The exotic coconut has also been one of the most popular tropical fruits in Germany for decades. But how do you open it properly – and when is the nut ripe for enjoyment? This article informs about the most important facts.
The first peculiarity of coconut is that it exists in only one genus – variants do not exist. It grows exclusively on the coconut tree, which generally grows up to 30 metres high and carries around 180 nuts per year.
Because the coconut is not yet able to do so, even after many thousands of kilometres carried by the waves over the sea, it has spread over different continents over the course of time. Therefore, the actual origin cannot be determined exactly, but it is assumed that it first appeared in Southeast Asia.
Today, it is cultivated in the entire equatorial region, but above all in Indonesia and the Philippines. Behind its hard shell hides a tasty, healthy core – the little effort to open it is always worthwhile!
The coconut is rich in nutrients and contains mainly potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus as well as the trace elements copper, iron, zinc and manganese in large quantities. The coconut is also rich in vitamins B and E. Because it contains a relatively large amount of natural fatty acids, it is ideal for people suffering from heart problems or arteriosclerosis. Their nutritional content is about 363 kcal per 100 g.
How to open the coconut correctly
- First, use a screwdriver to make two holes in the upper dents of the fruit – hit the screwdriver with a hammer.
- Shake the coconut milk through the two holes and collect it in a glass.
- Then open the nut with a hammer – about six to eight targeted blows (around the fruit) are necessary to make jumps into the nut shell in order to open it cleanly.
Tip: The coconut water, which then flows out, is a cool and delicious refreshment that should not be poured away – it tastes deliciously refreshing with ice cubes and is excellently refined into a cocktail with some rum.
Information on ripening, use and storage of coconut
If you want to buy a coconut in the supermarket, you should shake it first to see if it is already ripe. If you can feel or hear the liquid while shaking, it is perfectly matured and can be consumed immediately.
If the nut is absolutely dry, however, it is usually already overripe and rather tough. At home, the coconut should be stored cool and dry and consumed within a few days.
The fresh fruit flesh of the coconut can be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen: It can be used for desserts such as creams, puddings or cakes, as well as in salads and ice cream.
Who likes to taste exotic dishes, refines meat, vegetables or fish with it. A curry with a creamy coconut milk sauce is particularly delicious.
Coconut Fruit pulp
Many people buy the fresh coconut only because of the delicious fruit flesh, which tastes best when it is freshly released from the fruit. It does not need to be boiled or fried.
- Anyone who has cracked the fruit cuts the white flesh of the fruit into small pieces with a kitchen knife.
- On the side where the flesh was in the peel, a thin, brown skin now remains.
- This skin can either be eaten with the food, or it can be quickly and easily removed with a potato peeler. To unwind it with your fingers is tedious, as it cannot be pulled off in one piece.
The fruit flesh also tastes particularly delicious in dessert. The grated coconut flakes are suitable for making cookies and baking cakes. They can be boiled or decorate a dessert.
The coconut water can also be enjoyed. However, it doesn’t taste as sweet as coconut milk. The coconut water has a slightly sweetish and at the same time sour taste.
- It is either drunk straight from the coconut,
- or it is suitable for mixing cocktails or multi-fruit juices.
- The coconut water can also be used for cooking. Healthy water is particularly popular with Asian dishes.
- Another possibility of using coconut water is the production of ice cream. If you like to prepare your own ice cream, you can create completely new ice cream creations with it. How about a coconut-lime ice cream, for example?
Of course, the hard shell of the coconut is not edible! But this does not mean that it has to be disposed of. The bowl can be used to make beautiful things. It can be worked with a carving knife. Small ice bowls, lamp shades or mobile devices can be produced with it.
When many coconut shells are produced, they are processed into fuel and are very popular in the form of charcoal. Anyone who has a boat knows the bowl in ground form as an additive to the paint. To prevent anyone from slipping on the wet deck, the final coat of paint is coated with ground coconut shell. This creates an anti-slip layer.
Tips on eating coconut
- Coconut water tastes best when it is well chilled. After collection, it should be kept in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before consumption.
- The coconut pulp should always be eaten fresh. If it has already been released and stored in the air, it quickly tastes rancid.
- The fresh, unopened coconut is preserved in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for several weeks (3 to 4).
- If you do not consume the released fruit flesh immediately, you can put the pieces in a bowl and cover them with cling film. The flesh stored in this way is kept in the refrigerator for about three days.
- The flesh is also suitable for freezing. Because it contains a lot of fat, it should be consumed after one month at the latest.
- The best way to keep the released pulp is to grate and dry it. The dried coconut flakes are used for baking and cooking.