How do you use one of the world’s most nutritious foods? Is organic coconut part of your diet? If it is, “Brava! Bravo!”, but if it is not in your pantry or refrigerator, learn how you are sabotaging your Health by sidelining its healing gifts! Nature’s traveling soccer-ball is part of the biggest game you hope to win — the Game of Life!
Coconuts, which are actually the plant world’s largest seed, can travel in salt water across oceans for even a year at a time, and still be ready to root. Botanists think coconut palms began in Malaysia and spread from there.
Coconuts are so important to human survival, and are a Foundational Human Food (FHF), in my opinion. Prehistoric and tribal peoples depend on them for food, clothing, shelter and tools. They are the Tree of Life! In fact, in Sanskrit, one of the world’s oldest languages, they are called “kalpa vriksha”, “the tree which gives all that is necessary for living”. That eloquently shows this food’s importance!
We call them “coconuts” because Spanish and Portuguese “explorers” of the Malay Peninsula saw the “nuts” and thought they looked like monkey-faces. Coco means “monkey face”.
Coconuts contain “the fluid of life”, too. What’s that, you ask? Well, the transparent coconut water, the liquid that comes out when the young coconut is first opened, mirrors the profile and mineral content of our human blood, perfectly! And, in a previously secure, unbroken nut, this coconut water is sterile, so Tender Coconut Water has been used in World War 2 for instant IV’s, as a universal donor, by medics, and has undoubtedly saved many lives, including those of young children today who are dehydrated by tropical diarrheal diseases, increasing their blood’s plasma.
Coconut water also contains lauric acid, found in mother’s milk and few other places in nature, so again, it provides our youngest with Life itself, when in need. It can help save your life today, too, as it is still a perfect electrolyte match for what your blood and cells need and read about cytokinins, below!
Called Tender Coconut Water (TCW), it is only from young, green-skinned coconuts —- the “old” brown coconuts have very little of this fluid left, and it has also changed content as the nut matured. TCW is best eaten fresh from the coconut; metal cans and aseptic packs and the pasteurization process all rob flavor and nutrition. Check Asian and Latin markets and your best natural food store for “young” coconuts. Sometimes they are in their natural form; sometimes the green husk has been removed and the inner white hard pith has been shaped into a conical pillar, then covered in plastic-wrap. Organic young, green coconuts are also available from http://www.rawguru.com If need be, http://www.melissas.com has young ones, too (but theirs may be Thai coconuts; see Thai problems, below).
It takes up to a year for a coconut to mature and the 9 month stage usually produces the best Tender Coconut Water (TCW). It takes about 9 months for the coconut husk to filter and clean about 1 liter of TCW. Coconut trees are in production year-round and can make about 60 nuts annually. There are plenty of nuts and more areas can produce them than currently do.
You will be seeing a lot more young-coconut based isotonic sports drinks and functional foods. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations took out its first patent for a cold-microfiltering technology, invented by Morton Satin, chief of FAO, so more third-world small manufacturers and family enterprises can now bring coconut water safely to us and raise their standard of living in a more-equitable free trade scenario.
Most present day commercial processes use too high heat technology and produce an inferior product.
As Nature’s original sports beverage, per 100 ml of tender coconut water contains the following in comparison to commercial sports drinks:
___ more potassium (294 mg) versus 8mg
___ less sodium (3.8 – 42 mg) versus 45.8mg
___ more calcium (44 mg) versus 1 mg
___ magnesium (10 mg) versus 3 mg
___ iron (106 mg)
___ phosphorus (9.2 mg)
___ copper (26 mg)
___ also contains sulphur and chloride
___ fat (.01%)
___ protein (.01%)
___ carbs (2100) versus 5,800mg
___ fewer sugars;all naturally-occuring (5 mg) (young: glucose, fructose. mature: sucrose)
___ vitamins C and B group
___ there are 10 carbohydrates per 8 oz.
___ pH varies at different stages, but natural TCW is always more beneficially alkaline than commercial sports drinks, which have quite acidic pH
Care must be taken with Tender Coconut Water (TCW) and it should be used quickly from a fresh nut, or be refrigerated immediately. The TCW is a perfect medium, and it will begin to ferment. It should always look colorless and transparent. Any cloudiness or pinkness or strange odor indicate you should not drink it. Also look for dark spots, tears or soft spots on the green skin to indicate spoilage.
In Traditional Medicine, coconut water and flesh are used medicinally, for heart, liver and kidney disorders, and the lauric and capyrlic acids in coconut effectively reduce viral-load, so they are useful in the treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Epstein-Barr and other viral overloads like HIV. TCW can also be applied topically in cases of chicken pox, measles etc. TCW is slightly diuretic. Traditional TCW uses also includes helping diabetes.
TCW also contains special organic molecules called cytokinins which are cellular protective factors when cells undergo division. Cytokinins help to prevent RNA replication errors, so we get a new cell with accurate DNA. Coconut TCW has one of the highest sources of cytokinins in nature.
TCW goes by various local names: buko juice in the Phillipines, ilaneer in Kerala, India, daab narikolor paani in Assam, India, Thenkai in Tamil from Sri Lanka, Nariyal in Hindi, India’s modern national language. and many more.
