Coconut becoming the new kale

  • By Nora Krug The Washington Post
  • Monday, May 12, 2014 3:10pm
  • Life

Coconut used to be a demon, or at the very least an indulgence: a fluffy-cake topping, a gooey candy-bar filling, the second-best ingredient in a poolside drink.

For years, the biggest coconut-based troublemaker was its oil, which is loaded with saturated fat, even more than butter, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

But in the past few years, there’s been a great deal of rethinking about the fruit and its many edible parts.

Coconut water is all the rage these days as a natural source of sodium and potassium, two minerals that aid post-workout recovery.

And many people now see coconut oil as a health food, at least when you’re talking about virgin coconut oil.

In a new cookbook, “Coconut Every Day,” Sasha Seymour, a former restaurant chef, deifies coconut’s properties further, calling the fruit not just a superfood but a miracle superfood.

“A saturated fat that gets burned like a carbohydrate? And that can increase your metabolism and lower your cholesterol” — and that “tastes good, to boot!” she said.

In the foreword, Joy McCarthy, a dietitian and the author of the popular cookbook “Joyous Health,” notes the high fiber content of coconut flour, which also is gluten-free, and coconut’s capacity for aiding with weight loss.

“Studies have shown that when coconut oil is part of one’s diet, white fat stores are reduced,” she said.

The book does not offer a thorough explanation of the science behind these claims. It is, after all, a cookbook.

Instead, it showcases an array of beautiful food — Seymour is a professional food stylist — and creative ways of using coconut: sweet-and-spicy popcorn topped with coconut oil, coconut sugar, cayenne pepper and salt; pumpkin spice muffins whose ingredients include coconut oil, coconut sugar and coconut milk; and coconut-braised whiskey ribs, a recipe whose name gives away the secret ingredient.

“I got a lot of surprised looks when I’d tell people I was writing a coconut cookbook,” Seymour said. “But trust me, coconut is on its way to being the next big thing.”

More in Life

New documentary chronicles Obama’s last year in White House

“The Final Year” doesn’t paint the administration in rosy colors, but it isn’t too critical either.

‘Forever My Girl’ takes a page from the Nicholas Sparks genre

The film based on a novel by Heidi McLaughlin is a well-worn tale of lost love and redemption.

Curries continues home-cooked Indian cuisine at new location

The restaurant, now located on Evergreen Way, also puts an Indian spin on Northwest cooking.

International guitar tour led by Lulo Reinhardt stops in Edmonds

International Guitar Night, now in its 18th year, is Jan. 24 at the Edmonds Center for the Arts.

New Cascadia Art Museum exhibit showcases mid-century designs

The exhibition includes ceramics, furniture, clothing, sculpture and jewelry from 1948 to 1966.

This beefy ex-cop has a delicate hobby: intricate paper-cut art

You can see Tom Sacco’s creations at the upcoming Everett Art Walk.

Slow-roasted vegetables make sumptuous sauce for pasta

Make the basic but good spaghetti with red sauce blissfully better with this recipe.

Mocking meatloaf: One man’s loaf is another man’s poison

Some don’t like it and some do. Here are six meatloaf recipes to try.

Roasted Brussels sprouts can be the apple of picky eater’s eye

Toasted sesame seeds and diced apple add flavors that compliment the sprouts’ earthiness.

Most Read