On my quest to make Coconut Date Balls, I bought my first ever coconut! I brought it home and then realized that I have never cracked a coconut before but thought, how hard could it be? It turns out, it’s pretty hard – literally. I found this great demo on youtube showing how to effectively crack this nut. After following the instructions, it ended up not being as difficult as I thought.
- Diamond head shaped screw driver
- Flat head screw driver
- Towel or oven mitts
- Cup or container
- Veggie peeler
Here’s what I did:
As per the video, I pierced one of the three holes on the top. One of the three is soft – who knew? Why aren’t they all soft? Then I let the coconut water drain into a container which can be used later for drinking or added to a smoothy, which I will get to later.
Once all the juice is drained, I put the coconut in the oven at 375F for about 30 minutes – the video said 15 minutes but I guess it depends on how hot your oven is. Apparently, when it’s ready to be broken, it splits. Mine didn’t. Maybe I just got impatient and didn’t leave it in long enough? But I thought that 30 minutes in the oven was pretty generous.
Then, it’s time to crack the nut. That’s when the hammer comes in handy. This was my favourite part! Take some oven mitts or a towel and remove the coconut from the oven. Place on the counter or another hard surface and hammer the shell. Luckily, I have a concrete balcony, so I brought my coconut out there wrapped in my oven mitts and beat the hell out of it without scaring my neighbours TOO much. I don’t think anyone noticed me hammering, though. At least I don’t think so.
Anyways, eventually, it will crack. This is when you bust out the flat head screw driver.
As he shows in the video, the flat head screwdriver pries the coconut meat away from the shell. This wasn’t so bad. The worst part, for me anyways, was peeling the skin from the meat. I had a bit of an accident when the peeler slipped and nearly took off my thumb nail. I’m okay! But my nail is chipped and nearly torn off. All worth it though.
Once the skin is peeled off, I rinsed the coconut in cold water to get all the debris off. I stored it in tupperware container and put it in my fridge for when I’m able to make the coconut date balls. But the meat can be chopped into flakes or used for a variety of other recipes. It’s pretty fantastic!