You’ve seen fresh coconuts in the stores, well lately, fresh young coconuts are becoming popular in health food stores, however, most shoppers don’t know what to do with them because they are not like a full-grown coconut that you just crack open and eat the meat inside. A young coconut is not fully developed yet, the meat inside the shell is very soft and slimy, like the consistency of a cooked egg white. It does not taste as good as mature coconut meat; so what do you do with it?
If you are into coconut water, there is nothing in the world that tastes better than the coconut water you get from a fresh, young coconut. It rivals anything in a can, bottle or box. So the first thing to do with a young coconut is save the water. The best approach to using young coconut is to take a very sharp knife and cut away as much of the surrounding fiber shell as possible, then, hack away at the top of the coconut as if using an axe until you cut a small hole or crack in the top of it, then turn it upside down onto a glass or cup to catch the wonderful tasting coconut water. You can keep in in a jar with a lid in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days.
Now for the meat, since it does not taste like the coconut meat we are accustomed to, it takes some creativity to figure out just what you can use it for, but for starters, you must crack the coconut in half (I have found the best way to do this even with a mature coconut is to throw it down as hard as you can onto a concrete walk, garage floor or driveway to bust it into pieces or crack it enough to break it open. This actually works like a charm with the least amount of effort. You may have to throw it down onto the concrete a few times to crack it enough to split it open.
Once you are able to split the coconut into pieces and break it apart, take a spoon and scoop the tender young meat off the shell and use it in the following ways.
1.) Add it to dishes. Young coconut meat adds an interesting slight coconut flavor to chicken, fish and salads. Also add it to smoothies.
2.) Coconut chips: It’s easy to cut the young coconut meat into strips and dehydrate them for a great tasting snack that’s also high in calcium, magnesium, manganese and potassium. Even better yet, make them into a awesome treat with our recipe below.
Chocolate Covered Coconut Chips Recipe:
1 fresh young coconut
1 dark chocolate organic candy bar
Cut and slice the coconut meat as described above. Dehydrate it with a dehydrator or an oven at a low-heat; such as below 300 degrees. Once dried, coconut chips can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1-2 months to make a fast, easy to grab snack.
Melt a dark chocolate candy bar in the microwave for 30 seconds, dip and coat the coconut chips in the chocolate, put them on a plate to cool. Once cooled, the chocolate will harden on the chips making a wonderful, highly nutritious and non-processed treat.
The Difference Between Coconut Milk and Coconut Water.
Coconut water is the juice, or water, found when you crack open a fresh coconut. Coconut milk is made by blending the coconut meat and water together into a fine milk, much the way almond milk is made.