Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"c" is for...


Thai young coconuts, to be specific.

Purchased by the case at the asian market, it works out to about $.78 each. It was this past December that I finally got over my fear of cracking them open by learning an easy technique.

I put the coconut on its side. Using an inexpensive (but heavy duty), butcher knife (under $15, also from the asian market), I scrape away at the top of the coconut, to remove the fibrous exterior.

Then I set the coconut back up on it's flat bottom, and give it a solid whack with the heel of the knife, at an angle, about an inch or two from the top.

Twist, plus a little leverage, and the "lid" pops right off.

I have been told this is the "girlie" way of opening a coconut. Most folks don't scrape off the excess fiber first, they just make five whacks around the top in the shape of a pentagon, and there you have it. Doing it that way scares me so much it is what kept me from ever trying to open one myself. So all hail the girlie way.

Now let me say this: I am not a huge fan of coconut. Sure, I like me a really good fat macaroon from time to time. Perhaps the occasional Almond Joy if it calls to me (which it often will) from the bottom of the Halloween bucket. But I don't like coconut in much of anything else.

Fresh coconut, however, is NOTHING like it's dessicated-in-the-bag-distant-cousin, though.

What do I do with all this coco goodness?

Well, the coconut water I use in smoothies, or if I am feeling really crafty, I ferment it into a kefir. Most the time I can't wait that long though, and I just stick a straw right into the coconut and drink it. If I am opening a whole case at once though (to make a recipe out of the coconut meat) then I put the coco-water into mason jars. It will keep for a couple of days. It also freezes well, as does the meat. It's not a bad idea when buying a case to just "go coco" and process them all at once. They take up too much space on the counter and don't hold up forever.

Interesting factoid: the water is very nutritious! It has ZERO fat (it is the "meat" that is fatty, but even then, it is a healthy source of fat. Coconut "milk" is not the same as the water...milk is a blend of the meat and the water together, typically). The water ends up being naturally filtered and sterile. Rumor has it, that it was even used as blood transfusions on battlefields during World War II when supplies were low. Coconut water is very similar to plasma! Drink up! It is good for you!!

After I deal with the water, I scrape out the insides, also known as the "meat", using an ice cream scoop. This is also great in smoothies (makes it rich and creamy), and it also fermentable with a kefir starter to become a vegan yogurt.

But my favorite thing to do with he meat is to make lemon pudding out of it.

Into a blender (or a food processor) goes:
2 cups coconut meat (about 4)
the scrapings of a vanilla bean (a good extract would do)
a few drops of a food-grade lemon essential oil (lemon extract would work, too)
2 T lemon juice
a pinch of salt
some sort of sweetener to taste (for me it's either agave syrup or liquid stevia, but honey would probably work just fine).

Puree and chill, or if you want to eat it right away, add in some ice cubes when you blend it. If it is too thick, you can thin it with water, or some of the coconut water.

I don't really taste the coconut in the finished product, just the lemon. I keep threatening to try this again soon with grapefruit oils and juices. I might even make one with fresh ginger. Yum! But I am so happy with the lemon, I just keep making it that way.

Oh! And if you stick it in the freezer, it makes a great frozen "ice cream". Just let it thaw for 5 minutes or so before you try to dig into it.


"c" is also for....'s

This is a minor representation of my collection.
Very minor.
I have over 1200 of them.

Most of them have been in boxes since we moved last summer. Having no desire for the visual clutter of a wall o' cd's in this new home, I just sort of didn't deal with it.

I am now in the process of ripping them all onto that tiny little silver box on the left there. I can't even wrap my brain around the notion that all this music is going to fit in that little thing, but TheMostImportantGuy assures me that it will.

The project is sort of taking over my life right now....not to mention my dining room table.


Carol said...

You ferment your own kefir?
[shakes head in bemused wonderment]

MsAmpuTeeHee said...

carol ~ yes, I do. I would have never believed it possible if it wasn't covered at a workshop I went to. It is so simple, it is ridiculous. You just dump the kefir starter in and keep the jar in warm place. That's it. And then you drink most but all of it, keep some at the bottom, pour some fresh liquid on top, and it will do it all over again. You can get like 7 fermentations off the first batch, if you keep an eye on it. Best (and cheapest) source of probiotics anywhere, imho. And I can only eat so much yogurt, dude. LOL
The link in the post is to BodyEcology, which is where I bought my "starter".

Sunflowerfairy said...

I bet you could make the *BEST* mix tapes ever with all those cd's.