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While the Autoimmune Protocol does not specifically exclude coconut products, it tends to be one of the top ingredients people avoid due to allergies or sensitivities. Eating coconut-free can make preparing AIP meals that much trickier, because coconut products are often used to add texture, creaminess, and a high-quality fat source to meals. I get many, many emails, comments, and direct messages from members of the community that are exasperated by their need to also avoid coconut!
Fortunately, I’ve set to work developing many coconut-free desserts over the years (like my Pumpkin Spice Cake, Blackberry Collagen Popsicles, and Gingersnap Cookies). The best substitute for coconut milk I’ve found to use in soups, stews, and curries, is simply a thinned vegetable puree. If you need it to be creamy, you can add some extra fat and nutritional yeast for rich texture and flavor.
I’ve heard from a lot of you that you aren’t sure what proportions to use to achieve this, so I developed this recipe for all of you who want to learn this technique. Here I use cauliflower, but you can experiment with different vegetables, like parsnips, rutabaga, and turnips, each lending their own unique flavors.
Speaking of texture… there is something about getting it just right in a soup or stew. This one is super vegetable-rich, and the cauliflower puree makes it hearty and flavorful. Let me know what you think in the comments!
- 1 tablespoon solid cooking fat (duck fat and tallow are good coconut-free options)
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced, fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups bone broth
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 parsnips, chopped
- 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
- 1½ pounds chicken breast or thigh meat
- 1 large head cauliflower, steamed
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ½ bunch parsley, chopped
- If you haven't steamed your cauliflower, do so before starting this recipe (see the notes section for how to do so in your Instant Pot). Place the cooking fat in the bottom of your Instant Pot and press the Saute button. When the fat has melted and the pan is hot, add the onions, and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the spices and broth and stir to combine. Add the vegetables, stir to combine, and add the chicken pieces whole, nesting into the vegetables. Close and lock the lid and cook on Manual - High Pressure for 8 minutes.
- When the timer goes off use the quick release method to release the pressure. Remove the lid and allow to cool for a few minutes. Remove the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Use a ladle to remove about 1 cup of the cooking liquid, avoiding the vegetables if you can.
- Add the cooking liquid, steamed cauliflower, and nutritional yeast to a high-powered blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Add back to the pot and stir to combine.
- Use two forks to shred the chicken into small pieces. Add back to the pot with the lemon juice and parsley. Stir to combine.