With new and exciting new ideas about the uses of coconut popping up every day, it’s important to have all the facts in place, giving yourself a clear understanding of how to prepare coconut, as well as its health benefits.
In this article:
Behold! The Mighty Alternative!
Being an unappreciated substitute for many cooking ingredients, a coconut has made a resurgence. The health benefits, the culinary recipe options, and its overall lack of study have made it a hidden gem in food preparation. But it is historically in the category of love/hate relationships among those who have tried it, with no middle ground. A person either loves it in all its uses or hates it, mainly because of taste or texture.
Many companies recognize the properties that make it less inviting to some and have figured out how to remove the obstacles. For the rest of its loving public, new uses and ideas for involving in related foods and health products appear all the time. And the answer for everyone is the same. It’s all about how to prepare it, depending on your specific desires.
Why Is Coconut Oil Good for You?
The medicinal benefits of introducing it into your diet are vast. Frying in oil or using it in a skincare regimen has shown promise across countless tests in numerous fields. Most people only know it for cooking or makeup, though. So, let’s get into the details of coconut oil benefits.
Refined: This is the choice for anyone who can’t stand the flavor but wants the upsides. Refined, specifically refined oil, involves bleaching, high heat, then extraction. These procedures remove any smell or taste associated with the coconut.
Unrefined: All natural, this method of extracting the oil is done by harvesting fresh coconuts. The taste, texture, and smell remain. This oil is considered a virgin or extra virgin.
Whichever you choose, both have almost the same properties, as well as levels of fatty acids. The big difference is in phytonutrients and antioxidants, which are more prevalent in the unrefined option.
7 Tips for How to Prepare Coconut in Recipes
Enough about the healthy stuff. Many tasty recipes can change your mind about the usefulness of the simple, yet underestimated coconut. And for these, you will need patience, imagination, and, of course, your best stainless steel cookware.
1. How to Open a Coconut
The easiest way is to place it in a bowl. Using the thickest point of a heavy chef’s knife, whack it with the blade around the perimeter of the shell. Due to some indentations at the top, it’s easier to crack the coconut. Then, separate the halves and drain the water out. Don’t discard the water — it is a tasty alternative to regular water and is a natural laxative if that need should arise.
2. How to Cut a Coconut Meat out of the Shell
Before trying to open it, place the coconut in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, using a cooking sheet. Remove and let cool. The meat will be loose. Then crack the husk and simply scoop out the meat with a steel spoon or knife.
3. Using the Water in Cooking
To answer the question of what is coconut water good for, the simplest explanation is that it can replace any other water or milk used in cooking. It imparts a faint scent to the product being cooked or baked, or whatever your concoction is, but won’t overwhelm the existing flavors. It’s lighter than regular milk and absorbs better in pastries.
4. The Oil
Do you want to know how to eat coconut oil? First, the use of oil as an alternative to butter is a clever vegan option. It features the same viscous properties, plus the bonus of being better for your health. The oil can be added to many unusual things too, like smoothies, and even homemade protein bars, not to mention it’s a great alternative to cooking oil.
5. The Flour
It’s a boon to the baking community for anyone with a gluten-allergy, using coconut flour as opposed to wheat flour can open a world of confectionery options to those who usually don’t have a safe opportunity. Use it for baking a cake or cookies for your gluten-sensitive child’s birthday and be hailed as the hero of the day.
6. The Milk
Another vegan alternative. Dairy-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO, the milk is a delicious and creamy option for dairy lovers who, unfortunately, are lactose-intolerant. It goes well in any traditional recipes that call for milk, such as casual drinking, baking; moreover, it can be flavored to taste or consumed as is, without sweeteners.
7. Many Great Recipes
Literally, hundreds of recipes with coconut exist in the world of cooking. With many oil uses, coconut milk recipes, coconut flour recipes, and so on, the sky is the limit.
You can be sure to find a few great recipe options, like coconut pancakes, and even learn how to make coconut macaroons. Moreover, it’s never too late to invent something new! Who knows, maybe you will cook something unique, shocking all the cooking gurus out there!
From adding to food to applying to your skin for a healthy glow — the variety of applications of the modest tropical gem is astounding.
For something so simple to be such a helpful and versatile instrument in the drive to better overall well-being, it’s no wonder it has remained a hidden treasure for so long. It stands to reason: perhaps, we should try expanding our horizons beyond the basic ideas of many underestimated edible items and see what else we can find in the wonderful world of new health and cooking exploration. We’re sure some of you have exciting ideas. Do you know any other uses?
Author’s Bio: Chele isn’t afraid of experimenting. The addition of the coconut oil to vegetarian burger patties has changed her perception of oil consumption. Chele started researching various coconut health benefits to gain a thorough insight. Now she is a strong advocate of creative approaches in cooking.