It seems as if everybody is jumping on the coconut bandwagon. The supermarket now sells coconut oil, albeit at a price; Meridian have started adding coconut to their peanut butter, Lidl now sell coconut water and coconut recipes abound.
Is this the latest food craze? Probably, and it will pass just like all the rest. But some of us have known about the benefits of coconut for a long time and will carry on using it just like we usually do.
Coconut does have amazing properties:
It contains the least calories of any other saturated fat - not that I am calorie counting on the GAPS diet.
It contains Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs) which can be digested without putting a strain on the liver and gall bladder, hence excellent for anyone suffering from liver and gall bladder problems and those with poor digestion.
It has anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties
It stabilises blood sugar levels - ideal for the diabetic
Restores thyroid function - so we are using it for Husband
Is great for repairing and moisturising the skin.....
Has a an SP factor so can be added to home-made sun creams - or used as one by itself if you are fairly conditioned to the sun but just want a little more protection. It has worked very well for us on the beach this year, but we have been out and about in the sun since April, gradually increasing our exposure without using sun creams.
The list could go on!
The best coconut to consume, water or flesh, is fresh coconut that you have bought yourself. This however is expensive and time consuming. It's great fun though! (See below)
I would caution against buying coconut water from the supermarket as it will be pasteurised and have no goodness left in it, like pasteurised milk. Or it will be from old coconuts which I understand will also be water depleted of nutrients. You need water from young coconuts as that is the most nutritious.
There are good sources of coconut oil and flesh. Health food shops stock organic versions at a reasonable price.
Recipes utilising coconut are wide and varied from savoury meals to puddings and desserts. A quick search on the web will give you plenty of ideas as will the GAPS handbook. We tend not to use coconut oil in cakes and biscuits, as we can't afford it in large amounts, so I use butter instead. But we do use a spoonful in smoothies. Other than that we mainly use it on our skin!
I came across this on Dr. Mercola's web-site the other day and he invited us to share it so I thought I would. I found it fascinating.
Learn how the coconut tree provides all-around benefits -- from its husks and roots to coconut oil -- through our infographic "Plant of Life:
How to open a coconut
Since I have found coconuts in our local supermarket being thrown out for 21p each we have discovered the delights of coconut water - only a sip each, but I gather each sip is worth it.
See here for the benefits of coconut water:
We have found the easiest way to get the water out is to insert a screwdriver though two of the three 'holes' on the top of the coconut, (two so the air escapes through one and water the other). Sometimes it's easy and other times we have to use a hammer to knock the screwdriver through.
Having drained the coconut, I filter the water through a cheesecloth (a clean tea towel would do) before drinking it.
Sons love the next bit as they have to take a hammer to the coconut shell to break in to the flesh. They take it into the garden and give as many hefty blows as it takes to crack it, usually neatly, into two halves.
You then need to separate the flesh from the shell, which is a bit fiddly, but easily achieved with a sharp knife. Wash the flesh before using it.
Try these - reduce the honey if you need to: