Intro: How to Peel a Coconut (with Only a Claw Hammer)
Really listen though, close your eyes and just listen.
You don't HAVE to, of course...but it will put you in the mood.
I grew up in Florida, for the most part, where many people discard all of the coconuts which fall from their trees; this practice is shameful because coconuts are amazing, delicious, sweet, full of nutrients, free and can substitute for wheat flour and animal fats. They take a bit of work to get into but really it is quite quick and takes little skill. You'll be a pro' in no time.
Now, what you will need for this instructable is:
- 1 coconut*
- A claw hammer
- Your arms and your feet will be helpful.
Step 1: Let's Split...
Let's get started. we have a lot of delicious coconuts to husk.
1) Take the claw end of your hammer and hit it into the top of the coconut. You'll want to hit it hard but not hard enough to smash through and break the shell (but you probably wont do this).
2) Hit the coconut with your claw a couple more times to the right and left of the first.
3) Turn the coconut 90 degrees and repeat #1 and #2.
Step 2: 4 Hemispheres
At this point you should have an + shaped cut in the top of your coconut.
4) Take the claw of your hammer and lightly hit the coconut, following the lines you have started, in order to cut the husk of the coconut into 4 hemispheres.
Step 3: Strip Your Husk Off
5) Now you should be able to pull the quartered husk off of the seed (I am apprehensive about saying nut because it's a seed and not a nut).
Step 4: Trouble?
If your having difficulty getting one of the quarters/hemispheres of the coconut's husk off, lightly hit the claw of your hammer between the husk and the coconut seed. Follow the outline of the seed and try pulling the husk off again.
Step 5: *Young Cocnuts
Depending on the age of the coconuts you will get variations in how easy the husk is to remove and the taste and texture of the coconut seed's contents.
For a young/green coconut just hit the claw end of your hammer swiftly into the top of the coconut once and be prepared to pour the liquid into a container.
I prefer the younger coconuts, to the old/brown/ripe ones (but the brown ones are still really nice), because the flesh is soft like jelly and they are totally full of liquid. My favorite is when you can get a coconut which is heavy but you can't hear any swishing of the liquid,
From this one young coconut I pulled about a liter of coconut water whereas I got only about a cup or half-a-cup from each of the ripe ones.
Step 6: A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
Now that you've gone through the hard part of getting to the coconut seed, you just need to pierce all three dark spots at the top of the coconut, drain the liquid and smash open the shell with your hammer.
The coconut palm is known as the tree of life for good reason; it can provide materials for shelter, food, a clean liquid filled with great nutrients and healthy fats.
Check out some of these other great, coconut-related Instructables:
How to open a coconut
Eat a sprouted coconut
How to make flour, butter and milk from coconuts
Use every part of the coconut (9 products)
and my own, Coconut Curry Candy