In most tropical countries the coconut is an essential part of the local diet. Sometimes it is even referred to as “Queen of Foods” due to the great number of healthy ingredients. Find out more about this delicious fruit in this post!
Despite the name, the coconut is actually a stone fruit and not a nut. Its skin is usually somewhere between green, yellow, and orange.
Coconuts can be found in Brazil, the Dominican Republic, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and other countries.
It can be harvested year-round. The young, green coconut is usually six to eight months old. Ripe coconuts are about twelve months old and have a weight of up to 2,5 kg.
Layers of a Coconut
At your supermarket, the Exocarp and Mesocarp have usually already been removed.
- Green, yellow, or orange skin (Exocarp)
- Fibrous, fleshy layer (Mesocarp)
- Brown, fibrous, woody layer (Endocarp)
- Red, brown skin and white meat
- Water on the inside
The meat is very aromatic and can be eaten raw. More ripe fruits contain more meat and less fluid. Their water also tastes sweeter. But if there is no or very little water left on the inside, you should consider throwing the coconut away.
Ingredients of a Coconut
Full of antibacterial fats, high-quality protein, minerals and vitamins, here is a list of ingredients of this amazing fruit:
- Water (45%)
- Fats (36,5%)
- Fibres (9%)
- Sugar (4,8%)
- Protein (4%)
- Minerals (1,2%)
Minerals included are potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphor, iron, zinc, manganese, selenium, and copper. Furthermore, lauric acid can help your body get rid of harmful germs.
10 Reasons to Eat Coconuts: How it Can Help You
- Strengthens your immune system
- Decreases your risk of heart diseases
- Helps with losing weight
- Acts antibacterial and antiviral
- Balances your body fats
- Supports the action of your bowels
- Helps detox
- Prevents infections
- Protects your liver from damages caused by alcohol
- Suitable for diabetics
Products Made Out Of Coconuts
You probably knew that coconuts can be used in the kitchen, medicine, and cosmetics. But did you know that even the shell can be used to produce lamps, music instruments, and other products?
Here are some of the more popular products made out of coconuts and how they can be used:
Coconut oil is probably the most famous product made out of coconuts. To produce it, recently harvested and gently dried coconut meat gets pressed. Thanks to the minimal processing most of the aroma, antioxidants, and vitamins are conserved.
The oil is white in color and gets liquid at around 25 degrees. It can be used both as a beauty product and for cooking, frying, and baking, as it is very heat-resistant. There are even versions available without the typical aroma for those who only want a healthier alternative to their frying oil.
Coconut flour is a byproduct of the production of coconut oil. It is gluten-free and therefore a great alternative to conventional flour for everyone suffering from celiac disease.
Unlike flour, the flakes still contain fat when they are rasped. They are often used for cakes, pralines, and macaroons.
Basically bigger flakes, the chips are perfect for your muesli or as a finger food together with nuts and dried fruits.
You can just go ahead and drink the water as it is or use it for smoothies or cocktails. It is very suitable for hot summer days and after exercising thanks to the contained minerals. One can find up to 800 ml in young fruit (six to eight months old).
Coconut milk is made out of white coconut meat. Often dried first, it is puréed with water and pressed after. This process can also be done at home using coconut flakes.
Because of the high amount of medium-chain fatty acids, it is a great energy source. It is used as a substitute for milk in cocktails, smoothies, fruit juices or the Asian cuisine.
To produce syrup, flower stalks are scratched. The emerging liquid is then cooked. Because of the vitamins and essential amino acids, coconut syrup is used as a healthy alternative to plain sugar.
When you caramelize syrup, you get coconut sugar. It has a low glycemic index (GI) of 35 and is therefore suitable for people suffering from diabetes, overweight, heart problems, cancer, or gall stones.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Coconut a fruit?
Yes. Despite the name, a coconut is actually a stone fruit.
Is Coconut a nut?
No. Despite the name, a coconut is actually a stone fruit.