Coconut has to be one of the most versatile gift of nature. From using it for cooking purposes to making it an important ingredients for skincare, the all-purpose fruit is also used by artisans to make beautiful artifacts. On World Coconut Day (September 2), chefs and nutritionists talk about its health benefits and uses.
“There are different recipes which are made out of coconut. The gravies prepared in Southern parts of the country are mostly made using coconut or coconut milk. It is a key ingredient in the Goan cuisine also,” says chef Merajuddin Ansari, executive chef, Four Points by Sheraton, Navi Mumbai. He also states that it is safe to be consumed on a daily basis except in the coconut oil form which might increase your cholesterol level. “Coconut oil is only safe when people are taking it for medicinal purposes for a short term,” he says.
It’s a tough fruit to crack, but the goodness makes it worth it. Chef Nishant Choubey says, “We can make starters to desserts using coconut. We can even make appetisers such as coconut poriyal, coconut keema cutlet, coconut galouti. And in the main course, there are dishes such as coconut kofta, coconut casserole, to name a few. For those with a sweet tooth, can try coconut creme brûlée to coconut shrikhand.”
He also explains, “Coconut has zero wastage. The water can be fermented and made like kanji , for better shelf life the white part can be grated and frozen in batches.”
Coconut is surely a wonder fruit. It is actually a fruit , a nut and a seed. It can be incorporated into the diet in a variety of ways and can do miracles to the overall health and body . “When I ask my clients to have coconut whether in form of milk, oil, water, the first question they ask me is that isn’t coconut is so high in calories? But it is not. It is very beneficial to our body, hair and skin. It boosts the metabolism, it is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, potassium and magnesium,” says nutritionist Tripti Tandon . Adding further, she says, “Coconut water is a miracle water, it is best during summers as it keeps the stomach cool.”
Every single part of the tree is used for something or the other, nothing gets wasted. Apart from the incredible benefits, nutritionist Nmami Agarwal also feels that the coconut meat and water can be used for various food preparations. She says, “Coconut shell can be used for various crafts like as a cup or DIY wall hangers. Coconut fiber also is known as coir can be used to make eco-friendly brushes, ropes, or doormats.”
She adds, “Coconut can be used in home-gardening. Coco peat soil is made from the pith inside a coconut husk. It is naturally anti-fungal, making it an excellent choice to start seeding.”
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