Coconut is a mature fruit of the Cocos nucifera, a tree of 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 beautiful Caribbean beaches, breathtaking landscapes, marine life, and vegetation. While traveling around Belize, there seems to be a fairly wide distribution of coconut trees and coconut growers.
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.
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 happens to be good for you. It is 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, here are many ways to reap the robust flavor of this fruit:
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 many more health benefits.
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.
An all-time favorite for most people! Sweet coconut surrounded by delicious creamy custard and topped with whipped cream!
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 most Belizean dishes and beverages. To name a few, the famous rice and beans, johnnycakes, coconut shrimp curry, panty rippas (a popular Belizean drink), and more.
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.
Belizean creole bread would be a plain white bread if it wasn’t for that special ingredient… coconut milk! The coconut milk transforms the bread into something so tasty and delicious making it a delightful treat to have for breakfast. It can be eaten plain or toasted with jam or butter.
Written by Vivian Lizarraga