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How to Eat Coconuts: A Guide to Using Coconut in Your Food

Eager to learn how to eat coconuts? Well, you have to first figure out how to crack open a coconut and then find out the ways to use the meat.

Don’t be daunted by this, though, as you can find everything from guidelines on how to get to coconut meat to how to use the meat in recipes below:

The Best Ways to Eat Coconut

Here is an idea or two on how to get coconut on the menu: 

How to Eat Fresh Coconut

You can use the fresh flesh in your cooking in the following ways:

  • Salads with vegetables
  • Homemade candy (chocolate covered coconut mounds)
  • Sri Lankan sambol
  • Macaroons
  • Coconut cake

How to Eat Toasted Coconut

To make toasted coconut you simply have to place some flaked coconut in the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes. They will be well done when they are a nice, golden brown.

These are some of the ways to eat toasted coconut:

  • Tropical fruit salads along with pineapple and strawberries
  • Trail mix or a similar snack
  • Muesli or granola
  • Coconut cake

How to Use Coconut Milk

Here is how to add coconut milk to recipes:

Related Reading
Choosing The Best Coconut Milk Brands: What You Need to Know
The Ultimate Search for the Best Canned Coconut Milk

How to Utilize Coconut Oil

Here is what to do with coconut oil:

  • Substitute to cooking oils
  • Popcorn
  • Baking
  • Add to smoothies

Related Reading
Best Coconut Oil for Cooking [Including Keto & Low-Calorie Options]

Can You Eat Raw Coconut?

Yes, you can! In fact, many cultures around the world work fresh coconut into their foods.

As such, it is safe for you to snack on or garnish with - there are even health benefits like weight loss involved!

Related Reading
A Taste of Paradise: Your Guide to the Best Coconut Recipes

Parts of the Coconut That You Can Eat

These fruits are made up of many layers. So, it is important to know which parts you can and can't add to your menu. Here is your guide:

  • The Shell: this is the part inside fibrous husk and holds the flesh and coconut water. It is inedible and is used for charcoal, jewelry, and trinkets.
  • The Meat: this can be eaten raw or cooked. Shredded coconut in water produces coconut milk. The flesh also produces coconut oil.
  • The Skin: is a thin layer beneath the flesh. Although edible, the skin doesn't taste very good and so it is best to scrape it away first. 
coconut shell

How to Prepare a Coconut to Eat

Before you can snack on the fruit, you must first learn how to get the coconut meat out.

I covered the exact mechanism behind this process in a previous post.

Still, here is a quick recap on how to make it work with a screwdriver and hammer: 

Step 1: Drain the Coconut

Since fresh, whole fruits contain coconut water, your first step involves draining this liquid.

Look for the ‘eyes’ of the fruit and poke holes in them with the tip of the screwdriver.

Then, turn the drupe upside down over a bowl and allow the liquid to drain.

coconut meat

Step 2: Split the Coconut Open

To open the drupe, you will need either a hammer or similar tools.

Grasp the fruit firmly and hit it in a spot of your choosing. Most people will select the center point of the drupe.

Hit the same spot several times until you feel it weakening.

Then, imagine a horizontal line cutting the drupe in half. Continue to hit the coconut along this line until it cracks open.

Step 3: Extract the Coconut Flesh

Place the two halves of the fruit facing downwards.

Then use your hammer to gently tap the shell all over. This should loosen chunks of the flesh.

You can then utilize a butter knife to lift the loosened chunks away.

There may be some brown skin still clinging onto the white chunks. These can be removed with a vegetable peeler.

The Benefits of Eating Coconut

The fresh fruit actually has a few health benefits from preventing disease to weight loss. Here are the top ones: 

Could Lower Blood Sugar Levels

There is some evidence that the fresh fruit can reduce blood sugar levels in adults.

As a result, you may able to stabilize your levels over longer period and lower your chances of developing future diseases. 

fresh coconut

Significant Fiber Content

It is estimated that a single piece of raw flesh contains around 4g of fiber.

This level of fiber can help to keep your digestive system healthy and improve the overall function of the organs.

In addition, the high-fat content – about 15g per serving – makes it easier for fat-soluble nutrients to be absorbed by the body.

May Help with Weight Loss

In addition to health benefits, the blood sugar study also found that the fruit could potential help with weight loss.

The high fiber content ensures that you feel fuller for longer and won’t feel like eating as much.

Therefore, you can use it as a part of your weight loss regimen for more effective results. 

Contains Vitamins and Minerals

The liquid extracted from shredded flesh contains a small number of vitamins and minerals.

The low quantities can help to contribute to your overall total daily requirements. 

A Note About Saturated Fats

Something you should know is that coconuts do contain a significant amount of saturated fats.

These can be harmful to your heart and so, you should only add a bit to your diet.

With these tips, you can now go ahead and enjoy parts of the fruit in a variety of dishes!

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to check out our Pinterest page for more articles on coconuts.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Riya Borah
Nutritionist Educator | Riya Borah is a nutritionist educator and her job involves guiding people towards a healthier lifestyle. Growing up in India, Riya was aware of just how much coconut was used on a daily basis. This encouraged her to research the properties of this versatile drupe. It opened her eyes to both the limitation and possibilities of coconut. Her aim is to now educate as many people as possible about the best ways to utilize coconut in their own lives.
An Important Disclaimer
The information on this page should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult a doctor if you wish to consume any kind of tea regularly for the purpose of treating any condition or illness.
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