Monday, January 21, 2013

Raw Coconut Milk (and how to de-husk a coconut)

Ahhh.... on of life's simple pleasures: gathering your own food. One of my favorite things to do down here in Grand Cayman (where the family house is) is to gather ripe coconuts, de-husk them (a process in-and-of it's self (shown below) ) and make tasty things with them. Last time I was here, I wasn't nearly as much of a foodie as I am today. In preparation for this trip, I researched some coconut recipes and the first and fore-most is making coconut milk (or cream), the base of so many things today. Coconuts have gotten very popular as of late (coconut milk, cream, and oil in particular) in the health-food and vegan communities, so I've actually been very excited for near-infinite access to coconuts (well, as much as I can find, gather, husk, and process).

Raw Coconut Milk
from Kitchen Apparel

2 cups water (below 115F for raw)
1 mature coconut, husked, de-shelled, and peeled

1. Blend flesh of coconut and 2 cups warm water together in a high-speed blender for a few minutes until milk is frothy and chunky.
2. Strain liquid out into a container using cheese cloth (or paper towels). Once all liquid is strained hand-squeeze the pulp until all the milk has been released and the pulp is dry and powdery. Discard powder.

For Coconut Cream:

1. Cover coconut milk and place in fridge overnight. The cream will float to the top, so carefully strain out into a separate dish to obtain coconut cream.

How to De-husk a coconut:
1. Obtain a ripe coconut: Brown/orangey on the outside, preferably tree-ripened.

2. Shake coconut and check to see if coconut has milk.
3. If you hear some good sloshing: congratulations! This coconut is (probably) good to use.
4. With a good strong hammer, use the nail-puller side to make a line down the side of the coconut, from the indent (where it hung from the tree) to the base. Make a series of these, following the natural indents in the coconut long-wise. Don't hit too hard, you don't want to puncture or crack the coconut within.

 5. Once you've made these lines, wack the nail-puller side into the top indent, and pry off one of the sections you just outlined.

6. Continue this with the remaining sections. you may need to divide some up to make thinner strips, depending on how tough the husk is.
7. Eventually you'll have all the husk sections off, pull off the extra fibers, and voila! You have successfully uncovered a coconut.

1 comment:

  1. YAY! Blog posts! Thank you so much for posting this how-to. Now, how do you open the coconut once you've uncovered it? I'm excited to try this, but it'll probably be a while still before I get hold of a wild coconut...