Monday, April 5, 2010

Young Thai Coconuts

During my pregnancy I have been LOVING coconut water! I usually purchase it at the co-op in 34 ounce containers, but was looking for a change so I decided to pick up TWO young thai coconuts and enjoyed every last sip.

Coconuts have been generating a TON of buzz lately for their multitude of health benefits, some of which include:
  • Helps with heart disease prevention
  • Contains anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties
  • Promotes weight maintenance (some people boast that daily consumption of 2-3 TB of coconut oil generates noticeable fat % loss)
  • Coconut water is a natural isotonic beverage filled with electrolytes (think nature's Gatorade!)
  • Coconut meat is an excellent source of medium chain fatty acids, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals

At first, opening a young thai coconut might seem a little intimidating, but they are much easier to open than a regular, brown-husked, coconut. Below you will find the steps to getting at the delicious raw coconut water and meat. Also, check out on this a great video by Kristen at Kristen's Raw.

It is important to note that it can be very difficult to find organic young thai coconuts at a local grocer and the best way to obtain them is to purchase them in bulk online. Most of the conventional young thai coconuts that you will find at your local grocer have traveled a long distance to get there and have most likely been dipped in a preservative to keep them fresh during their long voyage. The verdict is still out on whether or not the preservatives can actually penetrate the hard husk of the coconut making its way into the flesh and water. Needless to say, it is a good idea to enjoy young thai coconuts in moderation.

Step 1: Selecting you delicacy

Which one should I choose? For me, this is the most intimidating step of the process. In general, all young thai coconuts look very similar and only vary slightly in shape and size. The exterior size of a young thai coconut does not directly relate to the interior size nor water content of the coconut. So, my advice is not to fret and simply pick one that is free of cracks, mold, and soft spots, as these are indications of spoilage. 

Step 2: Prep the coconut for opening

Using a sharp chef's knife, remove the white outer flesh from the top "cone" of the coconut. The idea is to remove as much of the soft, white flesh as possible without cutting into the hard brown husk. I do this by running my knife from the tip of the coconut out towards the edge of the cone shape.

Step 3:  Open the coconut!

Do not use your chef's knife for this step - you could ruin it! Using the but end of a cleaver assertively pound the cleaver straight down into the husk of the coconut that you exposed in Step 2. Do this working in a circle formation around the tip of the coconut's cone, about an inch or two from the outer edge of the coconut's cone. Ensure that you keep your other hand clear of the cleaver, as you probably want to keep all of our fingers! Also, be forewarned that if your coconut contains a lot of water, it may spit at you as you complete this step. 

Step 4: Enjoy!

Gently peel open the top of the coconut and dump the yummy water into a glass measuring cup. As you can see in the photo from Step 3, my young thai coconut yielded 2 cups of delicious coconut water. Use a large spoon or fruit scooper to remove the young thai coconut meat.

Please note that young thai coconuts are highly perishable and it is possible that even though your coconut did not show any external signs of spoilage, it could be bad. The best way to check for spoilage is to look at the coconut water and see if it has a purplish tint. Coconut water should be clear or slightly cloudy. If in doubt, try a sip! Your mouth will let you know.

I quickly drank my coconut water and used the meat to make a wonderful tropical smoothie and some hazelnut ice cream.


katie @ said...

Hi Maria. I just found your blog while doing research on clean eating. I also live in Minneapolis and am a Christian. I have really enjoyed looking through your blog and find it very refreshing that you share your faith along with your healthy lifestyle!

Micah | Coffee Machines said...

Thank you for all the great posts! This one is explicit. I look forward to reading more interesting topics.