How to grate a fresh coconut ~ Technique Tuesday
Most likely you’ve never cracked open and grated a fresh coconut? Being ketogenic the coconut has become a staple for me. Some of you may know that the 62-65% of the oil is known as medium chain triglycerides (also known as MCT oil) that’s converted easily to ketones (B-hydroxybutyrate) which is readily used by the brain and body when in ketogenesis. Other coconut based products such as coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut flour have all found their way into my home. I had never thought to include fresh coconut until a friend introduced me to Kelaguen. A wonderful citrusy coconut chicken dish. Not only is fresh coconut has a beautiful taste and texture, nutritionally for 1 cup (80 g) it’s only 283 calories with 12.18 g carbs and 7.2 g fiber leaving it with a net 4.98 g carbs.
When selecting coconuts at the grocery store, give them a shake first! There should be liquid inside! If there isn’t, it’s dried out. I pick them up at the Real Canadian Superstore (RCSS) and I find them shrink wrapped in plastic so that helps keeping the moisture in. Also look at the “eyes” (the 3 black spots that look like the holes in a bowling ball). They should be nice and black. If they look grey/green, that’s a possible indication that the coconut has gone bad. (At least that’s what I’ve encountered first hand in my 5 coconut purchasing career.) Also check that the coconut is dry underneath the shrink wrap and that there aren’t any “wet spots” which could indicate that there’s a crack in the shell. I also usually buy them two at a time especially if I’m planning on making a dish with it. It’s my insurance policy, in case one of them is rotten and I’ve got my heart set on using coconut.
Upon getting them home, remove the shrink wrap. Grab a power drill with drill bit. (I use a wood drill bit). Wash and dry the drill bit before using. I’ve now set aside this drill bit exclusively for coconut drilling purposes!
Next wrap the coconut (with the “eyes” facing out) with a dish towel to keep it stable from slippin’, slidin’ and rolling around. Be sure to hold on to it with the other hand. (My other hand was taking the photo!)
Pour all of that wonderful coconut water out and taste a little bit of it. It should taste fresh and not have a “weird” metallic taste. If you’re swishing it around your mouth and wondering if it tastes weird…then it most likely it is “weird” and the coconut has gone bad. Discard it and try again.
Next go outside and SMASH the coconut on something hard like concrete! Be sure to let go of the coconut! (ahem, my hand was tingling the first time I attempted an impression of a prehistoric human in the movie “Quest for Fire”) Look at the pieces, if there are larger pieces intact re-SMASH them! I found that by smashing them the coconut “meat” would separate from the hard shell which would save you some work!
That large piece on the right, I should have smashed it a few times to get smaller pieces. It would have saved me a lot of work!
After smashing, you may find some pieces of coconut meat still attached to the shell. You could try grating it as it with say a vegetable peeler or try separating out the meat from the shell with a knife. Get the tip of your knife in between the coconut meat and the hard shell, then wiggle the knife side to side to pry off the meat.
Depending on you’re planning to do with the coconut, one method to grate is by using a vegetable peeler to get nice wide strips. Great for snacking on or for garnishes.
Another is just grabbing a cheese grater and going to town on it! If you have a few coconuts to do, a food processor comes in handy!
As you can see of the aftermath, it was a little messy but oh so worth it!
You may have noticed that the coconut meat has this thin bit of brown where it was attached to the shell. You can either try to remove it or just use it as is, it’s perfectly edible! I think it adds a little more dimension to it.
From one coconut, I ended up with a few cups of shredded coconut. I’ve used it within a couple of days but apparently it freezes well too. A friend of mine froze some grated coconut and said it turned out well. So I just may do that for ease of use another day when I don’t feel like hauling out the drill!
Hope this was helpful and that you’ll start to grate fresh coconut and include them in your diet 🙂