Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Open Coconut

I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts...
There they are all standing in a row...on my countertop.
Both are about the size of my head..

I have been trying to eat more raw foods lately. I haven't gotten too fancy in my preparations, because in the past, that has been a recipe for disaster. Not that the food hasn't turned out well, I just lose enthusiasm really quickly.

However one thing that is in every raw recipe book I've ever seen is the young Thai coconut. They're so elusive, they're so expensive, they're so....covered in a rock hard husk. Needless to say I did not have the confidence to try and crack one open. But I recently discovered two things:

1.) our local Asian Markets (there are two great ones)
2.) videos on cracking these babies open

Okay, to be fair, we found the Asian markets long ago, I just didn't think I had it in me to get them open. Then I saw this video on Kristen's Raw. It seemed doable. One problem.

No cleaver.

Back to square one. So I tried the illustrious youtube and came across many videos that used a knife. I only looked at one and decided it was possible. She makes it look really really easy. It is easy, but not really really. Especially when you have a dinky little knife that isn't even a full tang.
This cut off the husk no problem, but required some elbow grease to get the inner cap off. Still, there was success, and it really didn't take long. It was a bit messy, but I suspect it will get much easier now that I know what I'm doing.

I was a little worried about its freshness, but it produced a full cup of almost clear coconut water.
I was thrilled! It was possible! Good thing because I bought two!

I scooped out the meat with an ice cream scoop, and peeled off the bits of brown skin that was stuck to it with a vegetable peeler. After that, I sat down and looked at the internet for information on how to store it. Bottom line, it can be stored for about 3 days in the fridge, but is best eaten immediately, as far as taste and nutrition are concerned. I can do that.

In went 1/2 cup of the coconut water, all the coconut meat, 1/4 of a large papaya, a banana, some ice, and 1 tsp of Xanthan Gum.
Out came a papaya coconut smoothie!

This was so nice and thick, obviously from the Xanthan Gum, and you could totally taste the coconut. Loved it! I have big plans for the next coconut, but we'll see what happens. Have you taken a crack at the young Thai coconut yet? Its not as hard as it sounds!! I'm so excited to take a crack at some more complicated applications with it, especially as I am getting some Teflex sheets for my dehydrator soon!


  1. HA! I'm really intimidated by coconuts too...thanks for the ray of hope! ;)

  2. young coconuts are best!! get that machete out!!

  3. Get 'em tiger! I'm too scared to try!

  4. I had one in Thailand but did not love the coconut water and ended up using it as a photo op and then throwing it away. I really wanted to like it too!

    Way to go cracking that baby open!

  5. YUM! This is a better method than throwing it on the patio about twenty times. (My usual method.)

  6. I admit that I have never opened a coconut! I am kinda scared not to mention, I have heard they can be hard to pick out/obtain good ones...and so I just have never done it.

    the:Out came a papaya coconut smoothie!
    oh yeah that looks goooooood!

    I also have ruined tons of food with XG and guar gum so I am on a fear of those lately too LOL

  7. I haven't tried a young Thai coconut, but I have cracked open a regular old brown coconut and that was hard as hell. Not only was cracking a pain, but I had a hard time removing the meat. :-(

  8. In Puerto Rico we drill the eyes of the coconut out to insert the straw or we put them on a clean trash bag and throw them against the hard cement floor...cracking it in half. Either way it always did the job. I love coconuts they are great.

  9. This sounds so delicious. I love coconut. Thanks for the tips, I could use them the next time I have a whole coconut!

    I bought a whole coconut last year, at our local grocery store. I had never purchased a coconut in Ohio, and I never will again! It was completely dry and disappointing. Not to mention the struggle I went through to get it open. Bummer.

  10. When I was in Thailand and PNG we had green coconuts all the time. The people there didn't bother husking, just whacked the tops off with a machete and stuck a straw in for us to drink. So yummy. When the juice was done, the machete came back out, chopped the nut in half and we scraped out the delicious meat.

    However, I myself have only attempted (with varying success) to open fully mature coconuts. When they are pre-husked, this is just a matter of smashing them with a dive weight. When the husk is still on... it's probably not worth doing.

  11. Oh my gosh, that smoothie looks DIVINE! I'm positive it must have just been absolutely and fantabulously delish!!!!! :-D

  12. it looks awesome (and kinda fun). i'm just not a real big fan of coconut. it sounds like a tasty recipe for those who like the flavor though!

  13. MMM coconut! I love coconuts. Ive only ever opened one once and that too A LOT of hacking but it was so worth it :)

  14. Oh, so jealous. It's nearly impossible to find young coconuts around here- I've used the brown ones plenty, but they're definitely not the same!

  15. Hi Gina! Great to find your blog through good alerts! I was straight away directed to your tender coconut post :)I am from south India where tender coconut is available for sale at every street corner! I love your idea of making a smoothie from the tender coconut. Will try myself next time. Btw, I am Ambrosia and I write a blog called Vegan India! I have been vegan for a year too :)

  16. Gauri Radha गौरी राधाDecember 17, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    I love vegan smoothies!! That looks delicious.