Tree of Life
Coconut planters in Asia have benefited from the rising demand for coco by-products. The coconut, often called the 'tree of life' lives up to its name with all its parts being harnessed for every imaginable use. From its roots, to the branches, it serves as food, medicine, building material, cooking ingredient, and many other uses.
Mature coconuts are harvested for the meat which is processed for many useful by-products. In the Philippines, this is called Copra or the mature coconut meat, taken out of their shells, left out to dry in the sun or smoke-dried in kilns. The dried copra is processed or extracted for cooking oil products, as soap ingredient and many other useful by-products.
Meanwhile, shredded, grated and powdered coconut meat is an essential ingredient for cakes, pastries and other delicious snack foods. More so, when coconut water is fermented, coconut meat becomes nata de coco, an essential ingredients for salads and 'Halo Halo ' a Filipino dessert (refer to video recipe below ). The coconut meat is also a rich source of the coconut virgin oil known to be a healthy and alternative cure to certain human diseases.
The sweet coconut milk, likewise an important ingredient in a number of food products like ice cream as well as other dishes is obtained by pressing the grated coconut meat by hand or with the use of a mechanical presser. It is considered healthy due to its antimicrobial properties and is known for treating mouth and stomach ulcers. Coconut cream also comes from coconut milk but it is with a less watery consistency, and often the thick creamy part that rises to the top when coco milk is left to stand for a few hours. The coconut milk or cream is usually sold in cans in many western countries.
The young coconut fruit, termed as 'buko' in the Filipino is well-characterized by its green color and the thin, succulent sweet meat inside may be enjoyed in many ways. The 'buko' is a refreshing and healthy snack as well as a main ingredients for salads, ice creams, cakes, pies and a host of other recipes. Moreover, the sweet meat of the young coconuts is know for a great ingredient to the famous 'buko' pie of Laguna, Philippines.
The stem of the coconut tree turns into cocolumber used for building structures. Coco lumber with a higher density kind are also used as posts, poles, flooring as well as wood tiles. Another product from this part of the tree is paper.
Coconut Water and Wine
Coconut water from the young coconuts has long been believed to be an healthy option to cure kidney problems and other urinary infections. Not only that, coconut juice is a much better alternative to drinking soft drinks and sugared juice drinks. Apart from its great taste, coconut water is literally fat-free. The coconut water or coco juice is often sold fresh or canned in some areas.
Coconut water is also fermented to become vinegar. Another product coming from the coconut bud is coconut wine,also known as 'tuba' in local Philippine dialect. The tuba refers to the sap of the coconut bud being extracted and collected in a bamboo container. Tuba has a sweet or bittersweet taste. In certain areas in the countryside, tuba is dyed red. When this local wine is processed or distilled, this is called lambanog.
Even the coconut shell is not wasted since it is crafted as woodem utensils, food containers, interior decorating pieces for homes and even as fuel for biomass, charcoal for kilns either for residential or industrial use.
The coconut husk, deemed a waste product, still has another use as it can be turned into a floor polisher or 'bunot' and useful as biomass fuel. Coconut leaves likewise is used as a roofing or cleaning material as brooms. The coconut bud or 'ubod' is can be cooked into a delightful dish. Coconut coir, another by-product from coconut husk can be used as an organic soil conditioner anddsoil-less planting medium. Still another part of the coconut, the root, may be used as an alternative medicine for some ailments. .
Indeed, the coconut tree is the only tree that boasts total usage from root to the crown. No wonder, the coconut tree has been a reliable source of living as well as exports in many tropical countries.
Video credit: psychetruth
Recipes using 'Buko" or Young Coconut (Video credit: Panlasangpinoy on Youtube)
Yummy Buko Pie! (video credit to Panlasangpinoy)
Buko Tarts (Video credit to nanaynikikay on YouTube)
Fruit Salad with Buko (video credit to Kainang Pinoy on YouTube)
Bibingka Recipe (using coconut milk) video credit to Panlasangpinoy
video credit to Ratsniffproductions
video credit to TheCouchTV on YouTube
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