I was always pretty fascinated by the smell and taste of a coconut, but I’ve gone completely coconuts since I came to the tropics. Besides all the health and beauty benefits, I just love watching coconut palm trees swaying in the wind.
By the way, coconut is technically a fruit, not a nut. However, even biologists keep arguing whether to classify it as a fruit, seed or nut. Well, I’m not gonna go there, but instead will talk about how you can benefit from this nature’s miracle.
Three (3) Ways to Use Coconut
Coconut water is a nature’s perfectly filtered water packed with nutrients and electrolytes. Just think about how much effort this beautiful tree puts into lifting the water from the earth and filtering it through its stem, so it is left pure, nutritious, delicious, energising and refreshing. That’s what excites me to get out of bed in the morning – a freshly opened coconut (it used to be coffee years ago).
You can drink it straight from the coconut or buy a bottled one, just make sure to check the ingredients list – you don’t want any nasty chemicals and preservatives in it. And always choose raw if available, as it has more nutrients.
Coconut water is also great as a base for smoothies or in other recipes, like raw soups and dressings.
Coconut meat – it’s a great source of a dietary fat, as it is fresh, stable (not rancid as many fats in nuts and seeds) and has fiber. I love slicing coconut meat into “noodles” and adding to the salads or raw soups. It’s also great in desserts like raw vegan ice creams and raw cakes. Yes, it is not low fat, so don’t overdo it. But a little extra fat from a coconut, durian or avocado won’t kill you (too many nuts and seeds perhaps can…). I tell you, you gotta eat your coconuts once you’re in the tropics!
Coconut oil – when I smell it, all I want to say is OMG! It’s been a few years since coconut oil and I have been buddies, but I just can’t get over it how much I love it. I know many people claim that it’s healthy for cooking or putting into salad, but I’m really not than keen on using refined fats (coconut meat, durian or avocadoes are way much better sources of fat).
However, if you, my friend, are not a raw vegan (which is absolutely fine, I still love you) and you cook with oil, please promise me that you will only cook with coconut oil! Why? Because it is the most stable vegan fat and won’t get rancid when heated (another stable fat is butter but it’s obviously not vegan and we wanna save those cows). Just a reminder – rancid fats contain toxic compounds, are carcinogenic and may cause atherosclerosis. In short, nasty stuff.
So if I don’t eat it, what a heck do I do with it? Well, I use it in my beauty regimen. Here are some “how to’s”:
- Use it as a body and facial moisturiser. In fact, I don’t use any other facial creams or lotions. Pure organic cold pressed coconut oil is all that I feed my skin. Some people have been saying that coconut oil dries their skin which could be true if you do it incorrectly. The secret is to ALWAYS put it on a wet skin. If you put any oil on a dry face, it will pull out the moisture out of your own skin. But if you put it on a wet/damp skin, it will help you retain moisture. Just put a little of this goodness after you take a shower and are still wet, it will absorb very quickly and won’t leave you oily. The result will be a beautiful soft clear skin. It helps unblock the clogged pores, has antimicrobial and antifungal properties and just in general keeps your skin young and juicy.
- Use it as an eye make-up remover. It perfectly dissolves the makeup, is non-toxic unlike many makeup removers available on the market, is relatively cheap and conditions your lashes.
- Coconut oil is also an amazing hair mask. Put it on your hair a few hours or a night before washing it. It will become soft and strong (but please don’t go out while oil is still in your hair).
- A perfect massage oil – absorbs quickly and smells fantastically (there is no accounting for taste though).
- It can also serve as a lubricant with additional benefits of having antimicrobial and antifungal properties. However, it is not suitable if you’re using condoms as it can affect the safety. I bet you don’t want to risk.
So as you can see, coconuts are pretty amazing. Not to mention that you can make milk, cream, ice cream and even coconut flour out of it!
And a little bonus for you – A Virgin Colada recipe!
- 1 young coconut (water, flesh)
- 1/2 large ripe pineapple (or 1 small)
Blend and pour into a beautiful glass. Enjoy!
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