Coconuts: Tips and Tricks

Even though the flavor of coconut conjures up images of relaxing on a remote beach, the tropical fruit takes a decent amount of work to prepare. Those who stick the course are rewarded in spades, as coconut offers two enticing prizes; versatile fruit and refreshing water. Make your culinary treasure hunt a little easier with these helpful tips and tricks.

  • When selecting your coconuts, shake em’ up! If you hear water moving around inside, that’s a good sign. Additionally, always look for coconuts that feel heavy and full, and don’t have any obvious cracks or discoloration.
  • Primarily interested in coconut water? Reach for green, unripe coconuts. However, chefs looking for fresh coconut meat are better off with the dark brown, fully ripened fruit.
  • Having a hard time opening up your coconut? Check out our in-depth guide on cracking techniques here.
  • Despite coconut’s durable appearance, they’re not invulnerable to spoiling. Whole coconut will keep for around a week at room temperature and 2-3 weeks in the fridge.
    • Pro Tip: Opened coconuts have a much shorter lifespan, lasting up to a week if refrigerated, so its best to serve the meat as soon as you crack the shell.
  • Not sure if your coconuts are still fresh? If the meat yellows or gains a whitish hue on the hull, it’s past its prime.
    • Fun Fact: Coconut palms are self-harvesting, meaning that they drop their fruit when they’re fully grown. The trees then replenish their fruit year-round, so it’s always coconut season!