Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Latest Craving {young coconuts}

It seems appropriate to follow up my post on coconut oil with another part of the coconut that I've fallen for. Young coconuts have many of the same health benefits as coconut oil. But I'll break the two main parts of young coconuts down separately with different ways to use them.

Let's start at the very beginning ("a very good place to start" says Julie Andrews in my head) which is simply getting this bad boy open. I buy my young coconuts at our local Asian market because you can't beat the price of less than $2. It comes looking like this...


Then I take a butcher's knife and carefully (which is always a hard concept for a klutz like me) but firmly slice a circle at the pointed top part of the coconut. I don't slice all the way through the outside. At this point, I'm just trying to score it through to the hard shell...


Then even more carefully, I forcefully hack away at one side of the circle until it comes open and looks like this...


As soon as it is open you'll want to quickly set it upright so as not to lose the coconut water that fills the inside. You can buy the coconut water itself, but I love to get something from the source if possible. Also, if you both use the meat and water, it is much more cost effective. If you want, you can grab a straw and drink the water right out of the coconut. Coconut water has the highest amount of natural electrolytes known to man. (Sugar and dye filled Gatorade, eat your heart out...) Oddly enough it is also identical to human blood plasma. It was actually used as an emergency transfusion in World War I and in third world countries.

Here's is our current favorite way to use it...

Coconut Water Pina Colada Smoothie
sugar free, vegan, and raw

  • the coconut water from one young coconut (about 1 1/2 c.)
  • 2 bananas (ripe ones make it sweeter)
  • 3 cups of frozen, fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened coconut
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional)

Put all the ingredients in your blender and blend very thoroughly. Notice that the frozen pineapple takes away the need for ice. Put it in a pretty cup, close your eyes, and imagine yourself in the tropics getting a delicious blood transfusion....okay, maybe skip that last part.


Now it's time to pull out the meat (or jelly) of the young coconut. The meat is the white soft part surrounding the water, so be sure not to get any of the bitter, brown shell of the coconut. You can use your finger to peel the meat away from the coconut. The meat contains potassium, magnesium, and manganese. It also has plant nutrients that help fight free radicals in your body.

You can use it to make coconut milk, but what I'm thrilled about is the yogurt I made with it. I use the term yogurt for the consistency, however it is not cultured. (And I don't mean uncultured like me, I mean uncultured as in not fermented.) When we found out that Ava had to go dairy free, I didn't want her to go without one of her favorite lunch options- yogurt. But I about choked the first time I went to buy some non-dairy yogurt. The prices were exorbitant! In enters young coconut to rescue my wallet. Remember how I said that it cost me less than $2? Well, after I've already enjoyed the water from it, I can scoop out the meat and make the following, super easy recipe. I will say that I got a Blendtec professional grade blender for my birthday (thank you, my wonderful family!), but hopefully this would work with any blender. It might just take longer to blend.

Young Coconut "Yogurt"

Take the meat from one young coconut (it should be about 1 cup) and put it in your blender. Pour in enough water to just cover the meat. Add in a pinch of pure Stevia. Blend for two minutes on high. Eat plain or with your favorite fruit.


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