Published: 10/03/2014 - Updated: 04/25/2016
One of the biggest and most well-liked fruits is the coconut. Behind its thick, hard, and fibrous shell hides a meaty secret and a fresh drink that is perfect for the hottest of days. Coconuts are the drupes of coconut trees. Their seeds are found just below the woody shell in what we call the coconut’s water and meat, and make up the seed’s endosperm. This is the source of nutrients that nourishes the plant that will arise from germination. It will be able to nourish it for one year, and this is the part that we love to eat as food. Coconut is culturally important for a lot of tropical regions, where it forms part of the base of several dishes and is frequently an important source of extracted vegetable oils.
Recently, coconut water (not to be confused with coconut milk) has become very relevant for its nutritional properties, and for good reason. The water that accumulates inside coconuts is completely potable (as long as the coconut has not sustained any fissures prior to being served), and it has properties similar to those found in energy drinks recommended for replacing salts and minerals after doing sports. Coconut water can help to replace lost electrolytes by providing sodium. There are approximately 252 mg of potassium in one cup which could also help in nervous system maintenance, up to 600 mg per cup. It also has vitamin C, calcium, iron and magnesium.
Not all of coconuts values are in its water. The meat is special too, and the most common way of finding it is dried and grated. Or, have you ever seen in it chocolates or accompanied by a cup of yogurt? It is a good source of dietary fiber by itself, as it helps calm hunger between meals and provides iron for keeping our red blood cells healthy. It apparently also possess oils that help regulate bad cholesterol levels in the blood. I invite you to enjoy this delicious fruit that I insist is just perfect when recently cut. There is nothing like extracting its water and saving the meat. When it is soft, sprinkle a squirt of lemon on it, with a pinch of salt and powdered chili. And now I’ll leave you with two coconut recipes that I hope you can take with you to a tropical location:
- 1 c. coconut milk
- 250 grams rice noodles
- 400 grams shrimp
- 200 grams mussels
- 1 c. mushrooms
- 1 lemon tea leaf
- 200 grams diced tomato
- 1 tsp. fish sauce
- 2 tsp. tamarind paste
- 1 shallot, diced
- ¼ c. basil
- 2 slices of serrano peppers
- 1 tsp. mint
- 3 c. chicken broth
- 2 c. water
- Clean the mussels and shrimp. Devein the shrimp, along with taking their shells off.
- Add the rice noodles to a bit of boiling water, and let them set for at least 15 minutes, or follow package instructions.
- In a pot, mix chicken broth with water, heat over medium heat and add the lemon tea leaf, then tamarind paste and fish sauce. Mix well. When all ingredients are well mixed, add diced peppers and coconut milk.
- Add diced tomato, the shallot, mushrooms, shrimp and mussels. Make sure that the mussels open by themselves while cooking, this means they are finished. Otherwise, throw them out.
- Serve the soup in deep bowels. As a final touch add basil and mint leaves to each plate as you serve it. You can also use other seafood or fish to give your broth other flavors, or to increase the spicy intensity of the soup, you can add other pepper varieties or more serranoes.
- 400 grams dried, grated coconut
- 100 grams raisins
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 kilo sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 liter water
- In a pot, add water, coconut, raisins, sugar, and vanilla. Cook over medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir continuously to keep the mixture from sticking.
- When the mixture begins to make a milky liquid, add yolks and cinnamon. Blend these ingredients until the mixture is uniform.
- Grease a rectangular pan and pour the coconut mixture in it. Spread it out so as to form a block that is 2 to 3 cm deep. Bake at 180 degrees C for approximately 10 minutes, or until the surface turns golden.
- Cut into squares or serve in circles. Serve once they have cooled, you can also add other dried fruit to the mix.
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