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Review: Coconut Secret (+ spring rolls, raw s’mores)

August 16, 2010

Sometimes, a product or idea piques my foodie interest, and I can’t get it out of my mind until I try it. This is what happened when I heard of Coconut Secret products. We all know by now that coconut is a superfood—not only is it packed with medium-chain fatty acids, fiber, and vitamins, but its uses are seemingly endless, especially in raw food. I had no idea just how endless, however, until Coconut Secret came on my radar. Flour! Sugar crystals! Nectar/syrup! Aminos! Vinegar! All raw, gluten-free, organic, non-GMO, and vegan, and all from coconuts! When Zoë at Coconut Secret sent me a package containing one of each of their products, I was so thankful and excited I could cry.

It would take me ages to list all the things I find fascinating about these products, so I urge you to visit coconutsecret.com to learn about the history of the coconut, their methods for tapping the sap from the trees, and a thorough description of coconut’s myriad health benefits. I tested out all five of these wonderful products, and came out with stupendous results in the form of a spring roll dipping sauce and – get this – raw s’mores!

Raw graham crackers
1¾ cup coconut flour
¼ cup coconut crystals
¼ cup water
1 Tbsp coconut nectar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. If you don’t have the Coconut Secret products, you can substitute almond or hazelnut meal for the coconut flour; lucuma powder, yacon powder, date sugar, or raw sugar for the coconut sugar; and yacon syrup, agave nectar, or honey for the coconut nectar.

Mix thoroughly (dough will be thick). Spread in an even layer (about 1/8-inch thick) on a Paraflexx-lined dehydrator tray.

Dehydrate at desired temperature until the sheet of cracker is set, but still soft when pressed, about 6 hours (you know how it is with dehydration—exact times and temps aren’t really a big deal). Flip it over onto a cutting board, peel away the Paraflexx liner, and cut into rectangles (a pizza cutter works great). Transfer to the mesh-lined dehyrator tray and dehydrate another hour or two, depending on how soft you want your graham crackers to be.

I made a raw marshmallow crème to go on my s’mores. You can again sub in agave nectar for the coconut nectar. If you have marshmallow extract, definitely throw a teaspoon of it in there, but it’s still delicious without it. If you don’t have coconut butter (like Artisana), just double the amount of soaked raw cashews or, for a nutty twist, use raw almond butter!

Raw marshmallow crème
½ cup soaked raw cashews
½ cup coconut butter, softened
2 Tbsp coconut oil, softened
1 Tbsp coconut nectar
½ Tbsp vanilla
10 drops of liquid stevia
Pinch of sea salt
1-2 Tbsp water, as needed

Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender, adding only as much water as necessary to obtain a smooth consistency. To serve, spread a graham cracker with marshmallow crème, top it with a square of raw chocolate, and put it in the dehyrator for a couple minutes to get it melty and gooey. Raw s’mores—it can be done!

Switching to the savory side of things, I made a Vietnamese-inspired dipping sauce for homemade soft spring rolls.

Spring roll dipping sauce
2 Tbsp coconut vinegar
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp water
2½ tsp coconut nectar
1 tsp coconut aminos
1 tsp chile oil
1 clove garlic, minced

Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl. If you don’t have the Coconut Secret products, you can substitute rice vinegar for the coconut vinegar, agave nectar for the coconut nectar, and soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos for the coconut aminos.

I put hearts of romaine, shredded carrot, and chopped cilantro in my spring rolls. Even though I’m apparently no good at spring-rolling, they were still tasty, thanks in no small part to the tangy, salty, spicy dipping sauce.

I want to give another huge thank-you to Zoë and everyone at Coconut Secret for their generosity, not to mention ingenuity!

I’m curious—have you guys ever seen, or even heard of, these creative coconut products, or anything like them? Do you have any fun ideas for what kinds of recipes you’d use them in?

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34 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2010 1:11 pm

    I have NEVER heard of this company! These look great! I nEED a dehydrator!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 17, 2010 4:00 pm

      I used to think a dehydrator was a silly toy that I wouldn’t get much use out of. I’m happy to say I was very wrong!

  2. August 16, 2010 1:14 pm

    Love this post! I will check out this company, for sure! And I need a dehydrator, too! Thanks for the recipes!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 17, 2010 4:01 pm

      No problem! I’m not sure what their distribution is like, but I hope you’re able to get your hands on some of their stuff. :]

  3. August 16, 2010 1:17 pm

    I’ve heard of coconut aminos, but the rest is news to me! Wow!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 17, 2010 4:02 pm

      I hadn’t even heard of the aminos, so you’re already a step ahead of where I was! 😛

  4. August 16, 2010 1:39 pm

    The spring rolls look absolutely divine! The aminos and vinegar intrigue me the most….

    I am seriously craving spring rolls now. I don’t doubt the sauce is absolutely tasty as is, but what if you blended in some raw peanut butter? Spicy peanut sauce…….drool….

