Superfood Healthy Coconut - Tropical Nourishing Tradition in Asia
August 15, 2012
Many people consider coconut to be a super food. When Dr. Weston A. Price studied traditional diets around the world, he found those who ate a diet based on fish and coconut were the healthiest. Dr. Bruce Fifeis probably the word's best expert on coconut and it's health benefits.
This is how we get our coconut milk and grated coconut here in tropcial Penang, Malaysia. I use the milk, shredded meat and dry some of the coconut to make coconut flour and also make coconut butter, coconut whipped cream and cream. The coconut milk and meat is made fresh for us as we watch and saves us the trouble of doing it all by ourselves by hand.
This is the nearby market in Tanjung Bunga, Malaysia. I've grown so fond of the word sounds here like Tanjung Bunga, which literaly means "flower cape" and is a seaside suburb of Georgetown.
Coconut is popular here in Malaysia and a big part of the diet. There are even many bike-based coconut stands on many street corners selling fresh coconut milk made to order. Even our M.D. Pediatrician at the Children's Hospital here, suggested we use it for health. This is the market machine that chops the coconut meat into shredded coconut at the indoor/outdoor "wet" market in Penang.
Basket of coconut meat ready to be shredded.
Close up of coconut shredding machine in process.
Machine that takes the shredded coconut and turns it into coconut milk through compression.
Fresh coconut milk pouring out.
Busy Penang wet market and popular coconut milk and shredded coconut stand.
Pouring fresh coconut into bags ( a typical way to store drinks here in Malaysia. It is very common to see folks drinking out of a bag with a straw). The bags are closed with a rubber band in a paticular way.
Man ( owner) working fresh coconut milk machine in Malaysia.
Fresh shredded coconut coming out of machine into large bowl.
Happy customers at the morning market in Penang buying coconut products.
This is what the coconut milk looks like when I get it home and then I make it into kefir or use in smoothies or cooking. I usually use it fresh, but one can also freeze it for a week.
This is how we dry the raw shredded coconut on our dehydrator on our terrace that DaVinci made for free out of a discarded cardboard box and instructions on the internet via Google. ( I use it for many things making good use out of the tropical sun). I then grind it into flour.
Coconut flour and products are gluten free, very low carb, lowers the calorie count of food, promotes lipid oxidation ( burns fat), aids in digestive health, contains 40% dietary fiber and helps balance blood sugar levels. No wonder nutritional scientists and trans fat experts like Dr. Mary Enig rave about the benefits of coconut.
These are local foods, so extremely cheap, costing about 60 cents ( U.S. price) for 250 ml ( a little over 8 oz) for the coconut milk ( size shown above) and $1.60 for 1/2 kilo for the fresh shredded/grated coconut.
Ironically, the organic virgin coconut oil, that we use for all our cooking and more, is imported from the USA ( so not particularly cheap) but made in the Philipines. We haven't found a local organic source for that yet, but are really happy with this wonderful resource since coconut is such a healthy food, we love it. Plus it really suits the palate in a tropical climate since there are endless delicious things to make with it.