Confession: I am kind of obsessed with coconut. Coconut water, coconut in smoothies, chocolate with coconut in it, coconut rice, coconut milk, basically anything with coconut. I’m a coco-nut. Don’t judge me for my awful humor.
My MOST FAVORITE way to enjoy coconut is straight from the fruit itself! (Side note: according to the googles, coconuts are a drupe, which is a fruit with a hard, stony covering enclosing the seed…who knew?!) Brown (mature) coconuts are wonderful for using the meat to make toasted coconut, but the best way to go is with a young (or baby!) coconut. These are the white ones that you sometimes see at the grocery store. They look like this:
They are white because they have the green outer shell already removed. Here is how you get into the sweet goodness on the inside:
You will need a sharp chef’s knife and a sturdy work surface. (Lawyer note: If you happen to injure yourself while following these directions, I am not responsible! Please be very careful and have adult supervision while handling sharp objects. Kthx)
The first thing to do is slice off all the white husk from the top of the coconut. Just keep slicing away, all around the top. You want to get all the way down to the light brown shell part.
When you have cleared the entire top, take the heel of your knife and firmly tap it on the shell at a 45 degree angle. You will need to hit it in several places around the brown area. Pry the coconut open with your knife.
Pour the coconut water into a bowl or cup. The amount of liquid inside varies. I got about 20 ounces from this particular coconut! You can also strain this liquid before using it if you have a lot of chunks in it. There is nothing better than this water. I promise. Zico is delicious, but you will never look at it the same after having the real deal straight for the drupe.
The texture of the meat also varies. Some coconuts have very soft, gel-like meat, while others have more firm flesh. As far as I know, there really isn’t any way to tell what you are going to get. It’s all good though!
My meat was a little more firm this time, so I used my knife to scrape it out. If you have a more gelatinous meat, you can just use a spatula or spoon.
Once I had loosened it, it was easy to just peel it all out in large chunks.
So now that you have all this great coconut water and beautiful coconut meat, what should you do with it? Obviously you can drink the water straight up. The coconut meat is also great in smoothies, ice creams, puddings, maybe even soup. My favorite use for the meat is to make a sort of coconut pudding.
Thai Young Coconut Pudding
meat from one Thai young coconut
8 ounces fresh coconut water
1 Tablespoon cacao nibs
dash of cinnamon
natural sweetener, to taste
4-6 ice cubes
- Combine coconut meat with water in blender until smooth.
- Add cinnamon, cacao nibs, and sweetener to blender, and combine until smooth.
- Add ice and blend until smooth.
Add more or less ice depending on how thick you want your pudding (or it can also be a smoothie!).
Mine was pretty much right on par with the texture of Jell-O pudding. Yum.
Garnished with a few extra raw, organic cacao nibs and some coconut chips.
I used about a teaspoon of raw local honey for my sweetener, and the sweetness was exactly what I wanted. You can add more or less depending on what you are going for.
Other options for sweetener include maple syrup, dates, sucanat, agave, or banana. Be warned that the banana will add some flavor, so if you want the true flavor of the coconut to sing, I suggest using something else. On the other hand, banana and coconut are an awesome combo.
There are actually a couple different ways to get open a young coconut. This is just the method that I have found to be best for me. It seems least likely to result in me hacking off one of my own body parts.
Let me know what you do with your coconuts!
Thought for the day:
“Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right.” ~Max Lucado
Last Sunday I had the honor of running alongside 1400+ other women in the Iron Girl Half-Marathon in Columbia.
Sunday morning started bright and early at 4:45 when the alarm on my cell phone went off. Kit and I were able to stay at a friend’s house the night before, so I popped out of bed and tried to get ready as quietly as possible so as not to wake our very gracious hosts. Before long, we were standing around with Dani waiting for the race to start.
I am going to let you in on a little secret. I have not been cooking much lately. For the past few months, Kit and I have been having huge salads for dinner almost every single night. I definitely seem to have a lot more energy when I up my raw foods consumption.
Lots of nights we are like, “ugggghhhh salad again” but then we eat it and we’re like “Yeah! Salad is awesome!” One night last week though I just couldn’t bring myself to eat another salad, so I decided it would be a good night to try some experimenting.