How to Fight a Coconut

If you’re anything like me, you have always seen Coconuts in the store and been intrigued…but also mystified, if not a little intimidated. Well, a few weeks ago, my sous chef was at the store with me and the ardor of youthful impulsiveness, he asked, “Can we get it?” I saw that it was $1.99, made sure our health insurance didn’t have a coconut injury exclusion, and then said, “Sure.”

So, we got it home and attempted to break in. While in the end, we did succeed (and made coconut macaroons for my wife’s grandma and Coconut Banana Dog Treats for Sadie and Samuel from it), the process was not without its learnings…luckily, none of those learnings involved having to use health insurance! Anyway, fast forward a few weeks, and I found myself alone in the grocery store. I turned the corner of the banana display, and a whole bunch of coconuts were staring at me with their little faces. This time, rather than bravely running away, I grabbed one by the husk and brought it to the register!

Once I got it home, my sous chef and I went to work! I’ll detail each step with captions below the pictures for ease of following. Before you proceed, make sure you have a coconut, a corkscrew, and a sturdy chopstick (or similar device…metal BBQ skewer would work too).

Find the three holes in the top of your coconut. Use a corkscrew to open two of them, and then use a chop stick to widen the holes. Pour your coconut water out through the holes. Then, run your coconut water through a strainer…it’s a delicious beverage and also works well as a marinade component.
There are less barbaric ways to do this, but this one is effective and cathartic. Once your coconut water is all drained, bring your coconut outside onto a hard surface. With the business end of a hammer, crack it open.
Use a butter knife to separate the coconut meat from the husk, and then peel the husk away. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have your coconut flesh with some skin on it. Use a potato peeler to remove the skin.
Cut your coconut into pieces that can fit into the feeder of your food processor.
Use your food processor’s fine shredding grate to shred your coconut for use in your favourite coconut recipes!

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