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    young coconut flesh

Food Percentage of DRI per 100 grams
vitamin B1
vitamin B3
vitamin B6
pantothenic acid
vitamin B2

Fresh meat from coconuts is found under a tough outer shell that protect it and keeps it sterile. The meat can come from both young (green), and mature coconuts (brown). Both kinds of coconuts are considered highly nutritious and useful. Here I am discussing young coconut flesh and its uses. The flesh from a young coconut is gelatinous and soft enough to scoop with a spoon. It serves many purposes, especially in a vegan kitchen. It is also very nutritious and healing, high in medium chain fatty acids (MCA), protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. It has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, can help lower bad cholesterol, and even promote weight loss. 





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Young coconut meat spoils more quickly than mature meat. This is why it's rare to find it outside of tropical locales. 


However, for those of you living in the States, they can be found in some stores during the summer months.


I usually recommend using certified organic ingredients, but when it comes to coconuts, studies show that conventionally grown coconut products have virtually no pesticide residue. Coconut palm trees don´t require pesticides or fertilizers to grow. I do think it´s important to buy organic when available, but I find that when it comes to coconut cream and other coconut proucts they are quite safe even if they are non organic.


Young coconut meat spoils more quickly than mature meat. This is why it’s so rare to find outside of tropical regions. Scour specialty markets and health food shops. Young coconuts have a green colored exterior (or white if they are trimmed), a white gelatinous flesh and lots of refreshing coconut water. If you can’t find whole young coconuts, you may be able to find frozen young coconut meat. 



Coconut flesh is great as an emulsifier, binder and thickener, especially useful for creating rich and creamy desserts. Blend smooth and use as a dairy free whip cream, coconut yogurt, icing, smoothies, puddings or !ce cream. Blend with water to make a nut free, dairy free m!lk or cream. It can also be used in savory food, in curries or soups. Chopped coconut flesh is great as an egg white substitute in vegan egg salad. It can also be used as a replacement for fish in sushi or cevice. Other uses include blending into mayonnaise, or dehydrating into wraps or bacon. Young coconut flesh is great food for babies as they are weaned from their mothers breast.




Use a cleaver or an old knife that you are not afraid of damaging. Never use a valuable knife, they will get ruined. Use a steady wooden surface or any other surface that does not risk being harmed by the cleaver. 

Hold the cleaver in a tight grip and place your other hand behind your back. Use the bottom part of the cleaver to strike the top of the husk in a steady motion. Rotate the coconut and strike again in a steady motion. Keep rotating and striking the coconut, until the top is loose and you can just lift it off. 


Strain the coconut water to remove fiber and any unwanted impurities.


Then cut the coconut in half by again striking it down the middle with the bottom part of the cleaver and with your other hand behind your back. If the cleaver gets stuck inside the husk, continue to strike with the coconut attached until it is split in half. The weight of the coconut will help bring force to the strike. 


Scoop out the flesh with a spoon or coconut meat removal tool. 


If you are intimidated by swinging a cleaver, there are tools available that are specially designed for opening coconuts with little risk. They include a round, stainless steel blade tool with a handle, and a hammer. Simply place the round blade on the husk and strike with the hammer. The blade will cut through the husk and once you remove it reveals a perfectly round-shaped hole in the coconut. 





The texture of the coconut meat will vary depending on the maturity of the coconut. It should be soft and gelatinous and become smooth and creamy when blended. Sometimes the meat is thick and hard, which means it is no longer young. This type of coconut flesh is not possible to blend smooth and will be better off in recipes that call for ”old coconut”. For example, shredded in the filling of a bounty bar. On the other hand, sometimes the coconut is so young that the meat is very translucent and soft, and in that case it is often very scarse in volume. If the coconut meat is too young it won´t be firm enough to use as a stabilizer or binder. 




Coconut meat can be stored 3-4 days in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen for longer storage in a sealed plastic bag or container. Before using, thaw the coconut meat in the refrigerator overnight or in room temperature for a couple of hours. If you want to speed up the thawing, you can place the coconut meat in a plastic bag inside warm water. You will find that frozen and thawed coconut meat has a slightly different texture but it is still fine to use. 



How to substitute young coconut flesh varies greatly depending on what purpose it is used for. For example, in mousse, cake, !ce cream, yogurt, whip cream, pudding or other smooth dessert, young coconut is used as a thickener and binder. In many of these cases, substituting with a thick coconut cream from a can or carton works well. Cashews or macadamias are other options. Avocado is another. In certain cases, zucchini can be a thickener, for example in dressings or smoothies. If using coconut flesh for savory bacon, try using zucchini, eggplant, coconut flakes or rice paper instead. Making a dehydrated wrap but don’t have coconut? Try papaya, mango or zucchini. 





Coconut flesh provides an abundance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. High in medium chain fatty acids (MCA). High in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals. Antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Can help lower bad cholesterol. Promotes weight loss. It also helps to regulate digestion and elimination.


Mostly medium chain fatty acids. Easy to digest. Converted into energy right away rather than stored as body fat. Speeds up metabolism and helps with weight loss.