Supermarket Coconuts in UK

Morrisons supermarket coconuts

I found my first supermarket coconuts in the UK today. It was in Morrisons. It was a mature brown coconut in its husk. A basket of coconuts was surreptitiously placed at the end of a vegetable rack – easy to miss if you weren’t looking for coconuts. It didn’t look like supermarket coconuts were flying off the shelves, unlike the bananas.

Morrisons coconut
All the coconuts in basket cost 70p (about $1.10). They had a label on declaring they were ‘class 1’ coconuts from the Ivory Coast. I rushed home with my find and rummaged around in the garage for something to use to open a coconut. I soon found a hammer and a long screw driver. I banged two holes in the top where there are 3 black indents. These are the indents that caused the first Portuguese to see coconuts in India to name the drupe ‘cocos’ meaning ‘grinning face’.

Opening a mature coconut

I got half a glass of cloudy coconut water from the coconut. The water had a rich and very ‘coconut’ taste.

I then wrapped up the coconut in a tea towel and gave a few hearty smacks of the hammer to the supermarket coconut package. This broke the coconut up into manageable chunks and allowed me to remove the outer husk. Eating coconut with the inner skin on is fine. I tried some and even my 15 month year old baby girl had some.

We wanted to use the coconut meat in a fish curry that night so I had to remove the inner skin. This puzzled me for a moment before I hit on the idea to use a potato peeler. This did the trick just fine despite me being left handed.

The grated coconut in with the Thai fish curry tasted good. It’s always great to use fresh ingredients whenever possible; however, I think for curries canned coconut milk is better. Perhaps if I had made my own coconut milk the coconut dish would have been perfect.

From a quick search on the internet I see people in the UK are interested in buying fresh coconuts. I notice that they are also sold (mature coconuts) in Asda, also for 70p.

Other supermarket coconuts

I couldn’t find mention of the other supermarket coconuts on the net. I will further research the supermarket coconuts in the UK by visiting Tesco, Sainsbury etc. What I did find was the fact that the coconuts are frozen for transport which means the embryo is killed. This does not affect the goodness of the coconut, but it means that you cannot plant the coconut in order to grow a coconut palm. From one forum thread I read it seems that I few ingenious souls in the UK are trying to grow coconuts. Since coconuts die in the frost this is not an easy task.

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Types of Coconut Palm

Types of Coconut

Jamaican Tall

Jamaican Tall

There is a little confusion surrounding the different types of coconut palm. This is mainly because there are many types of coconut palm but only one species of the coconut plant: that is the Cocos nucifera. This is the only palm that produces coconuts. That is incredible considering there are around 2,600 species of palm in the world. This makes the coconut very special.

It gets confusing because although there is only one species of coconut palm there are several varieties of coconut palm that often look very different from one another. It is thus tempting to think these varieties of coconut palm form different species, but they don’t.

Types of coconut: tall and dwarf

One standard way of dividing up the different varieties of coconut is into the distinction ‘tall coconut’ and ‘dwarf coconut’. As the name implies the tall coconut is considerably taller than the dwarf. Tall coconuts also take 5 to 7 years to mature, whereas the dwarf coconut will start producing fruit after 3 years.

Malaya Dwarf

Malaya Dwarf

Tall coconuts are more common than dwarf coconuts. These plants can cross-pollinate. This means that tall coconuts often share genetic material with other plants. This leads to even greater variety.

In contrast most dwarf coconuts self-pollinate so this leads to fewer types of dwarf coconut than tall coconut. It is estimated that only 5% of coconuts are dwarfs. As well as being taller, tall coconuts have wider leaves that are less uniform. Tall coconuts also have a bulbous base that is missing on dwarf coconuts.

