Coconuts – 5 Unknown Facts and 5 Delicious Uses
Coconuts grow on the coconut palm – an ancient relative of the grass family that’s found mainly in tropical regions such as South and Central America, Africa, the southern coastal regions of Asia and the Polynesian and Hawaiian Islands. In ancient Sanskrit the coconut palm was referred to as ‘Kalpa Vriksha’, a divine tree that, thanks to its amazing versatility, provides all the necessities of life. Indeed coconuts are used to prepare an almost infinite array of aromatic superfood products, a tantalising selection of which can be ordered online at Detox Your World and are explored below.
1. Coconut oil
Deliciously fragrant coconut oil is rich in vegetable saturated fatty acids, contains no trans fats, sugars, carbohydrates or salt and can survive extremely high temperatures without losing any of its nutritional value or oxidising, making it the perfect alternative to vegetable oils for frying, stir-frying and roasting. It’s also ideal in your favourite smoothies and juices or used as an integral ingredient in raw chocolate and other raw food snacks. In addition, coconut oil is hypoallergenic and can be applied directly to skin, where it works as a gentle, yet incredibly nourishing moisturiser.
2. Coconut sugar
Organic coconut sugar is a yummy natural superfood sweetener made from coconut blossom nectar, which contains a variety of beneficial nutrients including vitamins (especially B vitamins) and minerals (such as magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium) and boasts an intensely sweet flavour often compared to butterscotch. Unlike ordinary sugar, organic coconut sugar is not heated, bleached or processed in any other way and is suitable for vegetarians, vegans and those on a rawfood diet. And, as it has a very low Glycaemic Index value of just 35, organic coconut sugar is the perfect sugar substitute for diabetics.
3. Desiccated coconut
Desiccated coconut is made from fresh coconut flesh, which has been dried at low temperatures to retain an optimal number of valuable nutrients including vitamins (vitamins B and C) and minerals (such as magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and potassium). Gluten-free desiccated coconut adds a decidedly sweet and exotic flavour to hot and cold meals, breakfast cereals and raw chocolate, cakes, snacks and desserts and, as it absorbs a significant amount of water, can be used to thicken food and drinks.
4. Coconut milk
Coconut milk comes from fresh, green coconuts and is naturally rich in vitamins and minerals. As it’s free from additives and animal derived proteins it’s an ideal milk or soya replacement for those who are lactose intolerant. Detox Your World is proud to stock Dr. Martins' Organic Coco Milk, a premium quality, entirely vegetable, cholesterol-free, organic
coconut milk that’s made from spring water, coconut juice and coconut pulp and is ideal for the preparation of smoothies, salad dressings and raw cacao based desserts. Its fragrant flavour is also a prefect match for all manner of Asian, African and Caribbean dishes.
5. Coconut juice
Coconut juice is the ultimate in refreshment and rehydration – and Dr Martins' Coco Juice is a particularly thirst quenching version made from the organic juice of green coconuts. Dr Martins' Coco Juice, available from Detox Your World, is rich in vitamin C and amino acids, brimming with potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium and is free from cholesterol, lactose, milk proteins, preservatives and colourings, making it an exceptionally wholesome alternative to fizzy drinks.
5 Unknown coconut facts -
1) The coconut derived its name from the 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish word ‘coco’ (which means head or skull) after the three small holes on the coconut shell that resemble human facial features.
2) Coconuts are used for both culinary and cosmetic purposes and coconut trees provide over 100 sustainable products for local farmers including, including wood for construction, leaves for roofing and bark for fuel.
3) Whereas the majority of plants have tap roots, the coconut tree has a fibrous root system and obtains its nutrition from thin roots that branch out from the trunk.
4) The coconut is not really a nut, but rather a ‘drupe’ - a type of fruit with a fleshy part that surrounds a shell (the pit) with a kernel inside.
5) In traditional Hindu wedding ceremonies, a coconut is placed over the opening of a pot as a symbolic representation of a womb.