This idea must be so unusual because I couldn't find a single source online that cooked with young coconut meat in a recipe other than the traditional Filipino dessert Buko. The directions on that recipe said to cook it for an hour, but the only caveat is that the young coconut meat is protected by the pie crust on top of it, which doesn't translate at all to a meatloaf recipe. Some recipes of Buko only cook the pie crust and the not the young coconut meat, and I'm not looking to eat a raw meatloaf, even if it's perfectly safe to do so- you can eat the young coconut meat from the can!
So I had to do a little experiment myself- I thought 60 minutes would be way too much time in the oven for young coconut meat, so I only cooked it for 13 minutes, fearing the meat would turn into water in the oven. Technically, the coconut meat's already safe to eat raw, but this is just enough time to cook the meatloaf.
If it weren't for the Almond Joy bars being made with milk products, this would've been a vegan meatloaf, as I used unsweetened applesauce in lieu of eggs. If I used eggs, that would require the meatloaf needing to be in the oven for a longer period of time just so that the egg can be cooked.
Young coconut meat is a really good alternative to meat to use in a vegan meatloaf, along with other things like:
- Jackfruit(young jackfruit meat supposedly tastes like pork)
- Those fake(plant-based) meat products nowadays that supposedly taste like animal-based meat, like Beyond Meat
Coconuts are very versatile- here are some of the ways you can cook with it:
- Coconut flour
- Coconut oil
- Coconut butter
- Coconut sugar
- Coconut aminos(soy sauce substitute)
- Coconut milk
- Coconut water
- Coconut vinegar
- Coconut nectar
- Coconut cream
- Shredded coconut
- Coconut chips
- Coconut jerky
- Coconut bacon
- And now, young coconut meat!
That's a lot of ways to use a coconut!
Seriously, how come nobody's thought of using young coconut meat as an actual meat substitute!?
Yes, coconuts can be very hard to crack open and deconstruct, but young coconut meat also comes in a can and all you gotta do is drain the water and syrup it's been preserved in.
I actually had a perfect storm of ingredients to make an Almond Joy meatloaf- not only did I have some Almond Joy pudding(which is a thing but it tastes artificial) and almond ice cream topping I got from a local grocery store that's known for its meats.
There are a lot seasoned almond items in the supermarket today, but if you plan on replicating this recipe, get lightly salted almonds, not the ones that have funky flavors like:
- Wasabi and soy sauce(wtf!?)
- Habanero BBQ(dear god, no!)
- Jalapeno smokehouse(why!?)
- Sriracha(I got no words)
- Sweet That chili(really!?)
None of those flavors mix with Almond Joy candy bars. Out of all those options, I'd only try the latter of the five because I don't like spicy foods and I absolutely hate wasabi(it deceives you by making you think it tastes good until it punches your tastebuds with an unbearable spiciness).
So the big question is, how does young coconut meat taste? It has the consistency of canned peaches but tastes slightly like a coconut should. It's very slippery too.
My dad thought this meatloaf would be better suited toward dessert and not dinner.
Almond ice cream topping: www.harborsweets.com/product/sweet-sloops-ice-cream-topping/almond-butter-crunch-toffee
Almond Joy pudding: https://www.amazon.com/Almond-Joy-Instant-Pudding-3-52/dp/B00NAN0SMY/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1496079377&sr=8-1&
Young coconut meat: https://www.amazon.com/Young-Coconut-Meat-Syrup-15oz/dp/B00I3DA2C2/ref=sr_1_2_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1496073404&sr=8-2&
You will need:
For the cooking equipment:
A large bowl
A medium bowl
Nonstick cooking spray
For the meatloaf:
2/3 tbsp. onion powder
2/3 cups unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp. shredded coocnut
3 oz. lightly salted almonds
7 chopped up, fun-size Almond Joy bars
1/2 cup Almond Joy pudding(see HELPFUL LINKS)
8 oz. almond ice cream topping(see HELPFUL LINKS)(I only had 6 oz. so the other 2 oz. were plain panko breadcrumbs)
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
2- 15 oz. cans young coconut meat in syrup(see HELPFUL LINKS)
1. Put the first 9 ingredients into a large bowl.
To prepare the young coconut meat:
1. Open the cans then drain the water and syrup out in a colander. Transfer the meat to a medium bowl.
2. Either cut up the meat into strips or crumble up the meat by poking the meat on the fleshy side. Ideally you want the meat to somewhat resemble ground meat.
3. Put the crumbled up and/or chopped meat into the large bowl.
Note: Each 15 oz. can only yields 6.3 oz. young coconut meat once the liquid is drained
2. Mix all the ingredients up until you get a firm mixture.
3. Spray a lasagna pan with nonstick cooking spray. Form 2 loaves from the mixture.
4. Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10-20 minutes. Bon appetit!