Coconuts are not just delicious tropical treats from coconut trees, but they also have a plethora of uses beyond their culinary applications. From practical to creative, coconuts can be utilized in various ways that you may not have even imagined. I want to share these 20 amazing uses for coconuts that will leave you wanting to fly to Florida and find a coconut laying right on the ground.
What are coconuts?
Although the name seems to tell you otherwise, coconuts aren’t really a nut, they’re a drupe. And what is a drupe you ask? A drupe is a type of fruit like peaches, plums, almonds, and cherries that have a hard inner layer surrounding the seed, with a fleshy outer layer, capped off with a thin skin layer called an exocarp. Drupes have just one single seed that is formed from a flower that has a single ovary and carpel, making it unique from other fruits like berries.
Like other drupes, the coconut grows on a tree, the coconut tree (Cocos nucifera), which is a member of the palm tree family. The name is derived from the old Portuguese word coco which means skull or head. When you look at the three small indentations on the shell you can see they look much like a human face and features.
What’s fun when learning about coconuts is you find out the tree is so versatile and provides not only food, but fuel for cooking and heating, building materials, popular cosmetics, soaps, and even folk medicines in some cultures. The coconut palm is found in many Asian and Indonesian countries, including the Philippines, but can be found in most tropical climates.
1. Coconut Water
Coconut water is not only a refreshing beverage but also a natural source of hydration. Packed with electrolytes, it is perfect for replenishing lost fluids after a workout or a hot day. Coconut water is one of the most popular coconut products out there. Is Tap Water Safe to Drink?
2. Coconut Oil
One of the most versatile products derived from coconuts is coconut oil. Much like vegetable oil of various kinds, this oil is used in cooking, baking, skincare, and hair care. Coconut oil is known for its moisturizing and healing properties. 20 Uses for Coconut Oil
3. Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is a creamy and dairy-free alternative to regular milk. It can be used in various recipes, including curries, smoothies, and desserts. You can even make your own coconut milk. It is made from the white flesh or meat of the coconut. Milk: Everything You Need to Know
For those who follow a gluten-free diet, coconut flour is a fantastic alternative. Made from dried coconut flesh or meat, it is high in fiber and low in carbohydrates, so it is relatively low in calories. This is a vital use for a coconut fruit and you can buy it at most grocery stores. This flour is popular when making cookies, cakes, muffins, and other treats. 7 Important Reasons to Stock White Flour
The meat of the coconut is often shredded and added to oatmeal for a breakfast add-on. It can also be made into coconut flakes and used to top off ice cream or cupcakes and donuts.
5. Coconut Husk
The tough outer shell of a coconut, known as the husk, can be repurposed as a natural scrubber or a biodegradable planter. It is an eco-friendly alternative to synthetic materials. 10 Survival Items to Hunt For at Flea Markets
6. Shell Crafts
Coconut shells can be transformed into stunning crafts and decorative items like bowls, cups, candle holders, or even musical instruments. These unique creations add a touch of tropical charm to any space as you decorate. 10 Ways to Utilize Old Bath Towels for Preppers
Coconut charcoal is gaining popularity as a natural and sustainable alternative to traditional charcoal. It produces less smoke and burns longer, making it ideal for grilling and cooking. 10 Eye-Opening Reasons to Stock Charcoal
8. Coconut Fiber
Also known as coir, coconut fiber is commonly used for making ropes, mats, and brushes. Its strong and durable nature makes it an excellent choice for various household and gardening applications. Invaluable Tools Necessary for Transporting Emergency Supplies
9. Coconut Sugar
Coconut sugar is a healthier alternative to refined sugar. The sugar comes from the coconut sap of coconut palm trees and boasts a lower glycemic index, making it suitable for those with diabetes or seeking a natural sweetener. How to Stock Sugar & 8 Sensible Reasons Why You Should
Coconut vinegar is a tangy and flavorful condiment that can be used in dressings, marinades, and sauces. It is made by fermenting the sap of coconut flowers. Does Vinegar Really Go Bad?
