Sunday, July 12, 2009
I am so excited to share this with you. This is a young coconut. Discovering young coconuts and their oil has been one of the sweetest additions to my life in the last year.
I was taking a class in New York when I stumbled upon the takeaway stand of Pure Food & Wine, New York City's premiere raw food restaurant. I desperately needed a pick me up and a man behind the counter was opening a young coconut and asked me if I'd tried one. He served me a taste of the coconut water and "spoon meat" inside. It was one of the most refreshing things I'd ever eaten.
I became obsessed. I went home and did my research and began buying them by the case at Whole Foods. Turns out, they're one of the most life-giving foods on the planet. Check this out; history buffs will especially find this interesting. It's taken directly from the Living-Foods website:
"Coconut water is a natural isotonic beverage, with the same level of electrolytic balance as we have in our blood. It's the fluid of life, so to speak. In fact, during the Pacific War of 1941-45, both sides in the conflict regularly used coconut water - siphoned directly from the nut - to give emergency plasma transfusions to wounded soldiers."
Can you believe the water mimics blood plasma? Who knew?
Opening these, if done incorrectly can be quite dangerous. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but all you need is a cutting board and a chef's knife. The easiest method I've found for opening these suckers, is clearly demonstrated in this YouTube video.
So how do you use them, you ask? Well, the raw community does all kinds of things with them that I've honestly yet to try. Google young coconut recipes and you'll get more than you bargained for. If you're a first-timer, you can simply drink the water and pry the meat out with the back of a spoon to see if you like it. The spoon meat is chock full of pure, raw and incredibly healthy saturated fat. The texture can vary by coconut. Sometimes it's firm and medium-hard and other times it's almost gelatinous. Throwing the water and meat in a blender with a banana or any fruit for that matter is delicious. Throw in some protein and green powder and you have an incredibly healthy meal. I start most days with a coconut smoothie.
But wait, there's more! The cold-pressed, organic, virgin oil from these coconuts is also sold in jars at Whole Foods. My favorite is the Nutiva brand. Some people cook with it, but I use it as my face and body moisturizer and here's the big news: it makes the greatest massage oil and lube (yes, I said lube), you will ever encounter. Trust me on this one. However, you can't use latex products with it as it will compromise the latex.
So run, don't walk, and get yourself some. You can thank me later.