Wednesday August 14, 2019
Botanical name: Cocos nucifera
The term coconut is derived from the 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish word coco meaning meaning "monkey face".
Did you know? Experts describe the coconut as not just a nut, but as a fruit and a seed.
Coconuts have three layers:
- Outside layer or exocarp
- Fibrous husk or mesocarp
- Thin woody layer surrounding coconut "meat" or endocarp
Coconuts versatility can range from food to cosmetics. The coconut husks and leaves can be used as material to make a variety of products for furnishing and decorating. Mature coconuts can be used for coconut oil, charcoal from the hard shell, and coir from the fibrous husk for gardening.
Immature coconuts are also known as “spoon meat” and are distinct from other fruits due to their large quantity of water/juice when immature.
This is because the endocarp is in its nuclear phase and suspended (jelly) within the coconut water. As the coconut matures, the cellular layers of endocarp deposits along the walls of the coconut, becoming edible coconut "meat”. When dried, the coconut meat is called copra.
Did you know? Coconut milk is made from squeezing the coconut meat.
The oil and milk derived copra are commonly used in cooking and frying, and soaps.
For centuries, coconuts have been used for weight loss, memory, immune booster, rash, fever, sunscreen, kidney stones, ulcers, toothache and more.
Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides. Medium chain triglycerides are delivered directly to the liver from the digestive tract and immediately used for energy. Studies have shown individuals who consume 15-30 grams of medium chain triglycerides daily on average burned an extra 120 calories per day and experienced increased energy compared to those who consume mainly meat and dairy products. Click here for more weight management tips
A study conducted in 2006 explained the consumption of medium chain triglycerides leading to immediate improvement in the brain function of patients with mild forms of Alzheimer’s.
Fifty percent of the fatty acids in coconut oil is the 12-carbon lauric acid. When consumed, lauric acid turns into monolaurin. Monolaurin has been known to destroy staphylococcus (staph), the yeast candida, as well as other harmful bacteria. This is because monolaurin disrupts the lipid membranes of harmful bacteria allowing the body to destroy the harmful interlopers easier thus strengthening the immune system naturally.
Coconut oil can also be an effective sunscreen, blocking approximately 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
We have Coconuts on our Noni Farm!
After years of saying we are going to plant more coconuts, we finally did it! We started by clearing a valley of 20 foot tall brush, and chipped it to use as organic mulch for the new coconut trees. Then we trenched a new irrigation line, and drilled planting holes with the tractor. Finally, the fun began by planting 50 additional coconut trees. We had been cultivating our favorite coconuts for years in pots. Some for great coconut water and some for great coconut meat.
Over the years we have learned that the best coconuts are the young green coconuts still hanging on the tree. We harvest ten to twelve of these at a time to be able to drink fresh coconut water to receive all the good nutrients found in coconut water. After drinking this sweet water we split the coconut in half and scoop out the soft “spoon meat” which is like a soft white pudding. Extremely delicious!
It was very rewarding to finally get the potted coconut trees in the ground, mulched, and irrigated. In about 2 years, we should be harvesting our first coconuts from these trees as they are all a low-bearing variety. Lots of good coconut water and “spoon meat” coming soon!!