11. Shell Activated Carbon
Activated carbon derived from coconut shells is widely used in water and air purification systems due to its exceptional adsorption properties. It helps remove impurities and contaminants effectively.
12. Coconut Oil Pulling
Coconut oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that involves swishing coconut oil in your mouth to promote oral health. It is believed to help remove toxins, whiten teeth, and freshen breath. Living in a World Without Dentists
13. Coconut Shell Charcoal Toothpaste
Coconut shell charcoal is being used as a natural ingredient in toothpaste due to its ability to gently whiten teeth and absorb toxins. It provides a natural and eco-friendly alternative to conventional toothpaste. How to Use Toothpaste Around the Home
14. Coconut Shell Mulch
Coconut shell mulch is an organic and sustainable option for gardening. It helps retain moisture, control weed growth, and improve soil quality. Plus, it adds a tropical touch to your garden beds. How to Reduce Waste as a Prepper
15. Shell Bird Feeder
Transforming a coconut shell into a bird feeder is not only a fun DIY project but also a great way to attract and feed birds in your backyard. Simply hang it up and watch the feathered visitors flock in. Types of Birds Safe to Eat in an Emergency
16. Shell Candle
Create a cozy and tropical ambiance with homemade coconut shell candles. Fill the shells with melted wax, add a wick, and enjoy the soothing glow and delightful fragrance. 10 Clever Uses for Candle Wax
17. Oil for a Massage
Coconut oil is an excellent natural massage oil. Its moisturizing properties make it perfect for soothing tired muscles and nourishing the skin, leaving you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. You could use coconut oil, right along with a tennis ball for a really good massage!
18. Garden Planters
Repurpose coconut shells as quirky and eco-friendly planters for your indoor or outdoor garden. Fill them with soil, add your favorite plants, and watch them thrive in these unique containers. 12 Budget-Friendly Beautiful Garden Tips
19. Coconut Shell Jewelry
Delicate and unique jewelry can be crafted from coconut shells. From earrings and necklaces to bracelets and pendants, coconut shell jewelry adds a touch of natural beauty to any outfit. My Homemade Jewelry Cleaner Recipe
20. Fire Starters
Dried coconut shells make excellent fire starters for camping or bonfires. Their natural fibers catch fire quickly, providing a sustainable and eco-friendly way to ignite flames. This is one of my favorite uses for coconuts. 15 Different Ways to Make Fire Starters
What are some nutrition facts and general health benefits of coconuts?
To give you an idea about the nutritional makeup of coconuts, here are some facts to review based on one ounce of unsweetened coconut meat:
- Calories: 187
- Saturated Fat: 16.2 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Carbohydrates: 7 grams
- Fiber: 4.6 grams
- Sugar: 2.1 grams
- Good source of nutrients like iron, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, and selenium
- The lauric acid in the saturated fats of coconuts can help with the good HDL cholesterol levels you need
What else can coconuts help with?
- Insulin resistance
- Blood sugar control and help balance blood sugar levels
- Keep your immune system strong
- Helps your digestive track stay healthy based on its fiber content
- Coconuts can help with bacterial infections and urinary tract infections
- Fresh coconut meat is actually very delicious, full of healthy fats.
- Coconut meat and its potassium can also help with blood pressure and heart disease.
- It has antibacterial properties that can be added to the long list of health benefits of coconut, including reducing bad breath.
More Coconut Content
- Easy-To-Make Coconut Ice Cream Bowls
- Easy To Make Coconut Cake Recipe
- Coconut Oil: Everything You Need to Know
If you’re looking to use every part of the coconut, then this list is super helpful. There are so many amazing ways to use coconuts, but they are also so full of nutritional value. The possible uses of coconut are endless, from the flesh of the coconut to the hard shell, the list is a mile long. Of course, having access to coconuts is hard, unless you live in a tropical location. I have found that you can still buy many of the coconut products. Try to add at least one coconut product to your daily routine. May God Bless this World, Linda.
Copyright Images: Coconuts Freshly Cut Depositphotos_66667739_S, Coconut in Half Depositphotos_92738968_S