It’s no wonder that coconuts get their own week — they’re good for so many things. Here are some of our favorite zero-waste ways to make the most of these tropical treasures.
Ultra-hydrating and full of potassium, drinking the water of coconuts is one of the primary ways to make use of them. We like using coconut water in our smoothies and summer drinks.
If the coconut is young, the flesh should be soft and jelly-like. Almost transparent and easy to scoop out with a spoon. This coconut is green on the outside and is most often selected for people to drink out of. More mature coconuts will have whiter, thicker, and tougher flesh that you can use in more ways.
One of the most common ways to use your leftover coconut is to turn it into shavings that can be used for desserts and treats. Make the shavings by using an inexpensive hand-held coconut flesh scraper. You could also use a blender. Sprinkle the shavings on your salad, granola, or desserts. Bake coconut muffins or coconut brownies. Store shavings in an airtight freezer bag in the fridge for up to 3 days.
You can also use the shavings to make fresh coconut milk, similarly as you might any other kind of nut milk. Pour hot water over your coconut shavings then let them soak for about 15 minutes. Blend in a powerful blender, then pour the mixture through a cheesecloth or fine strainer and into a pitcher. Chill and use in smoothies, over cereal, or simply to drink.
To make your own coconut flour, spread your wet pressed coconut shavings evenly on a baking sheet. Leave them out to dry for 24 hours, or in the oven at the lowest setting before it changes color. When the coconut flakes have dried out, transfer them into a blender or food processor. Use as a substitute for regular flour or almond flour in any recipe.
Perhaps the most well-known element of the coconut, is coconut oil. Making your own coconut oil is a little more involved. Here is a recipe we like. Coconut oil can be used for myriad purposes, such as:
Conditioning and softening skin
The fibers from coconut husks, known as coir, are versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. Put them through a chipper and turn them into coconut husk garden mulch. This popular planting medium can be used in place of peat to help the plant retain moisture and resist fungal growth.
If you want to get really involved in zero-waste coconut use (and have a lot of coconuts!), coir can also be used to make doormats, twine, and sustainable packing material.
Um, hello? Drink vessels! Simply fill your empty coconut shell with ice, mix your drink in the blender or shaker, pour and enjoy! We’re loving this idea for an August barbecue.
We hope you have a great National Coconut Week and that you make the most of this amazing seed (or nut, or fruit, whichever you prefer). To experience coconut oil in our products, try our Body Lotion, Body Oil, and Hand Cream.