Groovy CoconutTM

Coconuts sold in stores still in their green shells are not used in cooking. These are immature coconuts that have a gel center similar to the texture of a melon. You can scoop out and eat the fruity, almost nutty gel with a spoon. Coconut water - a popular sports drink - is the liquid found inside immature coconuts.

For cooking, there's the mature coconut, sold with the outer husk removed and stripped down to a fuzzy, hard brown shell. Mature coconuts like Groovy Coconuts produce:

1. The white flesh that can be sliced, grated and shredded for cooking and eating.
2. The liquid that can be strained through cheesecloth and substituted for water in recipes.
3. The white flesh and liquid that can be cooked together to make coconut milk. Cream of coconut used in desserts and mixed drinks is neither coconut milk nor the liquid found in mature coconuts.

Groovy coconuts are mature coconuts that have a groove around the center for easy opening. Groovy coconuts are available year-round.

Packaged groovy coconuts

Packaged shredded coconut comes two ways. The one you'll find in the baking aisle at the store is shredded with whiteners, preservatives and salt added.

Desiccated coconut is shredded coconut that has been dried to remove as much moisture as possible.

Picking a coconut
Fresh coconuts should feel heavy for their size. If you hear liquid sloshing inside, that's a good sign that the flesh is moist and ready to eat.

Pass up any coconut with mold around the three dark indentations or 'eyes'. There shouldn't be any cracks other than the uniform groove on a Groovy coconut.

Keep unopened coconuts at room temperature. Opened coconuts need refrigeration. Store shredded, flaked or sliced coconut flesh in airtight containers. The flesh can be refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for 3 months.

If the coconut has dried out during storage, cover it in milk and soak for 30 minutes. Drain off the milk (still useable in recipes) and pat the coconut dry.