Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk

Alright so I know this post is coming out a bit late considering the fact that the holidays have passed and were all waiting for the new year.  However, this item that I came across recently at a Whole Foods store I found to be amazing.  In fact if I had it my way this item would be available year around.

chocolate mint coconut milk

When I discovered the Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk by SO Delicious I was a bit skeptical.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am big fan of coconut water or milk.  I’ve always loved chocolate.  I’m like mint as well especially if we are talking about chocolate chip mint ice cream.  However I never imagined a mixing coconut milk, chocolate and mint together and having a great tasting beverage.  Luckily due to the holiday season, Whole Foods was giving out free samples of various holiday drinks including this one.  I’ve never been one to turn down a free sample or two.  Upon taking a sip I was immediately hooked.  I ended filling my sample cup several more times.  Without hesitation I proceeded to the multi-deck that contained the eggnog and other holiday beverages.  Many of these items happened to be on sale.  The Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk had a deal where you could get 2 containers for $5 total.  Each container contained a quart of milk.  I was sold.

When I got home I immediately opened one of the bottles and poured myself a nice 8 ounce glass.  I relished every sip.  In my refrigerator happened to be some dark chocolate that I like to take in the middle of the day for a little extra energy.  After a couple of seconds of chewing and then sipping I decided that Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk combined with some dark chocolate (preferably 80% cacao or more) is a great combination.  One thing that surprised me the most was the lack of coconut flavor within the drink.  While the flavor of cocoa in the drink was strong it was far from overpowering.  The mint blended in very well and gave a nice after taste.  Most importantly the drink was not too sweet only containing 6 grams of sugar per serving derived from dried cane syrup.  A lot beverages tend to go wrong by overdoing the sugar to the point where you can barely taste any other flavor.  This holiday beverage did a great job not making that mistake.chocolate mint coconut milk ingredients

Besides being dairy free, DO Delicious’s holiday beverage is also gluten free, soy free and verified as non GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms).  So for those who were looking for a nice non dairy beverage for the holidays, hopefully you were able to get your hands on this.  You will not be disappointed!mint chocolate pudding recipe

Ps: If you’re trying to get really creative, SO Delicious also wrote down a recipe on the back of the carton for Mint Chocolate Macaroon Tapioca Pudding.  Check it out!

A Coconut’s Growth Stages

A coconut’s growth stages from a scientific point of view can be quite fascinating.  Of course it doesn’t start with the coconut.  It starts with the palm tree that the coconut came from.  In fact it starts even earlier if we get into the growth stages of a coconut palm tree.  We’ll save that subject for another time.  For now let’s start with the palm tree.

A standard coconut palm is said to produce as much as 50 coconuts per year.  Each of these coconuts require roughly the same amount of time to grow.  From there it is important to know what growth stage a coconut has reached so you know when best to harvest it.

Stage One:  During the early stages, flowers start to form around the palm leaves of the coconut palm tree.  These flowers are where the nut forms and eventually grows into a bright green fruit.  Often these fruits will start to fall off from the tree due to their immaturity.  For the coconuts that manage to hang on, they will continue to grow.  At this growth stage of the coconut, the liquid stored inside can be drained.  Commonly referred to as coconut water, a large coconut even in an immature state can hold as much as one liter inside.  In my personal experience with green coconuts, the average amount of liquid I have extracted was around 8 to 10 ounces.

Coconuts Off Palm TreeStage Two: This is the point where the coconut begins to ripen.  The coconut’s lovely green color starts to turn brown.  At this point, if you decide to cut into the coconut you may get access to incredibly soft meat.  Due to the early ripening stages, the coconut meat consist of very thin white layer. While the texture of the meat is somewhat between being gel like and like a hard boiled egg, many people would find it quite delicious.  For some the soft meat combined with the liquid inside is referred to as coconut milk.

Stage Three: At this point if the coconut still has a firm grasp of the tree it’s on it will continue to ripen.  The outside part of the of the coconut also known as the Exocarp is becoming harder.  The coconut meat on the inside begins to thicken and becomes harder as well.  The hardened gel or meat can be removed from the shell and given many uses.  The meat could be dried up and shredded and used as flakes to go on various types on meals.  If the shell is simply split and left to be dried into the sun, the dried meat now becomes “copra” .  This copra can be converted into coconut oil which we will soon learn has various uses.

Stage Four:  This is the final growth stage of the coconut.  At this point the coconut was never harvested and was given permission to fully ripen on the tree it came from.  While completing its maturity process the coconut begins to germinate.  The germination process is the final stage of the coconut before the cycle starts over again.  The coconut meat and liquid are fully absorbed at this point.  If cracked open a white sponge feeling ball has formed within the coconut.  Though some may be tempted to taste test this coconut ball it is not recommended as depending on how long the coconut has been germinated the ball may be poisonous.