Every summer, there comes a week where I come down with Magnum fever. Suddenly I wake up one morning and all I can think about is Magnums – when I can eat one, what kind I will eat, how many I can legitimately swap in for actual meals.
And every summer the Magnum people fuel my freak-out by bringing out an exciting new flavour to send my pulse racing, and my feet to the nearest Tesco freezer aisle. One year it was the Pistachio Magnum (RIP, green friend – you were too ahead of your time). One year was the Magnum Black Espresso. Last year was obviously the Double Peanut Butter. And this year, guys, it’s the Double Coconut. Coconut ice cream, two layers of chocolate with a kind of truffly chocolate filling in between, it’s so delicious it makes a Bounty ice cream taste like basically chewing on a table mat.
It’s also a wise choice by the Magnum guys, because in case you hadn’t noticed, coconuts are huge right now. They’re everywhere. They’re achieving fame the avocado can only dream of. Because however hard you try to put avocado in a pudding (and people really do try) it’s hard to escape the feeling you’re eating salad for dessert. Whereas coconut is are more like eating dessert for your dinner, so everybody wins!
Anyway – in an ideal world we’d eat Magnums for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, but in the real world we probably need some vitamins. So here are the other cool things you can do with coconut in between.
1. Coconut chips
By ‘chips’ we mean crisps, and by ‘crisps’ we mean toasted shavings of dried coconut, covered in salty-sweet flavour blends and eaten by the handful as a moreish snack. Mmm. Make your own from scratch using this recipe if you want to be seriously ‘stranded on a desert island’ about it (hey, exams are over) or buy coconut flakes ready-made from a health food shop and season them yourself. Chilli, paprika, salt, pepper, lime, vanilla, maple syrup, cocoa powder…? Just think of it as tropical popcorn.
2. Coconut bacon
One of those recipes that has vegans salivating and carnivores groaning quietly into a pillow, coconut bacon is the best in a long line of ‘trying to make things that aren’t bacon taste like bacon’ – and guys? It’s actually delicious. The secret is liquid smoke, AKA vegan polyjuice potion, which is veggie-friendly but miraculously gives things that taste of proper barbecued meat. Rustle up some coconut bacon with this recipe and discover a BLT you can eat while watching Babe with a clear conscience.
3. Coconut fro-yo
Coconut yoghurt – not coconut flavoured yoghurt, just to be clear, but yog actually made with coconut milk instead of the regular cow’s stuff – is this year’s coconut latte (because we’ve moved on to oat milk now, keep up). Delicious on its own or with your breakfast granola, it’s obviously extra amazing when you turn it into fro-yo. This zingy mango, lime and coconut frozen yoghurt recipe is a tropical holiday in a bowl, and takes so much less time to get there.
4. Coconut flour
Before we go any further with this one let’s just recite the golden reminder: only 1% of the population is actually allergic to gluten. For the rest of us, gluten is totally healthy and delicious and fine, we don’t need to avoid it. But that said, variety is the spice of life and there’s definitely nothing wrong with trying new ingredients to jazz up your baking – like coconut flour, which gives a rich, dense-but-fluffy texture to your baking.
The internet is currently busy using it in everything from cakes and cookies to pizza crust, but as breakfast is obviously the most important meal of the day, these coconut and oat pancakes are top of our list.
5. Coconut milk ON YOUR HAIR
You already know all about using coconut oil as a cleanser, a moisturiser, a hair mask, a lip balm and a cure for hiccups (ok, not that), but because the beauty world moves on fast, we’re now all about using coconut milk and coconut flesh in products too. Hurrah! You can make your own coconut milk leave-in conditioner with this DIY tutorial – or for lazy gals, Ogx’s coconut milk shampoo and conditioner bring aaall the tropical island Ariel vibes you could ever want, without having to comb your hair with a fork.