Sunday, August 9, 2009

Young Coconuts - the food of the gods

There has been extended silence on this blog but it has all been for a good reason: traveling, training, self-development and back I am, full to the rim with new inspirations from recent travels to Thailand, Singapore and Bali. All of these places are little heavens for raw foodies and not at last because of one particular exotic fruit: Fresh Young Coconut. Young Coconuts are an amazing superfood. Not only do they contain up to half a liter of thirst quenching, tasty water, which at the same time is full of electrolytes and therefore a natural isotonic; it's actually the closest naturally existing liquid to the human blood, for which reason it is often used for blood transformations in developing countries if there is no blood from the correct type available. Even the Food and Agriculture Organization fought for a patent in 2000 to market coconut water as a new isotonic sports drink. Check this article on 7 benefits of coconut water.

But let's take a look at it's use in the culinary arts. The thin and soft flesh that you can scoop out from the coconut once you emptied out all the water and openend it up, can be used in a variety of dishes due to it's wonderful consistency and delicate subtle flavour, like in this coconut ceviche that I prepared a few days ago. In this dish, the texture of the coconut reminds of the texture of a squid (ceviche traditionally is a Mexican seafood dish).

The other day I also used the flesh in a Raw Version of Phad Thai, the traditional Thai noodle dish. Thinly sliced, the meat of the coconut gives the impression of the rice noodles the dish is usually made of.
There is plenty of other wonderful ways to work with young coconuts. A very simple thing is to just blend the meat and the coconut water and you have the best coconut milk ever! Then you can turn it into a sweet smoothie / milk adding the sweeteners of choice or into a savoury soup adding some lime, chilli, curry,... get creative. You can also make a nice coconut yoghurt by just blending the meat with a little coconut water, salt and lemon or lime juice. The water is sweet and tangy and little bit sour at the same time and therefore lends it this yogurty taste.
One of my favourite things I prepared these days are crèpes. Vegan, raw crèpes!! All the French out there, please forgive me now for misusing and abusing this reserved word...
The combination of cashew nuts and the flesh of the young coconut together with some other ingredients gives a perfect crèpes dough that you can fill with anything you would fill a normal crèpe. Here, I made a blueberry jello and a white creamy almond yoghurt using some of the coconut water, and drizzled the whole thing with a dark raw chocolate sauce. Blueberries and chocolate... delicious!!
However, my favourite, I actually invented two nights ago after coming home, hungry for something sweet. I pulled out a crèpes from the fridge, spread some tahini on it, then slivered pieces of frozen bananas on top, squeezed a few drops of lime over the whole thing, sprinkled it with raw chocolate nibs, rolled it all up and it was simply perfect! sweet crèpes, bitter nutty tahini, sweet pure banana "ice cream", a tang of lime, and the chocolate crunch turned out to be a fantastic combination. Try it out for yourself!

And in my next blog post, you will also find out, where I got all the coconuts in Berlin from to experiment with :-)


  1. These look yummy! Can you share the ceviche recipe with us? Thank you!

  2. You can find the base recipe in the Café Gratitude cookbook.
    Basically, it is fresh young coconut, tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh cilantro, lime juice, red onions chopped, garlic, jalapeno pepper, salt and pepper. So good :-)