There’s nothing quite like the taste and texture of coconut, right? Or is there? Although this fruit might seem like one of a kind, there are a few different ingredients that are similar. Let’s take a look at five fruits like coconut that you can use as substitutions in various recipes.
These nuts are actually the pits of almond fruits, which are drupes—just like coconuts!
Have you noticed that ground almonds have a very similar texture to ground coconut? As a result, you can use them interchangeably in just about any recipe. You can also use flaked almonds instead of coconut in everything from savory coatings to dessert toppings.
Additionally, almond milk makes an excellent substitute for coconut milk. Try it in smoothies, stirred into your morning coffee, or poured over your cereal. Just note that if you’re going to use almond milk to add creaminess to soups, then choose the natural, unsweetened version. Vegan clam chowder would taste really weird with a sweet vanilla aftertaste.
Hey look, another drupe fruit! In this case, however, it’s dried apricot flesh rather than the pit that’s used as a substitute.
Many people like to add shredded coconut into their homemade energy bars and bites. This adds a delicious chewy texture that’s a bit grainy, with just a touch of sweetness.
If this is what you’re aiming to reproduce, get yourself some high-quality dried apricots. Grate the dried apricot finely and incorporate them into whatever it is you’re baking. Just make sure to adapt spices as needed so they complement the other ingredients.
Related Article: 10 Spices that Go with Apricot
3. Applesauce (Apples)
This is another great substitute for adding both moisture and texture to baked goods. For example, a classic coconut rum cake uses desiccated coconut for texture, and coconut milk to add moisture.
You can take care of both of these aspects by using applesauce instead. Applesauce will add the necessary moisture and texture without adding too much sweetness. Just adjust sugar ratios as needed if you’re worried about it tasting too sweet.
You may blink at this one since avocado and coconut really don’t have much in common, but hear us out. The area in which coconuts and avocados share similarities is in their fat content. One tablespoon of coconut oil has 13.6 grams of fat, while the same amount of avocado oil has 14 grams of fat. How’s that for a close comparison?
Avocado oil is ideal if you’re aiming to add more healthy fats to your diet.
This fatty creaminess is also great for using in smoothies and desserts. For example, you can whipped or pureed avocado flesh in lieu of coconut cream or yogurt in drinks and granola parfaits. It also makes a great filling for vegan key lime pie!
Read This Next: Fruits Like Avocado
Finally, a substitute that doesn’t begin with the letter “A”!
Breadfruit has a really fascinating texture. It’s like something between raw potato and yucca, and it just happens to make a wonderful coconut substitute. You may need to add more flavor and sweetness to it, depending on what you’re using it for. Also, unless you live in Hawaii or Southeast Asia, you may have difficulty finding it fresh.
If you do manage to find one that’s almost ripe, try slicing it thinly and dehydrating the slices. These will have a very similar flavor (and texture) to coconut meat! Once that’s done, you can even grate or grind them into shreds or flour. Then use this stuff for baked goods, decoration, or anything else you’d need coconut for.
Some people can’t use coconut in various dishes because of allergic reactions. Others simply don’t like the taste or texture. Whether you’re aiming to use substitutes for health or flavor reasons, we hope that these alternatives will make your culinary creations shine!