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Page added on August 14, 2009

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Coconut as an Ingredient

Filipinos  have made many  use of COCONUT, from the fruits  to the roots.  The Philippines is  the world’s  leader in coconut production (2007)- COPRA INDUSTRY (used for coconut oil), followed by Indonesia,/India, and  in distant third. Pollachi. Therefore it is  appropriate to pay initial homage to the ever controversial place in Filipinos ranking as 1st or 2nd National Tree- THE COCONUT & NUT.

Contrary to the song…..Coconut belongs to both NUTS and FAT/OIL Food Groups based on the parts to be used. As to its versatile properties, coconut has wide range of uses from food to music. You can even be both culinary wise and economically creative using coconut and all its parts. Just like the flexibility, creativity and resiliency of many Filipinos here and back in our home land, you can create anything you can imagine with coconut. So let’s start digging in to all its parts and uses.

The Husk (outer skin,) & Shell (inner  stone). When the coconut has ripened  the  husk  will turn brown (NIYOG). The coconut husk’s very famous function is as “bunot”- an abrasive sweeper and floor polisher. Back in the olden days, you don’t want to be teased as “bunot” - which only means your hair is totally off both in style and fashion. The barber or your father must have rushed resulting  to only  one  layer/length  from the  front all the way to the back.. Coconut shells are also used as bowls, spoons and in the manufacture of various art and craft products.

The meat (NUT). The inside wall is a thick luminous coconut “meat” which is the white and fleshy edible part of the seed. Coconut meat contains less fat than other dry nuts such as  peanuts, However it is considered mono-saturated fat.(medium-chain) as oppose to majority of nut and vegetable families which are all unsaturated fat (long-chain). Although, 90% of the fat found in coconut meat is mono-saturated, it is healthier than fat found in saturated fat (short-chain) foods such as lard, butter, and tallow . Coconut meat also contains less sugar and more protein than popular fruits such as bananas, apples and oranges, and it is relatively high in minerals such as iron, phosphorus and zinc. When the coconut is still young (green), the meat is thin and tender to eat and the water is delicious to drink. A mature (brown) coconut’s interior meat  is less softer and  less gelatinous than a young. coconut. The meat has thickened and hardened, while the  water has become somewhat bitter.

The milk “GATA”: The coconut milk in Filipino terms  is “GATA” or “Katas Ngungut” in Kapampangan, Squeezing  the grated meat with warm water produces  “Gata” or without water to produce thicker milk “Kakang Gata”. The resulting, white liquid is use by  many Asians to cook dishes like curries, soups, sauces, desserts, dessert toppings “latik”,  Other use as hair conditioner, hair treatment (HOT OIL), “langis ng niyog” and so much more.

The water “SABAW ng BUKO”, & Green Young Coconut “BUKO”: The hollow interior space is filled with air and liquid referred to as coconut water not to be confused with coconut milk. The water of a young  coconut is very luminous, opaque, sweet (mild) with an aerated feel when cut fresh. Young coconut could contain as much as 1,000 ml liquid.. Coconut water is a very delicious and refreshing drink. It is also believed to aid in the cure of urinary infections and bladder stone.

Other uses of Coconut : Leaves for roof, dust sweeper, broom “walis tingting” and Trunk for fences, makeshift-boats and firewood..

TASTEBUDS & RECIPES

Here are the few of my most requested recipes as promised to friends

SWEET:

Coconut Pudding

SALTY & SPICY/SAVOURY:

SEAFOOD Pakbet sa GATA

Ingredients:

6 pieces  sliced bread

½  Jar Macapuno Strings

1 cup strawberries

1 egg

1 cup coconut milk

1 cup  sweetened condensed Milk

Procedure:

  1. Cut bread in small cubes, then toast for 5-10 minutes. Pour it in a round 8-inch glass pie pan.
  2. Scoop ½ jar of the macapuno and layer on top of the bread/
  3. Wash and slice  strawberries  and layer on top of the bread.
  4. Blend  Coconut milk, condersed milk and eggs together and pour over top of the bread.
  5. Bake @ 350F for about 40-45 minutes until bottom is golden brown and dry. Cut in slices and serve hot or cold with refreshing drink.

