Know your coconuts

When coconuts are sold in

Green shells they are immature

  • Their water is a popular sports drink.
  • They have a gel center similar to the texture of a melon. You can scoop out and eat the fruity, almost nutty gel with a spoon.

Fuzzy brown shells are mature

  • Their white flesh that can be sliced, grated and shredded for cooking and eating.
  • You can strain the coconut’s liquid to replace water in recipes
  • Coconut milk and cream of coconut is made from the solid and liquids of a mature coconut

Groovy coconuts are mature coconuts that have a groove around the center for easy opening. Groovy coconuts are available year-round.

Shredded coconut

Shredded coconut is available

  • Packaged with whiteners, preservatives and salt added.
  • Desiccated which is coconut that has been dried to remove as much moisture as possible.
  • From a fresh mature coconut like the Groovy Coconut, extracting the beautiful white flesh from its shell, takes a little more work but it’s worth it.

 Picking a coconut

Fresh coconuts should feel heavy for their size. If you hear liquid sloshing inside, that’s a good sign that the flesh is moist and ready to eat.


Pass up any coconut with mold around the three dark indentations or ‘eyes’. There shouldn’t be any cracks other than the uniform groove on a Groovy coconut.


Keep unopened coconuts at room temperature. Opened coconuts need refrigeration. Store shredded, flaked or sliced coconut flesh in airtight containers. The flesh can be refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for 3 months.


If the coconut has dried out during storage, cover it in milk and soak for 30 minutes. Drain off the milk (still useable in recipes) and pat the coconut dry