Vegans love coconuts! We love them so much that we have mastered the art of opening a coconut and take great pride every time we crack one open. Not only are we opening a delicious treat, we are tapping into an ancient form of medicine and disease prevention.
The palm tree (which is what grows our coconuts) is know to the Pacific Islands as the "Tree of Life" and they believe the coconut is the cure for all illness. Antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-parasitic, coconuts provide a nutritional powerhouse for the human immune system. In all its forms, either as milk, raw meat, oil, butter, or coconut water, the coconut is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. It's loaded with calcium, potassium, magnesium and electrolytes. Coconut water actually has the same electrolyte levels as human plasma and has been used in emergencies and wars as an IV drip and for plasma transfusions! Having a delicious flavor is just an added bonus!
To tap into this rich resource, one needs to master the art of opening a coconut. Dropping on the floor, throwing is against the door, and tapping three times won't open these bad boys. Using a sharp knife and some know how is the surefire trick every time! This How To is for a Young Thai Coconut which is the type of coconut with the most water inside. Mature coconut have brown outside with lots of hair and will have little to no water inside but usually offer up a thicker layer of meat. Young coconuts are they variety available at most stores.
Step 1: Lay your coconut in its side and use one hand to grip the base of your coconut. With the other hand, use a sharp chefs knife to remove the top layer of coconut skin. This will expose the hard "crown" that we will be cracking and makes the process a bit easier and cleaner.
Step 2: Once the top of your coconut is trimmed up, turn it back onto its base.
Step 3: Using the base tip of a butches knife, gently tap around the rim of your coconut. Every coconut has a membrane around the base of its "crown" and this is soft circumference that will crack easily when tapped. Tap around and when your knife goes into the coconut easily, then you've found the membrane! Tap along this line for half the length of the crown.
Step 4: Slip your knife into the open line that you've just made. Then using your knife, push the lid of your coconut up and open.
Congratulations! You've just opened your coconut in 4 simple steps! Enjoy!