Coconut varieties come in different colors: as well as green there are red and orange coconuts. To list a few names of coconuts:

Jamaica Tall

Malaya Dwarf

MayJam – a hybrid cross between a Jamaica Tall and a Malaya Dwarf

West Africa Tall

Tampakan Tall

Cameron Red

Malayan Yellow

Nias Green

Fiji Dwarf / Samoan Dwarf (dwarf with characteristics of a tall)

Coconut types: fruit – niu kafa or niu vai

When discussing the different types of coconut often two Samoan names are used niu kafa and niu vai. These terms refer to the fruit whereas ‘tall’ and ‘dwarf’ refer to the size of the coconut palm. Niu kafa is elongated and has a large fibrous husk. Niu vai is round and contains more coconut water when unripe. Niu vai fruit is also often red or orange when unripe.

It is often thought that niu kafa is the wild variety of coconut and niu vai is a newer domesticated form of the coconut. DNA testing has proved this theory wrong. Both types have for centuries been cultivated by man. The results of DNA testing (Olsen, 2011) show that there are 2 distinct origins for coconut cultivation in the world: the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. Now the two types have been mixed, but it is thought that niu vai form originated in the Pacific region and the niu kafa in the Indian Ocean region.

And so to reiterate: there is only one species of coconut palm, but there are many types of coconut.

Sources:

1) http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-different-kinds-of-coconuts.htm

2) Bee F. Gunn, Luc Baudouin, Kenneth M. Olsen. Independent Origins of Cultivated Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) in the Old World Tropics. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (6): e21143 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021143

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Coconut Gifts for Christmas

Coconut gift suggestions for the whole family

Why should you get coconut gifts? The answer is because buying coconut products is good for the environment and good for people. The coconut palm is classified as a renewable resource because it takes only 7 years to reach maturity. It is a plant that can flourish without fertilizers and pesticides. This means that most coconut products are organic. Thus from an environmental point of view coconut items make  great Christmas presents. It is not only nature that benefits from us using coconuts, as there are several health and beauty benefits to be had from such things as coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut flour and coconut water. This post will explore these benefits and suggest a coconut gift for Christmas for each member of the family.

Coconut Gift for Dad

If dad doesn’t work out then perhaps he should. It will help him shed those excess pounds that he is bound to gain from all that yummy Christmas food. Working out will also help dad to relieve the stress from work and being a dad. After working out down the gym or going for a run it is important to rehydrate. Sports drinks are often high in sugar and so are not ideal. The best natural isotonic drink available is coconut water. It contains high amounts of such important electrolytes as magnesium and potassium. It is also low in sugar and 99% fat free. Thus, the best coconut gift for a sporty dad or a would be sporty dad is coconut water.

And when dad is in his cups, coconut water makes a great mixer and cocktail ingredient that will lessen the hangover the following morning.

coconut water

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Coconut Gift for Mum

Coconut oil is a great moisturizer. It soaks deep into the tissues of the skin and replaces lost oils. As the body produces less sebum oil from the sebaceous glands it is necessary to supplement the body’s natural oil production. Coconut oil is perfect for this as it also contains antioxidants that help to stop the formation of free radicals that cause the signs of aging.

Coconut oil is also found in several shampoos. It adds shine and luster to the skin. Coconut oil is one of the main beauty products for women in such places as India, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Mum will love you if you get her a nice coconut beauty product for Christmas.

coconut moisturizer

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Coconut milk shampoo and coconut conditioner

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Coconut Gift for the Dog

Dogs not only enjoy the taste of coconut oil but it is also really good for them. The high concentration of medium chain fatty acids in the oil help give the dog energy and burn off excess fat. The lauric acid in coconut oil also helps to detox the dog’s intestines and promote general good health that can be seen in the extra shine of the dog’s coat.

You can now buy coconut oil and coco chips specially designed for dogs. The family dog might not fully understand the significance of Christmas but he or she will fully appreciate any coconut gift treats.

