Turn To Your Tool Kit For A Better Way To Remove Coconut Meat

Whole and opened coconuts
Whole and opened coconuts - worradirek/Shutterstock

Coconut is a unique fruit that provides a range of ingredients for different recipes. You can add coconut water to smoothies or use it in your mocktails, make coconut milk from the flesh to use as a base for non-dairy ice cream, and coconut flour (also from the flesh) can be incorporated into gluten-free baked goods. Despite the many uses of a coconut, this hard-shelled fruit can be quite intimidating for many home cooks. It's not just cracking that tough shell that's the problem. Removing the meat inside can be a painstaking process. But guess what? The solution lies in the tool kit sitting in your garage. Yes, that one.

Most people reach for a knife to chip at the white flesh, but a better tool is a flat-head screwdriver. Its shape and size make this simple tool quite efficient for this kitchen task. For one, the flattened head can easily get in between the coconut flesh and shell to lift off the flesh. Secondly, its small size makes it easier to maneuver in the tight space of a coconut shell. A bonus: You don't have to be as worried about cuts like you would when using a knife to remove the flesh.

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How To Use The Flathead Screwdriver To Remove Coconut Meat

Cracking open a coconut
Cracking open a coconut - Whiteway/Getty Images

To separate coconut meat from the shell, the first step is to crack open the shell and expose the flesh inside. To do this, hold the coconut over a bowl and whack it along its equator using the dull side of a cleaver knife or a sturdy chef's knife. After a few knocks, rotate the coconut bit by bit so you can hit it at different spots around the middle section. This process will weaken the shell and eventually get it to crack open while the bowl below will catch the coconut water that's inside. With your shell now in two halves, you're ready to remove the flesh.

The best strategy is to first bake the coconut halves in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Let it cook for 15 to 20 minutes, then remove and let it cool down. Once you can handle the pieces comfortably, grab your screwdriver and push the flat end in between the shell and the meat. Wiggle the screwdriver from side to side to prey out the flesh. The flesh will pop out in one complete piece from the shell. Repeat these steps with the other coconut half, and you have your coconut flesh ready to eat right away or incorporate in your recipes.

Read the original article on Tasting Table