Trend alert: Coconut is the hottest ingredient to crack the health food market since soy. Sure, we’re all familiar with the grated flakes and coconut milk in cans. But some new products are redefining coconut’s role as a health food:
• Coconut water A mainstay drink in Latin America, the clear liquid from young coconuts has recently entered the United States marketplace, thanks to investments by two of the world’s largest beverage companies. Coca-Cola bought a stake in the California-based Zico and PepsiCo bought the Brazilian-based Amacoco. Both are marketing coconut water as a health drink, full of minerals such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium, and low in fat (unlike coconut milk and cream, which come from coconut meat and are full of fat). Buy Zico at Amazon.com ($25 for a 12-pack). Amacoco (sold under the Trop Coco brand) is not yet available in the U.S.
• Coconut oil Although we’re advised to keep saturated fat consumption to a minimum, recent research has shown that the saturated fat in coconut oil may be more heart-healthy than previously thought. It’s also great for cooking: It lends a coconut flavor to food, has a high smoke point, and a long shelf life. California-based La Tourangelle has added coconut oil to its line of nut and infused oils. To order, call 866-688-6457, or email email@example.com.
• Coconut ice cream The latest dairy-free ice cream product to hit shelves is Purely Decadent from Turtle Mountain. Made from coconut milk instead of cow’s milk, the ice cream is gluten-, dairy-, lactose-, and trans-fat-free and comes in five flavors. For availability, go to turtlemountain.com.
Got Coconut Milk? Use it in one of these recipes:
|Indian Chicken with Coconut Milk||Thai-Style Sirloin Steak with Red Curry Sauce and Spicy Carrot Salad|
|Outrageous Coconut-Cream Meringue Cake||Coconut Brigadeiros|