Friday, January 31, 2014

How to Open a Young Coconut

Young coconuts are, perhaps, the most delicious nut on the planet. (Can you believe coconuts are considered a nut and not a fruit?) Unlike the coarse, brown-shelled mature coconut, young coconuts are contained in a thick white husk that can be intimidating to coconut virgins everywhere. If you have tried the mature coconuts at the average supermarket, you may have noticed that the "meat" is impossibly hardy and difficult to use in recipes. However, the "meat" is much easier to use in young coconuts, as it has more of a Jell-O texture and can be easily blended, chopped or scooped with a spoon.

I get especially excited about coconuts as they possess nutrients that are good for your brain such as medium chain fatty acids. They also have antimicrobial properties that could potentially help your immune system as well as electrolytes that are essential for nerve conduction and heart health. Coconuts are also rich in cytokinins, a plant hormone that may have anti-cancer properties. The thing that I like most about coconuts are not just that they are healthy, but they are also delicious. I will not plug my nose and eat or drink anything, it has to taste good.

The first time I bought a young coconut, I was so excited to eat it. However, I had no idea how to open it. I stood in front of my counter with my tiny, maybe a little bit dull, kitchen knife in bewilderment. I chopped, stabbed and, generally speaking, tortured the poor thing before I realized how to cut a hole in the top.

Now a coconut veteran, I bought some coconuts for myself the other day and had them ready to eat in minutes. I took some pictures so you can follow along and be sipping on that coconut water in no time.

What you will need:
A young coconut
A large kitchen knife
Possibly a straw

Step 1) Saw off the point on the top of the coconut with a serrated knife

Step 2) In a sawing motion, cut downward on the three sides

Step 3) Tap the top of the coconut with the lowest point on your knife. You will be making a circle all of the way around. With my knives the way they are, I go around the coconut two or three times. If you want to spare your knifes, you could also use a hammer and a brand new, sterilized nail.

Step 5) Once you have gone all of the way around a time or two, the top can be pulled back like the top of a can.

Step 6) Poke a hole in the jelly and enjoy that delicious coconut water!

After drinking the electrolyte-rich water, the jelly can be scraped out with a spoon.

I hope this tutorial helped you have a frustration-free coconut experience!

Much love,


More about coconuts:

As a side note, I saw Gabriel Cousens, M.D. speak two years ago and he was mentioning that a lot of vegans forget that they are already on a lowfat diet simply by being vegan; they actually can neglect to get enough fat in their diets! He recommended coconuts and chia seeds as dietary staples to stay balanced.

The only downside about coconuts is that they are difficult if not impossible to find organic in northern regions. (Due to the fungicide they are dipped in before transportation to prevent mold) Some think that young coconuts have such a thick husk and shell, the fungicides have not found their way into the inside. I would prefer organic if I could find and afford it, but I do eat the conventional ones in the meantime.

Sources for nutritional facts:

Pub Med

1 comment:

  1. Can look at my blog to see nutritional facts of food at grocery stores.