Coconut Chips for dogs

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Coconut Oil for dogs

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Coconut Gift for kids

Although many kids love the rich taste of coconut milk in smoothies and shakes perhaps the most sure fire coconut gift for kids that will bring a smile to their face is limited edition coconut M&Ms. Chocolate and candy is always a winner when it comes to children. The fact that these M&Ms are limited edition also adds to their appeal as not all kids will have tried them. From an adults point of view giving kids a taste for coconuts at an early age might reap major health benefits in the future if they can be persuaded to have other healthy coconut foods when they grow up.

Coconut M&M's

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So there you have it: a coconut gift for each member of the family. Wait I hear you say; what about grandma and granddad? Well why not give grandma a giggle and get her a cheap coconut bikini bra? She might not use it but she will remember the fun she had receiving it. And for granddad why not get him some coconut rum cake? He can share it with grandma. Have a merry coconut Christmas!

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coconut rum cake

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Coconuts in China

Hainan coconuts

Changing diet in China

China is not thought of as being a country that has coconuts. Traditional Chinese cooking does not use coconut oil; rather it uses pork fat. It is interesting to note that the Chinese are normally a very slim race even though their diet is high in saturated fat. As coconutoilbenefits.biz has noted several times it is not saturated fat that is bad for you. Much worse is trans fat and polyunsaturated fat with long chain fatty acids. And indeed since McDonald’s, margarine and other ‘Western’ products were introduced into the diets of urban Chinese the obesity rates have shot up.

Hainan Island

The People’s Republic of China is a vast country and in its southern reaches it does possess some tropical areas. The most famous of which is the island of Hainan Island. It is a beautiful island with white sand beaches, mangrove swamps and pristine nature. The area now has a nascent tourist industry that offers beach bungalows very similar to those found in Thailand. Hainan is also famous in China for being the center of coconut production. This is where you will find coconuts in China.

Coconut yield in China and Coconuts in Chinese Culture

According to the website www.data.mongabay.com  since 1985 China has been recording the number of coconuts it commercially grows. The latest statistic is for 2009. In that year China produced 109,406 coconuts. This is small fry compared 19,500,000 tonnes of coconuts produced in the Philippines (Wikipedia). Nevertheless, the coconuts in China crop  is far from negligible. Moreover, the coconut does have a place in Chinese culture. The famous poet from the Song Dynasty, Su Dong Po spent some of his time in Hainan and made several fond references to coconuts in his poems. He particularly enjoyed the taste of coconut milk, saying it was better than wine.

The local people of Hainan have been cooking with coconut oil, drinking coconut water and using coconut milk for centuries. They have also made a living from supplying the mainland with coconut shells which are used to make the traditional musical instruments the yehu and the banhu.

Future of coconuts in China

As China participates more in world trade and world affairs and as its citizens travel to more places it is clear that the coconut will become more important to the Chinese as an antidote to the inevitable damage that will be done by a change in traditional diet. Already obesity, diabetes and heart disease rates in China have risen. The one child policy has lead to spoiling kids and giving them a taste for the worst types of fat. It can only be hoped that they start to counteract this pernicious dietary trend with more coconut oil.

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Coconut Bread

Coconut BreadCoconut flour is 100% free of the gluten protein and is thus perfect for people who have gluten intolerance and for people who have celiac disease. The only cure for celiac or coeliac disease is to stop eating foods containing the gluten protein. This means giving up wheat flour, barley and rye.

This can be inconvenient as it means learning new recipes with alternatives to wheat, barley and rye. Below is the recipe for making coconut bread. With a little practice this recipe can make delicious bread.

Coconut flour has a spongy, dense texture. It is flour that soaks up a lot of moisture and so a little bit of coconut flour goes a long way. Coconut flour is often used in conjunction with eggs and a fat. This fat could be butter, ghee or, of course, coconut oil. It is the firm belief of this website that so called healthy polyunsaturated fats are in fact very unhealthy as they contain trans fat and the wrong type of fatty acids.

