Coconuts are not tree nuts. True or False? Well, that is not so easy to determine it seems.
Coconuts are drupes, which are large seeds with a hard shell. They are not nuts. However, the FDA added some confusion to this matter by stating in 2006 that they are tree nuts. Well, just because they say coconuts are tree nuts, does not actually make them tree nuts.
Now, someone could be allergic to coconuts I suppose (it’s rare), but that does not mean they are allergic to tree nuts or that all of sudden coconuts are tree nuts. And just because someone is allergic to tree nuts, does not mean they would have an allergic reaction to coconuts.
Based on research I did and information I found on The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, and other websites, I do not consider coconuts tree nuts. Therefore, if I use coconut spread, cream or oil in a recipe I will still tag that recipe as “tree nut free.” By the way, I am allergic to almonds and walnuts and do not have any fears consuming foods with coconut in them.
That being said, if you suffer from tree nut allergies, please check with your physician as to whether or not you can consume products/foods containing coconuts.
Here are some informational links for you to read regarding coconuts and whether they are tree nuts or have allergenic properties.