When Life Gives You Coconuts
What do you do when life gives you coconuts? Grab some tools from the toolbox and relieve some stress! I was given a coconut after an event this weekend, and while I don’t have much experience with coconuts, I thought it would be fun challenge.
Coconuts are really popular right now… coconut milk, water, oil, sugar, flour – you name it! But fresh coconut isn’t something that’s super common around where I live, so this was an adventure for me. I wanted to use every bit of the coconut, the water, the flesh, even the husk! Although I quickly realized the husk is hard as nails and that I didn’t have much of a use for it. Bummer, but I still had fun and was able to use everything else.
First, I had to get the thing open. I thought I’d be able to whack it with a knife a couple times and it would just crack right open. Nope. That’s not a thing. So I did a google search and learned a couple of good tips. Turns out you need a hammer (or a wrench-thing like I have pictured) and a screw driver.
The first thing you have to do is wash your tools, I guess. I didn’t think to do that until after my screw driver was in the coconut… oops. Anyway, you’ll have to whack the screwdriver into each of the three “eyes” of the coconut, which allows you to pour the water out before breaking the coconut open. After your coconut is empty, all you have to do to crack it open is whack it continuously around the diameter until it breaks in two. 🙂
I was super excited to drink the coconut water until I noticed that it was dirty with coconut husk fragments and found out that it tasted gross. That didn’t stop me from trying to use it, though! I was able to strain out the husk fragments by using a nut milk bag. It was my first time using it and it worked SO well. All of the fragments were trapped in the bag, leaving the water completely debris free.
Now the only problem was that I didn’t like the taste of the water. I decided to spruce up the water with the juice of half a lime and poured it over ice. It ended up being really tasty!
The flesh of the coconut was much tastier than the water in my opinion, and I used it in two ways. My attempt at being creative failed miserably – I attempted to make coconut lime crusted cauliflower. I know, it sounds AWESOME. And it probably could have been awesome, but I messed it up some how and was mediocre at best. I won’t bother telling you how I made it, but here’s a picture of the coconut lime mixture that I used to coat the cauliflower:
Pretty, right? Too bad the cauliflower turned out to be crap. However, as I was grating the coconut, I found myself continuously snacking on chunks of the flesh. It’s DELICIOUS. So much tastier than the dried junk they use as a topping on cakes.
Sometimes the natural, unmodified versions of fruits and vegetables are their best when left alone. So that was the fate for the rest of my coconut – sliced and stored in tupperware. It didn’t last long.
Moral of the story is that it’s fun to try new things. I probably won’t be buying coconuts from the grocery store all too often, but I enjoyed tackling the challenge. I’ll admit it was quite a bit of work, but well worth it in the end – my belly was full and there was one less coconut thrown in the dumpster. 🙂