What are Coconuts?

So…what are coconuts?  The funny thing about the term “coconut” is there is no scientific name for it.  In fact, the scientific term Cocos nucifera stands for the coconut tree or coconut palm.  One interesting debate is whether the coconut is a fruit or nut.  You could understand why most people would consider it a nut given its name and hard shell.  The botanical term for a coconut is a drupe.  A drupe is an indehiscent fruit or stone fruit that consists of several layers. There’s the Exocarp which is the skin and outer most layer.  The Mesocarp is flesh of the coconut and is also the thickest layer.  It surrounds the shell.  Finally there is the Endocarp which is the inner most layer.  Peaches and mangoes are also drupes that have layers similar to that of a coconut.  The difference of course is that the mesocarp of the peach and mango is edible while the coconut mesocarp is a dry husk.

drupe image
A drupe consists of two layers surrounding the shell of a hardened seed.

Based off the scientific term Cocos nucifera, coconuts come from trees.  Specifically they come from palm trees.  They say a coconut palm can live up to 100 years and grow up to 98 feet in height.  Along with these tall coconut trees, there are smaller ones known as dwarfs which do not produce as much coconuts.   There is no exact amount of coconuts a coconut tree can produce.  This all depends on the fertility of the land the tree has been planted on.  A coconut palm tree growing on premium fertile soil could produce as much as 75 coconuts depending on it’s height.  This however is a rarity as the average tree tends to produce no more then 30 coconuts.

what are coconut palm trees
Cocos nucifera is the scientific term for coconut palm tree.

Coconut trees  grow in rain forests, tropical and subtropical areas.  The best conditions for growth are highly warm and humid with powerful amount of sunlight.  The low 80’s Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for optimal growth.  The tree can continue to grow in the low 70’s temperature however it would be at a much slower rate with the tree possibly becoming aggravated.  These type a temperatures still require the palm tree to be attended to.  In order to grow without any care, the coconut tree would require a daily temperature in the mid 50’s Fahrenheit with a rainfall of at least 1000 millimeters per year.  Currently coconuts are grown in 80 to 90 countries worldwide.  In 2013 the top 5 coconut producers were Indonesia, Philippines, India, Brazil and Sri Lanka.

For more information on what are coconuts, click here.

Why I Love Coconuts!

i love coconuts
I love coconuts and all the benefits that they provide!

So first off I love coconuts and just about anything that involves coconut as an ingredient.  Whether its coconut milk, coconut water, coconut oil, coconut moisturizer or any recipe that involves coconut.  You name it, if it involved coconuts I’m sure I fell in love with it.  There has been quite some debate on whether coconuts are a super food.  I plan on discussing that in due time.  All I can say is that ever since I have implemented coconuts in my diet, my life has changed for the better.  Physically and mentally I feel much healthier then I did pre-coconut diet implementation.  I have more energy throughout the day and most importantly, THEY TASTE GREAT!  I don’t expect everyone who comes across this to fully agree with me.  We are all entitled to our opinions.  All I hope to do is go over some of my experiences and some interesting things that I have learned about the coconut.  All feedback is welcome.  I just ask that we keep it professional (dry humor is an exception) .  So keep a look out for some fun and interesting facts on coconuts and why I have fallen in love with this incredible food!