Coconuts are the new super food! Read here why you should start using them every day.
2018 is the year for foodies and people all around the world, looking for healthier and nutritious alternatives for meat and sugar.
This trend has helped to make coconuts, that once has been chanted for its saturated fats, very popular and the new super food, embracing its benefits for a more balanced diet, as natural cure and base for homemade remedies and an amazing all-rounder product for natural beauty products.
When the captain starts slowly his landing procedures and the airplane rolls to the side, you most likely take a look out of the small window and catch a first look at the mesmerizing turquois blue waters of the coast lines of the Dominican Republic.
On second sight you will notice the luscious green vegetation and mountains nearby that stand in hard contrast to the white sandy beaches of Punta Cana, which has been nicknamed the coconut cove.
Latest when you dropped your luggage in your Punta Cana all inclusive hotel room, kicked off your shoes and open the windows to let some of the salty breeze in, you understand why.
Coconuts are everywhere, offering shade to guests laying on the beach avoiding the strong midday sun, allowing tropical birds to nest right above your heads to amuse you with whistling and shattering chants and just being there as a perfect backdrop for your Caribbean vacation pictures.
When dreaming of the perfect getaway in the Dominican Republic you most likely had tropical cocktails and drinks in mind, sipping a freshly prepared Coco Loco or Piña Colada sitting on the edge of the pool dangling your feet in the refreshing waters in one of the most luxurious and all inclusive hotels in Punta Cana.
But that’s not it!
We tell you why you should make even more use out of the coconut.
4 interesting facts of the world famous coconuts that you probably didn’t know anything about.
Did you know…?
Coconuts are actually not a nut, botanically they are called drupe or referred to it as fruit
It is believed that portuguese sailors in the 16th century gave the fruits its name, since Coco means as much as “laughing face” referring to the tree holes that with a bit of fantasy describe a funny looking grimace
Coconuts are called the tree of life due to is versatility, every bit can be use from the husk, to the shell, its water and fibers
It is widely accepted as the top super-food because it has so many health benefits and medicinal uses in modern natural medicine
The coconuts origin
Coconuts originated in the Pacific from where they extended really fast throughout the Caribbean and Central America.
Christopher Colon filled his ships for their long voyages to keep the crew hydrated and fed.
Coconuts where used as ballast for sailing ships to stabilize them on the rough oceans, once near coastlines they dropped them, where they kept floating towards sandy grounds.
That’s why now in days you can see on most of the Dominican Republics coastlines thousands of them.
Dominican Republic among the most important coconut producers worldwide.
In the 20th century the coconut oil production increased in international importance and areas like Samana, provinces like Maria Tridiad Sanchez, El Seibo and La Altagracia developed intensive agricultural plantations to fulfill the demand.
The Dominican Republic ranks 25th worldwide among coconut producers and is the world’s 5th exporter in dried coconuts, exporting mainly to Europe and Canada, Haiti and United States impressive amounts of close to 220 million units – around 25,000 tons a year.
7 reasons you should include coconut oil and water in your daily diet.
Coconut oil is made out of saturated fats that remain stable and can therefore resist much better than olive oil or other natural oil high heat while cooking
Using a bit coconut oil rather than butter as spread on your fresh oven warm toast, gives it a lovely taste and aroma
Mixed with some chia seeds in a tasty milk shake or spread on your favorite bread, the coconut oil aids with digestion and metabolizing of the chia seeds giving you the much needed energy boost after a workout or downer in the afternoon
Add one or two tablespoons of coconut oil to your fruit smoothie will improve its texture and boost cholesterol fighting compounds, while adding healthy fats to your diet
Replace sugary processed sport drinks with coconut water, add a bit coconut oil and chia seed and you will feel the quick energy boost due its fast acting MCFA fats
Including fresh or dried coconut flakes to your granola mix at breakfast, not only makes it more tasty but also includes beneficial fibers that improve digestion
Burns fat and therefor is the best friend of all of us that try to slim down a bit this summer. Include a tablespoon of cold pressed coconut oil in your daily diet and you will benefit from this wonderful nut.
Medicinal use of the coconuts natural oil:
No doubts there are many beneficial uses to coconuts and its rich water and oils. Some of the top benefits include:
Balances blood sugars and improves energy
Increases HDl and lowers LDL cholesterol
6 natural beauty aids you can prepare on your own.
The beauty industry can’t get enough from coconut oil and its use in natural skin care and we can’t either.
But why paying overprices products when you can simply prepare them at home?
Here are some of the easy to do at home products:
skin moisturizer prepared with cold pressed coconut oil is the perfect natural skin care. It absorbs quickly, is non greasy and locks in moisture after showers and helps to soothe irritated skin after shaving. It can also be used as natural make up remover, removing gently any type of makeup make up gentle without a sting or irritating your eyes, reducing wrinkles and dark circles under your eyes at the same time
You deserve ones in a while a warm and relaxing bath with your favorite aromatic oil. Try adding ¼ cup of coconut oil to refresh and nurture your skin and ¼ cup of Epson salt to release toxins out of your body.
