Every food and drink has its on special day and June 26 is celebrated each year as National Coconut Day. Coconuts are a versatile ingredient in many recipes and drinks.
Read on to learn some interesting coconut facts and get some coconut recipes to try.
The Coconut Coalition of the Americas founded National Coconut Day in 2019 to celebrate the coconut and raise awareness of its many benefits. The day is celebrated to show us that coconut is more than just an ingredient in coconut recipes.
There is also an international day to honor coconuts. It’s known as World Coconut Day and is celebrated on September 3.
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Is coconut a nut or a fruit?
Coconuts are found on coconut palms – cocos nucifera. Trying to classify a coconut is a challenge, since it is actually three things – a fruit, a nut and a seed.
Botanically, coconuts are known as a one seeded drupes. Drupes are fleshy fruits with thin skins and a central stone. Other drupes are cherries, almonds, plums and olives.
The coconut is considered a perfect food. This is because it not only has an edible seed but also contains both coconut water and coconut oil. All three parts serve as a rich source of food. Coconuts are easily digested and rich in nutrients.
They also have many health benefits.
Why Does a Coconut have 3 holes?
The three holes on a coconut are germination spores. In nature, one of these holes is usually functional and the other two are plugged. A new coconut shoot will emerge from the functional hole.
The three holes are the points where the coconut was attached to the tree.
Practically speaking, the holes also can be used when opening the coconut, since this area is thinner than the rest of the outer husk.
In the 16th century, Portuguese sailors thought the three small holes resembled a human face. They named the fruit coco which meant grinning face. Later, the word nut was added to coco to name it coconut.
Find out how to open a coconut and how to store fresh coconut meat.
Fun Facts about Coconuts
Brush up on your knowledge of coconuts with these interesting facts.
- Coconuts are a prehistoric plant.
- During Mardi Gras, the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club hands out hand decorated coconuts as a signature Mardi Gras parade throw. They are one of the most highly coveted souvenirs from the parade!
- Coconuts are able to float in water.
- Until the 1960’s, coconut oil was the leading vegetable oil. Soybean oil now holds that honor.
- Wounded soldiers in WWII were given emergency plasma infusions with coconut water. This happened only when there was a shortage of saline solution.
- In Hindu mythology, smashing a coconut is symbolic of getting rid of the ego.
- Coconut palms can grow to almost 100 feet tall!
- Coconut recipes are some of the most versatile recipes. From savory to sweet, the coconut has a place on your menu.
- Coir (the fiber of the husk of a coconut) is used for making all sorts of things, from ropes to brushes and stuffing for mattresses.
- Mature palm trees can yield as many as 75 coconuts or more in a year.
- A report from 1944 tells how the Japanese hollowed out coconuts and filled them with grenades.The report says they made a “terrific explosion but caused little damage.”
- 3 1/2 cups of coconut has the daily recommended dose of fiber.
- The largest producers of coconuts are India, the Philippines and Indonesia.
- The coconut bra, often shown on Hawaiian hula girls is not native to Hawaii. This swimsuit garment is a western idea.
- Cream of coconut cream is one of the major ingredients in a Pina Colada.
- Some use coconut oil as a natural insect repellent.
- Coconut oil is great for cooking, but it also has dozens of uses around the home.
Nutrition in Coconut
The white fleshy part of the coconut is called “coconut meat.” It is high in potassium, manganese and copper. Coconut can be eaten fresh or dried to use in sweet coconut recipes.
Coconut water has 46 calories a cup. Coconut meat is high in calories and fat (mostly saturated fat) but moderate in carbohydrates and protein.
Exports report that coconut oil may boost good cholesterol, making it beneficial for your heart health.
How to observe National Coconut Day
There are lots of obvious ways to honor National Coconut Day – just enjoy a piece of coconut, to start. Here are a few other creative ways to help celebrate this day.
- Wear a T Shirt with a coconut bra on it while sipping on a yummy frozen coconut cocktail.
- Invest a coconut opening tool to make opening a fresh coconut easier.
- Have a coconut macaroon party where each guest brings their own version of the cookie to share.
- Read your child the story – A Coconut Named Bob.
- Relax by the pool and read A Coconut Layer Cake Mystery.
- Try one of the coconut recipes below to use coconuts in a new way.
- Do the word search puzzle for June to see if you can find Coconut Day in it.
- Use the hashtag #NationalCoconutDay to spread the word about the day on social media. Here is a tweet to get you started:
We all love coconut! It is often used in baked goods, such as bars and macaroon cookies but can be used in savory recipes, too.
You can use the coconut meat, coconut milk or coconut oil in all sorts of tasty treats.
Treat your taste buds to some of these coconut recipes.
- Use coconut oil to make these bird’s nest cookies for Easter. They are tasty to eat and also fun to look at!
- Shredded coconut gives these pumpkin haystack cookies a realistic shape.
- The coconut sugar in these patriotic popsicles makes them gluten free and Paleo.
- Your kids will love the shredded coconut on the outside of these frozen banana pops, and you’ll love to serve this healthy treat!
- This apple coconut breakfast bowl is gluten free, Whole30 and Paleo.
- These coconut and cheese cupcakes are also gluten free and so, so tasty!
- Tempt your sweet tooth with these no bake coconut chocolate peanut butter balls.
- You can use coconut in drinks too! Try this Caribbean coconut rum and pineapple cocktail on for size.
- Coconut milk makes this Tom Kha Gai chicken coconut soup so rich and creamy.
- This beer battered coconut shrimp recipe is perfect for a main course or a party appetizer.
- My mother’s recipe for pumpkin cake with a toasted coconut frosting is a family favorite at my house.
What is a National Day of the Year?
National days of the year are days that are meant to celebrate odd and unusual foods, animals and items that you come into contact with.
Be sure to check out my National Day’s Guide for other fun and unusual days to celebrate.
There are close to 2000 National Days in the year and over 150 of them are celebrated in June.
To see them all, have a look at this post to discover more about the National Days in June.
Is food your passion? Each day of the month of June has a food or drink associated with it, too. You’ll find all the July Food Holidays here.
Be sure to also check out these other foodie inspired National Days:
- National Corn on the Cob Day
- National Rotisserie Chicken Day
- National Pretzel Day
- National Spinach Day
- National Blueberry Pie Day
- National Pina Colada Day
Pin this post for National Coconut Day for later
Would you like a reminder of these coconut recipes that celebrate National Coconut Day? Just pin this image to one of your food boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.
One of my favorite ways to celebrate National Coconut Day is to bake a batch of coconut macaroon cookies. You can print out a recipe below.
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup of sweetened coconut flakes
- 15 maraschino cherries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Combine the egg whites and sea salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at low speed until the egg whites are frothy, about 1 minute.
- Add the sugar, increasing the speed until the egg whites are stiff and have glossy peaks. This takes about 5-7 minutes.
- Gently fold in the flour, vanilla extract, and coconut flakes.
- Drop the batter by heaped tablespoons on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake until light golden brown - about 14-15 minutes.
- While still warm, make a small indentation in the cookie and add a maraschino cherry to the top of each one.
- Melt the chocolate wafers in a microwave safe bowl in 20 second increments until smooth. Add to an icing bag and drizzle on the cookies.
This post first appeared on the website Recipes Just 4U. It is used with permission. See the full tutorial for the recipe here.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 78Total Fat: 3.2gSaturated Fat: 2.8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 69.9mgCarbohydrates: 12.1gFiber: 0.6gSugar: 10.3gProtein: 0.9g
Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.