I have a love affair with coconut. Coconut water, coconut oil, desiccated coconut.. Mmmm all of it. In the States when I was growing up the only way I would eat coconut was in a Mounds candy bar, but at some point I decided I liked the taste of coconut and started to buy coconut milk to cook with and coconut water to drink.
Shortly before I moved out of the DC area I started shopping for produce at H Mart because it was cheaper. Being an Asian grocery store they carried produce and products that were unfamiliar but I used to like going in there to see what the customers were piling in their carts. I bought a coconut there once thinking I would drink the fresh coconut water but when I brought it home I realized I had no idea how to open it so it sat on my counter and rotted until I threw it away 😦 LOL.
I prefer coconut water after workouts much more than those sugary, neon-colored bottled drinks because of the electrolytes and potassium and because it is all natural but at home it wasn’t cheap. Now that I live in the Philippines, they are everywhere and cost about 30 pesos (70¢) so we drink fresh coconut water all the time (completely replacing all other juices). Coconut water, or coconut juice it is called sometimes, is the water from inside a young coconut. It is so refreshing and so good for you. If you live outside of the tropics, your best bet to find young (or mature) coconuts is your local Asian grocery store and I highly recommend that you do. Why? Because not only can you drink the water and eat the meat, there are hundreds of other uses for coconut and I am learning how good it is for you.
I am also in love with and am a complete convert to coconut oil. In our house we only use coconut oil and olive oil to begin with but coconut oil is used much more frequently. Coconut oil is antimicrobial, antibacterial, full of potassium, rich in fiber, full of vitamins and minerals, speeds up your metabolism and it’s a low-calorie fat! Coconut oil has gotten such a bad rap from the medical community due to it being a saturated fat but it different from the other fats. I’m no scientist so I
won’t can’t explain that to you intelligently but check it out for yourself.
So, we drink coconut water all the time and here are some of the ways I use coconut oil:
1. I use it as deodorant! I am not kidding! It works about 75-80% of the time. I am not sure why it doesn’t work all the time. Maybe it’s due to what I eat or the level of humidity? Maybe I put on too much. I hear a little goes a long way.
2. Lotion/moisturizer. You can’t put on too much or it will pool on your skin – just a little will do. It smells faintly of coconut at first but that subsides. I even use it on my face! I am also going to try making toothpaste with it: coconut oil, baking soda and peppermint oil.
3. I cook/fry with it. It has a much higher smoke point so it is the perfect oil for frying.
4. Massages. I hear it’s better mixed with other oils but I am going to try it exclusively for my next massage.
5. I drink some every morning in my tea. Yup, I put a couple of teaspoons in and drink it.
6. I put it in my hair. It seems to attract more dirt though so it’s best to do this the night before you want to wash your hair. Put some in, wrap your head up in a scarf and go to sleep. Let it do its magic and wash it out in the morning.
7. I hear it gets rid of ringworm! I read to put it on a cotton ball and tape it to your skin. The trick is to keep the cotton ball saturated at all times. I’ll let you know if it works.
8. I pour some in Coco’s bath water. Love this! She rarely needs lotion when she gets out now but if she does, I put on coconut oil!
9. We use it as sunscreen. It’s naturally SPF4 and what islanders do! Though, honestly, I’m a little nervous with my melasma issues but I do use it on my arms and legs.
10. I am going to use it for a cleanse/detox.
Who else loves coconut??!! How do you use it?