Now that we understand why coconut is a healthful addition to your diet, let’s talk about how you can reap the benefits of this nutrient-dense food. Coconut is so versatile in the kitchen! Here are a few tips:
- Quantity is important, as it’s also a calorie-dense food. Just be mindful of your portions!
- Pay attention to the quality of the coconut products you eat. Look for organic products whenever possible. Buy only unrefined, virgin coconut oil. Avoid anything hydrogenated.
- Like many other canned foods, the cans of many coconut milk products are often lined with bisphenol-A (BPA). Native Forest is a brand that is BPA-free.
- Try coconut butter. Artisana makes a delicious product; the only ingredient is organic raw coconut, so you get the benefit of eating the whole food. It is delightful melted into warm oatmeal along with a little maple syrup, mixed into smoothies, spread atop your favorite gluten-free pancakes or toast, or melted into steamed veggies, squash, or sweet potatoes.
- Use coconut oil in place of vegetable oil in baked goods and for sautéing.
- Coconut milk can replace cow’s milk in pretty much any recipe. I love the taste of coconut milk in my butternut squash soup recipe.
- Dried shredded coconut can be used as a topping or garnish for fresh fruit, hot cereal, soups, and steamed greens.
- On the go, grab a Chocolate Coconut or Coconut Cashew Crisp Zing bar – yum!
- Have you ever tried coconut flour? It is a great gluten-free alternative for baked goods and lends a sweet and mild flavor.