Sunday, January 11, 2009

For the Love of Coconut

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking at our local Whole Foods on the topic of detox. The three key points I addressed were: HYDRATION - ALKALINIZATION - ELIMINATION
One of my favorite hydrating & alkaline foods is the young thai coconut, so I spoke about it's nutritional benefits during my lecture. I also demonstrated how to crack into it's intimidating shell. What many in attendance didn't realize was that I went into the lecture with a bit of detoxing of my own going on. Apparently I had caught some sort of intestinal virus that's been going around, so besides feeling pretty punky, I was quit apprehensive about being too far away from the restroom. The interesting fact of all of this was that once I began drinking the milk from the young coconut, my stomach immediately settled down and I have felt miraculously better ever since. Three Cheers for the YOUNG COCONUT!!

As promised here are some fabulous recipes using this truly super food. First is a video from Green Chefs, featuring raw food chef Vanessa Sherwood, with an ideas of how to create a delicious treat with this amazing food find:
GREENCHEFS | Raw Banana Coconut Cream Pie Video

Again from Green Chefs, go here to see the lovely Leslie Bega create Organic Mint Chocolate Pudding.

A few other recipes I have enjoyed making that include the meat and/or milk of young coconuts are here: Sarma's Cauliflower Samosas, Coconut Persimmon Flan, and the Dreamsicle Shake.

And then finally, although this next recipe is a bit lengthy, it is incredibly delicious.

Coconut Pad Thai
courtesy of raw chef, Roxanne Klein


Almond-chile Sauce
  • 1/2 cup raw almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced serrano chile with seeds
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water

Tamarind vinaigrette
  • 1/2 7-ounce block tamarind with seeds*
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger

Pad thai
  • 1 cup (packed) very thinly sliced Napa cabbage
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 large young Thai coconuts (also called white coconuts), outside husk cut away, cracked open with hammer, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups matchstick-size strips peeled carrots (from 2 large)
  • 1 cup matchstick-size strips red bell pepper
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup matchstick-size strips seeded English hothouse cucumber
  • 1/4 cup slivered fresh basil
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs

For almond-chile sauce:
Combine all ingredients except water in blender or processor. Puree until smooth. Thin with water by tablespoonfuls, as desired. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

For tamarind vinaigrette:
Combine tamarind and enough hot water to cover in medium bowl. Let stand until pulp softens, breaking apart occasionally with fork, about 1 hour. Using slotted spoon, transfer tamarind pulp to sieve set over bowl. Press pulp through sieve, leaving seeds behind. Measure 6 tablespoons pulp into medium bowl (discard remaining pulp). Whisk in remaining 4 ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.

For pad thai:
Combine cabbage, cilantro, and lime juice in small bowl; toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and let stand 30 minutes.

Using small heavy knife, pry large pieces of soft coconut meat out of shells. Slice coconut very thinly into 2- to 3-inch-long strips.

Combine carrots, red bell pepper, bean sprouts, cucumber, and basil in large bowl. Toss with just enough almond-chile sauce to coat lightly.

Arrange 1/4 of cabbage mixture on each of 4 plates. Top with coconut and mixed vegetables. Drizzle tamarind vinaigrette and more almond-chile sauce over, if desired. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.

*Tamarind is a legume with large brown seedpods. The pulp is used in Indian, Thai, Caribbean, and Latin American cooking. The pulp is sold in block form and is available at Indian markets or can be ordered online.


Lauren said...

Yum! I just bought 2 thai coconuts yesterday and had one in a smoothie this morning. Nothing beats fresh coconut water..mmm! :)

Connie said...

When you drink the water, are you also eating the meat? If so, do you just eat it plain or do you blend it up with the water? I am just beginning to enjoy these and have done both but I keep reading of people drinking the water but am not sure what they are doing with the meat. I would never be able to discard it! lol! But is almost sounds sometimes as if some may be.

I really enjoy your blog.


Paulina said...

I had weird stomach cramps the other day because I must have eaten something bad the night before and when I drank all the water from my young thai coconut - I felt amazingly better! No more pain :)

earthmother said...

Hope your tummy's feeling much better today. I read in a book by a doctor (brain freeze: can't think of the title right now) that coconut water is a wonderful blood plasma substitute. It's even been given intravenously in emergency cases. Truly, a life-giving fluid! Oh, and it's supposed to be miraculous for hot flashes. Have to remember that one.

I love Green Chefs. I get so many great ideas from that site. I'm going to try the Pad Thai recipe. The smell of Tamarind is divine.

Lisa (Pixywinks) said...

Hooray for young coconuts!

Isle Dance said...


debbiedoesraw said...

love those coconuts , thanks for the recipes Penni and you are feeling like your sassy self!
love deb

Wendi Dee said...

It's so great that you were feeling well for your talk! Thai coconuts are so very healing. I credit them with jumpstarting me back to life!

Lots and lots of love to you, Penni!


Vegannosaurus Rex said...

Can I touch your young coconuts?

Michelle Pierson said...

I love young coconuts! Besides avocados it's one of my favorites. Love to drink the water after hardcore workouts, rejuvenates my body. What a remarkable food from the gods. I love making chocolate coconut milk as a treat too. :)

debbiedoesraw said...

V. R.!!!!!!!!!! How forward of you!!
Penni: if he does, post a picture.. of the coconuts I mean.. not your personal coconuts.. never mind.. hee hee
deb xoxoox