Wednesday 2 October 2013

How to use coconut flesh, and why you should

I’m not going to lie. I was less than excited when I was told I would be completing my community placement in South West Sydney. Not because I’m an Eastern suburbs snob (that’s what you were thinking, wasn’t it?), but because I don’t find the prospect of driving 2-3 hours per day all that appealing. Do you?

Anyway, all snobbery and complaints aside, my community placement is pretty freakin’ amazing.

We are working on the Macarthur Future Food Forum, which is concerned with ensuring a healthy food supply and fair access to food for everyone. Here’s a little about what they do (copied and pasted from their website, which you can check out HERE):

  • Support local food access projects
  • Lobby to protect local agriculture
  • Work with others in the region on food issues
  • Stalls at community events
  • Lobbying for a healthy and sustainable food supply

Pretty cool, hey? If this kind of stuff doesn’t interest you, or you don’t think it concerns you, please step away from the computer and go head-butt a wall.

All of this concerns all of us.

And if it doesn’t concern you now, it definitely will in the future when all of the fresh produce is gone and we have to survive on twinkies and spam. Won’t be so disinterested then, will you?

Go and learn more at about how you can improve the future of our food system.

So what has this all got to do with coconuts, you say? 

Well, as many of you are aware, I work with Sarah Wilson as a nutrition expert for herI Quit Sugar program. Sarah is a cool chick, who is also passionate about all of this crunchy hippy sustainable food biz. I like to read her blog. You should too. Anyway, this week Sarah spoke about how food wastage makes her angry. It makes me angry too. We waste so much food, and considering more than 2 million Australians go hungry every year, that’s pretty disgraceful, don’t you think? 

In this post of hers, she mentions young coconuts and how often we will drink the water inside and simply toss the shell. What’s the problem with that, you say? Well, it’s wasteful. And inside the shell is a whole lot of yummy, nutritious flesh! So it got me thinking. How about I do a “quick” post (you know that’s not possible for me) on ways to use coconut flesh, and why you should. All in the spirit of wasting less food! Cue intended starting point for blog post.

Why should you eat coconut flesh?
Aside from being resourceful with your food, the flesh of the coconut has many health benefits, including:
  • It is rich in medium chain fatty acids which are readily absorbed and utilised as fuel
  • The main fatty acid, lauric acid (which is also found in breast milk, and there is no denying how good that stuff is for you!) has amazing anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Healthy immune system, here we come!
  • It is high in fibre = perfect poop
  • It is rich in manganese, which helps with the metabolism of carbs, fats and proteins, as well as assisting with bone formation
  • Good source of copper, which aids in the absorption and utilisation of iron. Even better, copper helps to manufacture collagen and heal wounds! Woot woot!
  • Provides potassium to help maintain the body’s fluid and electrolyte balance, cell integrity, nerve impulse transmission and muscle contraction.

How to use coconut flesh:
  1. Get a spoon and eat it raw
  2. Blend it up into a chocolate mousse (go HERE for my recipe)
  3. Add it to a chicken curry – cut it up into strips and simply toss it in during cooking
  4. Chop it up and add it to your breakfast instead of coconut flakes
  5. Throw it in the oven and roast it with some coconut oil and cinnamon
  6. Toss some into your favourite green smoothie
  7. Make coconut milk by whizzing it up with some water
  8. Coconut flesh, lemon juice, water. Blend. Drink

There you go. You have at least 8 reasons why you should eat your coconut flesh and 8 ways to do so. So no more excuses for tossing it in the bin, hey?

How do you use your coconut flesh? Non-sexual suggestions only, please. 


  1. Great post. I don't envy your 2 - 3hour drive each day!

    I'll be sure to check out the chocolate mousse recipe. thanks

  2. Thanks a lot, time to start using coconut flesh!

  3. I think the chocolate mousse idea is perfect. Nobody can resist it, so you chose your weapons well :)

  4. My flatmate used to bin her coconuts after using the water for smoothies... couldn't stand to eat the flesh. I asked her to leave them for me to hollow out... ohhh boy!

    Do you think 1 coconut (juice and flesh) a day would be too be too much of anything? (every time I search for sugar levels in coconut I get conflicting info)

    1. Hi Michaela,

      One coconut per day (flesh and juice) is fine. They are very low in sugar and rich in healthy fats. Enjoy!

  5. Well, I don't know about the sugar, but I'm thinking they do have some fat. One coconut each day, if you are not used to it since childhood, could be too much. Maybe start with one each two days and see what happens?

    1. It's always good idea to start slower, but with the smaller portion rather than with bigger breaks between.

      Katie from