GreenChef Vanessa Sherwood | Coconut Persimmon Flan

coconut persimmon flan vanessa GreenChef Vanessa Sherwood | Coconut Persimmon Flan

Coconut Persimmon Flan
with Strawberry, Mango, and Banana Salsa (raw)

Young Thai coconut has to be my all time favorite ‘raw food’ ingredient. It’s so versatile; you can use it in sweet or savory recipes. I tend to have a sweet tooth, so I end up using it mostly for puddings, flan, or tart fillings.

The only thing I hate is the labor involved in hacking the coconuts open, scraping out the meat, and cleaning it. There’s just no easy way about it. Other that that, they’re great! I’ve experimented with several different knives. I destroyed my very expensive Viking cleaver- it worked, but the blade is too thin. I tried a couple of those cheap Chinese cleavers, but they don’t seem to be sharp enough. The guys at Northwestern Cutlery in Chicago ( came up with the solution- a heavy-duty cleaver that I think they use for chopping off fish heads (gross, I know). It was either that or a machete, and that would have just been too crazy.

If you live near a Whole Foods, you can buy the coconuts there. Otherwise, you’ll find them at most Asian markets. I buy them by the case at a wholesale place during the winter, because I can store them on my back porch. That’s probably the only advantage of living in a cold city like Chicago and being into raw foods. My refrigerator space is limited, so in the summer I have to buy them on an as needed basis.

I realize that persimmons are only around for a very short time each year, so if you’re making this recipe, you can replace the persimmon with more coconut meat.

For the Flan:

1 Cup Young Coconut Meat

1/2 Cup Persimmon Flesh

1 tsp. Orange Zest

2 TB Raw Cocoa Powder

2 TB Maple Syrup (Agave Nectar can be substituted)

1 tsp. Coconut Oil

Pinch Salt

Sprinkle Cayenne

In a Vita-Mix or High Speed Blender, puree all of the ingredients for the flan until smooth. Coat the bottom of each ramekin with approximately 1 T. of maple syrup. Divide the flan mixture into the ramekins. Chill overnight or for at least 2 hours to firm up the flan.

For the Fruit Salsa:

1 Cup Diced Strawberries

1/2 Of a Mango Diced

1/2 Of a Banana Diced

1 Tablespoon Agave Nectar

1 Tablespoon Tangerine Juice

To make the fruit salsa, hand-mix all the ingredients together.

To assemble Run a small knife around each flan in case it is sticking to the sides. The maple syrup coating should prevent this. Quickly turn each ramekin over onto a serving plate. Once you hear the flan drop onto the plate, remove the ramekin and pour out the rest of the maple syrup glaze onto the flan. Spoon the fruit salsa around the flan and enjoy!


    I wish Vanessa would have made this at our GreenChefs kitchen, would have liked to try it.

  • John

    Holy crap, this was spectacular!!! Though, I substituted 3 dates for the maple syrup, just to keep it raw. And I added a bit of raw vanilla powder so it tastes like regular flan. And omg, it reminds me of the real thing sooo much. It even looks like it!

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