While it’s true that coconut, which botanically isn’t even a nut, is full of nutritional goodness, here we’re talking about taste and function. Creamy coconut milk can act as a flavorful option to heavy cream and be especially handy for dairy-free folks. Shredded coconut adds a wonderful chewy texture and almost floral taste. Coconut water gives you coconut milk flavor without the heft. And, solid or liquid, coconut oil behaves a lot like butter, making it an easy and flavorful swap.

Read on for some of our favorite coconut recipes.

Vegan Coconut Ice Cream Base. We, lactose-averse people, like to have ice cream, too. This coconut-based number doesn’t actually taste all that coconutty — which is handy when you want to whip it up into flavors such as this Vegan Chai Ice Cream (pictured above).

Berry Coconut Crisp. You may already know how to make a crisp, but let’s incorporate coconut into it! This one has coconut oil, shredded coconut and coconut sugar for a final twist of coconut flair.

Spiced Chicken Soup With Cashews and Coconut Milk (Murgh Kaju Ka Shorba). Chicken simmered in spiced coconut milk? Yes, please!

Vibrant Turmeric Coconut Rice. If you’re making lots of rice bowls, don’t make just plain rice. Use turmeric for color and coconut water for flavor.

Coconut Turmeric Sweet Bread. Bored of your baking routine? This not-too-sweet bread, garnished with pistachios, is powered by coconut.

More from Voraciously:

This summer, do as the Sicilians do and make a tray of refreshing almond granita

Let tropical fruit add flavor to your grilled skewers, salads and desserts this summer

It’s everything but the bagel with this summer tomato tart inspired by a deli favorite

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