Thursday, March 10, 2011
Coconut “Sap” ~ Who Knew???
Coconut palms are one of the oldest flowering trees in the world. For centuries throughout the tropics, the traditional practice of “tapping” coconut trees for their prized “sap” is a time-honored art form. The nutrient-rich sap that exudes from the blossoms before they mature into coconuts, is used to make many unique and nutritious food products. The Coconut Secret line is the direct result of these artisanal family recipes.
Tapping the Sap
The principles of tapping the coconut tree blossoms for their sap, bears only minor resemblance to the practice of tapping maple trees for maple syrup production. Containers used to collect the sap are made out of hollow bamboo tubes that are fastened onto the thick fleshy stems covered in small flowers (see photos).
The freshly gathered coconut tree sap is oyster white in color, has a nearly neutral pH, and is already inherently sweet tasting by nature. Whereas, the sap from a maple tree (as well as the juice from an agave cactus) has very little readily available sweetness, and requires long heating times in order to produce the sweet syrup you purchase in the bottle.
The nutrient-rich coconut sap comes right out of the tree naturally abundant in 17 Amino Acids (the building blocks of protein), broad-spectrum B Vitamins (especially rich in Inositol, known for its effectiveness on depression, high cholesterol, inflammation, and diabetes), Vitamin C, Minerals (high in Potassium, essential for electrolyte balance, regulating high blood pressure, and sugar metabolism), as well as FOS (a prebiotic that promotes digestive health).
Coconut tree sap produces a multitude of delicious products, including our Coconut Vinegar, Coconut Aminos Seasoning Sauce, Coconut Nectar, and Coconut Crystals, all made through raw methods of either fermenting the sap (for up to 1 year), or evaporating it (for only 45-90 minutes at low temperatures) after it is collected.
The most remarkable blessing about tapping a coconut tree, is that once it is tapped, it flows its sap continuously for the next 20 years. From a sustainability viewpoint, the harvestable energy production from tapping coconut trees for their sap (which yields 5,000 liters per hectare), rather than allowing them to produce fruit, is 5-7 times higher per hectare than coconut oil production from mature coconuts.