Everyone's talking about being environmentally conscious. While not everyone can participate on social platforms, we can surely do our best with daily ingredients! One of the most commonly used ingredients is the coconut. Although we learned about the usefulness of the coconut tree from its root to its branches, not many of us have used it to its fullest.
When we buy a coconut, its usual purpose is to use the water or the flesh. However, there are many ways in which we can use every part of the coconut without any wastage. Here are some handy tips which can be easily used by every household.
Coconuts are mostly sold in grocery stores with a small part of their husk (coconut hair) still attached to it. This is done in order to preserve its freshness. Most of us remove the husk and discard it without a moment's thought. However, this husk can be collected and used in a number of ways.
� As peat moss - Instead of buying coco peat from the market, you can collect the coconut husk and use it along with compost and fertilizers as a potting soil. Adding it in layers in the soil can help the soil as it trap more water and avoids washing away essential nutrients.
� As a cleansing tool for mince strainers - If you use a fine mesh strainer to wash mince, you will notice that the fat and small pieces of meat clog the pores of the mince strainer. Using the daily utensil scrubber to clean it would be unhygienic while using a separate scrubber each time you wash your mince would not be economical. In such cases, coconut husks can be a great cleansing aid. First, soak the strainer in hot water for about ten minutes. Then take some coconut husk, wet it with a little liquid soap and scrub the strainer. The coarseness of the husks ensures that all the fat and meat is scrubbed out thoroughly. The husks can then be discarded. This method is both economical and hygienic.
In fact coconut husks were used as scrubbers' way before we were introduced to the modern version. And it is still used in many parts of the world.
Coconut water is well known for its medicinal and healing properties such as combating weight loss, skin care and replacing fluid loss during diarrhoea. Here are some more uses of coconut water:
� As a marinade: Coconut water can be used as a substitute for normal water in beef and chicken marinades.
� Cook rice: You can cook your rice with some coconut water added to the normal water. This provides a sweet taste to the rice.
� In recipes: Coconut water can be used in smoothies, mocktails as well as an ingredient in pizza crust.
Dried coconut meat is used in curries, desserts and garnishing. Here are some other uses:
� Face pack - The coconut meat can be ground with poppy seeds to create a face pack. This face pack can be used on normal or dry skin to provide a glowing complexion as well as moisturizing your skin.
� Dog snack - Coconut meat is proven to be safe for dogs in adequate quantities. However, do be sure to consult a vet as prior health conditions need to be assessed.
This is the most creative part of the coconut. Coconut shells have been used in many cultures around the world for cooking and as cutlery. Once cleaned, sandpapered and lacquered, they make for some very attractive items. Let's see some more innovative ways of using the shell.
� As a container- You can paint or carve the shells and use them as containers. Depending on the shape and size, you can use a half or a full coconut shell for holding buttons, pins, trinkets, potpourri, pens/pencils or floating candles.
� To serve nuts or dips - You can glue / bind several coconut shells to each other in order to use them to serve a variety of nuts, dips or candies to guests. You can bind them in twos or more to suit your purpose.
� Layer for pots - Coconut shells can also be broken into smaller pieces and used to layer the bottom of pots instead of traditional stones to prevent soil and water leakage.
All the above are eco-friendly ways to use a coconut in its entirety and are also easy on the pocket. So the next time you buy a coconut, think twice before discarding it.
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