Fruity Fridays…The Coconut…Is it a fruit, a nut or a seed?

Fruity Fridays The Coconut

The Coconut …Is it a fruit?  Welcome to Fruity Fridays where I show case a different fruit each week.

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I am sometimes flummoxed by what is a fruit, a nut or a seed or indeed a tree …Take the Papaya tree which grows in abundance here and also I will add grows very quickly …It has fruit with the same name as the tree but it is a PLANT …It has no branches and a soft stem with all the very large leaves at the top and can grow up to 10 metres high.  It is, in fact, a herbaceous plant as the stem bears little wood and stays green and soft until it dies. But ask anyone here and they will call it a Papaya tree…

Which brings me back to the Coconut …Well, it has a hard outer shell-like a nut, doesn’t it?

Don’t you think my Coconut tree looks magnificent?

Botanically it is known as a one-seeded drupe otherwise known as a dry drupe. 

Where does that leave us? With a fruit, a nut and a seed?

The name itself infers it is a nut….after all a nut can be defined as a one-seeded fruit. But true nuts do not open on maturity and release their seeds… the nut has to decay and then it releases its seeds and is dispersed by an animal either in its faeces or just by being dropped on the ground.

The coconut we buy in the shops or market has no resemblance to the coconut on my tree and until I moved here I thought there was only one type of coconut…

There are so many here coconuts for drinking, eating the soft flesh, hard like the ones I knew…I am certainly furthering my education by leaps and bounds although I have always been inquisitive…Yeh Yeh…Ok..plain nosey…I like to know things…

coconut

It has 3 layers the first is typically green …This layer is called exocarp then you get the fibrous husk( mesocarp) this surrounds the woody layer ( endocarp) which surrounds the seed…. which is what you get in the supermarkets.

But did you know???

The coconut palm is not a tree as it has no bark, no branches, or secondary growth. It is a woody perennial known as monocotyledons as the trunk is the stem.

The coconut is known as the Tree of Life as every bit of the tree is and can be used for drinks, fibre, food, fuel, musical instruments,  cooking utensils and so much more.

it is also claimed although not formally recorded that during World War 11  and the Vietnam war when intravenous (IV) solution was in short supply, doctors used coconut water as a  substitute for  IV solutions.

If the shell of the coconut has not been cracked, the coconut water inside is usually sterile – that is, free of bacteria and the like. So technically it could be injected safely into people, to replace fluid loss? It might, however, be said it might just be better just to drink it to replace blood plasma.

 

So do we now know what the coconut is? A fruit, nut or seed?

Mangoes, peaches and almonds are in the same drupe family as the coconut. Although the coconut is a dry drupe and peaches and mango are fleshy drupes.  Well, I clearly am not a botanical expert but in my world but I have always thought of those as fruits so the coconut to me is a cross between a fruit and a nut which we eat the flesh off and drink the lovely juice of a huge seed.

There you have it!

Just in case you missed it…Here is my post on how to make your own coconut oil...   Which would make a lovely present.

If you just want to make something for yourself and your family then these macaroons are easy to make and delicious.

Coconut Macaroons.

coconut-macaroons
What to make when you have egg whites left over from making Carbonara? I have not made coconut macaroons for years. Next time for a little more colour I will lightly toast my coconut and maybe melt some chocolate and drizzle over them.

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 3 cups of desiccated coconut or fresh coconut if you have it.
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 1/4 tsp of salt

Let’s Cook!
Whisk the egg whites, sugar, vanilla essence and salt until the mix is soft and frothy.
Fold in the coconut and put spoonfuls on a lined baking tray.
Cook in a preheated oven on 350F or 175 C for 15-20 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on a baking tray.
This recipe made about 12 depending on the size of your spoon.

 

Thank you for reading this I hope you enjoyed if you did please feel free to share…Sharing is caring… x

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33 thoughts on “Fruity Fridays…The Coconut…Is it a fruit, a nut or a seed?

  1. stevetanham

    Thank you, Carol. Inspiration, as always. I remember, as a child, my first drink of coconut ‘milk’ from the nut. I thought I’d gone to heaven. There was something so utterly alive about that juice! Science changes its mind so often, yet expects us to be faithful because it’s science! I much prefer (and share) your idea of moderation.

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    1. Carol Post author

      I know, Steve and it was those same professors who told us a while ago sugar was good for us..go figure…The problem is many people will take it as gospel and look no further ..I am also with you on the coconut water it is the best drink and I luckily get it fresh straight from the drupe and isn’t it lovely when something triggers those childhood memories? I love it…I hope you have a wonderful weekend, Steve 🙂

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  2. Carol Post author

    Reblogged this on Retired? No one told me! and commented:

    Fruity Fridays…This week I have decided to reblog this post the reason is twofold 1. I have only just got my laptop back and working and 2…Did you see the headlines ??? Coconut oil is “pure poison,” says Harvard professor… Good fats come mainly from vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish. Healthy fats are liquid at room temperature, not solid….. The plot thickens my coconut oil is liquid? I know coconuts are high in saturated fats but…MODERATION… My health has improved since I have incorporated coconut oil etc in my diet although depending on what I am making I may use olive oil or another healthy oil again it is about balance and moderation… Some research states that the saturated fat from the coconut may react differently to other saturated fats in our bodies…..Why? Because most of the saturated fats in coconut are medium chain fatty acids whose properties and metabolism are different from those of animal origin. Medium chain fatty acids do not undergo degradation and re-esterification processes and are directly used in the body to produce energy. They are not as ‘bad for health’ as other saturated fats. What are your thoughts ????

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  5. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

    I am a fan of coconut water Carol and high blood pressure runs in my family but I drink a glass every morning and one of its properties is that it helps maintain a healthy BP.. I don’t need prescribed medication and I do notice a difference if I stop drinking for a few days which is always a good test to me… great post.. hugs x

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    1. Carol Post author

      Thank you, Sally xxx…It also runs in my family on my parents side…If I don’t drink coconut water then I drink apple cider vinegar with fresh grated ginger. Just for a change really I am lucky to get it fresh from the drupe and also use it in my smoothies . Have a great weekend xxx

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  6. Doctor Jonathan

    Really very, very interesting. It never occured to me to think in terms of coconut classification outside of a great source of healthy fats. Thank you for a little Monday morning (for me) brain stimulation. Great post!! 🙂

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  7. Pingback: Fruity Fridays…The Coconut…Is it a fruit, a nut or a seed? | Retired? No one told me!

  8. Pingback: Healthy Cooking with Coconut Flour. | Retired? No one told me!

    1. blondieaka Post author

      Thank you Sandy…I am a mine of information mostly useless…lol…I just like to know about things…I hope you are well :)…I miss you guys on Niume…but I have more time to write,,,lol

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    1. Rex Trulove

      It is all three, depending on exactly what a person is talking about. The drupe is a fruit. The brown ‘hairy’ coconuts sold in the store are nuts. Shredded coconut is from the flesh of the seed.

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  9. Rex Trulove

    Botanically, a drupe is a fruit. In the case of a coconut, it is any of the three; fruit, nut, and seed. It depends on precisely what is being referred to. The whole coconuts sold in stores in the US (and presumably, the UK) is a nut. However, what falls from the tree is a fruit. That is an interesting case of being more than one.

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