Young Thai Coconuts
Most of the coconut recipes and suggestions found on the Natural Cures website refer to young Thai coconuts, not mature coconuts. They are a nourishing, low glycemic fruit and a delicious addition to Candida diets. Eat a coconut a day to keep the sugar blues away. Easily satisfy rich cravings by transforming the coconut meat and juice into divinely smooth, Candida-safe ice cream and puddings. Coconut is also an excellent base for creamy soups, sauces, and perhaps best of all, a perfect meal on the go. Coconuts are readily available in Asian markets and many health food stores. The thick outer green husks are removed prior to importation, so you will find these young Thai coconuts in stores showing their thick white inner husks, and wrapped in clear plastic.
Mature coconuts are generally sold with the husk removed, exposing a hard, fibrous, dark brown shell you are probably used to seeing in stores. Occasionally they are offered with the outer tan or green colored husk still intact.
How to Choose a Good Coconut
Feel the weight. Good-quality coconuts are heavy.
Check for a clean, white outer shell, free from brown spots or mold.
Do a sound test. You should be able to hear a slight sloshing inside when the coconut is shaken.
Choose coconuts without cracks or leaky moist exteriors.
For firm coconut meat, select coconuts with little or no liquid inside.
Instructions for Opening a Young Coconut
Opening a coconut is new for most of us and can seem daunting. Luckily, the delicious reward waiting just inside the intimidating outer shell is so tempting that few of us can resist for long. After a few days, the whole process becomes a 30-second, “Ki-Ya!” with a large knife. (Who hasn’t wanted to do that at least once in their life after watching a Kung Fu movie?) Done with focused attention and a few safety precautions, opening a coconut is easy and fun.
You need a cleaver or large heavy knife with a thick, sharp blade, as well as a large cutting board, garage floor, sidewalk, or any solid surface that can be easily cleaned. The juice can splatter. Unless you are fairly tall in stature, choose a surface lower than a typical kitchen counter; this will give you better leverage and striking power.
Place the coconut on your surface of choice, with the cone shape pointing up. This is the natural way a coconut would rest on a surface. You will be making four ‘whacks’ around the cone shape to create a square opening large enough to extract the soft meat with a spoon.
The following directions are for a right-handed person; reverse if you are left- handed. Hold the knife with your right hand, and with the other hand, gently steady the coconut by touching its side near the bottom, a safe distance from the swinging blade.
Ready, Set, Whack!
Your first whack will be on the right side. Remember you are carving a square. Focus your attention on where you want the knife to hit. Soften your vision a bit and relax. When you give your first blow, hit hard and with control. Exert enough force to break through the thick exterior shell. If at the end of your four cuts the coconut will not open, you know the whacks did not penetrate. Juice splattering out is a good sign that the cut went deep enough.
After your first cut, rotate the coconut a quarter turn, so you are always whacking the right side. Make four cuts around the top in the shape of a square.
Even though the fun of ‘whacking’ a coconut is great reward, you should now have access to the added bonus of what is inside. Your four mighty blows should have created a good sized opening. You may need to use the bottom edge of your knife to pry the top open. The water should be clear and sweet tasting. Purple or pink water and coconut meat is okay to eat as long as it still tastes sweet. Scoop out the meat with a large spoon, being sure not to take pieces of the shell with you. Some of the thin brown layer on the inside of the coconut may come off as you are extracting the meat; this is soft and blends easily, so it’s okay. Enjoy!
In a hurry to get the coconut water? Follow these quick steps:
- Place the young coconut on its side on a solid cutting board; hold it steady.
- Using a thick serrated knife, start sawing back and forth an inch or two into the flat bottom, cutting away the husk of the coconut; this is fairly easy, though it will ruin your knife over time. Consider buying an inexpensive, thick serrated knife just for coconuts.
- A white or brownish ring will appear. The center of this ring is the soft spot, or easy access point to the delicious liquid inside.
- Turning the coconut bottom side up, poke down through the soft spot, creating a hole in the coconut shell. Try positioning the cone-shaped end into the drain of a sink to make poking easier. You could also place it in a blender carafe, large measuring cup, or small bowl.
- Insert straw to sip bliss!
- Once you have enjoyed the juice, you can crack open the coconut to access the meat inside. You can adapt the above directions or take a hammer, and with a few good whacks, break open the coconut and scoop out the meat.