In the past, I've been hesitant to add much coconut to my diet, all that saturated fat scares me a bit. I've used it here and there in the blog, but I've not fully embraced adding it to my diet yet. That being said, a lot of articles and reports talk about the benefits of including it in your diet. Hmm. Well, I've decided on a compromise...I'll include it, but in moderation. These are some of the products I've added to my pantry and fridge. I've always loved the taste of coconut, and these products do have some of that classic coconut flavor, but it's not overpowering in the 'frozen pina colada' sort of way.
To me, the Coconut Palm Sugar has a light, brown sugar/molasses type of flavor and is a bit less sweet than regular sugar. It tastes nice in tea and coffee, and it's supposed to be low on the glycemic index. It has no saturated fat, so this one is off the hook for that issue. :) I've not baked with it yet, but it looks promising.
The Vanilla Coconut Milk Beverage, from Trader Joe's, is good. It adds a really nice 'richness' to my smoothies. I don't really like it that much in my tea or coffee, I have to use too much of it to get my beverage just the way I like it. Go figure ~ great in a frosty smoothie or in a glass by itself...meh, in my hot beverages.
The Califia Farms ~ Coconut/AlmondMilk Blend, Toasted Coconut flavor ~ is a trip. It's nice added to my morning coffee, giving it a similar/almost hazelnut flavored quality. I really like the not-too-strong 'toasted coconut' flavor, and the 2 carbs/50 calories per cup is great...of course, almost all of those calories comes from fat. (this is my inner moderator voice talking now) Yippee! It's only 50 calories a cup! ~ Yes, but it's mostly fat calories. ~ Yeah, but it's ONLY 50 calories a cup! ~ Yes, BUT.... You can see my dilemma here, right? :)
The Olivio Coconut Spread is a nice change from my regular margarine. I like it as a splurge, usually when I happen to want a piece of toast or an English muffin. A little, sorta/kinda, coconut-ish, taste treat.
I've been a huge fan of Coconut Water for some time now. It's refreshing, low in calories and has nutrients and electrolytes. The only thing I have to watch out for is hidden sugar, some of the coconut waters I've seen have it added. It's 100% coconut water or no-go-to-my-home. I enjoy it chilled, straight from the can, over ice, maybe with some rum, or mixed into a fruit smoothie. I'm new to using Coconut Milk in my kitchen/cooking, and I'm looking forward to seeing what mischief I can get into with this lite version. :)
Now that I'm letting more coconut into my life, I just have to remember my new coconut motto ~ Everything Coconut, just in moderation.