A mature coconut, one that is round with a brown stringy husk is different to a young coconut. The young coconut is usually green or if you buy them semi-prepared in-store they resemble a white stumpy rocket:
It has more liquid inside and a gelatinous flesh. As it matures, the liquid turns into the rich coconut flesh that we’re accustomed to. The main reason for wanting to get inside a young coconut is to release the delicious coconut water.
Coconut water is the highly nutritious, clear liquid that is found in a young coconut. It’s jammed packed full of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients and makes a wonderful energy drink. It contains lauric acid, chloride, iron as well as important electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium and phosphorus. It contains antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Coconut water is a natural electrolyte and an isotonic beverage that helps increase the body’s metabolism. It is similar to human plasma; it has and is still being used intravenously around the World to save lives.
The healthy balance of electrolytes in the human body is important for optimal health of our muscular, cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems as well as regulating the internal fluids and replenishing and rehydrating the body.
You can buy coconut water in cans or cartons in supermarkets (grocery stores) as well as the semi-prepared coconuts cling-filmed (plastic-wrapped) in the fruit/veggie (produce) section in most Asian, Caribbean stores as well as some regular supermarkets (grocery stores).
HOW TO PREPARE A YOUNG COCONUT
1. Using a very sharp knife, cut across the coconut until you will see a bit of white coconut flesh peeking through.
2. Stab this exposed coconut flesh and make a decent sized hole. Tip the coconut upside-down over a glass and allow all of the liquid to drain out. Either drink immediately or chill for later consumption*.
3. If you wish to eat the gelatinous flesh. Grab yourself a heavy cleaver^ and crack the shell. Scoop out the gelatinous flesh and enjoy!
* The vitamin, mineral and nutrient content will diminish as soon as the coconut water is exposed to air.
^ I’ve not tried opening a young coconut with a hammer, but you can try it.