Many people enjoy the luxurious smell of coconuts. Whether it’s the synthetic scent in candles, face wash or lotions, the smell had to have originated from somewhere: cue natural coconut. In recent years, the fruit of the coconut tree has become largely popular for its versatile uses. In honor of the trend, here’s some fresh (and even local) information about coconut milk, coconut oil and coconut water, from my mind to yours.
Coconut milk is made from the “meat” of the coconut, which yields a thick, white and creamy liquid that’s primarily used in cooking. Coconut milk is typically found in Thai curry dishes. Cozy Thai, in downtown State College (232 South Allen St.), features Red, Green, Panang and Masaman curry that all have coconut milk as their main ingredient. Cozy Thai also features Thai iced tea: a delicious blend of coconut milk, tea and evaporated milk. You can also buy coconut milk in stores, which is a great alternative for those allergic to lactose!
Coconut oil is a substance that has peaked people’s interest now more than ever, mostly because it’s been found to serve many functions. While it can be used for regular cooking purposes, it can also be used as a substitution for other oils used in baking recipes. Try making banana bread with coconut oil as opposed to vegetable oil, and you will find it creates a smoother texture while enhancing the bread’s flavor. Coconut oil is also known to aid digestion, though it should be used in moderation because of its high saturated fat content.
Tip: Coconut oil can also be used as a natural lotion, moisturizer or conditioner. Here’s a link to a great homemade coconut face mask:
Coconut Water’s claim to fame is that it’s the most naturally hydrating liquid. WebMD calls it “Mother Nature’s sports drink.” Coconut water is filled to the brim with potassium and electrolytes. Plus, it’s low in calories. This natural replenishment outbeats Gatorade in sugar content as well (in a good way). The most difficult part of drinking coconut water is adjusting to its unique taste.
These are just a few of many ways you can take full advantage of a coconut. “If you like Pina Coladas….”