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Coconuts are extensively used in Hindu religious rites. Coconuts are usually offered to the gods, and a coconut is smashed on the ground or on some object as part of an initiation or inauguration of building projects, facility, ship, etc., taking the place of Champagne in western culture.
All parts of the coconut palm are useful, and the trees have a comparatively high yield (up to 75 "nuts" per year); it therefore has significant economic value. The name for the coconut palm in Sanskrit is kalpa vriksha, which translates as "the tree which provides all the necessities of life". In Malay, the coconut is known as pokok seribu guna, "the tree of a thousand uses". In the Philippines, the coconut is commonly given the title "Tree of Life".
Uses of the various parts of the palm include:
1. The white, fleshy part of the seed is edible and used fresh or dried (desiccated) in cooking.
2. The cavity is filled with "coconut water" containing sugars, fibre, proteins, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals, which provide excellent isotonic electrolyte balance, and an exceptional nutritional food source, which is why it is used as a refreshing drink throughout the humid tropics. It is also used in the making of the gelatinous dessert Nata de Coco. Mature fruits have significantly less liquid than young immature coconuts. Coconut water is sterile until the coconut is opened (unless the coconut is spoiled).
3. Coconut milk (which is approximately 17% fat) is made by processing grated coconut with hot water or hot milk which extracts the oil and aromatic compounds from the fibre.
4. Coconut cream is what rises to the top when coconut milk is refrigerated and left to set.
5. The leftover fibre from coconut milk production is used as livestock feed.
6. The sap derived from incising the flower clusters of the coconut form a drink known as "toddy" or, in the Philippines, tuba.
7. Apical buds of adult plants are edible and are known as "palm-cabbage" (though harvest of this kills the tree).
8. The interior of the growing tip may be harvested as heart-of-palm and is considered a rare delicacy. Harvesting this also kills the tree. Hearts of palm are often eaten in salads; such a salad is sometimes called "millionaire's salad".
9. The coir (the fibre from the husk of the coconut) is used in ropes, mats, brushes, caulking boats and as stuffing fibre; it is also used extensively in horticulture for making potting compost.
10. Copra is the dried meat of the seed which is the source of coconut oil.
11. The trunks provide building timbers.
12. The leaves provide materials for baskets and roofing thatch.
13. The husk and shells can be used for fuel and are a good source of charcoal.
14. Hawaiians hollowed the trunk to form a drum, a container, or even small canoes.
15. The wood can be used for specialized construction (notably in Manila's Coconut Palace).
16. Coconut sap is fermented to produce toddy.
17. The stiff leaflet midribs make cooking skewers, kindling arrows, or bound into bundles, brooms and brushes.
18. The roots are used as a dye, a mouthwash, or a medicine for dysentery. A frayed-out piece of root makes a poor man's toothbrush.
19. Half coconut shells are used in theatres, banged together to create the sound effect of a horse hoofbeats
20. Dried half coconut shells are used to buff floors.
21. In fairgrounds, a coconut shy is a popular target practice game, and coconuts are commonly given as prizes.
22. A coconut can be hollowed out and used as a home for a rodent or small bird.
23. Coconut water can be used as a replacement for blood plasma during a transfusion.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Coconut".
Other Coconut Resources:
Coconut Lover's Cookbook
The Coconut Diet : The Secret Ingredient That Helps You Lose Weight While You Eat Your Favorite Foods
The Coconut Oil Miracle
Eat Fat, Lose Fat: Lose Weight And Feel Great With The Delicious, Science-based Coconut Diet
Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut
Recipes are Provided by
- Wellness Directory of Minnesota
Ambrosia Fruit Salad
(Makes 12 to 16 servings)
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup Coco Lopez® Cream of Coconut
2 cups (1 pint) Border or Meadow Gold® Whipping cream,
2 cups Campfire® Miniature Marshmallows
1 (15-1/4-ounce) can crushed pineapple, well drained
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin orange segments, drained
1 (10-ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained and cut in half
½ cup chopped pecans
In large mixer bowl, beat cheese until fluffy. Gradually add cream of coconut, beating until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Fold in remaining ingredients. Pour into 8-inch square dish. Cover; refrigerate overnight. Cut into squares; garnish as desired. Refrigerate leftovers.
