Breaking down the coconut: Which part of the coconut do we eat and more

How well do you know the coconut? If the answer is not very well, you're in for a treat! There is so much you can do with this fruit. Read on to discover the different parts of the coconut, including which parts we can eat.

The layers of the coconut

photo of 3 coconutsCoconut is a popular fruit that is often seen as somewhat exotic - it definitely looks a little different than the usual apples and oranges. But in order to understand how we consume and use coconut, it’s helpful to know what makes one.

Coconuts actually have three layers. First, there is the endocarp, which is the part of the coconut that most people will recognise - this is the outer layer, hard and woody! This outer layer gives the coconut its distinctive and striking appearance. The exocarp of the coconut is the external skin, while the mesocarp is the husk.

However, the meaty part of the coconut that we actually eat is known as the endosperm - but the coconut has much more to offer than just its meat.

Refreshing coconut water

photo of coconut water by a poolDo you love the refreshing taste of coconut water? It has become more and more popular over the past few years. But you might be surprised to find that this comes from coconuts that have not yet matured. Clear coconut water tastes sweet and slightly nutty - you can enjoy it straight from the coconut if it is pierced correctly. Coconut water contains a low level of calories but is full of potassium and electrolytes, and is great for getting hydrated more quickly. Some people even claim it helps them recover after a big night out!

Delicious coconut meat

As the coconut matures more, the coconut water becomes coconut meat, which is said to contain many antioxidants which may support your healthy lifestyle. This is perhaps the most versatile stage of the coconut’s life cycle, as coconut meat can be eaten in many different ways.

Coconut meat is often used in curries or, when dried, it can make a tasty snack in trail mix or muesli. It can, of course, even be eaten right from the coconut, as it has its own sweet, full flavour. Coconut is a popular component to smoothies and smoothie bowls, as it is low in unhealthy fats and cholesterol, making it a great choice for those who want to pursue a varied and delicious diet. Believe it or not, coconut meat can even be used to make a dairy-free cheese substitute that tastes amazing.

If making your own cheese sounds a little ambitious, coconut can also be blended into a mouthwatering dessert.

Incredible coconut milk and oil

From the coconut meat, we also make coconut milk and coconut oil. Coconut milk is a common component in cooking, especially in curry dishes or soups. It creates a delicious creaminess to meals and is often used to replace dairy in dishes. When it comes to coconut oil, it is used for cooking in place of other oils, such as olive oil or sunflower oil. It can lend its own unique flavour to cooking.

Coconut oil is also popularly used as a beauty product. It can be massaged into your scalp and hair as a hair mask to provide extra hydration, and can also be used as a cleanser and moisturiser for your skin.

Decorative coconut shells

The shell of the coconut, otherwise known as the endocarp, does not go to waste! Far from it. Coconut shells are often used as a quirky accessory, such as a purse - they certainly do make a statement. More commonly, they are also used in home decor, as bowls or as decorative items, such as candle holders or plant pots.

As we have seen, the coconut is a wonderfully versatile fruit that can be used in a variety of ways. With its many layers, the coconut has much to offer - whether as a delicious snack, a nourishing drink, for baking and beauty, or used decoratively around the home.

If you want to find out all the incredible ways that coconuts can be used, visit Coconut Merchant. With so many ways to enjoy the coconut, it is easy to incorporate the exotic coconut into your everyday life.
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