Coconut Bread

The following recipe makes bread that only very slightly tastes of coconut (more so if you use coconut oil). The bread produced is slightly heavy. It could be used to make sandwiches but might be better suited to French toast or as a morning bread to go with jam.

Equipment needed to make coconut bread

You will need something to mix the dough –stand mixer, food processor or mixing bowl and whisk. You will also need a loaf pan.

Ingredients for making coconut bread

  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup ghee / butter / coconut oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt

Method for making coconut bread

To make coconut bread first pre-heat an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, put all the ingredients together – the coconut flour, the fat, eggs, honey and salt. Then mix all the ingredients together as you would do when you are making bread with wheat flour. You can either use a whisk and mixing bowl, stand mixer or a food processor. The better the ingredients are mixed the lighter the bread. The mixture is ready when the mixture is smooth with no lumps.

Finally grease a loaf pan and add the mixture to the pan and put the loaf pan in the pre-heated oven. Bake for 40 minutes and then you have one loaf of coconut bread. Easy!

Coconut bread: final note

As you will have noticed this is bread that is made without yeast. Thus it is not light, fluffy bread. Also coconut bread requires lots of eggs, as mentioned before the coconut flour is very absorbent. This makes coconut bread a rich and heavy food. It is also worth mentioning that coconut flour is high in dietary fiber. For most people this is a good thing which promotes better digestion, for others it can cause gas and bloating.

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Traditions Organic Coconut FlourSource: Nourishedkitchen.com

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Coeliac (Celiac) Disease and how Coconut Flour can help

Coeliac or Celiac disease?

On the web the disease associated with food intolerance to gluten is called both celiac disease and coeliac disease. They are one and the same thing. For the sake of convenience I will use the Wikipedia appellation, coeliac disease.

Science has got to the stage where it can identify the genes responsible for a pre-disposition to coeliac disease. Testing for coeliac disease is only effective if someone is on a diet which includes gluten.

Symptoms and health problems caused by coeliac disease

The symptoms of coeliac disease are fatigue, chronic diarrhea, anaemia, and in children it can lead to slow rates of weight gain and delayed pubertal development. The disease can also be asymptomatic, which means there are no visible signs of the disease. This is a problem because coeliac disease does long term damage to the body. Basically, gliadin (a gluten protein) attaches itself to the villi lining of the small intestine. Antibodies then attack the villi that lines the small intestine. This results in what is known as villous atrophy.

The result is a reduced ability to absorb vitamins A, D, E and K. It also causes failure to absorb enough iron which leads to anaemia. Failure to get enough vitamin D as well as calcium leads to bone problems such as osteoporosis.

Coconut cure for coeliac disease

The cure to the problem of gluten intolerance and coeliac disease is simple: a gluten free diet. This means cutting wheat, barley, spelt, semolina, durum and rye out of the diet. Suitable gluten free cereal alternatives are maize (corn), millet, sorghum, teff, rice, and wild rice. Non cereals such as amaranth, quinoa or buckwheat, and coconut flour are also free of gluten.

One of the best gluten free flours you can use is coconut flour. It is fine, white flour that has a slight sweetness and taste of coconuts. Coconut flour can be used to make cakes, sweet breads and other deserts. It can also be made into bread. As such coconut flour is an ideal substitute for wheat for those who love bread and cakes.

Health benefits of coconut flour

There are also a number of health advantages to using coconut flour. It is high in dietary fiber and high (for a type of flour) in protein. At the same time it is low in carbohydrates. This is a winning nutritional combination that helps to nourish the body while promoting weight loss.

As with coconut oil, coconut flour contains medium chain fatty acids that are easily absorbed by the body and turned to energy. This means coconut flour recipes gives energy without extra fat being put on.

In contrast to coeliac disease that prevents the body from absorbing vitamins and minerals, coconut flour is a great provider of vital vitamins C, E, B1, B6, B3 and B5. It also contains such minerals as calcium, selenium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium.

