The world celebrates Coconut Day on September 2nd. The coconut plant is one of nature’s most versatile products. There are so many amazing uses for coconuts: making curries with coconut milk and coconut cream, drinking coconut water or milk, using coconut oil for cooking, coconut butter for snacks, adding it to alcoholic drinks (pina colada), tropical smoothies, adding coconut milk or oil to your morning coffee, skincare and hair and body care and so much more.
The first celebration of World Coconut Day was in 2009.
What is a coconut? Is it a fruit, nut, or seed? Botanically speaking, a coconut is a fibrous one-seeded drupe, also known as a dry drupe. However, the coconut can be all three: a fruit, a nut, and a seed. The coconut purchased in the store doesn’t resemble the coconut found growing on a coconut palm. An untouched coconut has three layers. The outermost layer is called the exocarp. It is usually green in color. The next layer is the fibrous husk, or mesocarp, which surrounds the hard woody layer called the endocarp. The endocarp surrounds the seed.
Interesting Facts About Coconut
- Coconuts are called “The Tree of Life” as almost every bit of coconut is used. It can also produce drinks, food, fiber, fuel, utensils, oil, musical instruments, and much more.
- It takes 11-12 months for a coconut to grow and be ready for consumption.
- There are over 80 different varieties of coconuts.
- The oldest reference to coconuts is from Cosmas (Egyptian traveler), who described coconuts after visiting Ceylon and India.
- Marco Polo encountered coconuts on his trip to Sumatra and called them “Indian Coconut”
- During World War II and Vietnam War, doctors were using coconut water for
hydration when an intravenous solution was in short supply
There are many health benefits of consuming coconut oil, milk, cream, coconut butter, and water.
Coconut oil contains three types of different oils:
- Lauric Acid
- Capric Acid
- Caprylic Acid
Lauric acid is quickly and easily absorbed and has a lot of antiviral and antifungal properties. Furthermore, coconut oil contains linoleic acid, phenolic acid, oleic acid, myristic acid, vitamin E, vitamin K, and iron.
One tablespoon (13.6 gram)
- Calories: 117
- Total fat: 14 grams
- Saturated fat: 12 grams
- Carbohydrates: 0 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Sugar: 0 g
Coconut Oil Health Benefits
Coconut oil is made by pressing dried coconut meat to make milk, and then the oil is extracted from the milk. It has a firm texture at cool temperatures and becomes a liquid during warmer temperatures. There is a lot of confusion regarding the health benefits of coconut oil as it is saturated fat. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends consuming 30 grams of coconut oil daily for men and 20 grams for women. The AHA points out that we don’t need to avoid saturated fats completely as they help support our immune function and reduce Inflammation.
- Immune system boost (antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral)1
- Supports healthy brain function4-5
- Improves energy and endurance4
- Supports healthy gum and teeth
- Helps balance blood sugar2
- May aid in weight loss2
- Balances hormones2
- Helps maintain healthy hair and skin
- May support healthy HDL levels3
When purchasing coconut oil, choose organic, unrefined, and extra virgin when possible.
Contrary to its name, coconut milk doesn’t have any dairy in it at all. It’s a liquid that is found inside mature coconuts. Coconut cream is full-fat coconut milk stored within the white, hard coconut “meat.”
- One cup (240 grams) of raw coconut milk contains:
- 552 calories
- 13.3 grams carbohydrates
- 5.5 g protein
- 57.2 g fat
- 5.3 g fiber
- 2.2-milligram manganese
- 0.6 mg copper
- 240 mg phosphorus
- 3.9 mg iron
- 88.8 mg magnesium
- 14.9 micrograms selenium
- 631 mg potassium
- 6.7 mg vitamin C
- 1.6 mg zinc
- 38.4 mcg folate
- 1.8 mg niacin
- In addition, coconut milk has vitamin K, thiamine, vitamin E, vitamin B6, Pantothenic acid,
- choline and calcium.
Coconut butter comes from coconut meat. It has a nut-butter-like consistency. Coconut Butter is considered a superfood. Coconut butter has the same health benefits as coconut oil and some additional ones. It may help with weight loss, can also boost athletic performance, supports your immune system, and is high in fiber. Coconut butter, just like coconut oil, contains medium-chain fatty triglycerides but also has some fiber.
A 33-gram serving of coconut butter contains the following:
- 186 calories
- 7 grams of carbohydrates
- 2 g protein
- 18 g fat
- 5 g fiber
- 0.9 mg iron
- 0.6 mg vitamin C
- 10 mg calcium
Some fun activities you can do to celebrate World Coconut Day
Try a New Dish Using Coconut
There are many options. How about trying a new coconut curry, coconut shrimp
or coconut dessert or a tropical smoothie?
Coconut Curry Recipe (30 Minutes)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- ½ cup cauliflower, chopped
- ½ diced carrots
- ½ cup chopped bell peppers
- ½ cup shiitake mushrooms, chopped
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 pinch of cayenne (for heat, optional)
- 2x 14 oz cans coconut milk
- 1 cup veggie broth
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 cup white or brown rice, cooked according to the package instructions.
- Step 1: Rinse one cup of rice and cook it according to the package instructions.
- Step 2: Heat a large pot to medium heat and add coconut oil. Add the onions, garlic, ginger,
- carrots, cauliflower, bell peppers, and mushrooms, and stir. Cook, frequently stirring, until softened for 5-10 minutes.
- Step 3: Add curry powder, cayenne, veggie stock, and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, then reduce
- heat and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes.
- Step 4: Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Step 5: Serve over rice. Garnish with some cilantro or basil.
- Note: Can also be cooked with some chicken, shrimp, or scallops.
Organize a Party
Have a fun party with your friends and family and crack some coconuts. Mix some fun new drinks using coconuts.
Plan a Fun Tropical Gateway and Be Sure to Try Some Coconuts
If you can plan a fun trip to the nearby tropical getaway and enjoy world coconut day with the coconuts.
So, how are you going to celebrate this coconut day? Lets us know in the comments below!