Four weeks of the new year have gone. Can you believe it? I have a lot of catching up to do, not only for the new year but for the latter part of last year when I was MIA(missing in action). There's no use crying over spilt (coconut) milk so I'm dusting off and making more. You'll be glad to know that I have been doing just that, making more coconut milk and other coconutty things. Unfortunately, I have been negligent with regards to blogging about all these wonders but it's a new year once again; time to re-adjust and do things differently. The fact is I've not been a very good blogger. I probably need to go to blogging school or sign up for Computer 101. I've not done a good job of getting persons to read much less follow the blog. My posting schedule has been inconsistent; It's been three months since I posted anything. I do believe in this Blog and in the information that I wish to share, but it's no use crafting it in my head; I have to get it to you in a format and in a way that you will gladly accept. So that brings me to you. How can I make it more appealing to you? What will make you want to read what I have to say? Send me some feedback. I will try to do better on my end but I would certainly appreciate your imput. Thanks for listening. I actually wrote the blog update a few days ago and it disappeared, so it forced me to do a rewrite. I did not consciously decide to lay myself bare but that's what happened so I'll go with the rewrite and see it as an opportunity to share rather than as a chore. I attended a symposium last year and one of the speakers, Dr. Leachim Semaj basically said that if you wanted something you had to want it with purpose, not wishful thinking. Boldly put it out there;write it down;make it happen;say it into being! So, in 2014 I'm going to make things happen, starting right here. I'M TAKING MY HEALTHY GREEN BLOG TO THE NEXT LEVEL! Do you hear me shouting? I want you all on this journey. It's 2014 and I've got a new attitude.
Coconut & More Coconut
Let's get back to the coconut story: All parts of the coconut can be used in a variety of ways; eating, drinking, craft making and more. We drink the water from jelly coconuts (young green coconuts) and eat the soft meat or jelly. We use the dry brown coconuts to make oil, milk and so much more. Last year I increased my green account by using more parts of the coconut - the brown shell of the dried coconut. As I started to make more milk with the dry coconut I ended up with quite a bit of coconut shell. After a while I came up with the idea of making bowls, tapas plates and display containers. Of course that meant trying to get the coconut out of the shell without it breaking into lots of pieces. It's been quite a task and I'm getting used to chopping the coconut in two but the hard meat still needs to be removed from the shell (not my favourite job). I've discovered a coconut removal tool online as well as locally in one of my favourite stores, but I'm not going to rush out and get it just yet. Haste sometimes makes waste and it's pretty pricey.
I did manage to craft enough coconut containers, along with my other art & craft work to display at the Jamaica Exporters' Association's first 'Packaging Expo' last September. It was a lot of work but I'm glad I attended and maybe I'll be ahead of the game for the next staging.
The Coconut Campaign
Last year, I declared that I was on a 'Coconut Mission', a campaign to get persons to do more with jelly coconuts. Most Jamaicans drink the water from the young coconuts then throw away the shell with the jelly meat, especially if it's not soft. Hard or soft, it's a natural, healthy whole food. It's a waste to throw it away as there is so much that we could be doing with it, whether at home or commercially. We can make milk, milky drinks, smoothies, creamy ice-cream, buttery cream or creamy butter, to name a few. However, my latest obsession has been coconut jelly cream and chocolate coconut cream, made with young coconut jelly meat. To officially launch my 'Coconut Mission' on the 'Healthy Green Blog', I have a few dairy and sugar free recipes to share.
Jelly Coconuts - shaved & whole with stem handle
Jelly Coconuts with tops chopped off
Jelly Coconut with hard meat chopped in two
Part 1: Coconut Jelly Cream/Butter
Directions: (Skip #1 if you already have an open coconut)
1. Chop or cut open top of 1 or 2 young jelly coconuts
(I get mine chopped or shaved off at the market & take them home in my cooler)
Pour out the water & chop in two; drink some & save the rest for Part 2
2. Scoop the 'meat'out of the coconut halves with a large spoon
to provide 1/2 - 1 Cup of 'jelly meat'(Chop if not very soft)
Add to blender/nutribullet or other processor
Note: If it turns out to be a very mature jelly coconut with
very hard 'meat' use it to make regular coconut milk
(see brawta recipe below)
Use immediately or store in a closed glass container. It will keep for a week or more in the fridge.
Use as butter or spread on anything.
Mix with your morning cereal or eat with fruit.
Add to smoothies or thickies. Simply enjoy anyway you like!
Before you wash out the blender, here's Part 2.
Part 2: Coconut Jelly Cream Milk
1. Add 1/2 - 1 Cup water or coconut water to jelly cream residue left in processsor
2. Blend until milky & fully combined
3. Pour into a glass & enjoy as is or serve chilled
Jelly Milk can be enjoyed by itself or used as the milk of choice in smoothie and other recipes.
Store in a glass container in the fridge for 2 - 3 days if not using right away.
Refreshing Glass of Coconut Milk
1. Remove hard meat from dry coconut or mature jelly coconut
Chop into small pieces & add to blender
2. Add 2 Cups purified water to 1 Cup of coconut & blend
3. Strain mixture with a fine seive or strainer
4. Save pulp for other recipes; make coconut meal/flour or blend again with less water to get more milk
Store milk in the fridge for 3 - 4 days in a glass container or freeze for longer storage in ice cube trays
or freezer safe container.
Green Tip: Make a plan when using electrical appliances like your blender, so that you can accomplish two or more jobs for the price of one without additional waste, as I did above with the two-part recipe that did not require washing the blender in between uses.