Coconuts are famous for their flavorful white meat and milk. These fruits are not only delicious, but they're packed with fiber and minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. They also contain vitamin C and folate, an especially important nutrient during pregnancy. You don't have to lie under a shady palm tree in the tropics to enjoy this treat. Instead, follow a few guidelines to bring the taste of the topics to you by cracking open and eating a raw coconut in the comfort of your own home.
Place the coconut on a flat surface covered by a towel. Hold the fruit so that the soft spots, or eyes, are facing up. Pierce one or more of the soft spots, using an ice pick or a hammer and nail.
Turn the coconut over and pour the milk out of the nail hole and through a strainer into a medium-size bowl. Set the milk aside. The strainer removes any fibrous material or shell that's in the milk.
Place the coconut on the towel and make several sharp taps with the hammer around the shell's midsection until it cracks open. It should open after a few turns.
Remove the flesh from the shell. If you're eating a mature raw coconut, slide a sharp knife between the raw coconut meat and the shell, and lift the firm meat away from the shell. If you're eating a young fruit, use a spoon to scoop out the soft, jellylike meat.
Things You'll Need
Eat the coconut immediately or place the milk and coconut in separate airtight containers and store them in the refrigerator for later use.
You can also put a whole mature coconut in a baking dish and heat it in an oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit to soften the meat before cracking it open.
Firm pieces of coconut remain fresh for up to 10 days when refrigerated in an airtight container. Soft coconut meat should be refrigerated and used within a day.