If in doubt, eat a coconut

Many people in Thailand die by falling coconuts each year. A true story. Nonetheless coconuts are god send. Delicious, refreshing, filling and extremely nutritious. In fact you can sustain yourself on a coconut diet alone. One coconut is a good substitute for a light breakfast. Combined with a fruit salad, it becomes a full-fledged breakfast. Another discovery is a fruit salad with minced coconut meat on top. They had it as a light dinner in Wat Kow Tahm. Combined with nuts and seeds, it passed entirely as a full dinner and was in fact the best meal of the day for me. Coconuts, nuts, seeds and fruits – what’s this nonsense about a light dinner?

You can get young coconuts only in tropical countries – coconuts intended for export are old ones. The older coconut is the more coconut meat it accumulates and the harder meat becomes. Juice of old coconuts also loses some of its flavour. Eating a very mature coconut is a labour-intensive task. I, for one, cannot finish a mature coconut in one go, as my jaws literally become tired. Fortunately the coconut nutrition makes up for all the energy you spend chewing. Very young coconuts produce only juice and very little meat. The best ones are semi-mature coconuts, they have enough meat to get your stomach filled and the meat is also very tender. Coconut water is also a sterile solution until opened, making it a suitable liquid for intravenous therapy. A super-food indeed.

Another discovery is that you do not necessarily have to buy coconuts, as they grow everywhere. Getting a coconut from a tall palm is still a problem I still have no solution for, but fortunately gravity does the job for older coconuts. Opening a coconut is a hard task, unless you are equipped with a machete. First you have two to remove the soft thick husk to expose the hard shell. Can be done with a knife, but when I attempted it, I got one broken blade as a result. Once the hard shell is exposed you have to crack it, preferably not spilling the juice. Again doable with a knife, if you know a weak spot of the shell (about 1/3 length from the spot where coconut is attached to the palm). Or as an easier solution is just to smash it against a hard surface, as observed during Thaipusam festival. All the hard work is worth the contents, though. Yummie!

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