Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cuckoo for Coconuts!

Every since my favorite yoga instruction, Mira (One Heart Yoga), mentioned that she was making Live Strawberry Parfaits, I have had a steady flow of fresh fruit and live coconut cream in my fridge.  With strawberries coming into season in North Carolina, it's been my breakfast staple.  My basic recipe for coconut cream is below - yum!

But first a few coconut fun facts.......
Young Thai Coconuts have a host of health benefits.  Not to be confused with brown mature coconuts, to the right you will see a young thai coconut.  Inside this vessel you will find a delicious, slightly sweet water and a gel like flesh.  Coconut water is a superfood filled with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, and growth factors. It is low in fat and has only a fifth of the sugar found in most fresh fruit juices.

To make your own coconut milk simply blend the water and flesh together and enjoy.

For a real treat and a great topping for fruit you can make a decadent coconut cream.  Below is the basic recipe. You can jazz it up by adding different extracts, sweeteners, and spices.


Blend together the flesh and 1/2 the water from a young, thai coconut.  Add a squirt of agave or honey.  Add a teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract.  Sprinkle in any other yummy delights such as cinnamon or cloves.

Slice fresh fruit and layer in a parfait glass with cream.  Add a sprinkling of sunflower or hemp seeds. Enjoy!


Tips for opening a coconut:  There are a ton of videos on You Tube that demonstrate how to opening a thai coconut if you'd like a visual demonstration.  Here is how I normally handle the task.

1.  With my dedicated coconut-only butcher knife, I put the coconut on its side and carefully whack off the tip.

2.  After the tip is off, I push through the soft top and empty the water into a bowl.

3.  Put the coconut back on it's side and give strong chops around the diameter and pull open.

4. Scrap our the flesh with a spoon.