I’ve always liked the smell of coconut and have always been intrigued by its name and origin, but one doesn’t come across coconuts on the streets of Baltimore or New York City, nor does one find it on the shores of Ocean City or Jones Beach. Thanks to extracts and body lotions we know how it’s supposed to smell and taste, but when you live in the tropics you have to be introduced to the real thing. Thankfully, residing in the Caribbean affords many opportunities for me to explore uncommon grounds and puts me directly in touch with Nature’s goodness. Here’s what happened when my curiosity for coconut cracked!
While walking along one of Tortola’s most beautiful beaches, I decided to smash the coconut that had been sitting on my kitchen counter. I hesitated beforehand, contemplating whether I really wanted to break this perfectly round, espresso brown nut. But, I wanted to see if the inside was just as pretty as the outside. And would the contrast be so sharp? Questions aside, I found a rock, threw it down and wham! This is what opened! A glorious white inner shell filled with coconut water and a gel-like flesh. My son stood by in awe, while my husband looked ready to eat it. Needless to say, I had to start snapping before their curiosity got the best of them!
Apart from consuming that coconut on spot, my love for coconut has proven to go beyond the manufacturer’s label and into my cache of goods. I drink the water, cook with the milk and use the oil on my hair and skin! Give it a try. The next time you cook or bake, substitute Coconut Milk in your recipes that call for milk. It’s the healthier choice!
Coconut is a common ingredient in African, Caribbean, South American, Indian and Asian cooking. It can be used fresh or dried, grated or creamed to make entrees, cocktails and desserts. In the Caribbean, it’s common practice to crack a ripe coconut and eat the fleshy meat right from the shell. Coconut milk makes an excellent additive to soups, stews, flans, puddings, tarts, pies and cakes. Let’s face it. This is one nut that won’t drive you nutty! You can drink it: Coconut Water is one of the most healthy and refreshing drinks you’ll ever consume.
Coconut Ice Cream
4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
7 egg yolks
3 ¾ cups coco Lopez
Directions: In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the milk cream & sugar, bring to the boil, and remove from heat
Place yolks and coconut cream in the top of a double boiler and slowly whisk in hot cream mixture. Set mixture over simmering water and whisk until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon
Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve
Chill in fridge, add shredded coconut, and then churn in an ice cream machine