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10 Things About Coconuts

10 Things About Coconuts | RICARDO

10 things you need to know about coconuts.

1. Fire extinguisher

It’s no accident that coconut milk is a staple in spicy Thai and Indian dishes. The fat helps cool down heat on contact.

2. Sweet or savoury

It’s no accident that coconut milk is a staple in spicy Thai and Indian dishes. The fat helps cool down heat on contact.

3. Fat facts

Coconut milk gets a bad rap for being ultra-rich. In reality, its fat content lies somewhere between that of whole milk and 35% cream. Too heavy? Light versions are also readily available.

4. Nature’s sports drink?

Coconut water, extracted from young green coconuts, is a hot commodity. One cup contains as much potassium as a banana. (Athletes be warned: It doesn’t contain enough sodium to adequately replace sports drinks.) The subtle sweetness of the no-sugar-added version makes it a tasty alternative to plain old H20.

5. Sweet stuff

Extracted from boiled coconut flower sap, coconut sugar looks a lot like brown sugar. Its caramel flavour is a definite crowd-pleaser and (in small quantities) can replace most types of sugar in equal amounts.

6.  The new “it” oil

Coconut oil, with its high melting point, is a culinary powerhouse that can be used for everything from baking cookies to sautéing vegetables. Although the jury is still out as to whether it’s actually healthier than butter, we love the aromatic flavour of cold-pressed, unrefined varieties.

7.  Gluten-free flour

Whether you’re gluten intolerant or just feel adventurous, coconut flour (made from ground coconut flesh) is a fun ingredient to play around with. But be ready: It absorbs a lot more water than its all-purpose counterpart.

8. Whip it

Thick, rich coconut cream can replace whipped cream when it comes to topping desserts like our Mini Pavlovas (see ricardocuisine.com).

9. Tough nut to crack?

If you’ve been denying yourself fresh coconut flesh because coconuts are a pain to open, you need to check out the video section at ricardocuisine.com.

10. Do-it-yourself

To make your own coconut milk, pour two parts boiling water over one part freshly grated coconut. Mix in the blender and strain.

Sarah Lalanne

Sarah Lalanne

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