In many ways coconut flour is a great remedy for the ill-effects produced by coeliac disease or gluten intolerance. By switching to coconut flour you immediately start to address the damage done by gluten. And by doing so you do not need to give up any foods that you love – just replace the wheat flour with coconut flour!

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coeliac_disease

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Coconut Milk vs. Cow’s Milk

coconut milk vs. cow's milk

What’s in coconut milk?

When comparing the relative merits of food products it is sometimes helpful to know exactly what is in each product. Most countries make it the law that food companies stipulate the ingredients of their products to allow the consumer to know exactly what they are buying.

This post will make a comparison between cow’s milk and coconut milk. This will help to give a scientific foundation for the assertions made as to the health benefits of coconut milk made on this website. Many people are of the belief that dairy products and milk in particular cannot be substituted for a vegan alternative because such alternatives lack the vitamins or minerals necessary for life, and especially for the healthy development of children.

Breakdown of 100 grams of coconut milk:

Calories – 230
Proteins – 2.3 g
Fat – 23.8g
Carbohydrates – 5.5 g
Dietary fiber – 2.3 g
Sugar – 3.35 g
Vitamin C – 2.8 mg
Vitamin E – 0.15 mg
Vitamin B1 – 0.026 mg
Vitamin B6 – 0.033 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) – 0.183 mg
Folate – 16 mcg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – 0.76 mg
Iron – 1.64 mg
Selenium – 6.2 mcg
Sodium – 15 mg
Calcium – 16 mg
Magnesium – 37 mg
Phosphorus – 100 mg
Potassium – 260 mg

Wikipedia’s breakdown of 100 grams of typical cow’s milk:

Water          87.8g
Protein      3.2g
Fat         3.9g
Carbohydrate     4.8g
Energy          66 kcal
Energy          275 kJ
Sugars (lactose)    4.8g
Cholesterol     14 mg
Calcium     120mg
Saturated fatty acids      2.4g
Monounsaturated fatty acids      1.1g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids      0.1g

Analysis – protein and calcium

Cow’s milk contains more protein and calcium than coconut milk. However, both are suitable sources of both protein and calcium for a growing child, or for that matter an adult.

From the comparison so far cow’s milk seems to be coming out on top. What is interesting is if we now take a look at the minerals and vitamins found in cow’s milk.

The following list is for 100 grams of semi-pasteurized milk:

Sodium          43mg
Potassium    156mg
Calcium     120mg
Magnesium     11mg
Phosphorus     94mg
Iron        0.02mg
Zinc        0.4mg
Chloride     87mg
Manganese     Trace
Selenium     1µg
Iodine      30µg
Retinol     19µg
Carotene     9µg
Vitamin D     Trace
Vitamin E     0.04mg
Thiamin     0.03mg
Riboflavin     0.24mg
Niacin      0.1mg
Vitamin B6     0.06mg
Vitamin B12     0.9µg
Folate             9µg
Pantothenate     0.68mg
Biotin             3.0µg
Vitamin C (mg)    2mg

NB. µg is 1 millionth of a gram: in other words a very small amount.

Analysis of vitamins and minerals in coconut milk and cow’s milk

Coconut milk has more vitamin C, Vitamin E, vitamin B1, vitamin B3 (niacin) than cow’s milk. In terms of minerals coconut milk has more phosphorous, potassium, selenium, iron and magnesium. Coconut milk is much lower in sodium than cow’s milk (this is a good thing).

Cow’s milk has more vitamin B6 and vitamin B5 than coconut milk. In most other respects cow’s milk is inferior to coconut milk in terms of the mineral and vitamin breakdown.

As Wikipedia points out, modern Western civilization is unusual in continuing the consumption of milk after the period of breast feeding is over. This is prolonged through taking dairy products, especially cow’s milk. As we get older the enzyme, lactase, needed to breakdown the lactose found in cow’s milk and mother’s milk declines. This decline is only halted by the continual consumption of lactose containing milk. So if you have a break between mother’s milk and drinking cow’s milk there is a good chance that you will develop lactose intolerance.

