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Sweet Coconut Flakes

Sweet Coconut Flakes 3 Ways

We know about coconut bacon, right? Coconut bacon is (are?) crunchy, salty bites of unadulterated umami goodness. I love the stuff as I am a fanatic for both savory and crunchy -- it’s also very easy and inexpensive to make at home. Having made coconut bacon before, I started wondering about the possibilities with sweet flavored coconut flakes. Why not make them as an ice cream topper? These flakes are subtly sweet, crispy, and have just a touch of salt, perfect for ice cream, vegan Belgian waffles, mixed into oatmeal or even just eating on their own or packed as a snack for kids. They are also simple to make and a great treat that isn’t too indulgent.

I used Let’s Do...Organic Coconut Flakes in the Fancy Grade because I am posh like that. They are sulfate- and preservative-free and unsweetened. Whatever you use, look for large, unsweetened coconut flakes that are more like chips than wussy little shavings. I found these in the baking section of my grocery store.

Sweet Coconut Flakes 3 Ways

3 cups coconut flakes
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon chocolate or almond extract
Pinch of salt (I love the contrast of coarser ground pink Himalayan salt in these chips)

3 cups coconut flakes
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt

3 cups coconut flakes
1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
3 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup (agave will make it taste more caramel-y)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.

Place your coconut flakes in a medium to large bowl and then, depending on the flavor you want to make, mix the remaining ingredients in a measuring cup (so, for example, with chocolate flavor, mix the maple syrup, cacao powder, almond extract and salt). Finally, pour this over the coconut flakes and mix well with a spoon.

* To make the caramel version, heat the coconut milk and agave or maple syrup in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Whisk until it starts to boil, then lower heat to a continual low boil. Keep whisking for about 20 minutes until the coconut milk has gotten thick, reduced a great deal, and tan in color. Stir in your vanilla and salt, and mix with the coconut chips as you did above.

Spread the flakes onto your baking sheet so there is little overlap (a little is fine). Put the tray in the oven and stir every five minutes or so for 20 minutes total.

Allow to cool and as they cool, they will crisp. Store in an airtight container and enjoy! If they lose their crispness, reheat in the toaster oven or in the oven at 300 degrees for a few minutes.

2013, 2014, Vegan Street

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