Have you even gone to the grocery store or farmer’s market and stumbled upon a fresh coconut or pineapple and thought…what the HECK would I do with that?? The extremely complex outer shells are so intimidating!! Well, today I accepted the challenge after a little encouragement from a friend.
One of my favorite people in the world, Nicole, has recently discovered her (& her cutie daughter’s) love for fresh coconuts. She gave me a little verbal demo on how to open them and so I went off to my local Earthfare and picked up a fresh coconut. This morning, as I looked at that furry thing, I had NO IDEA what I had gotten myself into. I thought I would share my experience and a little info on the benefits of fresh coconut. While the process of opening a raw coconut is quite tedious, the reward is a sense of real primal accomplishment…if I was stuck on a desert island, I could survive because I now know how to open one of these crazy things. 🙂
Okay, so here’s where I started off (side note: when picking a coconut from the store, be sure to shake it…if you hear liquid sloshing around, it’s good…if you don’t, it’s rancid and dried out…not a good idea:))
Step 1: Gather the necessary tools for this project – cutting board, corkscrew, sharp heavy knife and then some sort of sharp little knife or heavy spoon (for scooping).
Step 2: Find the three “eyes” of the coconut. Two are hard and one will be soft. With your corkscrew, drill a hole into the soft eye in order to drain the coconut water.
Step 3: (This is where the tedious-ness begins…) Find the equator of the coconut…you’re looking for a small line that runs in-between the eyes. With your heavy knife, begin to tap (tap=put your body weight into it…not a sissy tap) along the equator, rotating the coconut as you go…all the demos I watched said it would take “a few” taps before it cracked…well in my book, “a few” is like 3-5…the truth is, if you go this route to cracking it, it will take probably 20-30 good taps before you will break the shell. WORD of CAUTION: when “tapping” bits of the outer shell might fly, so just be prepared
(another alternative is to put it in a plastic bag and throw it on the concrete…no, really)
Step 4: Using a sharp little knife or a heavy spoon, cut in between the “meat” and the shell in order to pry out the “good stuff”. You might also want to have a bowl of water handy to put the coconut chunks in to remove any remaining shell pieces.
Step 5: Voila!! The coconut chunks should separate pretty easily from the shell.
So now what? Why go through all this trouble? Coconut is a tropical fruit that is rich in protein. The meat of the coconut is very good in destroying intestinal parasites, that we get from eating infected food. Coconut water is good for kidney and urinary bladder problems.
Here are some of the health benefits to raw coconut: (source)
- Prevents simple goiter (enlarged non-toxic thyroid) because of its organic iodine content.
- Good body builder, so it is a food recommended for building up the body muscles of thin and emaciated individuals.
- Constipation and for any build-up of gas in the stomach and intestinal tract.
- Coconut milk has been found to help cases of sore throat as well as relieving stomach ulcers.
- Coconut oil has been found to heal cuts, scratches, burns and sunburns.
Remember that water you drained earlier in Step 2 – don’t throw it away! Coconut water is more nutritious than whole milk. It contains more potassium than most sport drinks. Check out some of other health benefits to the pure coconut water:
1. Low in Carbs – 99% Fat Free & Low in Sugars
2. Keeps the body cool and at the proper temperature.
3. Can raise your metabolism and promote healthy weight loss.
4. Boosts your immune system, detoxifying and fighting viruses.
5. Can treat kidney stones, boosts poor circulation and balances your PH levels.
Finally, here is yummy recipe for Easy Thai Coconut Curry Chicken. Do you have any fun coconut recipes?? Feel free to leave a comment and share!
So go, buy a raw coconut and try it for yourself – feel empowered that if scaredy-cat Jess can do it, so can you:)