Coconuts are a life giving plant – healthy and versatile with a ton of uses. A few of them might surprise you too!
In tropical countries, coconut products are everywhere you look.
You can find them in:
- beauty products
- handmade tools and decor
Jewelry, art and ropes are just a few ways coconut is used.
Coconut is also known as ”jewel of the tropics” and for good reason!
5 Ways to Use Coconut in Your Kitchen
1. Coconut water: It's the liquid inside the tender, young coconuts. It's full of electrolytes, potassium, sodium and digestible sugars. It also contains inorganic ions like calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. It's one of the best post workout and sports drinks.
Coconut water also provides a nutrient called cytokinin, that has anti-aging effects.Tweet
2. Coconut milk: It comes form blending the coconut meat with water. Used in soups, stews, puddings and in smoothies.
The fat in coconut milk is easy to digest and soothes the digestive tract. The fat can be used to make a healthy whipped cream too!
3. Coconut flour: Most used in baking, it comes from dried meat of coconuts. It is rich in fiber and gluten-free which makes it a great ingredient for baked goods like this healthy pizza crust.
Coconut is anti-inflammatory in nature, which makes it ideal for people with chronic inflammation.
4. Coconut sugar: Coconut sugar comes from the flowers of the coconut palms. They are less processed which retains the nutrients and have a low glycemic index.
It's a great replacement for white sugar, use equal amounts to replace a cup of white sugar in recipes. This Amazing Paleo Apple Crisp recipe my friend shared with me is so yummy, you'll never even miss the white sugar!
5. Coconut meat: It is the fleshy inner part of the hard coconut shell. The meat of a tender coconut is soft and delicate.
Meat from matured coconut is tough and crunchy. The tough meat when scraped becomes the coconut flakes used as a topping, and in desserts.
Studies show that consuming coconuts helps to relax blood vessels and dilate. This helps to lower high blood pressure.
Surprising ways to use coconut outside of the kitchen
Coconut butter: Fresh meat of coconut ground to a smooth paste gives the coconut butter. Besides use in cooking, it acts as a face pack, and hair conditioner and moisturizer .
Coconut oil: It's used for cooking but it's also a great beauty product.
People in tropics use it as hair oil to prevent premature graying and hair loss. It is one of the chief ingredients in soap making as well. I got the chance to make homemade coconut oil in Bali and I'll never look at my huge jar of coconut oil the same way again.
A Few Other uses
Coconut coir: Coconut's brown coir fiber is often used as dish scrub in many tropical areas. It's a nontoxic, eco-friendly way to remove stubborn grease from dishes. Best of all they make a great compost after many uses.
Coconut shells: Coconut shells are best for decorative purposes, cooking utensils like ladles, cups. It's good for gardening – as a compost or to grow seedlings. In some countries it's even used as fuel.
How to buy and store coconuts
- While buying a whole coconut choose ones that are not cracked or punctured.
- Heavier coconuts tend to have more water than lighter ones.
- Shake the coconut to judge its water content. If the inside is dry, the coconut is too mature and may not taste good.
- You can store a whole coconut for a month in the refrigerator. Opened ones stay good only for 3 – 4 days.
Next time you see a coconut in your grocery store, buy it. It's inexpensive and has a ton of valuable uses.
Yours in Health,
P.S. Please share this info. with your friends and I welcome your comments below.