Coconut, this very exotic and mysterious fruit is another beautiful gift of Nature to us. Not only can you drink the water, but also the tasty white flesh is used for many purposes, both culinary and cosmetic. In Venezuela we have plenty of coconut trees. At the beach you can enjoy fresh coconut water straight from the tree. In Caracas, there are little carts all over the city selling bottled coconut water; it’s also easy to find them in supermarkets nowadays.
Benefits of Coconut
Not only can you drink the water, but also the tasty white flesh is used for many purposes, both culinary and cosmetic. While coconuts have gain popularity for their purported disease-fighting properties, many of the claims are either unsupported by research or simply inflated by food manufacturers. With that said, there is evidence that components of coconut may promote weight loss and better heart health.
How to Cook Use Coconut
Very widely used in curries, South American dishes, smoothies, creams and oils for the hair and body. BUT be AWARE of the creamy milk, which is very high in fat (and calories of course). Coconut milk should also be refrigerated and consumed within three days.
Tips and Notes
How to Crack Open Coconut:
- Poke the skewer through the softest of the three “eyes” of the coconut, working it around to create a 1/2-inch hole.
- Drain the coconut water into a bowl. There should be around 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup. If the juice does not taste fresh, throw the coconut away.
- Holding the coconut with a towel, firmly tap the shell with the hammer, turning as needed, until the shell starts to crack in half.
- When it is cracked all the way around, split the shell and lay the coconut cut side down on a kitchen towel.
- Tap the shell firmly to loosen the flesh.
- Carefully pry the flesh from the shell with a butter knife.
- Once the flesh is release, remove the thin brown skin with a vegetable peeler. You can grate, shred, or juice the flesh as needed.
Nutrients and Calories
Coconut water, besides hydrating the whole body in an amazing way, is very rich in magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamins B and C: beneficial for the balance function of the thyroid hormone.