After visiting many Asian and Latin countries over the past years, I see how essential coconuts are in tropical culture. With many purposes, this marvelous fruit has many various stages of growth.
Milk of the coconut is the key in making delicious curries and enhancing many dishes and soups. The creamy texture brings its thickness and richness in flavors. There's coconut meat and its milk in Beef Rendang, which has been one of my signature dishes that I cook often, one of main ingredients of the 26 for this rich flavorful dish.
Growing up in Burma (Myanmar), natural coconut oil in shampoo gives a nice sheen on the long beautiful hair of Burmese ladies and also as a home made natural sunscreen - saving our skin from sunburn. In the spring time, farmers use the processed coconut husk and the fiber as part of the soil mixture for sowing seeds. The dried coconut husk is used to stuff mattresses at an orphanage that I have been supporting for over ten years now to supplement their income. In homes, many also use it as fuel.
The bed frame I recently purchased is made with coconut trunks which is sustainable alternative to wood.
On one of my visits to Vietnam on a scorching hot afternoon in Ho Chi Minh City, the coconut vendor on the street was a life saver. The cold coconut water was a quick thirst quencher, a refreshing and nutritional energy boost. I also noticed coconut is a popular key ingredient in everything from energy bars to the Greek yogurt that I consumed on my recent trekking trip in Colombia.
Coconut has so many benefits — it is rich in protein, contains enormous fiber and is high in Vitamin E — that I am sure there will be more products with coconut appearing soon in the market.
Click here to view the delicious Amok Fish recipe.