— several mango, and avocado trees —
— and lots of palm-looking trees…— but nobody seemed to know what a ‘coconut’ tree was.
Until, finally, running across a coconut in a grocery store in the capital city – I bought it. It turns out – that all of the villagers I talked to — already knew what it was. They just don’t call them – “coconuts”.
Sometimes, when you begin projecting with a new natural resource, like a coconut – it’s hard to know where to start, especially after reading about all of the benefits. I’ve heard that coconut oil can be used to accomplish any of the goals of regular cooking or corn oil – but is a healthier oil overall. For example, when making biscuits, coconut oil is arguably more healthy than butter. Like fresh biscuits? Check out this 3-Ingredient Coconut Oil Biscuits Recipe from Gimme Some Oven. Coconut oil does have it’s own distinct flavor – especially when you fry meat in it – but coconut is a taste that gets less distinctive – or strange – over time. If you have a weakness for fried foods, it is best if you learn to fry your foods in the right oils.
When I brought home the ‘coconut’, the village kids were happy, and went scurrying off, coming back proudly with an axe – ready to break into the nutty, oily center.
The coconut oil helps with several purposes – beyond providing a healthier oil to fry in. Coconut products are also used for many cosmetic purposes. Natural coconut products are a major ingredient for many lotions and cremes that work well to smooth hair and skin. Not only that, the thick grease creates a germ barrier between the skin and any other point of contact – protecting little village feet from viruses in the soil, and their fingers from germs that can be absorbed by the skin.
Infectious disease doctors instruct the parents of HIV positive children to cover them in oils like coconut oil every day because of the germ-barrier properties. We have now learned that coconut oil mixed with a few more ingredients, like ginger, might actually form an anti-bacterial barrier – and adds an extra layer of protection from many different kinds of infections. Click here to make your own Coconut Ginger Sugar Scrub | Gimme Some Style.
At the store in the capital city, I also found a shampoo bottle of ‘Coconut Water’, which I purchased, and the girls and I took turns washing our hair to see if the coconut made a difference.
Coconuts can be grown straight from the fruit itself – it takes about 3-6 months for the seed to even sprout, once properly hydrated. We have not tried this yet, but there are several children looking into such projects. They have successfully grown avocados, and mangoes – but we have yet to sprout an actual coconut.
We are looking for some good coconut planting, project guides, and recipes – to share with you on this blog. We plan to share a post and recipe about Coconut-Lime Shortbread Cookies, hopefully coming soon. Another favorite coconut recipe of ours is piña colada tea, and hopefully we’ll find a recipe for something like that, soon.
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