My local health food store always has coconut for sale and for weeks I've been tempted to buy one but I didn't know how I'd get it open. I had read a machete was required, and well, I am fresh out of machetes. However, a few weeks ago I remembered a small hammer we picked up last year. I figured we could use that. By "we" I mean my husband, because I tried to hammer that thing apart, but it just wasn't happening. Anyway. Cooking with fresh coconut is like making your own fresh soup broth or tomato sauce. Once you try the final product, no substitute will taste as good as the homemade version.
How to open a coconut
First, you'll need to choose a coconut. Choose one without any dents or markings on it. Shake it. If it's a "healthy" coconut, you'll hear water splashing inside.
When you get it home, locate the three dark marks. Poke a hole in two of them using a hammer and nail. Pour the water into a glass. Taste the water. If it tastes fresh, then the coconut flesh will be good to use. If it tastes sour or strange, discard the coconut.
Use a hammer or machete to open the coconut as shown below.
Once the coconut is open, use a small knife and cut away the shell from the coconut flesh. This part takes a bit of effort. I found that cutting the pieces really small is easiest. Rinse the flesh to be sure there are no small pieces of shell on it.
How to make coconut energy bites
Ingredients for coconut energy bites
flesh of one medium coconut
6 pitted Medjool dates (use 10 if you want it sweeter)
large handful of sesame seeds
Directions for coconut energy bites
Put all of the ingredients in a food processor or high powered blender. Blend into mixture is sticky. Then, wet your hands and roll the mixture into bite-size rounds. Put in the freezer for 20 minutes and serve cold.