Oh hey! Welcome to my new space! I hope you like it. I was really in need of a change, and I am happy with it so far, although it’s definitely still a work in progress. But I didn’t want to wait any longer to post something new, as it has been a minute. I was totally offline all through the holidays. Dale and I made Thanksgiving dinner at our house for the first time, which we loved but which made us fully realize how annoyingly small our kitchen is. Then we were in Texas for Christmas. The holidays overall were really nice and relaxed, no fuss. And I made so much pie. It was great.
When we got back from Texas, we got a juicer and did a little cleanse action, which was the perfect reset. We’re now totally hooked on fresh juice and have been making it pretty regularly ever since. Every now and again I will add a little bit of bottled coconut water to our fresh juice, which is crazy delicious. I started thinking that if I was making fresh juice, maybe I should give fresh coconut water a try. On top of that, I bought two cans of coconut milk in a row for purposes of using the coconut cream and both failed to separate in the fridge. So after doing a little research on Thai young coconuts, Dale and I bought some. Ya know, two birds, one… coconut, or whatevs.
The coconut water inside the young coconuts was so bright and clear, and the coconut meat so smooth. After scraping the coconut meat out of the shell, making coconut cream (or butter) was really a breeze, and it tasted so pure, far better than the canned stuff. I now regularly use it in place of butter on my weekend waffles and in place of yogurt in my overnight oats. And I’ve really been itching to make a banana coconut cream pie something with it.
You can find young coconuts at Whole Foods or Asian food markets. To ensure you’re getting reliably sourced and responsibly treated coconuts, I would go with Whole Foods, especially if you’re concerned about the rumors of dipping young coconuts in weird stuff to preserve them. You can apparently also buy organic young coconuts online, although I’ve not gone that route myself.
Choose coconuts that are heavy for their size. When you shake the coconut, you should not hear the coconut water sloshing around inside. Process the coconuts as soon as possible after purchasing, as they go bad fairly quickly. If you don’t plan to process the coconuts on the same day you purchase them, store them in the fridge. When you break open the coconut, the meat should be bright white and the water clear. Pink or yellow coconut flesh or water means that the coconut is rancid.
Homemade Coconut Cream (or Butter)
2 Thai young coconuts
Starting at the top point of the coconut, cut off the soft white husk all around the top to expose the hard shell underneath. Using the bottom corner edge of the knife (not the blade), gently but firmly whack around the top of the coconut until it cracks open. You don’t really need a meat cleaver or anything that hardcore for this–just a sturdy knife will do.
Remove the top of the coconut and pour the coconut water out through a fine mesh strainer. Although not required, Dale and I prefer to crack open a small hole in the top first to pour out the water then crack the hole open wider to remove the coconut meat.
Using a sturdy spoon or spatula, wedge underneath the coconut meat and scrape along the inside shell to loosen. Remove the meat and place in a medium bowl. The amount of coconut meat and how easily it is to remove will vary from coconut to coconut.
Once all the meat is removed, cover with cold water. Clean the coconut meat of all stray pieces of shell. The brown bits should come off easily with your fingers in the water, but you can use a spoon to scrape off any stubborn bits. I like to rinse the clean pieces quickly under cold running water to make sure any bits hidden in crevices are washed away.
Place the cleaned coconut meat in a blender. Pour in coconut water and blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. The amount of coconut water needed will vary depending on how much meat your coconuts yield and how thin you want the coconut cream to be. I usually start with about 1/4 cup of coconut water and add more as necessary to loosen the cream. Obviously, the more coconut water you add, the thinner the cream will be. I prefer a thicker, butter-like yet spreadable consistency. Keep in mind that the coconut cream will thicken in the fridge.
Coconut cream will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or so. I spread it on waffles, stir it into overnight oats, dollop it on cake slices, eat it straight with a spoon, etc. It’s delicious.
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