Gluten-free, allergy-friendly, and whole foods ingredients are sometimes confusing. Everyone knows what carrots are. But what about arrowroot starch, coconut oil, umeboshi vinegar, or miso? Here is a growing glossary of ingredients that may be slightly off the beaten path.
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Oil from the flesh of the coconut, not to be confused with coconut butter. High in medium chain fatty acids and saturated fat, coconut oil is metabolized by the body slowly and is a good source of lauric acid, a naturally antimicrobial acid that helps to regulate healthy gut flora. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature and makes an excellent replacement for butter in recipes. Look for virgin varieties for highest quality. Has a light coconut flavor. I really like Wilderness Family Naturals, Nutiva and Tropical Traditions. If you want to spend very little money, you can also find decent and inexpensive coconut oil under the 365 Brand at Whole Foods; the flavor and texture isn't as good, but it gets the job done for about $6 for 16 oz.