Until recent years, the most exposure afforded the common coconut was via singer Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut” song from 1971 (”Put the lime in the coconut and call me in the morning”).
Jump to now, and we find there’s some confusion about how to classify a coconut. Is it a nut, a seed or a fruit? Most sources say it’s a “drupe,” which they classify as a “stone fruit.” Other sources say the coconut can get away with posing as a seed (a.k.a. nut), a fruit and a vegetable (because of the oil extracted from it).
We’re bowing out of the discussion, except to say that holistic nutritionist Stephanie Pedersen makes a lot of claims for the coconut in her new book “Coconut: The Complete Guide to the World’s Moster Versatile Superfood” (Superfood Series, $15, 192 pages). It joins the parade of coconut-centric books at the vanguard of the coconut is-great-for-you movement (”Coconut Cures,” “The Coconut Miracle Cookbook,” “Coconut Oil Deodorant Recipe with Essential Oils”).
Pedersen writes, “I have my own unofficial proof that coconut is one of the health world’s most popular power foods.” Hmm. Does popularity equal dietary efficacy?
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Regardless, she goes on to tell readers everything they choose to know about coconuts’s nutrition profile and its water, flour, milk, cream, butter, yogurt, kefir, sugar, nectar, oil and vinegar. Then come the recipes, which look pretty good: avocado-coconut dip, coconut pasta, fish baked in coconut milk, almond coconut pound cake and the like.
Doesn’t matter if you’re a true believer or not, the book is interesting and informative on its own. Just approach it with a few grains of coconut salt.
Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter @apierleonisacbe.