Thursday, March 21, 2013

Coconuts, Coconuts, everywhere.....

You can't help but notice all of the coconut trees here in Pearl Lagoon and the surrounding area. Almost every yard seems to have at least 1 tree and they are abundant all over the landscape. It makes you wonder what can you do with all their produce?

One of the biggest uses for coconuts, here on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua, is in the cuisine. You will find coconut oil, meat or milk in many dishes - from their famous coconut bread to their equally famous rondon. Not only humans but animals feed on coconuts. We have been surprised to see a number of dogs chowing down on a coconut!

Dog eating coconut meat

Most households have either a large grater-board to breakup the pieces of coconut meat or they have a rotary grater like the one in the picture below. The advantage of the rotary grater is that your fingers don't get chewed up like they do with the grater-board - it saves on bandages! You can buy one of these rotary graters in Bluefields for about 300 cordobas.

Coconut Rotary Grater

Getting the coconut meat out of the shell

One coconut will yield approximately 1 1/2 to 2 cups of ground coconut meat - ready to use in your favorite recipe.

Ground coconut
Here is a recipe for No Bake Coconut Oatmeal Cookies:
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
6 Tbsp cocoa
1 Tsp vanilla
3 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups coconut

Combine milk, butter, sugar and cocoa in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in the vanilla, oatmeal, and coconut. Let cool and then form into small balls. Slightly flatten and place in the freezer for at least 1 hour.

no bake coconut oatmeal cookies

What do they do with all those coconut shells? Well, we've seen them used to make pathways - a great idea since it keeps your feet out of the mud.