By Lauren Scott, Arizona Farm Bureau Intern
When you think of coconuts does your mind get swept to an island somewhere far away? Are you laying on white sands, sipping something coconut flavored, or better yet, drinking out of a coconut itself? Well, it doesn’t have to be summer, and you don’t have to be relaxing on a beach, to enjoy the tasty flavor and health benefits of coconut.
From coconut water to coconut flour, coconuts provide us with some awesome ingredients to use in our day-to-day cooking, or to consume by themselves. Here is a list of the coconut products you need in your life, and why!
- Coconut Water
Coconut water is not only tasty, but it is low in calories and has a TON of potassium. It is also fat and cholesterol free, making it the perfect beverage for those trying to watch their weight and cholesterol. It is also great for those people and kids who just don’t drink enough water, as it is lightly sweet, and therefore more appealing to sensitive taste buds.
Where does it come from? Coconut water comes from young coconuts that are usually still green at the time the water is extracted.
- Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is a creamy milk-like beverage that is great for people with an intolerance for lactose. It also has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties which means it may or may not be able to help lessen the symptoms of certain viruses and infections. The nutrients contained in coconut milk are not only good for your insides, but can be very beneficial to hair and skin as well, which is why you might find products at beauty stores that contain the ingredient.
Where does it come from? Coconut milk is made by grating the white flesh from the inside of the coconut and soaking it in hot water. ‘Coconut cream’ much like cream from dairy products, surfaces and is removed, leaving a remaining liquid. The liquid is filtered, and finally you have coconut milk.
- Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is exactly what it sounds like: oil that is extracted from coconuts. Like coconut milk, coconut oil has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Coconut oil is also full of fatty acids that help reduce the feeling of hunger and in doing so can help you to eat less and lose weight. Coconut oil is also great for hair and skin health just like coconut milk, and can be used as a moisturizer or hair mask.
Where does it come from? Coconut oil is derived from the dried and pressed flesh of the coconut.
- Coconut Flour
Coconut flour is a gluten free alternative to regular flour that is packed with fiber. It is also low in carbs, which means this is yet another coconut product that is good for people who are trying to watch their weight. It contains quite a bit of protein and healthy fats, as well.
Where does it come from? Coconut flour is created when the dried meat of the coconut is ground.
Head on over to fillyourplate.org for some awesome recipes and other information about the wonderful coconut! Also, watch further blogs about coconut including recipes with coconut in the ingredients.