If you want a great organic food that ticks all kinds of boxes, coconuts really are very hard to beat.

Unlike some tropical foods that people might only encounter now and then, coconut is something just about everyone is familiar with, from winning one at the shy in a fairground to using two halves of one to mimic the sounds of horses’ hooves.

What is more, coconut is already a familiar element of our food, being added to cakes and chocolate bars, while coconut milk is available in the shops.

As ever, organic coconut products are best, and when buying them it may be a good idea to take step back and consider all the wonderful attributes of a kind of food we often take for granted because we are so familiar with it.

Firstly, a fun fact: like peanuts, coconuts are not actually nuts. They are an edible fruit grown on palm trees. Of course, the outer hard part is not edible, but unlike actual nuts it consists of fibrous material known as coir, which can be used in matting, ropes and baskets. So it’s always good to know that full organic use is being made of each coconut.

The part that gets eaten is referred to as the flesh, the white, hard stuff that is extremely versatile. It can be eaten as a snack on its own, added as a cake topping or even used to cool down a hot curry.

Indeed, it’s no bad idea to look towards tropical countries with a lot of coconuts to see how it is embedded in their culinary traditions. A good example is the use of coconut rice in Caribbean dishes, a wonderful way of adding flavour to a staple that can otherwise be a little bland. Coconut is also added to rice in some Asian dishes, as well as to curries.

Coconut flesh is high in fat, which some might think makes it unhealthy. However, in some respects it can be classed as a superfood: According to My Menopause Journey, it is ideal for women in this situation due to its high content of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

The website suggested the fruit is also a superfood because of its versatility, not least as it provides both food and drink, either raw or as part of another dish.

A common misapprehension some have about coconuts is that that coconut water and coconut milk are the same thing. They are not. The first of these is simply the flavoured water that flows naturally out of the nut once the husk of a young coconut is breached.

Coconut milk, on the other hand, is made through pulping the flesh of a mature coconut and mixing it with water, in the same way almond milk is made. This can then be used as a substitute for cow’s milk.

Ultimately coconut is among the most versatile foods around, utterly organic and totally suitable for vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters alike. There’s clearly far more to it than just the kudos of an accurate throw in a fairground.

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