Coconuts are getting pretty trendy these days, especially the fresh juice or “coconut water” stored inside the shells of these tropical delicacies. Now, you don’t have to be in a tropical location to enjoy the water out of a fresh coconut: Frieda’s Specialty Produce distributes fresh, whole Young Coconuts to supermarkets around the country.
Not to be confused with coconut milk, coconut water is the clear, sweet, crisp and refreshing liquid known for its amazing hydrating abilities. Coconut water is naturally fat-free and contains an excellent balance of potassium and salt that can replenish your electrolytes during a sweltering day or strenuous work-out. Several brands now manufacture coconut water as a health and sports beverage, but fresh is always best.
Young Coconuts are harvested immature while the skin is still green. For shipping, the green outer skin is pared away to a white cylindrical husk with a pointy, pencil-like tip. Inside the thick, white husk is the familiar round coconut with its hard, fibrous shell. Inside the shell is a cavity filled with sweet, refreshing water and a thin layer of soft, jelly-like flesh.
To open a Young Coconut, you will need a strong, large knife -- maybe a meat cleaver. Make 4 deep, straight cuts around the pointed top (about 2 inches from the point) in a square shape. Then pry off the tip. Click here to see an example of what it looks like.
Once you’ve enjoyed your fill of fresh coconut water, scoop out the soft flesh that clings to the inside of the shell. Enjoy this sweet, creamy, rich meat out of hand, or use it in a variety of ways: dice it into fruit salads, blend into shakes and smoothies, or use to make your own coconut milk from scratch. Many like to blend the water and flesh together into a refreshing beverage. Here's our Pineapple Coconut Smoothie recipe.
Choose heavy coconuts with no cracks, mold or soft wet spots. If you give the Young Coconut a shake, it should be full of liquid with no air inside, so it shouldn’t slosh too much. Keep refrigerated, wrapped in plastic to retain moisture, and use within five days.
Nothing takes you on a tropical escape like drinking the delicious, refreshing water out of a fresh Young Coconut!
Read CEO Karen Caplan's blog post on coconuts: http://whatsonkarensplate.blogspot.com/2010/03/cuckoo-for-coconuts.html