Coconut has been gaining attention as the new super fruit . Yes, it contains vitamins, dietary fibre, protein etc. but so do other fruits so what makes the coconut so special? Worry not, I’ll tell you.
What makes coconut so special is its accessibility and versatility. You don’t have to travel far and wide to get it and you can get so many things done from just 1 coconut.
Let me give you three things you can get from coconut and the benefits.
1. Coconut milk
Coconut milk is a good source of saturated fat which helps with cardiovascular health, weight loss, absorption of calcium, liver health, nerve signaling etc. Coconut milk is also a good source of minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium. To prepare coconut milk you’ll need:
– 4 cups of water
– 2 cups of shredded coconut
Directions: Heat the water in a pot but do not let it boil. Place the shredded coconut in the blender and add the hot water. Let it steep for about 20-30 minutes and then blend until it is thick and creamy (about 2-3 minutes). Strain through a mesh strainer and then strain again through a towel. Refrigerate – it can last 2 -3 days if properly preserved.
2. Coconut flour
Coconut flour is gluten and grain free. Use only a small quantity because it soaks up more liquid than regular flour.
Directions: Spread the pulp that was leftover from making the milk out on a baking sheet or clean tray. Use a fork to break up the pulp. Now you can either leave it out for 24 hours to air dry or put it in an oven at the lowest setting for 4 hours. Once it’s dried, throw it back in the blender to make your flour. Store in an airtight container.
3. Coconut oil
Coconut oil has so many uses. It can be used as a body oil, hair conditioner, for cooking and in baking as a substitute for butter. You will need:
– Shredded coconut
Directions: Add some water to the grated coconut and mix well. Squeeze out the milk from the mix. You can do it with your hands, or use a piece of cloth to filter out the milk from the mix. Do it twice to extract more milk from the leftover. Do not overdo otherwise you will end up with lot of water in the extract. Pour the milk into a pot and heat. The coconut milk may boil up so use a wooden stick to stir the milk. Carry on till all the water gets evaporated from the mix. This may take considerable time as all the water needs to be evaporated. Now you can see oil bubbling on the surface of the heated milk. Remove from fire and allow the oily milk to cool down. Use a cloth to strain your oil from the milk and you are done. Store in an airtight container.