Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fresh Coconut, Banana and Mint Smoothie - June 11, 2011

So, just for giggles, I bought a whole coconut last week at the co-op. Nick and I had eaten dinner at a favorite neighborhood Thai restaurant recently and ordered coconut water for dessert (we were a little too full for mangoes and sticky rice). It was so good that when I saw the pile of fresh Mexican coconuts in the store I thought it would be fun to try it at home. We looked up how to open a coconut and had excellent success using a corkscrew through one of the 'eyes.' This allowed us to drain out the coconut water and sample it. It had an interesting nutty, salty flavor, very different from the slightly sweet version we were served at the restaurant. Apparently, coconut water can be used as a plasma substitute in a pinch because it has the same electrolyte balance as human blood, and is naturally sterile sealed inside the shell. A handy bit of information to keep in mind if you find yourself in need of a transfusion while in a remote tropical area, although you might want to double check the validity of that story just in case, as my source, the restaurant menu, could be questionable.

Once we had the coconut drained, Nick cracked it open by tapping around the circumference several times using a knife handle. It split open without much fight to reveal the pure white meat, which we proceeded to scrape out with spoons. It also had a nutty quality, not unlike an almond. We decided we would make our own coconut milk, which we did by heating up two cups of water to boiling and pouring it over our cup or so of coconut meat. I let this sit for 10 minutes and then poured everything into the food processor, pulsed five times and then ran straight for about 30 seconds. If you have a blender, use it as food processors (at least ours) leak. Then I strained the solids from the liquid and voila, homemade coconut milk. You do not need fresh coconut meat to do this by the way. The instructions we found actually called for unsweetened dried coconut. Anyway, we saved the coconut solids to use at a later date and I made up some coconut-banana-mint smoothies using our homemade coconut milk, coconut water, bananas, fresh mint, ice and a little almond milk to top things off. I added a bit of simple syrup along with a drop or two of molasses to sweeten everything and bring out the tropical flavors. The whole thing was an interesting and tasty adventure.
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Jaime said...

Coconut water is all the rage at my yoga studio these days... though people are drinking it out of expensive packages from Whole Foods and not extracting it themselves from coconuts. I tried it and found the taste a little medicinal.

Jess said...

I have to say that the taste of the fresh coconut water compared to the kind served at the restaurant (bottled?) was very different. It leads me to believe that at the very least sugar is added in the processing, if not other things that might be even worse. I would think those additives might change the health benefits somewhat.


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