It seems that every can of coconut milk I pick up either has bpa liners, or contains preservatives.
Since I have a vitamix (super blender), I'm thinking it might be fun to buy one of those white (already shaved) coconuts at whole foods, and take a whack at it (literally).
Would coconut meat super blended be a good base for a green smoothie?
(I'm assuming that my vitamix would make it completely smooth.)
(I'm also assuming that coconut milk means coconut meat blended with water; regular water or coconut water)?
How hard is it to scrape the meat out of a coconut?
Can I chop off the top without chopping off my arm?
Is it more economical than buying coconut milk or coconut water in cans?
I've never looked, but I heard you can buy frozen coconut meat in asian grocery stores.
Any other thoughts?
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Here is a question about blending coconut from the Vitamix forums, with a focus on getting smooth results:
Sounds like the first poster is talking about cracking open a dried coconut, totally different process then a fresh one. (But that looks like a great method!) Definitely look on youtube to see videos of how to do it, yes, you could chop your hand off if you do it wrong.
It tastes awesome IF you use the coconut water along with the meat. Using regular water just doesn't taste as good, and yes makes a great base for smoothies. You may need to add extra water to make it the right consistency. A pinch of salt and vanilla extract is WHATS UP.
Im not sure if its more economical. One coconut at whole foods in 3.99, but I am not sure how many cups you get, and I know I got a different amount of milk every time. Also, according to the produce guy at my WF all coconuts are sprayed with a preservative to keep the white skin from turning brown. This deserves more research, not sure if some companies use more toxic sprays then others.
I've done it several times. To crack the coconut I will first poke out two of the "eyes" so I can drain the liquid into a glass. Then I use a hammer and flat-head screwdriver to crack it open. If you're lucky, the shell will separate from the meat easily. But as is usually the case, it breaks up into large chunks from which you'll have to scoop the meat off of the shell.
I use a potato peeler to remove all of the remaining brown skin, but a sharp paring knife will do. Then I add 1.5 cups of water to the blender, and all of the coconut. Start out slow, and work your way up to the high setting. Be prepared to keep adding water until you get a milkshake-like consistency. You may have to use the depresser that comes with the vitamix in order to push the chunks of coconut into the blades.
Have a large square of cheesecloth handy. You'll have to strain a little bit at a time because it's very thick, and squeeze out the liquid by hand each time. Then you can either save or dump the pulverized bits of coconut meat (I've often wondered what to do with it--could I make coconut flour out of it?). Rinse out the cheesecloth after you've dumped the coconut solids, and repeat.
I keep my fresh-made coconut milk in one of those hand-held shaker cups (has the little mixer ball inside). The coconut will separate from the water and you'll have to give it a quick mix before you use it. It can last up to two weeks if kept refrigerated.
EDIT: Also wanted to add, BE CAREFUL when removing the shell from the meat. I sliced myself a good one being careless with the knife. I had lots of bloodied coconut I had to rinse off before I could do anything with it! And don't worry, I was the only one drinking that batch of milk ;)
To make coconut milk you need a dry coconut - the one with a hard rough brown outer shell. Grab the coconut in one hand and slam it onto a hard surface (like a concrete floor) without letting go of it. Discard the coconut water that drains out of the cracked coconut (You may need to do this few times to break the coconut into manageable pieces) Use a dull knife with a rounded tip (eg. a table knife) to pry the "meat" away from the hard outer shell. Never use a sharp or pointed instrument for this. Force the blade between the "meat" and the hard, brown outer shell and pry the meat away from the shell. If you are very lucky it will pop loose easily - usually you will need to pry around the edges at several different places. Since this process requires some force and since edges of the coconut shell may be jagged and sharp; you should protect your hands with gloves at least until you get the hang of it.
I read that you should not drink the water from an older coconut as the nutrients are not good for you. But the young white coconut water is the one to drink for electrolytes. The meats from both are okay to eat.
I read that the young white coconut is dipped in some formaldehyde to keep it white during the long travel. Yikes!
So is it the meat of the young or older coconut used for milk?
For you to get coconut milk used for cooking or to make coconut oil, the best coconut to use is the very dry coconut, the ones that are turning orange or brown. The process of cracking a coconut open should be done out of your house because it needs a hard surface that can take a beating. Crack the coconut open, drain out the water then take a knife and carve out the white flesh in the coconut shell. Mix it with a cup of water and blend. If you don't have a power blender to bring it to the consistency of milk then you pour it through a strainer and get rid of the pulp. This is the way I watched my grandma did it the Caribbean.
I buy frozen raw organic young coconut water and meat from ExoticSuperFoods.com. I live in Manhattan so I get local delivery, but they deliver nationwide. Their coconut water is sublime, and really, though it is more expensive than the pasteurized coconut waters, it is much cheaper and cleaner than organic fresh coconuts. I know they distribute to a lot of stores nationwide now, maybe even Whole Foods. This would be a little different from a mature coconut, which is where I think the gooey coconut milk comes from.
If you're just throwing some chunks of coconut, or shredded coconut into the Vitamix with some other liquids and foods, it should blend up just fine with enough liquid. Vitamixes rule!