Coconut What? A Guide to Coconut Products

Coconut butter? Oil? Aminos? Flour? Are you having trouble keeping them all straight?!?! I sure did when I first started cooking. I had no idea what the difference between coconut oil and coconut butter was- let alone what to use each of them for. I found myself today with most of the coconut products I use in my household, so I though I’d share each type and what I use it for. This would be helpful if you’re just getting into health/paleo cooking and you’re not sure what each thing is used for!

*Disclaimer- affiliate links included!

guide to coconut products 









Coconut Butter
Coconut Butter










This is my favorite type of coconut! I regularly like to eat it directly out of the jar with a spoon. However during cold weather, it stays hard so you have to warm it up to get it into a “butter” consistency. I usually warm it up to and top my sweet potatoes or carrot fries with it, eat it on banana bread. But this stuff is so good you will find it hard to resist just eating it straight from the jar. Since it is the actual coconut meat- the coconut taste is very strong.

Coconut Oil

coconut oil











This is the stuff you want to use while cooking- since olive oil or vegetable oil should NOT be used when you’re heating food up. It also stays in solid form when it’s cold. If you live somewhere warm you probably won’t have this problem. I usually take a glass cup and melt the oil in the microwave, and then pour it over whatever I’m cooking. If I’m sauteing food, I just put a big glob into a pan and let it melt, then add the food. I’ve also used coconut oil in baking, and I do the same melt-in-the-microwave technique. Some oils I’ve used DO taste like coconut (the extra virgin kind), but I’ve also had some that don’t. This particular brand I got on sale at Marshall’s and I’ve never had before, but I like it strong coconut flavor it has! If you don’t like coconut and don’t want the taste, try this brand.

Coconut Aminos

coconut aminos










I don’t use this that often, it’s kind of expensive, however this is a Paleo-approved type of ‘soy sauce’. You can use it as a substitute for soy sauce in any Asian-type recipe. Add it to stir fry, or soups to add a deeper flavor. I like to make the Paleo Pad Thai from the 21 Day Sugar Detox with this- it has an amazing flavor. I have never eaten this stuff straight up so I have no idea if it tastes like coconut- I use it with other flavors that are strong.

Coconut Flour

Coconut Flour










I definitely need this at ALL times in my house. It is a substitute for regular flour, but be careful because coconut flour CANNOT be used 1:1 in recipes with white flour. I add a tablespoon of coconut flour to banana or plantain pancakes, make zucchini fritters, banana bread, and to make some paleo-approved goodies when I feel like it. This is a DEFINITE must for your healthy kitchen. Some things I make with coconut flour will retain a slight coconut taste- but for the most part you can’t taste the coconut flavor too much- depending on the brand. I usually use this one.


Shredded Coconut

Shredded Organic Coconut












Last but not least, shredded unsweetened coconut can be used to make your OWN coconut butter (if you’re patient). I also use it to make energy balls or top my paleo cereal with it. If you like coconut, these are good to have on hand.


What’s your favorite type of coconut product?

Do you like the taste of coconut?



7 thoughts on “Coconut What? A Guide to Coconut Products

  1. Sarah

    Merci beaucoup! I have been searching for a primar on coconut products with the all important taste detail included. Coconut has taken the blog world by storm and I have wanted to try incorporating it, in one form or another, into my routine. Problem is, I do not like coconut. I have tried an many occasions and failed each and every time. I have hesitated to buy anything coconut lest I end up with a jar of something inedible. I may try the brand of coconut oil you recommended for its mildness. Question: what about coconut milk and water. How much of a coconut flavor do they retain?

    1. Andrea @ PencilsandPancakes Post author

      You know what…I TOTALLY forgot to add coconut milk to the list!!!!! I have it in my cupboard too. Coconut milk is VERY coconut-y tasting. I’ve never had coconut water so I’m not sure about that. You should definitely buy the Spectrum brand coconut oil (make sure it is NOT extra virgin). It doesn’t taste like anything.

  2. Madison @ Eating 4 Balance

    I think coconut flour may be my favorite because it is so much fun to bake with! Coconut oil follows closely behind because it’s a great sub when making dairy-free desserts and wanting to replace the butter.

    I’ve only had coconut aminos once and I did them on a roasted chicken. Pretty tasty!

    Before reading the comments I hadn’t even realized that you left out coconut milk. I love the light kind from Trader Joes without any additives. Sometime I want to get the full fat version on Amazon and make some whipped cream 🙂
    Madison @ Eating 4 Balance recently posted…Fire Alarms + Exams = …..?My Profile

Comments are closed.