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September 21, 2014

Manna: My New Favorite Food & 5 Delicious Things You Can Do With It.

Coconut Manna

Note: elephantjournal.com did not receive this review item for free, in return for a guarantee that we would review said offering. This product review is solely the author’s personal opinion.

What is manna, anyway?

I’m glad you asked.

Manna is the mythical food that sustained the Israelites as they wandered through the desert after escaping from Egypt. According to the Bible, it arrived with the dew at night, was “fine, flake-like” and the color of coriander seeds, tasting of honey.

Biblical scholars have variously identified the food with certain fungi, tree resins, and the crystallized honeydew of insects. Yum.

To call a modern-day product by this name is to evoke a mysterious, supernatural gift. An ambrosia of sorts.

Nutiva’s “Coconut Manna” is a delectable puree of organic coconut, aptly named (in my opinion) for the life-sustaining stuff of the Bible.

Nothing but coconut, it happens to be vegan and GMO-free, too. I never endorse brands, but if I love something, I will do my best to tell everyone about it, and I really love this product. When I stopped at my neighborhood coop last week, Coconut Manna was on sale. I decided to give it a try, and have not been disappointed.

What on earth am I supposed to do with a jar of blended coconut?

I’ll elaborate.

First of all, warm it up. Virgin coconut oil has a melting point of 76⁰ F, and tends to separate from the coconut solids when stored at warmer as opposed to cooler temperatures. Let the jar sit in a bowl of hot water for about 10 minutes, then stir to mix thoroughly.

Now the possibilities are endless.

1. Eat Coconut Manna with a spoon.

If I had to live off of one food for the rest of my days, I would probably choose coconut. Dried, fresh, young, old, liquid or solid, I have never met a coconut product or coconut-based dish I didn’t like. As I write this, I have an open jar of Coconut Manna on the floor next to me, and am occasionally dipping my pinky finger into it. If you are like me, you can stop reading now, since you will never need to do anything else with this product. If you are less enamored of all things coconut, this may not be the first choice.

2. Eat Coconut Manna on fruit, especially bananas.

Coconut and bananas are like the tropical fruit equivalent of a mirepoix, or butter and toast. The pure, concentrated flavor of coconut and the strong, smooth sweetness of banana create magical, synergistic harmonies in the mouth.

3. Spread Coconut Manna on bread.

Speaking of butter and toast, why butter toast when there is a far richer, equally creamy alternative sitting on the counter that is lower in fat to boot?

4. Stir Coconut Manna into oatmeal.

I stole this idea from the label, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious. Add a tablespoon (again, double that measure if you’re like me) of Manna to oats as they simmer on the stove. Milk and sugar probably won’t even be needed!

5. Add Coconut Manna to smoothies.

If anything were to challenge my love of coconut, it would have to be smoothies. Add a couple spoonfuls of Coconut Manna for an extra-filling morning meal or afternoon snack.

My suggestion:

1 frozen banana
2 large spoonfuls of Coconut Manna
1-2 handfuls of frozen berries or other fruit
Splash of milk, kefir, almond milk, or other liquid (enough to blend)
Blend ingredients until smooth, and enjoy!

Why can’t I just make this at home? It looks pretty simple.

Great question, and I fully intend to attempt a DIY version just as soon as I get to the bottom of this jar. I suspect, though, that it will be more challenging than we think. My blender certainly can’t handle solid foods, and if we add water it won’t be pure coconut. However, if anyone has a good recipe for homemade Coconut Manna, by all means please share with me!

I know what kind of manna I’m packing the next time I head out into the desert. How about you?

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Apprentice Editor: Chrissy Tustison/Editor: Travis May

Photo: via Flickr

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