Unfortunately, the Thai coconuts are now being irradiated, so be sure that you know your sources. And many, notably Thai, are also dipped in fungicides readying for their 6 week ocean-shipping. 30% or more of the shipment rots, so it’s important to do a real inspection in the market. It should feel heavy with juice, otherwise it may have small openings evaporating the liquid. The “eyes” at the base should not look dark or have mold. Take home an “extra” as a back-up, if you are making a recipe. Nuts from Brazil are the sweetest; nuts from India have a slightly salty flavor.
Here are some recipes from the internet to help you begin to experiment more with TCW.
Wilderness Family’s Coconut Sorbet
In an ice-cream maker, place the Tender Coconut Water, and process. If you want, add 1 Tablespoon of agave nectar, just to be sure it is dessert-like.
You can also freeze the TCW individually in an ice-cube tray and use the cubes to cool your fruit smoothies.
Sig’s Ilaneer – Kerala Coconut Drink
2 cups tender coconut water
1 cup spring water
1 cup tender coconut pulp
3 tsp Succanat sugar or agave nectar
1 T lemon juice
a pinch of powdered cinnamon
In a blender, grind the tender coconut pulp to a smooth paste. Add the water, tender coconut water, sugar and lemon juice to the blender and process till the ingredients are well blended.
Strain using a fine sieve and chill in the refrigerator, it tastes better ice cold. Sprinkle powdered cinnamon on before serving.
Note: Make sure you start with a tender coconut with a soft, white pulp.
A TCW Pineapple Smoothie recipe
Rasam is one of my favorite Indian soups. Make it as spicy as you like. I included this recipe for those who want more choices, other than desserts and drinks, to use the TCW.
Rasam with Coconut Water
Tender Coconut Water from 1 coconut: ( usually approx. 1 cup)
Toovar (toor) dhal*:1/4 C
tamarind extract: 1 t
garlic cloves:2 crushed
asafoetida powder (hing)**:1/4 t
turmeric powder: 1/2 t
organic, virgin coconut oil:1 T
mustard seed: 1/2 t
dried red chilli:2, broken in to 1/2 inch pieces
coriander leaves: few for garnishing
Clean and wash the toor dal and cook it in 2C of spring water until it is very soft. Add the coconut water, crushed garlic, pepper, asafoetida, turmeric and heat it gently. Don’t boil.
Do the tadka by heating the oil add mustard seed, then the dried chillies, pour over the rasam and garnish with coriander leaves.
* Toor dal is a tiny, salmon-colored flat-disc legume about the size of a mechanical pencil’s eraser. It is very pleasing and neutral in taste, and it cooks very quickly. It is useful for dips.
** Hing is available in natural food stores or Indian groceries. It is a white powder and has many medicinal uses in food.
Raw Papaya-Coconut Flan
1¾ cups fresh coconut meat (not shredded dried coconut), from a young coconut
½ cup up to 3/4 fresh Tender Coconut Water — added in fractions
1 4-5 inch ripe papaya, peeled, no seeds (dehydrate these for pepper substitute)
1 t organic, virgin coconut oil
1 T agave nectar
1 T raw honey* (or another tablespoon agave nectar)
1 T lemon juice
1 t cinnamon or star anise
Agar agar mixture:
1/3 cup spring water
1½ T agar-agar powder (or 2 tablespoon agar agar flakes – preferred, easier to find)
Organic Maple syrup – to taste
1. In a small saucepan, pour 1/3 cup water and agar-agar powder. Soak it for 10 minutes.
2. Pour the rest of the basic ingredients** into a blender and process, pulsing, until smooth for at least five minutes. If not too smooth yet, blend for a couple of minutes more.
** Note: add first only 1/4 coconut water, if the blender does not blend because it is to dry, add 1/2 cup more coconut water and so on, but not more than 3/4 cup coconut water.
3. Let the mix rest in the blender.
4. Place the small saucepan with the agar-agar on the stove and heat in low for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. The agar-agar should become completely dissolved. If using powder, it should not become a paste, if that happens, add more water. If using flakes, it will become a jelly transparent mixture. The flakes are easier to find and Eden Foods make a good one – look in the Macrobiotic or Asian sections of markets and natural food stores. Agar-agar is a vegetarian “gelatin”.
5. Let the agar-agar mixture rest for a couple of minutes to cool down, but not to set.
6. Add it to the mixture in the blender and blend for about 30-40 sec.
7. Coat your chosen flan forms with a bit of maple syrup.
8. Pour mixture in the forms.
9. Place it in the fridge and let it set for at least 2 hours before consuming, four hours is better. Then, put it in the freezer for 30 minutes before eating.
10. Place a flat plate on top of the form and flip it. If the flan does not come out, shake the flan form several times, from side to side, gently, to loosen it. Coat with maple syrup.
* WARNING: never use raw honey for children under 3 years of age. Their immune systems are not mature enough to handle the possible botulism spores in raw honey.
I hope this helps you use this valuable food which is little-known-to-Westerners. Support the use of coconut palms in Florida, Hawaii and tropical Australia, too.
Best to all —
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