Are you coconuts?
Seems like if you are not currently bathing yourself in all things coconut, you might as well be eating fast food for every meal. Since it seems to be coconut's 15 minutes, lets break down the different coconut based foods and figure out if you should really be eating them.
Many people ask me if they should be cooking with coconut oil instead of olive oil. Here's what you need to know about cooking with oils. Each one has a specific smoke point. The higher the smoke point, the less likely that oil is to burn. Burnt oil = not so healthy oil. SO the oil you choose should depend on the type of cooking you will be doing. Grilling or pan frying? Go for a higher heat oil such as coconut, avocado, grape seed, and peanut oils. Baking? Olive, corn, and vegetable oil are fine. Making a salad dressing? Any oil works well here, choose based on your favorite taste. Coconut oil does have a distinct taste and smell, it is slightly sweet. If you are new to using it, try baking with it first. There are also aerated oil sprays which can make cooking with coconut oil easier for beginners.
My favorite brand is Carrington Farms.
A few years ago, you would never have seen a bottle of this stuff unless you were at a hot yoga class. Now, there are multiple varieties available at every grocery store. Coconut water is a great natural source of electrolytes like potassium and sodium. What that means is, after a particularly grueling workout, coconut water is a great choice to re-hydrate yourself. There is a catch - stay away from flavored coconut waters, as these can be laden with added sugar you definitely do not need. Unflavored coconut water also makes a great addition to a smoothie in place of water or unsweetened almond milk.
This flour is higher in fiber than regular all purpose flour, and also gluten free. Just like coconut oil, this flour does have a slightly sweeter taste than AP, so I recommend trying it out in baked goods before cooking with it.
Bob's Red Mill makes a great option.
Due to the higher fat content, coconut milk makes a great, creamy alternative to cow's milk and creamer in your coffee. Traditionally used in many cuisines, such as Thai and Indian, coconut milk adds depth and flavor to both sweet and savory dishes. Coconut milk comes in full and low fat options, and will stay good in your pantry for months if unopened.
*A word of caution. Although it is a plant, the fat in coconut is considered a saturated fat. This is the type of fat associated with the risk of higher cholesterol, so be mindful of how much you are using.
Ashley Shaw MS, RD, CDN