Saturday, February 22, 2014

Coconut PSA

Coconuts are NOT grown in Michigan. But, if you read much about healthy diets, you’ve undoubtedly come across them in recipes. Since I experiment with raw food diet meals and drink smoothies regularly, I use them frequently. So, I am providing a ‘public service announcement’ about how to open a young Thai coconut.

Coconut water is very popular now, and the best tasting water I have found is in young Thai coconuts. Make sure that when you buy them, they are fresh. Usually, the freshest ones are in Asian markets with a high turn-over. Ask the produce manager when the coconuts arrived at the store.

The demonstrations that I have seen have made opening a coconut seem like a grade B horror movie – you need to hack it with a knife. But, recently a friend showed me this kinder, gentler method. I'm sharing it with you.

Slice off the outer shell following the angle of the coconut.
Looks like this afterward.
Score with a serrated knife it in an area that is the dark color. 
Starting in the scored section, use the knife to cut around the top.
Peel the top off.
Pour into a glass or jar. I use my canning funnel.
Now, you have coconut water. 
Scrape out the coconut meat with a spoon. If there are specs of brown shell
 on the meat, scrape it off with a wet spoon.

Enjoy coconut water as a healthy, refreshing beverage or as the base for a smoothie with fruit and greens.

The coconut meat is also tasty in smoothies; I use about one ounce for a 16 - 20 ounce smoothie. It is also used in raw food recipes. Coconut meat can also be frozen for future use.

If you blend the coconut water and meat together you have a coconut milk. (You can blend the meat with plain water to get milk,also.) I’ve found that the coconut water and meat mixture can be quite thick. So, it’s a good base for a vegan pudding base. Or, you can dilute it with water or juice and add it to a smoothie.

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