It's hard to believe I grew up thinking that coconut was an ice-cream flavour! I barely recall desiccated coconut as the occasional chocolate filling and decoration topping. Today, a day doesn't go by without us using Coconuts in some form or the other. I try to include all the different forms it offers. Just a few ideas:
1. Fresh coconut water
Ideally taken from a young coconut, those with the soft creamy flesh as opposed to the hard fibrous ones, unless you like a more mature and fermented taste. You can drink this water as a hydrating drink, used it as a base for smoothies or make fermented drinks out of it (fizzy coconut kefir).
2. Coconut Oil
Considered the healthiest oil on the planet by many cultures and researchers, it is extensively used in traditional medicine amongst Asian and Pacific populations. This healthy saturated oil is so versatile that it can be used in every single room of the house, we use it as a base to make all sorts of skin products including a facial oil, mosquito repellent, deodorant and skin moisturizing. It is also one of the most stable oils for cooking and baking. People take spoonfuls of coconut oil for healing and cleansing purposes. It also makes the perfect hair conditioner and massage oil.
3. Young Coconut Meat
We usually have it as is, it tastes so good that it never even makes it to the fridge. I've also made desserts (mousse like treats), ice-cream, smoothies and dehydrated pancakes.
4. Mature Coconut Meat
When you get a mature coconut, it looks much smaller and compact. You crack it open and grate it, this becomes your fresh grated coconut, which you can use to make fresh coconut mylk, salads, granola, fruity treats, etc. You could also dry it for longer storage, to make desserts, and even coconut butter!
CocoNuts Ice Cream Recipe
This creamy, grounding treat has been a true favourite during our stay in Africa. The abundance and availability of coconuts made it very easy for us to enjoy it regularly!
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk
- 1/2 Cup soaked Cashews
- 1 Cup of frozen young Coconut Meat
- 2 Tbsp Dried Coconut (unsweetened)
- 2 Tbsp Virgin Coconut Oil
- Pink of Salt
- Ice Cubes
HOW WE DO IT...
Blend and Serve! Sprinkle with Cinnamon.
4. Coconut Dried Shells, Husks and Leaves
The shells are used to make kitchenware such as spoons and bowls, the husk is normally used to make ropes, brushes and even fishing nets. The leaves are dried and made into brooms, and the sap, which some people call it "Palm Wine" is a popular brew in the coastal areas of East Africa.