Young coconuts are encased with a uniquely shaped shell. They are harvested directly from the tree before they have time to age and drop like the more mature white and brown husked coconuts. Inside is a refreshing juice and a soft jelly-like meat. This white coconut meat offers a sweet flavour that is soft enough to be eaten with a spoon.
Young coconuts are especially ideal for making desserts. They can be used to flavour a variety of baked goods, ice cream, pies, sorbets and beverages. Flavour frosting for cakes and cookies. Make a colourful sweet topping for baked goods and confections. The fresh coconut water can be slightly frozen where the juice will turn to ice and can be eaten like a sorbet. Blend coconut water and flesh to make a smoothie or a base for soups. For flavour variation, add avocado, dates, figs, carob powder or maple syrup. To store, always refrigerate.
Young Coconut Around The World
- In the Philippines, “buko” is the term for “young coconut”. These coconuts are harvested before they reach maturity and the grated buko is soaked in the water of the Young coconut to make a special buko juice.
- In India, coconut meat is said to be especially beneficial for pregnant women and new mothers.
- In Sanskrit, this palm tree is called, “kalpa vriksha”, meaning the “tree which provides all the necessities of life”.
- In Brazil, the word “coco” refers to the fruit of all the varieties of the coconut palm.
- In Bahia, the coconut is considered one of the region’s holy trinity of ingredients, joining malagueta pepper and palm oil.
- In Thailand, the coconut is the country’s most important crop and the Thais use every part of the coconut tree – from using the green husk for fertilizer, to shaping the hard shells into bowls, spoons and ladles, and even using old dried-out coconuts for floats to teach young children to swim.
Another unusual coconut is the macapuno (coconut sport) that grows in the Philippines. The cavity is not filled with the usual liquid but rather is full of a gelatinous flesh that is also eaten with a spoon. Called Nam Hom, Thailand is a major producer and exporter.