I just finished a Whole30 nutritional challenge that excluded wheat, all grains, legumes, dairy, sugar, and all artificial and natural sugar replacements from my diet. That doesn’t leave much in the way of dessert! Strictly speaking, any type of dessert is off the menu when you’re doing a Whole 30 even with “legal” ingredients because the idea is to help you get control of food cravings. Now that I’m done, I’m a little looser about having some dessert occasionally, but hubs and Keira are both allergic to dairy so I try to find desserts that the whole family can eat.
Last summer I discovered that coconut cream makes a fantastic replacement for whipped cream. Seriously good stuff. I put together a bowl of whatever fresh fruit I have on hand (usually berries because they have less sugar than most fruit) and top it with coconut cream. No added sugar or whipping required. Let’s call it a paleo sundae. This would be a perfect low sugar dessert for Valentine’s Day. You’re welcome!
The most important thing here is to plan ahead so you have a thoroughly chilled can of full-fat coconut milk ready to go. The higher the fat content the better. I keep a couple of cans in my fridge at all times, and when I use one I just grab a new can from the pantry and replace it.
After a day or so in the fridge, the coconut milk will separate and the cream will solidify on top to a firm consistency, similar to Greek yogurt. You can scoop it out just like whipping cream and generously top your fresh fruit. Sprinkle some toasted shredded coconut on top, and if you’re feeling extra decadent, add some grated dark chocolate too. Here I’ve garnished my paleo sundae with both and a small piece of pumpkin seed chocolate bark.
You can toast shredded coconut on the stove top or in the oven. I prefer the stove top method because I find I’m less likely to forget about it and burn the coconut. Simply toast the coconut in a skillet over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently until the coconut is golden brown.
If you prefer, you can also toast coconut in the oven. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and spread the coconut in a thin layer on a baking pan. Toast for about 10-20 minutes until golden brown, stirring regularly. I like to make extra and store in an airtight container for later use.
I keep the leftover coconut milk in an airtight container in the fridge and use it within a week in whatever meal I’m making anyway. If you need some ideas, check out my favourite recipes that incorporate coconut milk: Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Butter Chicken, or Indian Style Onion and Garlic Chicken.
- 1 can of full-fat coconut milk, chilled 24 hours
- Fresh fruit - strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, figs, grapes, cherries, etc.
- Shredded coconut
- Optional dark chocolate
- On the stovetop, toast coconut in a skillet over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently until golden brown.
- For oven toasting, preheat oven to 300 degree and spread shredded coconut in a thin layer on a baking pan. Toast for 10-20 minutes until golden brown, stirring regularly.
- Wash and pit/cut/slice fruit as necessary into bite-size pieces.
- Scoop chilled coconut cream on top.
- Sprinkle toasted shredded coconut and optional grated dark chocolate on top.