Another point worth making is that both cow’s milk and coconut milk are high in saturated fat. The key difference is that coconut milk contains saturated fat that is mostly composed of medium chain fatty acids that are readily metabolized by the body. The saturated fat in cow’s milk contains a lot of long chain fatty acids that in comparison that are not readily broken down by the body and turned to energy.

Finally, as this website has pointed out a number of times. Coconut milk and coconut oil contains lauric acid the same as mother’s milk. The only other natural product that contains significant amount of lauric acid is palm oil. Lauric acid is responsible for making mother’s milk capable of protecting an infant from viral, protozoal, fungal and bacterial infection. Coconut milk can provide the same protection for adults. This alone makes coconut milk superior to cow’s milk.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk
http://www.drgranny.com/health-nutrition/benefits-of-coconut-milk/
http://www.vegetarian.org.uk/campaigns/whitelies/wlreport05.shtml

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Opening a coconut

Guide to opening a coconut

opening a coconut
On my first trip to India I remember being impressed with the ease that street sellers would open young coconuts after a customer had promised to make a purchase. They would nimbly take their machete and chip off the sides and then pierce the top and hand the coconut to the customer to drink the water. I also remember not being overly impressed by the tangy warm liquid inside the coconut. That was many years before I discovered just how useful coconut water was.

I don’t recommend opening a coconut as street hawkers in India. It can be dangerous to hold a coconut and swing a machete at an object in your hand. The dangers are obvious. Here is an alternative method to opening a coconut.

Opening a coconut that is young and green

If you buy a green coconut that does not have a husk you will just want to extract the coconut juice. There will be little meat since it is the water that becomes the meat over time.

First take a hammer, a nail and a towel. Fold the towel and put it on a hard and solid surface such as a concrete floor.

Next investigate the coconut and try and identify the top. The coconut should be slightly oval and have a tapered top and a fatter bottom. Place the fatter end on the folded towel so it sits up. Then take the hammer and nail and drive a couple of holes into the top of the coconut. You can then drink the coconut water straight from the coconut water or you can pour the coconut liquid out into a glass.

The advantage of pouring the coconut water into another receptacle is that you can then put the water in the fridge to chill. Many people prefer the taste of chilled coconut water to coconut water served at room temperature.

In cities you can often buy coconuts from markets where the coconut has already been shaved and the top is apparent. It is just a matter of puncturing a hole in the top either by chopping the top off or by using the hammer and nail method. The shaved coconut sits by itself so the towel is not necessary. This method of opening a coconut is demonstrated in the second video below.

Opening a coconut with a husk

Just as there is more than one way to skin a cat so there is more than one way to open a coconut. Thais use a piece of wood with a spike sticking out. Once they have pierced the top of the coconut and drained off the coconut milk they will hit the coconut against the spike. When the spike sticks in the coconut they will pull to rip the coconut apart. It requires skill and strength to use this method for opening coconuts.

Here is an easier way to opening a coconut in a husk. First examine the coconut carefully. You should find 2 or 3 dark patches on the end of the coconut. These are weaker points. Place the coconut on a folded towel on a hard surface and use a hammer and a nail to drive a couple of holes through the black indentations that were identified before. The coconut can then be drained of coconut milk.

Next place the coconut on its side and wrap the towel around the coconut. Then simply give the coconut a few strong hits with the hammer to crack it open. Opening a coconut couldn’t be easier!

Once the coconut is open, take a sharp knife and carefully scrape out the coconut meat. Some people use a knife that is bent that can be slid down the side of the coconut between the husk and the meat and use the knife to ‘peel’ the meat away from the inside of the husk. However, you choose to do it be careful not to cut yourself. Blood and coconut meat is not appetizing.

