Cocos nucifera or coconut is widely found in tropical areas of the world, as it prefers warm and humid climate to grow. In many of the tropical countries, coconuts have been used as a staple food for thousands of years. People in the tropics believe that one can solely depend on coconuts as food and still survive, as it has all the essential nutrients required by the human body. A favorite in many Asian countries, coconut has been used in the preparation of variety of dishes. People have mastered the different ways in which this nutrient rich food can be used in culinary arts.
The water, meat, milk and oil obtained from the coconut are used as food. Tender coconut water is a thirst-quenching, nutritious drink that Mother Nature has provided for the people living in the tropics. The delightful and refreshing taste of the coconut water is one quality of coconuts that people all over the world rejoice. Many are also attracted to tender coconut water as it is very beneficial for the body. Tender coconut water is rich in vital nutrients and it has electrolytes in the right amounts to bring about an isotonic balance to the body.
The meat or flesh of the coconut, called kernel, which is found lining inside the coconut, can be used as food in a few ways. The young meat is jelly-like and very soft. It can be drunk along with the coconut water. In mature coconuts, the meat is hard and deliciously sweet. Dried tuna or boiled taro eaten with coconut kernel makes a great snack.
The mature coconut kernel is mostly used in cooking. Grated coconut kernel is used to prepare a wide range of dishes. Mixed with water, thick coconut milk can be obtained from the grated coconut. Curries, porridges, cakes and many more are prepared using coconut milk. Coconut milk added while cooking rice improves its taste.
Coconut oil is an edible vegetable oil obtained from coconut kernel. It is considered one of the healthiest oils on earth. Consuming this oil, which is dominated by medium-chained fatty acids, is proven to promote better heart health as it is responsible for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Coconut oil is used to make sauces and prepare salad dressings. It can also be used for frying purposes. Butter made from coconut oil can be eaten with bread.
People may not be aware of the fact that coconuts grow into new palms from the ones that have fallen off from the parent palm and been sitting on damp ground for a while. As palm starts to grow, the liquid inside the coconut and part of the coconut meat solidifies producing a fruit-like formation. This fruit-like formation, which has a yellow outer covering, is sweet to the taste, soft, delicately flavored and melts in the mouth.
This article was first posted on Gomestic