Individual servings: Spoon ½ cup mixture into 18 (2 1/2 inch) foil baking cups. Proceed as above. (Make 18 servings)
Quick Dijon Dipping Sauce
For chicken tenders, prawns, etc.>(Makes about 1 cup)
1/2 cup Coco Lopez® Cream of Coconut
1/2 cup Dijon-style mustard
In small bowl, combine ingredients; mix well.
Serve with your favorite appetizers.
- Recipe from CocoLopez.com Cream of Coconut.
Organic Coconut Carrot Cake
8oz organic grated carrots
8oz organic soft brown sugar (can be replaced with just under 8oz of Sucanat™ and a tablespoon of Maple Syrup)
6oz Coconut Oil
4oz organic whole wheat baking flour
2oz organic chopped walnuts
2 organic free range eggs
Grated peel of 1 organic orange
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Beat all the above ingredients together and place in a baking tin greased with virgin coconut oil. Cook in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes. (Check with a fork - the cake is ready when it doesn't stick)
Fizzy Yogurt Cooler
(Makes 4 servings)
2 (8-ounce) containers Borden Lite®
or Viva® Pineapple Yogurt
1 (15-ounce) can Coco Lopez® Cream of Coconut Club soda
or lemon-lime soda
In blender container, combine yogurt and cream of coconut; blend until smooth. Divide mixture among 4 tall glasses. Add club soda and ice to fill glasses. Stir; serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers.
Coconut Lime Pie
(Makes one 9-inch pie)
1 (9-inch) baked pastry shell or graham cracker crumb crust
1 cup water 1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons ReaLime® Lime Juice from Concentrate
1 (15-ounce) can Coco Lopez® Cream of Coconut
1 cup (1/2 pint) Borden® or Meadow Gold® Whipping Cream,
whipped or 1 (4-ounce) container frozen non-dairy
whipped topping, thawed (1 3/4 cups)
2 tablespoons flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 350°. In heavy saucepan, combine water, cornstarch and ReaLime® brand; mix well. In small bowl, beat eggs; add to lime mixture. Add cream of coconut; mix well. Over medium heat, cook and stir until mixture boils and thickens, about 12 to 15 minutes. Pour into prepared pastry shell. Cool. Fold coconut into whipped cream; spread on top of pie. Chill. Refrigerate leftovers.
Coconut Batter Shrimp
(Makes 4 to 6 servings)
2 pounds medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups unsifted flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup ReaLemon® brand
1 (15-ounce) can Coco Lopez® Cream of Coconut
1 (3 1/2 ounce) can flaked coconut
Pat shrimp dry; coat with ½ cup flour. In large bowl, combine remaining 1½ cups flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Stir in ReaLemon® brand, cream of coconut and flaked coconut; mix well. Dip shrimp into batter. Fry in hot oil until golden brown; drain on paper towels. Serve with dipping sauces.
<2>Pseudo Girl Scout Cookies - Vegan Samoas! - Yield 20-30 Cookies
Adapted from Cooking the Whole Foods Way: Your Complete, Everyday Guide to Healthy, Delicious Eating with 500 VeganRecipes, Menus, Techniques, Meal Planning, Buying Tips, Wit, and Wisdom by Christina Pirello.
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry).
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup ground pecans
1/2 cup chopped pecans I decreased this to 1/4 cup and threw in 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup brown rice syrup (or a combination of brown rice syrup and maple syrup) I used 1/3 cup agave nectar and 2/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients, using your hands at the end if necessary. Drop rounded spoonfuls onto lightly oiled baking sheet (I used parchment
paper- watch out, these cookies spread out quite a bit during baking!) and bake for approximately 14 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
When working with coconut oil, be sure that all other ingredients are at room temperature or else you will get oil lumps. It may help to mix the oil with shredded coconut before adding other ingredients. My coconut oil was solidified, so I microwaved it for about 10 seconds. Do not overmix! Your cookies will be very tough if you do. Mix until ingredients are just combined. Do not overbake! Your cookies will be hard as rocks. Brown rice syrup tends to make cookies crunchy, so be aware of this and proceed accordingly. Increase the proportion of maple syrup to create a chewier cookie or decrease baking time. When you take out your cookies after 14 mintues, they will be so soft, you will be tempted to let them bake some more, but don't do it! These will firm up quite a bit. I'd say definitely use agave or maple syrup as part of your sweetener if you want a more chewy cookie.
Mix both ingredients together. Put in an ice tray and freeze overnight. Cut in squares and eat with a spoon.
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Mountain Rose Herbs
Starwest Botanicals Inc.