You will often find that part of the brown skin of the coconut will stick to the pieces of coconut you have scrapped out of the shell. To remove this thin layer of skin, use a potato peeler.

The scrapped out coconut meat is now ready for eating, adding to a smoothie or using in cooking.

Alternatively, you can add warm water to the coconut meat and then squeeze it through muslin or cheese cloth to extract the coconut milk and oil. See the first video below for more details of this process.

Keeping coconut after opening a coconut

After opening a coconut you have the option to store the meat instead of using it immediately. Coconut meat can be kept in the fridge for up to a week. In the freezer coconut meat stays fine for 3 months. You can dry the meat in the sun or an oven and shred it and it will last for 6 to 12 months in a cool place. Coconut milk and coconut oil contains antioxidants that stops it going off and so can be kept for a long time in a cool and shaded place.

Video for opening an older coconut and removing the meat

This woman shows how to open a coconut, remove the meat and extract the coconut milk.

Video for opening a young coconut

This man always has his top off, no doubt to add sex appeal to his youtube efforts and improve paypal donations. You have to ignore the pseudo-mystical drivel that he speaks. He can, however, open a coconut.

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Benefits of coconut oil for dogs

Keeping your pet healthy: coconut oil for dogs

Coconut Oil for dogs

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Coconut Chips for dogs

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This website seeks not only to explain the benefits of coconut oil for humans but also for pets. If you regularly take coconut oil as a health supplement and are impressed with the results it is very likely that you will be interested in sharing these benefits with your dog. There are several health benefits of coconut oil for dogs.

Coconut oil has a very good record for helping dogs with a number of problems. Coconut oil is delicious for dogs and it is a natural medicine. The only possible negative side effect of giving dogs coconut oil in their food is that the stools can become loose and greasy. This is because the coconut oil has been added too rapidly to the dog’s diet. It is recommended that you start with half a tablespoon of coconut oil a day for every 20 pounds that the dog weighs. Over time the dosage should be increased to one or two teaspoons a day for each 20 pounds of weight. You can add the coconut oil for dogs either to the dog food or feed it directly to the dog. Another possibility is to feed the dog Cocotherapy’s coconut chips as a food supplement.

Health Benefits of Coconut oil for Dogs

Coconut oil in the diet of dogs helps to keep the fur shiny and healthy looking. It is also possible to slowly massage coconut oil into the fur. The coconut oil moisturizes the skin and keeps it healthy. Also coconut oil is a great moisturizer for cracked paws.

Coconut oil helps to deodorize dogs. Both in the fur and in the diet of a dog the coconut oil helps to reduce doggy smells and is a good alternative to constant shampooing.

Coconut oil in the diet has been shown to have a strong correlation with increased thyroid activity in humans and the same is true for canines. Coconut oil as a health supplement for dogs helps to improve the immunity system of the animal and protect against cancer and other serious diseases.

Also coconut oil contains lauric acid that becomes monolaurin in the human and canine body that is an antimicrobial agent that protects the dog from viral infections. Living with humans can subject canines to new viral attacks that they are unable to repel. Coconut oil helps to give the animal better protection in such cases.

The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil are readily metabolized by dogs the same as humans. To help dogs lose weight it is a good idea to include a small amount of coconut oil in the dog food. It helps them burn off excess body weight.

Often it is the case that dogs hunt out garbage and other unhealthy foods. Their digestive system needs to detox from this poor quality food. Coconut oil for dogs helps with this process of detoxing. Caution should be taken to not attempt a rapid detoxing of the dog as it can cause a shock to the dog’s system.

Coconut oil has been found beneficial by many dog owners to treat ear infections, yeast infections and to settle the stomach.

Another use of coconut oil for canines is as toothpaste. Dogs love the taste of the oil and it helps to kill bad bacteria in the mouth and make the breath smell better.

