos in the gorgeous Bay Area. You can follow my coffee adventures at Grounds for Review.