Coconut – Interesting Facts

The coconut is an all-rounder – it keeps you feeling full for longer and prevents hunger attacks. Although the coconut has a high calorie count, it can aid the slimming process. The fat of a coconut is that of lauric acid, a medium-chain, saturated fatty acid which is said to have an antimicrobial effect and is rapidly broken down by the human body. The flesh of a coconut consists of 10% fibre, which promotes a healthy digestive system. Athletes often use coconut water as an isotonic drink because of the abundance of nutrients like potassium, calcium, iron and sodium. It helps replenish electrolytes in the body. 

Food Facts Food Facts

Coconut

Class cocos

Calories

500 kcal per 100 g

Nutrients

16g carbohydrate, 9.5g fibre, 42g fat, 8.9g protein per 100g 

Season

available year-round

Storage

dry and cool


Shelf life

unopened 2-8 weeks, once opened keep in a sealed container for 2-3 days

Coconut – Origin and Cultivation

The coconut supposedly originates from Melanesia – a group of islands in the south of the Pacific. It has spread on its own from its place of origin: the coconut is lighter than water so it may have fallen into the sea and drifted thousands of kilometres by the current. If the coconut landed on a warm, sunny beach, it could easily have spread its roots there. This is how the coconut made its way to many countries of Southeast Asia and Africa. Man is responsible for bringing the coconut to South America. Today, coconuts are mostly cultivated in areas like Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brazil and Sri Lanka.

Coconuts grow on coconut palms which require a warm climate and die quickly in colder climates. It is strong and has a fibrous root network in order for it to withstand storms and flooding. A coconut palm can grow up to 30 metres and its leaves can grow to 7 metres in length. It takes between 12 and 15 months for the fruit on a coconut palm to ripen. A coconut palm can live to be 80 years old.

Coconuts are often harvested when they are unripe and green. When they eventually fall by themselves from the tree, they tend to be overripe and spoiled. 

Coconut – One Crack and a Variety of Dishes

How does one open a coconut? Cracking a coconut sounds more complicated than it really is: all you need is a hammer. Strike the coconut with the claw of a hammer and the shell will open almost by itself. For that holiday feeling, break a hole in the coconut with a screwdriver and a hammer, stick a straw in, and feel as though you’re on a beach in Hawaii. With raw coconuts, you can first drink the water and then spoon out the pulp, which can then be cut into slices or cubes. The pulp goes well in fruit salads and a wide selection of desserts. The coconut water gives cocktails and cream desserts a fresh and fruity taste.

The thick coconut milk is made from grinding the fruit flesh. It goes particularly well with curries, soups, and smoothies. Cold-pressed coconut oil is also made from the fruit pulp and is a healthy alternative to other oils – with lots of vitamins (mostly vitamin E), minerals and trace minerals. 

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