Feature

How to open a coconut

Green Lifestyle

Take the challenge out of opening a green coconut with these tools and tips.

Open coconut

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Coconut water or juice – the clear liquid from inside a young coconut – has proven health benefits.

It's one of the most hydrating liquids on the planet – much moreso than sugary sports drinks – due to it's high potassium and mineral content.

Plus, a fatty acid called monolaurin found in young coconut water is known to be effective against viruses, bacteria and parasites.

The makeup of coconut water is identical to human plasma, and has even been known to be used in an intravenous drip on remote tropical islands when medical saline wasn't available.

But opening a fresh young coconut can be quite a challenge! Luckily, with these tools you don’t need to dice with death with a machete to enjoy fresh coconut water.

The Cocotap:


There’s no need to remove the fibrous husk of a coconut before using this tool, which is great if you buy Aussie-grown coconuts as most of them are sold unhusked.

There’s a little bit of juice spillage when opening, but you’ll easily be able to get into coconuts of any age or size.

It also leaves a perfectly straw-shaped hole from which to drink, or to pour the clean liquid out. Handmade in Cairns, this was the winner of an episode of ABC TV’s New Inventors in 2006. $35, www.cocotap.com

The CocoCut:

With its simple design, almost anyone can work out how to use the CocoCut on a husked nut, such as those now available in most supermarkets, to easily access not only the liquid, but also the soft coconut flesh.

Plus, the top can go back on as a ‘lid’ to save some for later. However, this device can drop a little bit of coconut fibre ‘sawdust’ in the liquid.

To be honest though, one of our pet-hates are the husked, plastic-wrapped green coconuts in the supermarkets – it seems so pointless when a coconut is one of nature's finest examples of durable, biodegradable packaging!

Also, the edges of the serrated cutter are very sharp, so be careful when cleaning, and be sure to replace the cutter cover for storage. $29, www.cococut.com

Choosing your coconut:

Opt for Australian-grown coconuts with a green husk. They’re not as easy to find as the husked, overseas varieties, but they remain alive for about a month after harvest, and are less likely to be bruised or damaged in transit (which can affect their sterility).

It's tempting, but try to avoid buying the plastic-wrapped coconuts, and share the love as a comment below if you find some plastic-free coconuts. Remember, if you really must get plastic-wrapped, that you can collect and recycle your soft plastics at Coles.

And last, but not least, don't forget a reusable straw. Try ReChusable for a range of styles. Or, for a very clever idea, you can't beat these biodegradable lemongrass stalks!