This afternoon I was over at Southside Produce stocking up on fruit. I’m now on Day 5 without caffeine. I had a tiny headache today, but the worst symptom I have right now is feeling sluggish. Yesterday on my run, my legs were crying for caffeine. They felt like dead weights as I dragged them .2 miles. Jessica, my coach, told me it would take a couple of weeks for my body’s natural energy to kick in. I was about to go nuts feeling like I couldn’t move this morning, and I decided to get some juice at Whole Foods. The natural sugars in the juice did the trick. I could feel life coming back into my muscles, and I started to feel like myself again. So, I thought I’d focus this week on having fruit smoothies for breakfast and fruit for snacks. This can at least get me through the transition. Plus, it’s all very tasty and sweet.
When I passed the bin of coconuts, my body all of a sudden started talking to me. I want some of those….. I was drawn to picking them up and shaking them to hear the water inside. I am already sold on the health benefits of coconut oil. I use it on my skin and for cooking. It’s even great in smoothies. Coconut water is all the rage in the fitness world because of its magnesium and potassium content. My friend Elena is from the Phillipines. She said one night that when they got hungry in her home country, they just went to a tree and shook down some coconuts. There was no need to have money to go the store. They had all they needed free on the trees. I was fascinated by that, and I continue to be fascinated at the versatility of this tropical fruit. I had been texting my friend Michael all day as he was on a bean sprout hunt, so I texted him a pic of the two winning coconuts I was going to adopt. He texted me back this link to this song:
I got home with my fruit, and I googled coconut dismembering instructions. The ones I found told me to crack it with a hammer. Good heavens… I had no idea I would need tools to clean this fruit. So, I texted Michael who said he uses fresh coconut in his BBQ Dry Rub. “Use a hammer,” he confirmed. So, I went out to the shed and got a hammer. I used a pair of pointy scissors to puncture the eye of the coconut to release the water. Then, I slammed the hammer into the coconut until it cracked open. It was kind of fun actually. I could finally break something on purpose. It didn’t crack halfway. It was more of a coconut bowl with a lid on it. But, I cracked it into a few more pieces and was able to dig the meat out. Since I had never done this before, I butchered the thing. But, I got the meat out. During the process however, I broke the end off my good paring knife. Damn….
Once I had a beautiful supply of this white tropical meat, I had to decide what I wanted to do with it. I knew I wanted to use some of it for my smoothies, but I was also curious at how to make coconut milk. So, I googled “how to make coconut milk”, and I found numerous recipes. They all seemed about the same so I set about the process. I took my coconut and threw it in the blender with 4 cups of boiling water. I did half at a time, and then I poured the whole mixture through a sieve. I pressed the coconut to extract the water, and it was done. It was so simple. I tasted the milk, and it’s so much better than that coconut milk I’ve bought at the store. It’s rich and thick with a slight hint of coconut taste. They say I can use the strained coconut for baking or in smoothies.
I was astounded at all I got out of that one coconut that cost me $1.29. I got a cup of coconut water that’s full of electrolytes, about 2 cups of shredded coconut and 4 cups of coconut milk. It was a lot of effort cracking that coconut, but now that I know what to expect, I’ll do it more quickly the next time. In fact, I watched a few more videos, and I think next time I’ll use the following instructions instead.