My love for coconut knows no bounds. Eat, drink, bathe, spritz – I have found ways to incorporate it into my every day in multiple ways.
Everyone loves the smell of coconut don’t they? It’s cocktails, beach holidays, coconut ice at a school fete – a true mood lifter.
Coconuts are also clever little critters – action-packed full of goodness for all parts of your body.
Here are some of the ways I use coconut but please remember the only PHD hanging on my wall is in shoes. So please… take all nutritional advice under advisement.
This is what works for me and you must make sure that it’s right for you.
In the Kitchen.
Coconuts are rich in saturated fats, which wouldn’t normally be a good thing but these saturated fats are different to those found in foods like butter. Called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), they metabolise differently, converting into energy that fuels your muscles and brain. Coconut oil has recently gained all sorts of attention. It’s thought to reduce abdominal fat and prevent wrinkles by deeply moisturising the skin’s protective barrier.
You can use coconut oil in your cooking (it’s best for high-heat cooking) or simply have one tablespoon a day (you can work your way up to three tablespoons if desired) in a smoothie or drizzled on your salad. Be careful: too much too soon might upset your stomach.
Make sure you use an organic blend (not a refined or hydrogenated one). My favourite is Coconut Magic Pure Organic Virgin Coconut Oil.
PJ’s Breakfast Blend.
1 frozen banana
1/4 cup rolled oat flakes
1/2 cup coconut water (use more or less to adjust to desired consistency)
1/2 cup coconut peanut butter, tahini or peanut butter
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
pinch of cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped spinach (optional)
Place all ingredients in a good blender. Blend until smooth and well mixed. Pour into two glasses and drink immediately.
In the Beauty Cabinet.
Dry skin loves coconut oil. So does damaged hair. It sinks in deeper than most moisturisers and hair treatments and makes you smell like a vacation.
You can use a cold-pressed coconut oil straight from the bottle or try some of my coconut scented and/or enriched favourites.
I particularly love the sunscreen because it reminds me of when girls used to drench themselves in oil (which you must never, ever do!) and gives you that signature summer smell with the sun protection your skin needs.
CLICK TO BUY: I Love…Coconut + Cream Mositurising Set, $14.95; The Body Shop Coconut Oil Hair Shine, $13.95; Le Tan Coconut Lotion SPF30+, $10.99; Eminence Organic Skin Care Coconut Sugar Scrub 250ml, $74; Philosophy Coconut Frosting Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath, $30; Niugini Organics Virgin Coconut Oil.
Coconut To Go.
The best way to drink coconut water is straight from the shell but packaged coconut water is also a good (practical) option.
All types of coconut water are rich in electrolytes (perfect post-workout drink), contain more potassium than a banana and helps speed up your metabolism.
We’re spoilt for choice with packaged coconut water (avoid varieties with added sugar) but I’m pretty loyal to C Coconut Water. It’s 100% Pure Organic and tastes as close to ‘out of the shell‘ which is how I like it.
Another great on-the-go snack is the coconut chip. My kids love these. They’re a mix between sweet and salty – good for them. Ticks all the boxes. There are lots of pre-packaged varieties but I prefer to make my own and pack them in easy-grab snap lock bags.
Martha Stewart’s Coconut Chips.
Coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Test each of the three eyes at stem end of coconut to see which is the softest. Then use an ice pick (or a screwdriver) and a hammer to pierce two of the eyes. Strain water through a fine sieve into a bowl; reserve for another use or discard.
Place whole coconut on a rimmed baking sheet; bake for 30 minutes, or until coconut shell begins to crack. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Wrap coconut in a clean kitchen towel; holding coconut with one hand, hit it with a hammer in the same place several times to crack the outer shell and split the coconut into several large pieces.
Separate coconut flesh from shell, and use a vegetable peeler to remove the dark outer skin, if desired. Rinse and dry coconut. Using a mandoline or a vegetable peeler, remove strips from edges.
Divide coconut strips between two rimmed baking sheets in a single layer; season with salt. Bake until toasted, about 10 minutes.