Coconut Oil for dogs is cheap, natural and effective

Coconut oil is healthy for dogs. They love the taste of the oil. It can be added to food or given separately. It is important, as with people, to give your dog the best – that means organic virgin coconut oil not RBD coconut oil that is bleached, deodorized and contains impurities. The great thing about using coconut oil for keeping your dog healthy is that it is cheaper and better for the dog than many dog supplements currently on the market.

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Coconut Flour

Organic Coconut Flour

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It is estimated that nearly one third of the World is dependent on the coconut for food and commerce. The coconut reaches maturity in just 6 or 7 years and doesn’t need expensive or environmentally damaging inputs of fertilizers and pesticides to be grown commercially. For these two reasons coconut is the ideal crop for people living in hot countries where certain resources are in short supply but voracious bugs are not.

One of the more unusual uses of coconut is to make coconut flour. Once produced coconut flour looks very similar to wheat flour and can be used in a similar way to bake bread and cakes. Coconut flour is an ideal alternative to wheat flour because it is free of gluten. It is as rich in protein as other types of flour. Moreover coconut flour is low in carbohydrates, rich in fiber and contains important minerals.

How is coconut flour made?

To make coconut flour mature coconuts are taken and the coconut meat is removed. It is then pressed to make coconut oil. The remaining coconut meat is then dried and defatted. The dried and defatted coconut meat is then ground into a fine powder which looks like wheat flour.

About Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is very different to wheat flour.

Coconut flour consists of 14% coconut oil and 58% dietary fiber. The remaining 28% is protein, carbohydrate and water.

The coconut oil in coconut flour is a good way to replace unhealthy trans fats in the diet with healthy saturated fats that are readily metabolized by the body and turned into energy.

Coconut flour has a higher percentage of dietary fiber than any other type of flour. Fiber is essential for the smooth functioning of the digestive tract.

Coconut flour does not contain any of the protein known as gluten, but does contain other proteins useful for the body. Gluten intolerance is a common problem and coconut flour is the healthy solution.

Coconut flour is low in carbohydrates. The combination of low digestible carbohydrates and high fiber is ideal for people intent on weight loss as it promotes a feeling of fullness and prevents constipation.

More Advantages of coconut flour

Most coconut flour is organic. It is also made without being treated with sulfites.

Coconut flour contains natural sugars and so when cooking with coconut flour less sugar is needed. Cooking with coconut flour is a good way to reduce processed sugar in your diet.

Coconut flour has a slightly sweet coconut taste which adds piquancy to food.

What can you make with coconut flour?

Just about anything that you bake with wheat flour can be made with coconut flour instead. Foods such as bread, cakes, cookies, muffins and pies can all be made with coconut flour. There is no loss of shape or sacrifice in taste when you substitute coconut flour for wheat or other types of flour.

Many people who use coconut flour use it to replace 30% of wheat. It is often the case that for 100% use of coconut flour 4 eggs should be added for every cup of coconut flour. For muffins and short breads coconut flour can be completely substituted for wheat.

It is not necessary to bake coconut flour. It can be added to smoothies and shakes to add protein and fiber to a drink. It can also be dissolved in water to make a quick gluten-free protein and high fiber drink with a coconut taste.

Coconut flour can also be used in cooking to thicken soups, sauces and curries. In other words coconut flour is nearly an exact match in uses for wheat flour.

Where can I buy coconut flour?

You can buy coconut flour at health food shops and online at Amazon.com and other reputable online retailers. There is now a good selection of coconut flour on Amazon, most of which is organic. Tropical Traditions do 2.2 lbs packs for under $12. It comes highly recommended by people who have made purchases through Amazon.

Resources for those who want to learn more about gluten intolerance and about gluten and wheat free foods

1) Unique Gluten-Free Grains by Danna Korn is a good overview of gluten intolerance and lists many legumes, fruits and grains that are free of gluten. Many of these grains are some of the oldest foods known to man.

2) This is a list of authority sites dealing with gluten intolerance. The medical, nutritional and anthropological aspects of gluten  intolerance are all covered.

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