Happy Raw Wednesday, everyone!
While it would be a lie to say that I’m all better, I’m on the mend. And my friend Ilia over at Bonobos has been helping me replenish with lots of coconut shakes. Young coconut meat and water is an incredible healing food: it’s full of electrolytes and potassium (hence ideal for coping with dehydration after illness), rich in fat (the healthy kind), and also a great source of calcium and other minerals. If I had to pick a miracle food, this would without a doubt be it.
So it’s about high time I showed you all how to open these babies! Welcome to your first raw tutorial, guys.
How to Open a Young Coconut
First, a word about finding young coconuts: any Whole Foods market should have them, and any local health food store ought to carry them, too (and if you have a health food store that doesn’t, be assertive: ask if they can keep them in stock!). If you don’t live near one, try a local Asian restaurant or market (a Thai restaurant would be good): you can usually find them there. They’re small, white, and have a pointy top.
Once you get home, assemble your tools:
1) A flat surface
2) A cleaver
If you do NOT have a cleaver, do not despair: you can use a really large kitchen knife with a “heel” too. It would look something like this:
Trim away some of the exterior flesh of the coconut by working your knife around the point. The idea is to make the top a little bit flatter, like so:
See? The top is less pointy now.
Put your non-cleaver hand behind your back. This is an important precaution! Cleaver accidents are no fun (I would imagine). Next, gently tap the surface of the coconut. You’ll be able to hear where it’s a bit “hollow” sounding. You want to aim your knife blows in this area. You’ll be making four cuts, in a square shape, so aim your cleaver for one side of the top area. Lift the cleaver, and administer the blow! Like so:
Step 3: Continue your blows so that you’ve cut away a square shape on top.
Step 4: Take a large kitchen knife and cut through any spots that the cleaver missed, so that the square comes loose
Step 5: Peel away the top. The coconut will be full of pure, delicious, hydrating coconut water.
You’ll want to save this, so pour it into a container. Then, you can enjoy the coconut meat! Simple scrape it away with a spoon: it should be very easy to scoop out.
Use this amazing meat in soups, in raw puddings (you can blend it with coco powder, dates, and a drizzle of water for an awesome coco-choco pudding), slice it in strips to put in Asian-inspired dishes or wraps, whatever! No matter how you eat this stuff, it’s a nutritional powerhouse, and it has a mild, delicious flavor.
On that note, I can’t wait to hear more about your Raw Wednesday adventures! Keep me posted!! And check back tonight or tomorrow morning for news about Jenna’s and my first Raw Wednesday giveaway, please!