5 important uses of coconuts
As you may already know, there are many uses of coconuts. Coconuts or “nazi” as they are popularly known in Kenya, are a very versatile food commodity. They are now being used in everything from our cuisine to our beauty regimens. As a result, more people are embracing it and finding more of its uses.
Let’s explore some of the amazing uses of coconuts:
- The Meat
The white meat or flesh of the coconut is rich in vitamins A and B, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium. It is usually eaten fresh as is, or used in a variety of culinary dishes, desserts, and confectionery. You can eat the meat of both the young and mature coconut.
- Coconut Milk & Cream
Probably one of the most popular uses of coconuts is the coconut milk & cream. Coconut milk is made by shredding the white meat of the coconut, adding some water and squeezing it through a sieve or cloth. Different dishes around the world use coconut milk in their recipes. One of the popular coconut dishes in Kenya is “Maharagwe ya nazi” (Beans in coconut milk). Coconut cream, on the other hand, is basically coconut milk without all the water. It is thicker and pastier.
- Coconut Water (Maji ya madafu)
Commonly known as “Maji ya madafu” in Swahili. The water from the young coconut fruit is a favorite and is mostly drunk in humid areas like Mombasa. It may be considered a tourist attraction of some sort as no one leaves Mombasa without a taste of “madafu”. People can buy madafu in open areas of the city and in public beaches.
- Coconut oil
To make coconut oil, the white flesh of mature coconuts are shredded and cold-pressed. Most noteworthy, however, a safe choice for consumption is the unprocessed, unrefined virgin coconut oil. Coconut oil has many uses, ranging from cooking & baking, hair & skin care, and medicinal value e.g oil pulling. A popular coconut oil brand in Kenya is Kentaste and it can be found in major retail outlets in Kenya.
- Other Uses
Coconut Leaves – These leaves are dried and intertwined and used as roofing material for houses. They are popularly known as “makuti”. This roofing material is preferred because it is economical compared to other roofing materials. Furthermore, they tend to last long before replacements are done.
Coconut Tree Trunk – Used as timber to make houses and boats, furniture, drums, and canoes. Due to its availability along the coastline, most fishermen use the coconut tree trunk to make canoes for fishing.
The Coconut Husk & Shell – These have been used as firewood and as drinking vessels by the locals. Also as handicrafts and musical instruments and consequently providing a source of income for the locals.
In conclusion, we can all agree that the coconut is the gift that keeps on giving!
Here is a great post on Coconut Farming Guide for Beginners that will give you great insight on coconut farming.