Cracking the Coconut

Don’t let the hard shell and coarse exterior deter you! Just follow these 4 easy steps for fresh grated coconut.

Cracking the Coconut: Step 1

Photographer Becky Luigart-Stayner

Step 1

Hold the coconut in one hand over a sink, basin, or bowl to catch the liquid that seeps out. This liquid isn’t as fresh or tasty as coconut water from young green coconuts, so don’t feel guilty about not saving it—just let it go down the drain. Tap firmly in the center of the coconut with a hammer, rotating and tapping along the “equator.” You might have to rotate the coconut several times before a fissure appears.

Cracking the Coconut: Step 2

Photographer Becky Luigart-Stayner

Step 2

Break coconut into smaller pieces. If it’s difficult to pry the white flesh out, bake pieces at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes until the meat separates from the brown shell.

Cracking the Coconut: Step 3

Photographer Becky Luigart-Stayner

Step 3

Peel the thin brown skin from the outside of the coconut meat. It’s okay to eat; it’s just a little bitter and dirty-looking when grated.

Cracking the Coconut: Step 4

Photographer Becky Luigart-Stayner

Step 4

Grate coconut pieces on a box grater, or use a vegetable peeler for thin ribbons. Then add to your favorite coconut recipe!

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