How to Enjoy a Coconut in Belize! 

by McNab Editorial Team

The coconut is the mature fruit of Cocos nucifera, a tree in the palm family. They have been grown in tropical regions for more than 4,500 years but have recently increased in popularity for their flavor, culinary uses, and potential health benefits.
If you find yourself in the tropics, having a coconut in your hand, whether for a selfie or to simply enjoy, is a must! Belize is fairly well known for its beautiful Caribbean beaches, breathtaking landscapes, marine life, and vegetation. While traveling around the country, you’ll find a fairly wide distribution of coconut trees, coconut growers, and coconut sellers. 

Coconuts play an important role in everyday life in Belize and coconut production contributes significantly to the national economy. Today, Belize’s coconut industry continues to grow, particularly in the beverage market. 

Nothing beats fresh coconut water! Image by La Perla del Caribe

You can find vendors selling coconuts on the roadside all over Belize, but you can also get coconuts practically for free if you don’t mind having to burst through three layers in order to find the protein-packed jewel. One can enjoy over a hundred coconuts a year from one single tree. Coconuts are tasty, refreshing, and also happen to be good for you. They’re loaded with several essential nutrients, including minerals that most people don’t get enough of. 

How Can You Enjoy Coconuts? 

Like other Caribbean countries, the coconut lies deep within Belize’s culinary customs. Besides eating the meat right from the shell, there are many ways to reap the robust flavor of this fruit: 

  • Coconut water

    What can be more refreshing than enjoying some coconut water on a sunny day? Coconut water forms naturally in the fruit and contains 94% water and very little fat. It’s been proven that coconut water is a good source of fiber and vitamin C that is good for your skin, helps prevent kidney stones, helps to fight diabetes, can support the heart, and has many more health benefits. 

  • Coconut tart

    This sweet Belizean treat is one that is hard to pass up! Grated coconuts are a main feature of the pastry. It is a favorite by both the young and old. 

  • Coconut pie

    An all-time favorite for most people! Sweet coconut surrounded by delicious creamy custard and topped with whipped cream! 

coconut pie

  • Coconut milk

    Coconut milk is made from the flesh of coconuts. It is available in tins/cans or as a milk powder in the markets and is used in many Belizean dishes and beverages. 

  • Coconut rum (Kuknat)

    When life gives you coconuts, don’t forget the rum! Ask for the Travellers Kuknat brand, no imitations here; this sweet tasty rum is made with natural Belizean coconut essences. Savor on the rocks, try it in a piña colada or with pineapple juice. 

  • Belizean Rice and Beans

    Traditionally, Belizeans cook their rice with coconut milk. Rice and beans is a classic Caribbean dish. It holds a special place in every Belizean’s heart. You will find this dish on almost every restaurant menu. 

  • Creole bread

    Belizean creole bread would be plain white bread if it wasn’t for that special ingredient… coconut milk! The coconut milk transforms the bread into a tasty and delightful treat to have for breakfast. It can be eaten plain or toasted with jam or butter.

Written by Vivian Lizarraga. This article was published in November 2019.

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