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 17, 2010 4:05 pm

      I do love me some peanut sauce! Since raw peanut butter is hard to come by (and from what I’ve heard, unappealingly bitter), I’m thinking almond butter would be a good swap. Although I gotta say, the best route might be to just throw out the “raw” designation altogether and use a good, natural, roasted PB ;]

      This is the vinegar I plan to use when I get around to trying your coconut sour cream recipe!

      • August 17, 2010 4:42 pm

        Well, I would’ve just made my own roasted PB (or cashew….my current favorite), but I was attempting to keep with the raw theme ;). You know me….taste over principle!

        We need to have an around-the world dinner party….I’m seriously itching to make some sushi.

        • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
          August 17, 2010 4:44 pm

          Oh! Cashew butter = big YES!

          You have no idea how long I’ve been contemplating that very idea. We need to set that up sometime.

  5. August 16, 2010 2:04 pm

    You are so lucky to get all of this great stuff! Those spring rolls with sauce look so good!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 17, 2010 4:06 pm

      I am VERY lucky! You don’t know how many times recently I’ve thought that to myself…I’m so, so thankful for everything I’ve received :]

  6. August 16, 2010 5:02 pm

    Your raw marshmallow creme looks like it’d taste sooo good with breakfast oatmeal. Drooool. 😀

    I didn’t know coconuts were so versatile–almost as versatile as corn! Haha who knows… with products like these out there, I think we’re one step closer to having those sustainable “corn” cell phones and bags made from materials derived from coconuts. 😛

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 17, 2010 4:08 pm

      Ooh, I bet it WOULD be great in oats, maybe with some cacao nibs, a glop of raw almond butter, and a drizzle of the coconut nectar!

      Haha! If they do ever make a coconut cell phone, I may be compelled to buy one JUST so I can tell everyone, whether they care or not, that I’m communicating via coconut 😛

  7. August 16, 2010 7:59 pm

    Wow! I had no idea there were this many coconut products! I am endlessly fascinated by coconut, and I try to eat it every day (It’s not like it’s hard…I love it!) usually coconut butter in my oatmeal.

    That is a really great present to get in the mail! I’ll be sure to check out the company…

    Thanks for the review!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 17, 2010 4:09 pm

      With all the new coconut products on the market, I also find that it’s easy to eat coconut in some form on a daily basis. Which is a GREAT thing, because I love it!

      Glad you enjoyed the review! :]

  8. August 16, 2010 9:12 pm

    Coconut nectar and raw marshmallow creme? Be still me beating heart. That is so beyond anything I could ever imagine creating in my kitchen… and I’m trying not to be super super envious of you getting that care package of goodies, when I can’t even *buy* that stuff myself 😛

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 17, 2010 4:10 pm

      All you have to do is say the word and a platter of raw s’mores can await you at your desserts banquet as well… 😀

  9. August 17, 2010 6:48 am

    I’ve seen some of these types of products at whole foods, and I’ve played with coconut flour. I’ve also made my own coconut butter (super easy!) The nectar and amino acids really intrigue me.

    Your spring rolls look just fine to me. 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 17, 2010 4:11 pm

      Hehe, thanks about the spring rolls! And you make homemade coconut butter? Do share!!

  10. Mindy permalink
    August 17, 2010 9:47 am

    My local Whole Foods carries the aminos and the vinegar. So far, I have only tried the aminos, which I really, really liked. I like the way it bubbles a bit. It behaves like it is alive. I also like the very subtle hint of sweetness in there. As someone with Celiac, I love knowing there is no wheat in it either. Anyway, great product, but unfortunately money is tight for me now, and it is quite expensive, so my next purchase I was back to wheat-free tamari. I’m not saying it’s not worth it, probably a great value for all that goes into the making, but when you’re low on dough, you just have to choose your items carefully to make it stretch. That said, I do look forward to buying again at some time in the future, and trying the other products as well. Thanks for the great review and recipes.

    • August 17, 2010 3:58 pm

      I think it is very unfortunate that it takes a certain income to eat healthy. When I think about how much less we (as a country, and as a planet) would spend on healthcare if it was cheaper to eat healthy than like crap….well, it’s frustrating (I’m a nurse, so I see the effects of unhealthy living up close and personal).

      • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
        August 17, 2010 4:16 pm

        I could not agree more. I actually try not to think about it too often, because it boils my blood a little, but government subsidies on devoid-of-nutrition crap “food” have GOT TO STOP. But I fear nothing will ever change…the shitfood industries in this country are so horribly powerful :[

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 17, 2010 4:13 pm

      I didn’t even notice my aminos bubbling, now I’m going to have to go check that out! Thanks for letting me know your thoughts on the products you’ve tried. The expense part does suck :[ I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do when I start to run out of all this stuff!

      • Mindy permalink
        August 17, 2010 5:29 pm

        Amber, I do know that The Raw Food World store is carrying all these products now. I saw a video where Matt & Angela reviewed them. I think the prices are similar to WF, and of course you would have to pay shipping. But, if you sign up for Matt’s newsletter you can get some nice discounts sometimes. They have all 5 products in standard size, and get this – if you decide you really like the aminos, they have a one gallon size for $49.95. They also have a larger size for the coconut nectar – 5 Gallons! for $299.99! Ha, wonder how long it keeps? I think I heard Matt say that some Raw chocolate maker he knows wants to switch to only that sweetener, so maybe that’s why he is offering such a huge size. :). They are also selling Coconut Nectar Truffles on the site, for those who can afford to indulge. I find raw candies are pretty easy to make on my own, thank goodness.

