Whole coconuts

Interesting fact: The hairy brown ovoid is not a true nut but the stone of a drupe, which makes it related to peaches and plums. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)

Glossary

Here are just a few coconut products that might find their way into your kitchen:

Coconut milk, canned: Thick product, in regular and reduced-fat (light) versions.

Coconut milk, refrigerated: Coconut cream plus water. May be fortified with calcium and vitamins; available sweetened, unsweetened, flavored.

Coconut, cultured: Similar in style to yogurts, kefir.

Coconut, dried: Can be sweetened or unsweetened. In flakes, shreds or chunks. Dessicated is a form of dried coconut.

Coconut, cream of: Sweetened coconut product mainly used in mixed drinks.

Coconut oil: Coconut meat is pressed to produce the fat. Good for frying, sauteing.

Coconut spreads: Coconut oil is the primary ingredient; may contain other oils.

Nutrition comparisons:

How fats stack up

Per tablespoon:

Coconut oil: 117 calories, 13.6 g fat, 11.7 g sat fat

Butter: 102 calories, 11.5 g fat, 7.3 g sat fat

Olive oil: 119 calories, 13.5 g fat, 1.9 g sat fat

… and the protein

Per cup:

Coconut milk: 0 to 1 g

Dairy milk: 8 g

Soy milk: 8 g