HOW TO OPEN A MATURE COCONUT AND MAKE FRESH SHREDDED COCONUT
If you have ever picked up a coconut and wondered how in the world would I crack open up this hard shell, then this post is for you! I am going to show you how easy it is to have fresh coconut meat to add to your recipes.
Our neighbors have lots of coconut trees that drop coconut gifts on our property. The ones that fall are the older, brown ones, which drop when they are perfectly ripe and ready to eat. We never have to shimmy up a tree for one thankfully.
The brown coconuts have the highest fat content and are the most nutritious of all of the coconut stages. Their meat is thick and hard and can be made into shredded coconut, coconut cream, coconut oil and ice cream. I love adding fresh coconut to my recipes for the texture and flavor it gives.
I know not everyone lives in a place where coconuts fall out of the sky, so good news. Chances are you have seen these hairy, brown coconuts in your produce section at your local grocery store. Just look for the small, brown coconuts with three dots on one end that look like two eyes and a nose.
You will need:
- 1 mature brown coconut
- 1 palmed sized flat rock OR
- 1 cleaver
- Hold the coconut in one hand and a flat rock in the other.
- Tap the equator of the coconut going all the way around the coconut.
- Separate the coconut meat from the shell.
- Chop, shred or pulse the coconut by hand, in a food processor or a blender.
Step by Step:
- Hold the husked coconut, happy face up with your less dominant hand.
- Tap hard around the middle (equator) of the coconut with flat rock or back of a cleaver as you rotate the coconut. You will hear the coconut make a “pop” sound as your coconut breaks into two.
- To catch the water, hold the coconut over a bowl while you tap it open.
- Sometimes the coconut meat will pop right out of the shell. Other times you need to pry it out. To make this easier, you can place the open coconut in the sun for a couple hours. This will shrink the coconut meat a bit so it will pop out of the shell in one piece. If you don’t have a sunny day, you can soak the coconut in hot water and carefully use a knife to pry the meat from the shell.
- Once you have your coconut pieces, you can chop or pulse them in a food processor or blender to bits. This will yield you a lot of fresh coconut. It is ready to eat right away and if you do not use it all at once, you can store it in the refrigerator for two days or the freeze it for several months.
Smooth out the empty shells with sandpaper and use it as a bowl, an incense holder or anything else you can think of. I have even used them as vases for an event.
Happy as a coconut,