I have never cooked with a raw coconut before, so I had to do a little research to figure out a) how to open it and b) what to do with it once it was open.
First thing’s first:
The coconut is filled with coconut water, which is a sweet, low-calorie, and high-potassium drink! There are 3 “eyes” on the top of the coconut that are softer than the rest of the shell. To preserve the coconut water, puncture the 3 “eyes” with a wine bottle opener. You can also use a hammer and a sanitary screwdriver to gently tap into the hole, but be careful not to hurt yourself in the process!
Once the holes are made, hold a paper towel over the top of a bowl and pour the coconut water through the paper towel and into the bowl. There will be a little dirt from the shell, so the paper towel helps filter the water.
How to break it open:
Some online videos recommended using a heavy knife to crack it, but my knifes weren’t heavy duty enough, and I didn’t want to slice off my hand trying. Instead, my husband placed the coconuts on a towel and used a hammer to gently crack it open, and then into smaller, more manageable pieces.
Then, carefully pry the meat from the shell with a knife.
How to shred the coconut:
Next, you’ll remove the remaining shell from the coconut using a potato peeler.
Once that is all done, wash the coconut and it’s ready to shred! I initially used a cheese grater and manually shredded a few pieces, which is effective, but a very slow process. I ended up ditching the cheese grater and used my food processor to finish shredding the coconut meat.
What to do with shredded coconut:
There are so many things you can do with fresh shredded coconut!! I opted to use a cup of my raw coconut to make a fresh and decadent Coconut Cream Pie:
I toasted the rest of the shredded coconut in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. This makes a great topping to ice cream sundaes, fruit salads, or use it in to make your own homemade Girl Scout Samoas!
Other great things to do with fresh shredded coconut:
- Make your own Coconut Oil
- Make your own Coconut Milk
- Make a face mask by finely grating coconut into a pulp, and apply it to the face as a mask. Leave on for 15 minutes to absorb excess oil and moisturize.