        By the way Amber, I really appreciate the way you suggest substitutions in your recipes for those who don’t have the products. That was very thoughtful.

        • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
          August 17, 2010 6:47 pm

          That’s great info, Mindy. Thank you!
          5 gallons of coconut nectar, WOW…if I had that much around, I think I’d be too tempted to just eat it by the spoonful! =X

          And I’m glad you appreciate the ingredient substitution suggestions. I wouldn’t want people to miss out on these recipes just because they didn’t have a particular product. :]

  11. jack tamma permalink
    August 18, 2010 2:51 pm

    As an ex-peace corp volunteer in SE Asia, I was introduced to coconut sugar years ago; Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. It’s great to see it slowly being popular in the US and more readily available, as I have been a big fan of it ever since my first introduction to it years ago. I’ve been doing research on the brands that are available in the US now, as i’m very familiar with this product and have been buying another organic brand at my local health food store. I actually have a google alert for “coconut palm sugar” programmed, so i get to see when new discussions come up. This is how i found this blog (which i’ll definitely add to my bookmarks).

    I actually worked with a number of villages where coconut sugar was traditionally made and i participated a few times in making it. It’s a rather simple process; get the nectar from the tree and boil it as soon as possible to prevent it from fermenting, as the sap will ferment within 24 hours if not boiled. This is a very critical step, as the coconut nectar is produced by small farmers, scattered kilometers from one another. Then additional boiling must take place in order to evaporate the water, because the fresh nectar is about 85% water. We would boil the nectar to evaporate the water and then crystallize it. It’s a really interesting technique and fascinating to watch the nectar crystallize. Yet, my point is, it’s always boiled. And this process is the same in every country that i visited. The fresh nectar is a white color and the finished sugar, after cooking, turns brown. That’s what happens when sugar is cooked.

    I’m also a health conscious person and my sister is a raw foodist, so I know the raw food world a bit and that in order for a food to be raw, it can’t be cooked. I actually just had a conversation with my sister on this topic this morning.

    So, my concern is that people are being misdirected as to this company’s raw statement; if they are looking for a raw coconut sugar. In my intimate experience with coconut sugar, it doesn’t exist. All coconut sugar is cooked. Especially if it’s crystallized. Sugar In The Raw, the ubiquitous brown sugar packet at the restaurant isn’t actually raw, it’s cooked. So maybe this coconut sugar company is also using this same marketing angle to promote their product, which may be minimally processed, yet is still boiled.

    I hope this helps bring clarity to it and doesn’t confuse the issue.

    Jack Tamma

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 18, 2010 3:16 pm

      Jack—Wow, what an incredible wealth of information you have about coconut sugar! Consider me thoroughly impressed by your travels and experiences with this product. I’m really glad you found my blog.

      I, of course, have no firsthand knowledge whatsoever about the production process of coconut sugar. According to Coconut Secret’s website, they work with farms in the Phillipines that use a low-temperature evaporation method to remove moisture and allow crystallization. This is, I admit, rather vague. Beyond that, I don’t know any more specifics about Coconut Secret’s processing standards.

      I really appreciate you bringing your familiarity with this product to my blog, and relating what you have. I, personally, am fascinated! I would be interested in finding out what’s really true and what isn’t about the “raw status” of these types of products, but in the meantime, I’ll still cook/“un-cook” with them and continue exploring their unique flavors. I’m not a raw purist by any stretch, so if these products are in fact NOT raw, that’s ok with me, because I enjoy them for the taste anyway. But I’m really glad you’ve brought this issue to light—hopefully, if anyone reading this IS concerned about coconut sugar being “truly raw,” they can now know to take such claims with a grain of salt (or sugar?).

      I hope to hear from you again! Thanks so much for reading and commenting. :]

  12. September 26, 2010 5:51 pm

    I’m totally going to try the marshmellow creme!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 26, 2010 6:21 pm

      That’s GREAT! Let me know how you like it! 😀

  13. chris permalink
    May 26, 2012 7:13 am

    I tried to make the graham crackers, but the dough was very dry and barely moist. Are the water and coconut flour amounts supposed to be reveresed? Thanks!!!!

    • May 26, 2012 12:22 pm

      I have found you have to work very quickly once you mix everything together, because the coconut flour does soak up water like crazy. If it’s still too dry, though, you can keep adding liquid until it’s roll-able.

      • chris permalink
        May 26, 2012 7:31 pm

        Thanks! I will give it another try! Does it make one sheet worth? How thick should I spread it on the paraflex sheet?

      • May 26, 2012 8:06 pm

        If you have an Excalibur, I’d say it makes 1/2 a tray’s worth if you are able to get it pretty thin – about 1/8 of an inch thick if you can.

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