Makes 8 slices.

Variations: Can also use  green mango and/or mixed with rhubarb/strawberry sauce.

Ingredients:

1 bag Seafood mix ( or any seafood of your choice)

1 lb  shrimp

½ lb small crabs or big 1 lb large crabs

1 cup  long beans (sitaw)

1 cup  squash (kalabasa)

1 cup  okra

1 can coconut milk

3 Tbsp  Spicy Shrimp paste (Bagoong)

½ medium onion

5 cloves garlic

Pepper (optional)

2 Tbsp canola oil

Procedure:

  1. Saute onion and garlic in oil.
  2. Add seafood (all washed and trimmed) and boil for a few minutes.
  3. Add Bagoong and simmer for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add vegetables according to texture and order of cooking time.
  5. Reduce the heat then add coconut milk  and simmer for 3-5 minutes
  6. Serve with hot steamed rice

Serves 4-6

Variations: Can add curry powder  and lemongrass

SWEET (DRINK): MELON COLADA

Ingredient

Ice cubes

½ piece  cantaloupe (cut in small pieces)

1 Orange (Juice freshly squeezed)

¼ c sweetened condensed milk

¼ c coconut milk

2 scoops vanilla ice cream ( optional) ++ water

SERVING: Pour in 4 flute glasses and enjoy

Variations; Can use Watermelon, Orange  or  Pineapple

Procedure:

  1. Pour coconut and condensed milk in the blender. Run for 30 seconds
  2. Wash and cut cantaloupe and add to the liquid with orange juice. Run for another 30 secs.
  3. Add ice cubes next (Liquid before solids to keep blades sharp).
  4. Add ice cream if desired ( also add water/milk) to reduce thick consistency)

Nutritional Information

NUTIENTS per 100 gram Edible Portion (EP)**

Coconut Meat

Coconut Milk

Magulang

Makapuno

Buko

Water

Gata

OIL

EP (%)

56

74

14

100

100

100

Water (g)

51.9

64.8

80.6

94.4

56.9

Tr

Energy(Kcal )

198

226

102

22

343

895

Protein (g)

3.9

2.4

1.4

Trace

5.5

Tr

Fat (g)

26.1

17.6

5.3

0.2

34.8

99.1

Carbohydrate (g)

17.2

14.5

12.1

5.1

1.9

0.8

Dietary Fiber-Crude (g)

8.7

5

6.6

0

0

0

Calcium (mg)

32

58

10

16

15

2

Phosphorous (mg)

96

59

54

6

100

3

Iron (mg)

1.5

1.4

0.7

0.2

1.6

Tr

Vitamin A (ug)

0

0

0

0

0

0

Thiamin (mg)

0.01

0.02

0.07

Tr

0.02

Tr

Riboflavin (mg)

0.03

0.02

0.04

Tr

0.01

Tr

Niacin (mg)

0.4

0.6

0.9

Tr

0.3

Tr

Ascorbic Acid (mg)

3

4

4

Tr

Tr

0

** The Food Composition Tables 1997 FNRI-DOS

*** THE MAIN INGREDIENT segment aims to inform, educate, share skills and knowledge. It also hopes to satisfy most of our TASTEBUDS (the five elements of taste perception: salty, sour, bitter, sweet, and umami or savoury). If you want to request INGREDIENT(s) be  featured for its uses, nutrient contents and/or cooking tips, also for comments/suggestions, please e-mail: pdutkoski@shaw.ca or s-mail: c/o M. Pangan-Dutkoski 18 Farnham Drive, SE Calgary, AB T2H 1C6. ***

The author has had 13 years of experience in the field of food and nutrition, research, community/public health and food services combined. A  Degree in Nutrition & Dietetics (Philippines.) and Food and Nutrition Technology Program (Canada).  Information presented in this segment  is  based on  nutritional books, online  searches and personal knowledge of the author.  Furthermore, all recipes featured in this segment are that of original creations of the author, and is intended solely for personal use of the end users. This article and contents are copyrights and patent pending and therefore, no portion/ parts or whole  can be re-produced for any other use other than stated above without the author’s expressed permission. mbpd








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