Removing the Meat
To remove the meat from a mature coconut slide a round tipped knife under the meat to lift it away from the shell. You can also prise the meat out by sliding the knife into the flesh at a 90ºangle to the shell and then pushing the meat outwards. (See video)
Breaking the coconut into smaller pieces will also make it easier to remove the coconut meat. After opening your coconut break the halves in smaller pieces by placing them on a sturdy cutting board with the exposed meat facing downwards and tap the round top with a hammer to break into smaller pieces. This will also help to loosen the meat from the shell.
After prising the meat out of the coconut it can be easily shredded in a food processor. Adjust the processing time for coarser or finer shreds. Also shred using a cheese grater or a traditional coconut scraper.
To avoid have the thin layer of brown shell on the peel, remove with a potato peeler.
To create curls to use as a garnish or for toasting use a potato peeler to peel slices of the fresh meat.
Scraping and Grating
There are also many traditional coconut scrapers and graters that can be used to remove the meat.
A bench mounted coconut grater has sharp circular blades which scrape the meat from the coconut in very fine and fluffy flakes by pushing the coconut halves on the blade and turning the handle.
Small hand scrapers are best for producing long curls and shreds.
Fresh coconut cream and coconut milk
- Grate or shred fresh coconut – only the white meat
- For each cup of grated coconut add 1/3 cup of warm water or less depending on thickness of coconut cream required
- Blend coconut and water in a food processor until well combined
- Sit for 10 minutes
- Strain through muslin or a fine sieve and press on the coconut to extract all the liquid into a bowl.
- This first pressing of liquid is the Coconut Cream
- Coconut Milk is in fact diluted Coconut Cream that is produced by a second pressing of the fresh grated coconut or even by adding more water.
Place coconut slices/curls on a baking tray in a low oven and toast until golden brown or place in a non-stick pan over medium heat tossing gently. Toasted coconut is a delicious garnish for your favourite curry, for livening up a salad or sprinkled on cakes, desserts and cereal.
How to include more coconut in your diet
- Use coconut oil in all your cooking. Replace your other cooking oils such as canola or all purpose vegetable oils, with virgin or expeller pressed coconut oil. You can also bake with coconut oil too!
- Add to soups, drinks and yogurt. Gently melt your coconut oil and slowly stir it into your smoothies or yogurt. This will help the coconut oil from clumping when added to cold food. The coconut oil will melt when added to hot drinks or soups.
- Add shredded raw coconut to salads and stir fries.
- Toast shredded coconut in the oven and use to garnish cakes and curries.
- Use shredded raw coconut when baking slices, cakes and brownies. You’ll get a much moister result than using dried coconut!
- Snack on raw shredded coconut.