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Coconut is the New Soy

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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 contact@latourangelle.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
Indian Chicken with Coconut Milk   Thai-Style Sirloin Steak with Red Curry Sauce and Spicy Carrot Salad
Outrageous Coconut-Cream Meringue Cake   Coconut Brigadeiros
Outrageous Coconut-Cream Meringue Cake   Coconut Brigadeiros


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  • user-4214130 | 12/22/2014

    Coconut oil is the very best remedy for dry noses! Petroleum jelly is not a great solution as it's both icky and end up in your lungs! A very small amount of melted coconut oil applied with a cotton swab inside the nose works brilliantly, has no smell and is undetectably light.

  • Christine73 | 01/05/2010

    I love coconut oil! Very nutritious, unlike soy which is antinutrient and a goitrogen, coconut oil actually helps your thyroid and metabolism, promoting weight loss. It has antifungal and antiviral benefits too! I use it in place of vegetable oil or butter in most recipes and saute with it. If you use the expeller pressed (neutral flavor) you can't taste the coconut at all. Popcorn popped with coconut oil is out of this world!

  • Helen_B | 12/29/2009

    Yum!!! I love coconut oil! Unlike other saturated fats, the medium-chain fatty acids in coconuts are actually healthful. And Purely Decadent coconut milk ice cream is so rich, it tastes like gelato. I also love So Delicious coconut milk beverages, coffee creamer, and kefir, which are also made by Turtle Mountain.

  • carollr | 12/29/2009

    Yuk!!! I hate foods that use coconut oil as an ingredient.
    I can always taste it in the finished product. I won't buy foods and use it.

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