Coconut water is commonly consumed as a health drink. The water of the coconut has twice as much potassium, less sodium and less sugars than comparable amounts of sports or energy drinks. You can obtain coconuts year-round in different stages of maturity. Mature coconuts have had the majority of the husk removed and are covered in brown fibers. Young coconuts are green, still have the husk attached and are typically much heavier. The process of selecting and opening the coconut depends on its age.
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Select coconuts that have no mold or mildew on the husk and are free of any cracks. Black spots on the husk are mold and the coconut should be avoided.
Shake the coconut to verify liquid is still present in the center of the nut. Completely mature coconuts may have little to no liquid in the center.
Remove any of the remaining husk from the coconut ends to expose the three dots at one end.
Look for the eye of the coconut that is a different size from the other two eyes. This differently sized eye is also the softest and is the access point of the coconut.
Use a knife to carve into the soft eye, removing the exterior portions of the shell. If the knife is small enough, you may be able to carve through the entire exterior of the coconut to access the water.
Use a small drill bit or screwdriver to punch through the exterior of the coconut if the knife is not able to pierce the coconut completely.
Place a straw through the hole to drink the water directly from the coconut or pour the water into a jar.
Select young coconuts that are heavy for their size. These coconuts will still have the outer shell, or husk attached to the interior nut.
Shake the coconut. Young coconuts are still completely full of liquid and there should be no splashing of liquid inside.
Slam the nut down on a hard surface a few times to try to loosen the exterior husk.
Cut away the exterior husk to expose the tip of the coconut with a knife. You do not have to cut the entire coconut out of the husk.
Use the butt portion of the knife, which is the squared section close to the handle, to pierce into the shell of the coconut. Once through the shell, wiggle the knife back and forth until the top of the shell cracks. The shell will crack in a circle which you can then remove by hand.
References and ResourcesKnowledge Base: Health Benefits of Coconut Water - Drinking Coconut Water Benefits
The Naughty Vegan: How to Open a Mature (brown) Coconut!
Produce Oasis: Young Coconuts