Vegan Cocoventures

July 13, 2010 by Keri

As much as I love coconut, coconut water, coconut milk, coconut vegan ice cream, coconut… okay, you get it, I’d never actually had the pleasure of beating cracking one open myself.  And then I was inspired by Singer in the Kitchen‘s coconut-whacking good time and just had to buy one and give it a try.  First I had to figure out how to puncture the darn thing.  Sure, I’d read how to simply stab it with an ice pick, which is all good in theory, but I didn’t realize tight away there was a particular sweet spot to lay into it.  Go ahead, picture the coconut noob struggling with this furry little ball of frustration.

Coconut Water

It really wasn’t that long until the light bulb came on, but I obviously got unnecessarily excited when I made a nice hole to pour out the coconut water.  I’ve only ever had packaged coconut water, which I like, but the liquid fresh out of the coconut is so much better.  It’s richer and more coconut-y.  Divine!

Coconut Water

Coconut Water

Now that my coconut water was out, it was time to get crackin’!  I rummaged through the garage looking for a hammer, but found a mallet-looking thing instead (you can tell I’m great with tool lingo).  After a couple of nervous whacks, the coconut cracked in two.  Okay, that was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be.  For some reason I imagined myself squatting over the cement, hands raised over my head and throwing it to the ground primitively…


Finally was the hardest part- getting the coconut meat out of it’s shell!  I tried a knife and vegetable peeler, settling on using the knife in a less than glamorous way.  But it got the job done.  After all the destruction, I was left with my lovely bowl of delicious, fresh coconut!  Now to figure out what to do with it all.


Have you ever cracked open your own coconut?  What do you recommend I do with all my fresh coconut?

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I Eat Trees is a blog featuring my adventures in all things vegan. My favorite recipes, snack food finds, and restaurant trials are all on the menu so enjoy!


  1. bitt says:

    we have cracked open a big hairy coconut before. we used the flesh for ice cream!

    • Keri says:

      That’s a great idea! I think I’ll make some coconut ice cream with the frozen bananas in the freezer.

  2. Jameson says:

    I got one when I was a kid, but I didn’t realize it was supposed to be cracked open. I figured I’d hacksaw it open like a geode. An hour of sawing later and all of the milk had leaked out. Bummer. Maybe I’ll try doing it the right way some time.

    • Keri says:

      Whaaaat?! Who let you have a hacksaw as a kid? And we always used big hammers on our geodes… 😀

  3. Krystina says:

    I just did this a few days ago. Now I have no idea what to do with all the meat, so I’ve been just eating it plain!

    • Keri says:

      It is really tasty plain, but I was hoping to find a few recipes. Now I’m thinking ice cream or curry! 🙂

  4. Michelle says:

    I’ve been too intimidated to try carving/chopping a coconut. Yay for you for taking on the challenge! There are a lot of coconut meat recipes in Living Raw Food and Raw Food/Real World that I’d like to try.

    • Keri says:

      It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be! 🙂 And thank you for the recipe suggests- I’ll check those out.

  5. HappyAly says:

    I *love love love* fresh coconut! I lived in Hawaii for awhile and would go to markets weekly to get some. Yum! Congrats on your first one!
    I’ve actually found eating just the cocounut alone to be really, really delicious.
    But if adding it to a recipe is your fare, I’ve made some pretty good curry out of blending/chopping the coconut and simmering it in with other spices. My usual curry includes potatoes, onion, red & green peppers, and water chestnuts with my own blend of cumin, turmeric, garam masala, cardamom, and red chilis. I simmer my water/coconut milk & coconut with the potatoes, then let the veggies stew in it for a good 30 minutes. Served with rice or quinoa and it’s fantastic!

    • Keri says:

      Thank you- I think I’ll add it to my curry! I’ve been eating it plain too, but I think I have enough for both. 🙂

  6. Vegmom says:

    I did one for the first time a few weeks ago. Well Hubby did it for me. 🙂 And said never again could I have a real coconut.. sigh!

    I ended up putting it in Smoothies, and to my surprise my young Vegman just liked the Raw chunks, so I put them in his Camp lunch for snacks. We went through it pretty quick…

    • Keri says:

      Aww.. yum- I’ll have to let my little guy try it! You’ll have to just find his tools and do it yourself if he won’t. And then maybe he’ll think twice about not doing it. *grin*

  7. Congrats on your coconut adventures! 🙂 Looks delicious!

    I agree with Michelle. I have a raw cookbook from the Pure Food and Wine and the Lucky Duck owner that has a lot of fresh coconut base for dessert recipes. I am planning on trying one soon as soon as I get home from vaca!