Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Young Coconuts

I am sooo excited! Good Earth had some young coconuts! I honestly bought five of the seven that were there.... I couldn't help myself! One of my favorite foods that I discovered back when I was 100% raw a few years ago, are young coconuts. They look different from fully matured coconuts that are hard, round, and brown. These very young coconuts have a semi-gelatinous white part, and coconut water in the middle. Also, another common name for a young coconut is Thai coconut. Some people refer to them as Thai coconuts, and others (such as Good Earth) call them young coconuts. Really, whatever floats your boat go for it!

Young coconuts are highly nutritious. The water in young coconuts is reported to be almost the exact structural make-up of plasma, and can be used intravenously in emergency situations. (Although, I can't really think of any scenarios where using it intravenously that would be necessary...) Because coconut water is collected in the center of the the young coconut, it is basically an all natural purifier that creates just about the purest water in the world. Also, there may be benefits for the heart, liver, and kidneys. For a gigantic list of good benefits about young coconuts that will amaze and astound you click here.

But there's sort of a catch with this particular food... how in the world do you get into the center of it???

There are several different ways. In the beginning, I would simply take my dad's screwdriver and hammer and pound my way into it on the kitchen counter. My mom shortly thereafter made me open my young coconuts in the garage... But being older and significantly wiser (wink-wink) I have discovered an extremely easier (but not nearly as exciting) way of opening young coconuts.

You start with the naked coconut.

Then you start shaving around the pointed top part of the coconut. I just use a butcher knife, but some people swear by cleavers. It's not very tough at all, and took me maybe at the most 30 seconds to peel off the top.

Once you have it all shaved around the top, you take the L-shaped heel of the knife to attack it like so. Be very careful on this part... some professionals (such as Natalia Rose, author of The Raw Food Detox Diet) advise attacking the young coconut with the non-knife hand behind your back to prevent injuries. After a couple of whacks you will start to see the coconut water begin to well out around the puncture.

You then wiggle the knife up and down, gradually wedging the knife further and further into your young coconut.

When it gets to about this point, with the knife firmly underneath about half of the young coconut, you are ready to pop off the top. I do this by making one final upward lifting motion with the knife. This will pop off the top of the coconut.

Ta-Da!!! You are now a young coconut opening champion! Then you simply pour the coconut water into a wide-mouthed container of some kind (I usually use a mason jar, and pour it out over the sink in case I miss!) and dig out the white flesh with a spoon or ice-cream scoop.

There are some fabulous raw soups, tacos, smoothies, desserts, and more that you can make with both the young coconut water and flesh.

This is one very easy recipe for a coconut smoothie:

Refreshing Coconut Smoothie

Meat from one young coconut
1-2 cups of coconut water

Directions: Place water and meat into blender and blend until smooth. If consistency is too thick for your taste, add more coconut water.

Pretty simple, right? If you are not a huge fan of coconut, you can always add mangoes, berries, bananas, pineapple, and other fruit of your liking, and you will still get all of the nutrition that the young coconut has to offer.

Tonight I am going to make some raw "Tacos" that incorporate both the young coconut water and the young coconut meat. I'm pretty excited about it, and I'll for sure take pictures so you can see results of my "Experiment Night" meal.

In Good Health,

Lindsey Kae

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