Monday, July 23, 2012

How to Open a Young Coconut


One of the most treasured foods on earth; the young coconut. It can stabilize blood sugar, lower cholesterol, heal and hydrate you. Coconut is life saving! really it is. Coconut water was even used in the Pacific during World War II as an emergency blood transfusion to soldiers who were injured since it is almost identical to human blood. How cool is that!?

If your looking for a sports drink while working out, coconut water is your go to. It has the highest concentration of electrolytes than anything else in nature! Wowsa! Toss the over-sugared gatorade. It can definitely help you stay hydrated. Throw it in a post/pre workout shake, or just drink it plain. Sometimes we just like to stick a straw in the shell and drink it...but first you need to know how to open it up.

I bought my young coconut at my local grocery store either by the bananas and other tropical fruit, or in the organic section. They sometimes carry them, otherwise look at an Asian market of some sorts. I like to buy young Thai coconuts. Than to crack it open all you need is a sturdy cutting board and a cleaver. I got my cleaver at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for maybe $14.99 if I remember right.


Hold the coconut still with one hand and start to cut off the soft part at the tip in a circle until you get down to the hard shell; kind of like prepping for the crack. (most people seem to skip this step, but I think it makes it easier)


The top should now be rock hard. It will then look like this...


Then hold the coconut firm with one hand and take one more wack at it. Hard enough to break through the solid part, but be sure to not cut off your finger. :) You will know that it made it through the hard part because the cleaver will stick. Sometimes it takes me a few times to get it.

{WARNING}- - At this point you need to be careful for coconut water may start to leak, so be sure to turn it right side up after breaking through.


oh my, look at all that fresh coconut under there!! I am getting so excited!

Next you need to stick the corner of the cleaver in and gently pull up to crack it open.


Like so...Did you hear the crack?


Yay! We did it! It really is not that complicated. After taking all these pictures I realized that a video may have been more beneficial. Oh well, I like photos. :)


You can then use a spoon to scoop out the flesh.  A.K.A the meat of the coconut.


If you have never had fresh coconut, you are missing out. Oh yummy.


Usually I take a glass and put it over the open hole and do a quick flip to pour the water.


Sometimes a little splashes out, but that's ok. :)


You could drink it all up, or store it covered in the fridge for a couple days. Also for the sure to scoop as much out as you can. Then I usually rinse it off and store it in an airtight container in the fridge...that is of course if it is not gobbled up before hand.


We like to eat the meat as is although it has a very mild taste and not sweetened at all like the pina colada that you are thinking about right now. So there are many things you can do with it.
-To make coconut milk you just blend 1/2 cup coconut meat to 1 cup coconut water and then strain through a mesh cloth.
-You could add it to smoothies, or make a real fresh pina colada. Yes, I'll bet you are still thinking about that. :)
-There are also plenty of other recipes that use coconut meat that you can find on the web. Lot's of raw desserts; you will be surprised with how much you can do with it.


Ok, ready to blend up the most perfect Sweetheart Coconut Smoothie?!

Throw in a handful of the coconut meat and about a cup of the coconut water. Add 5-6 fresh strawberries and 1/2 a banana. Then about a cup of ice and 2-3 medjool dates. Blend it up!


Doesn't it just look splendid?!...oh it was. :)


...and don't forget to add a little dried coconut flakes to garnish and a straw to match.


P.S. Be sure to do this NOT in the presence of children, for they may try to steal it in a form of asking over and over for just one more sip. :) Cheers!

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