The natural health world has been flooded with great press about coconuts recent, from the joys of coconut water to the miracle of coconut oil. Even Coconut nectar, flour and aminos are gaining momentum and all for good reason. Coconuts have amazing health benefits when eaten and used externally, from boosting your energy levels by adding it to a morning smoothie, to mixing it with bicarb of soda and benonite clay to make a completely natural deodorant.
I’ll leave the long and intricate list of specific health benefits that come from the coconut to another post, now I just wanted to share with you a few things you can do with a mature coconut in your very own kitchen.
As a child with a Grenadian mother and Jamaican father, I would occasionally see brown coconuts in the house growing up, but normally they we’re crystallised in sugar and food colouring in the form of a traditional Caribbean treat called coconut drops. But there are some yummy sugar free healthy ways to enjoy brown coconuts too.
A while back I did the Sugar Detox from Diane Sanfilippo of Balancedbites.com , I tried her recipe for coconut muffins which called for coconut flour, and as I was feeling adventurous I decided to try and make some instead of buying it.
So first I Made Fresh Coconut Milk…
I cracked open the coconut open by holding it in my hand and whacking it with a hammer a few times (please be careful that none of your fingers are in the way). Once I could see and hear it crack open, I let the water run out into a cup (anywhere from ¼ to ¾ of a cup of water can be in there) and then got a knife and cut the meat out.
Sometimes the hammering loosened the meat for you, other times you need to cut into the meat and prize it out. With some practice the whole process will take you a few minutes tops.
It normally stinks when you open an off one, but always taste the water and a tiny bit of meat before continuing. If either tast sour or soapy, even if it looks fine, it’s not!!! Move onto another one.
I popped all the meat in a blender (it comes up to about 1 1/2 cups of meat) with 3 cups of water and blended it for about 90 seconds, until it was completely broken down.
Then I strained the milk out and poured it into a jug, voila Coconut milk!!!!
You can use this in the same way you’d use canned coconut milk. We use coconut milk everywhere in our food including curries, sauces, smoothies, ice creams and soups.
Then I Made The Flour…
The pulp that was left after straining the milk out was spread onto a baking tray and dried out in the oven on the lowest heat with the door open for about 1 hour, shaking the tray occasionally. Once dried, I put it in a blender on high speed and ta-da….coconut flour! (which I used to make some good muffins!!!).
You can find quite a few gluten free recipes for baked goods that require coconut flour so you can use this flour to make them and save a bit of money on buying it.
I have a dehydrator so I normally dry mine out in there, but as I know not everyone does, I tried it in an oven first to make sure it was possible in there too. In a dehydrator it takes about 5 hours so you can leave it over night. In the oven, there is a chance of it roasting and going brown, so watch it carefully and if it starts roasting and it’s already on the lowest heat with the door a bit open, take it out and let it air dry instead.
Then I Made A Cream Pudding!!!
While I was making the flour, I put the milk in the fridge and the fatty part had risen to the top leaving a clear water at the bottom (see pic above). So I scooped the cream off the top and threw of out the water as it’s didn’t have much taste. If this happens to yours and you want your milk back J just whisk them back together. I blended the cream I scooped off, which was about 1 ½ cups, with 1 cup of soaked almonds, 1 banana, 1 avocado, a few soaked dates and 1 heaped tablespoon of cocoa powder. It was a favourite breakfast in our house for a while and quick to whip up if you make the milk the night before.
One other great thing about brown coconuts I’ve found, is that they are pretty easy to find in supermarkets and asian groceries and a third of the price of the younger green jelly coconuts.
I hope you found this helpful, please share and spread the love
Enjoy, take care and stay healthy
The Naturally You Coach
About the Author: Leah Salmon, The Naturally You Coach, is a bestselling author, speaker, nutritionist and life coach, on a mission to help 100,000 black women to eat for health, think for happiness and live in harmony by 2020 or what she calls Becoming Naturally You. She does this through her books, programs, coaching, events, workshops, videos, articles and free weekly ezine, which you can join now and get a free recipe book here!