Considering the Coconut
A lot of people have had the pleasure of spending some time on a tropical island and having a green coconut plucked from a palm, shaved, and had a straw stuck into it through which they could sip the refreshing liquid.
But the coconuts most folks are in the States are familiar with are older and have that hairy wooden husk. Still, what’s inside and even outside is very good indeed.The mature coconut isn’t used just for food. People cook with and make cosmetics out of coconut oil, and they drink and cook with coconut milk. There’s also coconut butter and coconut flour. The husk is used for fuel and to make coir floor mats and mattress stuffing. Of course, the white flesh is eaten both dried and fresh.
Scientists aren’t entirely sure where the coconut originates, but the coconut palm is at least 37 million years old and has probably been used by humans for at least 2,000 years.
Packed with Power
Given its creamy texture, a person might suspect that a fresh coconut meat has a lot of fat, and they’d be right. There’s 33.49g of fat per 100g of coconut. The meat is also packed with lots of carbohydrates and sugars. The carbohydrates come in at 24.23g, while the sugars come in at 6.23g. The coconut has a fair amount of fiber, about 9g and water, at about 47g.
But it’s also rich in vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid. Vitamin B5 helps the body metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteins and helps fight infection. Coconut is also high in iron, which is necessary for the production of red blood cells. Coconut has lots of phosphorus, which transports those nutrients that support the calcification of bones and teeth. Coconut is rich in zinc. Zinc is crucial to the health of the immune system and for normal growth.
And it’s healthy because…
The health benefits of coconuts appear to be legion. The coconut has been credited with killing viruses, bacteria and fungi and ridding the body of parasites. It can also support the pancreas and enzymes and reduces the complications of diabetes. It can protect a person against osteoporosis and inflammatory bowel diseases and keep hair and skin glowing and youthful. It’s also absolutely non-toxic and normally has no bad side effects.
Pick yours out
A shopper should pick a coconut that’s hefty for its size and sounds and feels full of water when it’s shaken. An unopened coconut can be kept at room temperature for as long as four months, but when the coconut’s opened the flesh can be put in a plastic bag and kept in the fridge for about four days or in the freezer for about six months.
Looking for a great way to enjoy coconut? Try these coconut lime bars! [recipe here.] More coconut recipes here!
How do you get your coconut goodness on? Share below!
Diane Gill says
I love your blog ! Thanks for the interesting facts about coconuts. I can’t wait for the recipe tomorrow!!
I love fresh coconut but have not found a way to open them that is not a HUGE amount of work – if you have any secret methods for that job I’d love to hear about them!
And once it is open it takes a long time to separate the meat from the husk – I tend to think of it as a lot more trouble than it is worth even though I love the fresh meat of a coconut.
Your Lighter Side says
I typically buy the unsweetened, dessicated coconut for that very reason!
Looking forward to the great recipe for these bars…….they look yummy!
Stephanie KL says
We use extra virgin coconut oil for cooking and baking, drink coconut milk, the canned whole coconut milk for cooking and baking, eat the unsweetened coconut flakes or use in a variety of recipes and, of course, bake with coconut flour or use it as a breading or thickener. All that goodness in one little orb.
Stephanie KL says
I must say how disappointed I was not to see the recipe for the Coconut Lime Bars but then again anticipation is a great thing. I look forward to tomorrow! Thanks for all of the vitamin information you’ve been providing lately. I find it valuable.
Jackie Loska says
Thank you for the info! looking forward to the recipe!