First there was coconut oil, then the tropical trend took over the whole pantry: flour, sugar, milk and more. This handy cheat sheet will help you make sense of the coconut-ification that’s sweeping your supermarket.

Coconut Milk

Use this rich stuff  in Thai-style curries, or whisk the thick cream that rises to the top with a little sugar for a dairy-free whipped cream.

thai chicken breasts coconut milk lemongrass
This a href=""Thai Chicken Breasts with Coconut Milk & Lemongrass/a recipe calls for for 1 can (13.5 oz.) unsweetened coconut milk.
| Credit: Photography by Joseph De Leo

Cream of Coconut

A sweet blend that includes coconut, water and sugar, it's a key ingredient in piña coladas and a delicious addition to pancake batter.

Coconut Daiquiris
This a href=""Coconut Daiquiri/a recipe calls for 8 ounces cream of coconut (such as Coco López).

Coconut Sugar

Made from the sap of coconut-tree flower buds, coconut sugar tastes like brown sugar and can be used like it. Try it in muffins, or sprinkle on oatmeal.

vegan chocolate chip and ancho chile cookies
You'll use 1 3/4 cups coconut sugar in the a href=""Vegan Chocolate Chip & Ancho Chile Cookie/a recipe.
| Credit: Photography by Tara Donne

Coconut Oil

Use unrefined oil where a coconut taste is OK (stir-fries, roasted sweet potatoes). Choose refined when you need a neutral flavor.     

Coconut-Crunch Shrimp
You'll cook a href=""Coconut-Crunch Shrimp/a in coconut oil, but this recipe gets most of its island flavor from shredded coconut.

Coconut Chips

These wide strips are shredded coconut's cooler cousin. Add them to cakes and cookies, toast them for a pretty garnish, or eat them as a snack.

grilled watermelon pizza
Our a href=""Grilled Watermelon "Pizza"/a calls for toasted coconut chips.
| Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

Coconut Flour

Made from dried, ground coconut meat, use this g-free flour where you don't mind a tropical taste. (We're looking at you, pineapple cake.)

coconut cheesecake pie
Up your coconut game by swapping regular flour for coconut flour in this a href=""Coconut Cheesecake Pie/a recipe.