Coconut (that humble hairy fruit we’ve always been aware of but have seldom taken seriously) now has a growing band of supporters who claim it is a superfood.

The claim for superfood status is based on new research and a recently released body of evidence that says coconut is not the fat laden nasty earlier dieticians believed it to be. In fact quite the reverse. Coconut and virgin coconut oil in particular, are now believed by many to have properties that can prevent, or even cure, a wide range of ailments ranging from heart disease to Alzheimer’s. Also coconut health benefits include increased energy, weight loss, natural antibiotic activity, cholesterol reduction and insulin stabilisation.

At Moore Wilson’s, we have always offered coconuts, primarily imported from Tonga, amongst our fresh fruit. One thing is for certain, however, there has been a remarkable surge of interest in a range of coconut by-products that extends way beyond the widely used Asian cuisine ingredients of coconut milk and coconut cream.

Virgin Coconut Oil (non-hydrogenated virgin coconut oil) is the closest plant-based oil to butter in that it stays solid when cold, softens slightly when at room temperature and liquefies when heated. When buying coconut oil it is important to look for virgin oil which is obtained by cold pressing rather than through chemical extraction. Coconut oil‘s high smoke point makes it fantastic for cooking. It also has a pleasant sweet mellow taste that adds a slight unassuming flavour to foods without overpowering other tastes. You can use coconut oil for just about anything from spreading it on your morning toast or pancakes to using it in place of butter in sauces and baking. Coconut oil is even used by some as a hair and skin moisturiser.

Coconut Flour is a soft flour produced from dried coconut meat. Low carbohydrate, high fibre and gluten-free, coconut flour is the darling in the world of wheat-free baking. A word of caution however: baking with coconut flour does require special techniques to produce good results. For instance coconut flour is extraordinarily absorbent so in some cases very little coconut flour is required to produce a recipe.

Coconut Sugar shouldn't be confused with palm sugar which is made from a different palm tree. Coconut sugar, made from coconut tree sap, is similar to regular sugar although it is claimed by the Philippine Dept of Agriculture to have a much lower glycemic (GI) index. It also contains additional minerals not found in normal sugar like iron, zinc and calcium.

Desiccated Coconut this traditional baking product has long been available at Moore Wilson’s and these days has been joined by a fine version and a chunky version that features larger coconut flakes.

Coconut Water is the clear liquid found inside young green coconuts. Much touted for its ability to replace electrolytes, coconut water is now widely used as a natural alternative to chemical laden sports drinks.

Coconut Sweetened Condensed Milk a vegan alternative to traditional condensed milk. Coconut Sweetened Condensed Milk is free from dairy, lactose, soy and gluten with a rich coconut flavour. Experiment with it in any recipe calling for condensed milk!

Coconut Milk and Cream Coconut milk has the liquid consistency of cow's milk and is made from simmering one part shredded coconut in one part water. Coconut milk is the basis of most Thai curries. Coconut cream is much thicker and richer. It is made from simmering four parts shredded coconut in one part water. The cream that rises to the top of a can of coconut milk is also considered coconut cream.

Coconut Ice Cream & Drinking Milk Little Island ‘Nice-cream’ is not only dairy and gluten free, it’s also vegan, nut free and soy free so it’s especially allergy friendly — and best of all, it actually tastes great! Containing less sugar and half the fat of regular ice cream, it’s a healthier dessert option too.

Little Island also produce a Coconut Drinking Milk - an experience similar to regular milk but without the dairy. It’s perfect for smoothies, muesli, coffee or drinking straight from the bottle. With the addition of the best Fairtrade organic cocoa, the Chocolate Coconut Milk is a rich but not-too-sweet treat.

Coconut Yoghurt another great alternative to dairy-based yoghurts. Coconut yoghurt has less sugar than most yoghurts and a unique flavour. At Moore Wilson's Fresh you'll find a range of thick and creamy coconut yoghurts including Coyo, The Raglan Coconut Yoghurt Co and Cathedral Cove.

See our full range of coconut products at Moore Wilson's Fresh Tory Street.