Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Shredding Fresh Coconut

I have not been able to find unsweetened shredded coconut for sale in my local store, and the options I saw online were quite expensive. I could purchase a whole fresh coconut for under $2, so I decided to see if I could shred my own. 

I thought the process was very easy, so I am sharing my results!

Step 1 - Remove the coconut milk

Removing the coconut milk is relatively easy. Pierce the softest eye on the end of the coconut, and drain the liquid out. I used a phillips screwdriver and a hammer to pierce the coconut, and there are many more suggestions for ways to do this online. You can toss the liquid or save it. Since I try to recycle/use everything, I saved the liquid from my coconut. I plan to use it in a smoothie, or in place of water in the next sweet treat or bread that I make. If I do not use it within the next few days, I will freeze it until I need it.

Step 2 - Crack the coconut

Again, there are many ideas for how to crack the coconut online. Some suggest baking it for 20 minutes, which I have never done. Another post I read, said to just throw it against the wall or cement without draining the juice first, as that is how the monkeys do it! I think the easiest way to crack a coconut is to take it outside to some concrete and whack it with a hammer. After you have cracked the shell, some of the pieces of shell should fall off, and you will probably have a few cracks in the remaining shell. 

Step 3 - Remove the coconut from the shell

One of the videos I saw online showed the person slicing the coconut and then removing each slice from the shell. Since the next step is peeling the brown skin off the coconut, I did not like that idea. I thought it would be easier to peel bigger pieces than slivers (and, it was), so I wanted to remove my coconut pieces in as big of chunks as possible. When you have a piece of coconut with no shell underneath it, you can gently pull that back away from the shell and it will come off. If you cannot grab onto a piece of the coconut with your fingers, gently slide a butter knife under a gapped area to work the coconut loose. Think of it as getting the nut meat out of a nut that did not crack as intended.

the big pieces are much easier to peel

Step 4 - Peel the brown coconut skin off

This is fairly easy with a vegetable peeler, and even easier when you have big chucks. Rinse the pieces after they are all peeled.

chopped pieces

Step 5 - Chop the coconut

I thought I would leave my pieces larger when I chopped them; however, chopping the coconut into pieces was so easy and quick I probably made them smaller than I needed to.

another view of the coconut pieces

Step 6 - Shred the coconut

I read information suggesting to hand shred or use a food chopper to shred the coconut. I thought hand shredding it sounded like a lot of work, so I opted for my food processor, which did the job in about 1 minute.

The yield from my coconut was just over 2 shredded cups. I had eaten several pieces because I like fresh coconut! Store the shredded coconut in the fridge or freezer, if you are not planning to use it right away.

I thought the most difficult part of this task was cleaning up the food processor and mess afterward. Everything else was easy. Please let me know if you have any questions, and if you find this information useful, please share this post!