Create your own homemade toothpaste by missing equal parts of baking soda and coconut oil and add a few drops of mint essential oil to it for flavor
Take advantage of the healing purposes of the oil and apply gentle a few drops of chapped and dry lips. You will never go back to commercial lip balm after this. Create your very own lip balm by combining 2 tablespoons of coconut oil with 2 tablespoons of bee wax and add 1 table spoon of Shea butter, warm slowly to melt it all together and refill one of your old lip stick containers, let it sit and cool down and “Voila”
Using the oil as mouthwash will help you whiten your teethes, but more importantly help with its antibiotic properties to destroy bacteria causing tooth decay
You always want to have some coconut oil in your first baby help kit since it is a great aid to reduce redness, itchy and burning sensations when your baby experiences painful diaper rush. Gently apply a few drops and let the oil seep into the skin.
Other great uses of coconuts:
When you join one of our adventure tours in Punta Cana, you will probably meet Ronny and his father Bienbe that own a small coconut oil factory in the countryside and love to show visitors the process of coconut oil making.
Our guides give helpful tips and explain the whole process and the beneficial use of coconuts.
You can watch Ronny working on hand crafted pieces like magnets, earrings and necklaces made out of the hard shell of the coconut.
He works as well the fibrous part into funny looking dudes like those monkeys.
All those items and the oil the family produces are available so guests can take them as a fantastic souvenir back home.
Guests joining our Puerto Plata TerraCross Adventures on the north coast are very lucky.
They able to see one of our guides climbing up the tall trees and plugging some fresh coconuts and opening them up with a sharp machete so our guests get to enjoy this refreshing drink at one of the stops we make with this fantastic buggy adventure tour in Puerto Plata.
Wouldn’t you like to try as well?
The natural and elastic fibers of the dry husk are called coir and can be used to make door mats and brushes, natural ropes and strings, stuffing for mattresses and caulking for boats and fishing nets.
The coconut palm leaves make great brooms and baskets as well as woven mats. They are great natural cooking skewers and used as roofing thatch and temporary sheds.
The palm trunks are used to build furniture and houses and in Hawaii they use them to create drums, containers and even canoes, because they are resistant, but really light.
The coconuts husk is used for flower potting, specially orchids look nice in them and love to fact that the fiber soaks just enough water to keep them hydrated without over watering them.
The shells are used as well to create bowls and cooking utensils and are used as body for some musical instruments or little caves in aquariums.
When burning the coconuts shells and husk you can use the smoke as natural mosquito repellent, as well as fuel and a source of charcoal for out door cooking.
As you can see, nothing gets wasted and really everything has a great use.
Try baking and cooking with coconuts and you will agree – its delicious.
We want to inspire you to include more coconut in your cooking and baking and put together some of our favorite foods and sweets that include the delicious coconut in one way or another, since we are sure you have been reading up to hear and are asking yourself when we finally give you some recipes.
Delicious Piña Colada Cocktail
5 delicious drinks with coconuts you have to try while vacationing in Dominican Republic
Coco Loco – is served traditionally in a freshly opened coconut with the coconut water, some ice added, sweetened with coconut crème and delicious Dominican brown rum
Piña Colada is the probably the most popular tropical cocktail on the list. Made out of pineapple juice, light rum and coconut cream and usually served with a beautiful garnish of a pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry
Coconut Martini – includes vanilla vodka, coconut rum and coconut cream and a slash of pineapple juice
If you had enough of all the pineapple- coconut combo than the Bushwacker is the very fun way to get your taste buds activated. This drink includes dark rum and Kahlua coffee liqueur as well as dark cocoa cream and milk. Mixed up in a blender this is a great refreshing summer cocktail for an afternoon pool party.
Coconuts can not only be used in cold cocktails and drinks. The hot chocolate and coconut combination is a fantastic way to unwind on a cold winter day while dreaming of your next Dominican Republic vacation.
You did not had enough yet of all the coconut and go nuts for some of our Dominican cooking recipes we have put together for you?
Than scroll down and keep reading, make notes and a shopping list to get ready for your next cook off at home.
Thanks Dominican Cooking.com for the great Dominican recipes and pictures
5 Dominican recipes that are prepared with coconut and are just irresistible
This finger liking delight is probably my favorite memory of my grandmother’s home. Each family adds their own little spice mix to make it extra special and you can create a new tradition back home too. It is that easy to do and believe me irresistible for sweet lover.
For sweet tooth like me this is the most delicious combination, especially on rainy days as it magically puts a smile on your face as soon as you bite into it. Those little treats can be prepared and kept fresh in the fridge and are a great gifts to friend and family as well.
As you can see, going nuts is totally okay!
We hope we are able to welcome you one day on one of our fantastic Eco-tours in Dominican Republic and show you more of our flora and fauna and the natural beauty of our island.