Oil contains no additives,” Lopez tells me.
Cold-pressed virgin coconut oil, which is made
from about 1-year-old nuts that go straight from the
tree to the processing plant, has a light, sweet coconut ;avor. Re;ned coconut oil, which includes oil
from coconuts that are damaged, old or degraded,
and are no longer considered suitable for virgin
coconut oil, has a neutral ;avor.
Organic coconut oil can be used for roasting,
sautéing and frying. It also serves as an alternative to
butter and as a ;avorful substitute for shortening or
other oils in baking, for those who want to change
their routine with a new ;avor.
In its solid state, coconut oil is white. At warmer
temperatures it melts into a
clear liquid; when cooled it
turns white again and may
have crystal-like components or light yellowing at
the bottom of the jar. ;is is
In addition to food,
coconut oil is extremely
popular for beauty applications; see the sidebar for
Coconut milk comes
from pulverizing the meat of coconuts. It has a high
oil content with a consistency similar to cow’s milk,
making it ideal for cooking, baking and drinking.
My favorite ;ai soup is laden with coconut milk,
giving it a creamy, delicious ;avor. (Substituting light
coconut milk in recipes can help reduce calories.)
Coconut milk may be found at some Costco warehouses in the U.S.
Coconut water, from the center of the fruit, is
a clear, refreshing liquid. It has become popular as
a sports drink because it contains electrolytes, and
o;ers a refreshing alternative for hydration.
“Costco began carrying coconut water in 2009,
and sales skyrocketed,” Kristen Hayes, Costco buyer,
dry groceries, tells me. “In 2015, we launched
Kirkland Signature Organic Coconut Water, which is
pure coconut water, not made from concentrate.”
Costco’s 11-ounce cartons come in a case of 12 for
an amazing value of only $9.99. Coconut water is
not only great to drink, but is also my favorite key
ingredient for fruit smoothies (see recipe above).
Coconut meat is the ;esh from inside the coco-
nut and contains a lot of dietary ;ber and saturated
fat. It’s delicious fresh or dried and
;aked for cooking and baking. It can
also be made into coconut butter, which
has the creamy consistency of peanut butter.
I toast ;aked coconut for snacks and salads,
and I love coconut macaroons, chock-full of tender
“Another popular Costco product is coconut
co;ee,” says Jaime Leal, Costco regional buyer. “Since
we started carrying it, sales have been on ;re. It’s
a powdered co;ee drink consisting of dehydrated
coconut meat, sugar and Colombian co;ee, and is
delicious.” It’s nondairy, with no preservatives,
and can also be mixed into pancakes or smoothies
for a unique ;avor.
Coconut sugar comes
from the sap of the coconut
;ower. I use it in my co;ee as
a ;avorful alternative to cane
sugar. Some Costco warehouses carry coconut sugar.
Costco buyers are heav-
ily involved in the develop-
ment of coconut products
for the Kirkland Signature
brand, but a product line can take up to two years
to create before being o;ered to Costco members.
“Traceability in the supply chain is vital, from the
quality of the palm trees to the ;nished products,”
says Lopez. “Costco buyers source from several of
the best suppliers, from Indonesia to Vietnam, Sri
Lanka and the Philippines, in order to maintain
Costco buyers travel to meet coconut farmers
and walk the farms to view growing conditions.
They also inspect processing facilities for food
safety, employee conditions and cleanliness, as well
as many other aspects.
“We ensure that the coconut products selected
for our Kirkland Signature brand are of great quality with no other additives,” Lopez adds. “;ey also
have to be USDA certi;ed organic. Every step of the
tree-to-product process is evaluated, with the ultimate goal being to provide a delicious, quality product with excellent value to Costco members.”
Whether drinking coconut water or using coconut oil in my daily beauty regimen, I’m de;nitely
cuckoo for coconuts! C
COCONUT BANANA SMOOTHIE
1 cup Kirkland Signature Organic Coconut Water
¾ cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon protein powder
2 cups ice
Blend well and enjoy. Makes 1 serving.
OUR DIGITAL EDITIONS
Click here for a short video
showing a coconut harvester in
action. (See page 13 for details.)
ABOVE: © BRIDGE WELL AGRIBUSINESS, RIGH T: © SHAUNA LOPEZ
COCONUT OIL HAS many
uses, from the kitchen to your
cosmetics drawer, and can
offer inexpensive alternatives
to pricey beauty treatments
or products. Here are a few
tips for using coconut oil on
the hair and skin.
• Add 2 teaspoons of
Kirkland Signature Organic
Virgin Coconut Oil to 1 cup of
warm water. When the oil is
melted, massage the mixture
directly into scalp or just from
the top to the ends of the hair.
Wrap in a towel or shower
cap and let sit 1 to 2 hours
before thoroughly washing.
• Use a tiny bit of coconut oil on the ends of the
hair after it’s dry for
increased shine and luster.
• Aftershave: Warm a
small dab of coconut oil in
your hands and pat on
• Skin moisturizer: Apply
coconut oil to your entire
body right after showering, or
use it throughout the day to
keep your hands and face soft
• Lip balm: Put a small
container in your bag for
• Diaper cream: Keep
a small jar in baby’s diaper