Also known as: Nariyal, Thengai, Kobbari kayi, Tenga.
Description: The fruit harvested from the coconut tree contains a white flesh within which is the coconut meat. The centre contains a watery liquid coconut juice which is often sipped straight from the coconut. It is consumed as a refreshing drink throughout the humid tropics. Coconut milk is made by simmering equal parts of water and shredded coconut meat, then squeezing and straining the thick liquid that remains. Coconut cream is the same as coconut milk with a richer proportion of coconut to water (4 to 1).
Commonly used in: The oil and milk derived from coconuts are commonly used in cooking and frying and making margarine. The coconut meat is used fresh or dried in cooking, especially in confections and desserts such as macaroons. Desiccated coconut or coconut milk made from it is frequently added to curries and other savory dishes. Dried coconut is also used as the filling for many chocolate bars. Coconut oil is also widely used in soaps and cosmetics.
Health benefit: Coconut water contains sugar, dietary fiber, proteins, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and provides an isotonic electrolyte balance. It can serve as an emergency short-term intravenous hydration fluid. Young coconut juice has estrogen-like characteristics.