COCONUT

The coconut is a large, hard nut whose shell is covered with tough brown fibres. Inside, the nut is lined with a thick layer of dense, white creamy flesh and contains coconut water (coconut milk and cream are obtained from the flesh).

Malaysia is the motherland of the coconut palm, which now grows in parts of South America, India, Hawaii and throughout the Pacific Islands. This prolific tree yields thousands of coconuts in its life-time.

COCONUT are classed as a fruit.

Tips

Coconut flesh can be eaten fresh, roasted, stir-fried or used as an ingredient in curry or Asian dishes and baked goods.

Nutritional Information

Typical values per 100g (raw, flesh): energy 443 kcal, 1851 kJ; protein 4.2g; carbohydrate 19.0g; fat 41.9g.

Preparation

Coconuts have three eyes at one end - the quickest way to drain the coconut is to corkscrew a hole in each of the eyes and drain the juice into a jug. Then, with a hammer, tap all the way around the middle until the shell breaks . Prise the white coconut flesh from the outer shell and shave, using a peeler or sharp knife, to remove the brown skin. Alternatively, hold the coconut horizontally with both hands and crack it down hard on one of its three barely visible ridges to split. Take care to remove any shell or fibres during preparation. Grate or chop flesh.

Storage

Store in a cool, dry place. Grated or chopped coconut flesh can be kept fresh by putting in an lidded container with water or the juice to cover it and storing in a refrigerator.

Choosing

Choose a coconut that it heavy for its size. Make sure you can hear plenty of liquid (coconut water) inside when shaken. An empty coconut is probably old and will almost certainly be rotten inside. Avoid coconuts with cracks or that appear wet / mouldy around the eyes.

Fun Fact

With their womb-like shape and milk, coconuts symbolise rebirth. Hindus today often include them in offerings made upon the anniversary of a death.

Availability

Shown below is where this item grows in the world and where it may come from when you buy it at your supermarket or local shop.

CountryJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Sri Lanka
West Indies