Sunday, February 24, 2013

How To Crack A Coconut (and Make Granola)

Day two of Bountiful Baskets
I received a coconut in my tropical pack and am going to show you how to make coconut milk and granola.  Before I make the milk for these meals, I need to crack open the coconut and make coconut milk. 

This is how to make coconut milk from your coconut.

Tools you will need:
Clean Phillips screwdriver
Clean flathead screwdriver
Clean, clear space on your floor or deck
Tap water

First, you will want to drain the coconut water.
To do that, hammer the Philips screwdriver into the three natural indents in the coconut.   

You will make the three holes so the water can drain. 
 Pour out the coconut water into a cup and set aside for later. 
Next, you will want to crack open your coconut.  I look for the natural cracks in the coconut and hammer the cracks.  The cracks will spread and the shell will be easy to pull off from there. 

Now you have your coconut meat with coconut water.  
I am making two different things with my coconut.  I made slices with a quarter of the coconut for my granola and will make coconut milk out of the water and remaining amount of coconut meat.
 I diced the slices and baked them at 300 F. for 30 minutes on a small baking pan.   This will go in the granola.
 To make coconut milk, cut the coconut into smaller pieces.  Put in the blender with the coconut water along with 1 cup tap water.  Blend for about one minute, or until the mixture has no clumps.
 Put the blended coconut in a wire colander and drain into a bowl.
 I like to be creative with my cooking tools.  I used a soup ladle to press out the liquid.
Now you have your coconut milk. Put the milk into a sealed container and refrigerate.  
I will now use the baked coconut in my granola.  
Granola ingredients: 
6 cups rolled oats 
1/4 cup flax meal (binding agent)
1/4 cup brown sugar (binding agent)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cocoa
1/4 cup shelled pistachios
coconut we browned earlier
 Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, mix together, and set aside.
Put a small pot on medium heat and add:
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1/8 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup almond butter

Heat the liquid ingredients until they are homogenous.  
Mix the liquid ingredients with the dry ingredients and spread out on a greased cookie sheet.  Place in your preheated 275 F. oven and cook for 30 minutes.  I sprinkle dried fruit and chocolate chips after this is done baking.  If you cook the fruit with the granola, it will burn and become hard. 
Use a spatula to put the granola in containers.  I like to use glass containers since plastic leaches to your food.  

Enjoy your coconut.

Join me for tomorrow's post.  I will be making curry with my coconut milk.

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