Our never-ending quest for health has brought us to the young coconut. For the past six months, we have been doing Kundalini Yoga via DVD with Ana Brett and Ravi Singh. After falling in love with Kundalini and Ana and Ravi’s teachings, we wanted to further explore how these two yogis live their dietary lives. As it turns out, they eat a vegetarian and raw food diet including daily young coconut smoothies (no word as of yet on their opinions of onions). We’ve got the vegetarian thing down, but we’re trying to become better raw foodies. So we figured the young coconut was a perfect place to begin our foray into the raw world.
A young coconut smoothie is simple to make and it tastes absolutely delicious. Added bonus, this thing is great for your health. Young coconuts contain the good kind of fats, are pretty low in calories, and are cholesterol-free. The water in young coconuts is a natural isotonic beverage with electrolytes, and in addition to being completely sterile inside the nut, it’s of similar make-up as human plasma. During the Pacific War, both sides used young coconut water in blood transfusions for wounded soldiers. This stuff is incredibly good for you. It’s a natural energy drink!
However, there is some “green” controversy with young coconuts. Many of the young coconuts you might find at your grocery store aren’t organic and come from Thailand. Pesticides are used in their farming and usually the young coconuts are given a fungicide dip before exporting. This is to ward off bacteria during shipment. And then there’s the shipment. Young coconuts are relatively heavy and think about how much energy it takes to ship them to your grocery store; ultimately, if you’re concerned deeply with sustainability you might want to do further research into the brand of young coconuts you use and decide if they’re right for you. You can get organic young coconuts, but at a higher price.
So what do you need for the smoothie? Here are the ingredients to make two coconut-banana smoothies:
1 young coconut
Pretty straightforward. But maybe you’re looking at your young coconut and thinking to yourself, “How the heck do I get this thing open?” We’re here to help.
We’re going to assume you’re right-handed but for all you southpaws out there just reverse the directions (you’re probably used to this by now). Hold the coconut on its side with the top pointing to the right on your cutting board. Use a large kitchen knife to begin shaving off the white fibrous “wood;” go all around the coconut and shave it down until you begin to see the brown shell underneath.
Once you see the shell, position the coconut upright on your cutting board. See the sharp, square edge at the bottom of your knife closest to the handle? You’re going to use this to puncture the shell. It’s really not as hard as you think. You’ll have to do this swiftly and with some force if you want to crack the nut. It may take you a couple of times initially to figure out the force, but once you figure it out it will become easy. Give the coconut three or four punctures, providing a slit big enough to ease your knife into. You’ll probably splash a little coconut water on yourself during this step.
Be careful with this step. Hold the coconut closer to the bottom of its shell so you don’t injure yourself. Slide the knife into the slit you made and carefully slice the coconut’s top off in a circle pattern. We find it best to slide the knife toward your body to get better leverage, but you really need to take this slowly.
Once you’ve got the top off you’ll notice the coconut is filled with water. It may have some shell chips in it so you’ll need to strain it. We find it easiest to put a wire colander over a bowl and strain it that way; do whatever seems easiest to you. Try not to spill any water – it’s too delicious to waste.
Next you’ll want to scoop all the white meat out from the inside. We find it best to use a mellon baller. Make sure to get all the meat out and don’t be lazy about it. You paid $2-$3 for this young coconut and you’ll want to get your money’s worth. Also, don’t forget the meat from the top of the coconut that you cut off. When scooping the meat out, you may get shell bits on the meat; remove all these fibrous particles or else you’ll be picking them out of your teeth later.
Now that you’ve got the water and the meat all removed, put these ingredients into your blender. Next, peel two bananas and cut them up into smaller parts for easier blending. Put the top on and blend! Depending on the quality of the coconut meat, blending time may fluctuate. You’re looking to achieve a well-blended, frothy mixture. Sometimes, depending on the coconut, the consistency will be thicker or thinner. Sometimes you may have coconut meat chunks that just won’t blend. Just keep making these smoothies and you’ll figure out your own method for making the perfect coconut-banana smoothie.
Once you’ve got the frothy mixture in your blender, pour into two glasses and serve. We try to drink these everyday for breakfast. They’re a great way to start your day. Enjoy!