Monday, May 14, 2007

NUTS for young coconuts (and a Soprano's Spoiler wayyyy at the bottom)

I have a new obsession. You might call it a Young Coconut Shake. Or you might call it a Young Coconut Smoothie. Or you might call it a Young Coconut Blend. Whatever you call it, it's insanely fresh, creamy, delicious, ayurvedically balanced and only 140 calories.

I discovered them last year at Caravan of Dreams in the East Village, which is so magically delicious, I wish I could just install it in my new kitchen. I don't know what they are doing there, but they are definitely doing something right. Everything tastes strikingly fresh and bright, and I never leave there feeling anything but nourished and relaxed but energized. I was concerned though: what was I ingesting when I drank a Coconut Shake? How many coconuts went into the making of it? How many other ingredients? I asked the waitress recently what are the ingredients, and she told me simply, they take a Young Coconut (NOT to be confused with a big, brown, hairy mature coconut) and blend the meat and the water. Period.

I believed her. But I was still curious about what would happen if I tried to make it on my own. In the meantime, I have been having several shakes a week, and the husband is very annoyed at how much money I have been spending at "That Place In The Alphabet City What The Hell Are You Doing Spending Your Whole Day There Every Day Now?"

I've been trying to figure out where to get Young Coconuts so that I could try making it Coconut Shakes at home, at a fractio of the price and with the comfort of knowing exactly what is going into it. I haven't had much luck looking them up on the internet. Fresh Direct doesn't have them. I heard that I might be able to find them in Asian fruit markets. So, today, after practie, I drove down to Chinatown. Not one little fruit market that I walked into sold Young Coconut, although they did sell lots of things I've never heard of like, "Bean Threads" and well, that's the only thing I could pronounce, actually. Finally I ambled into the Dynasty Supermarket. Voila. Young Coconut, sitting there in crates, right next to the crates of the old, ugly, brown, hairy coconuts.

I scooped up as many as I could carry (alas, only three), payed for my booty and booked back uptown where I immediately hacked into one, drained the water into my Kitchenaid High Speed Blender, scooped out the soft, almost rubbery flesh and dumped that into the blender as well, and whirred the whole thing to bits.

Oh. My. God.

It was exactly what they serve me at Caravan. And even better, it only cost me a buck and a half.

There is one complication, unfortunately, and that is the messiness factor. I haven't exactly figured out how to open the coconut, clean it out and then strain the resulting whipped up blend to remove the bits of coconut shell that got in when I scraped out the skin without making a huge mess out of my kitchen. THAT being said, after I drank my magic elixer of health and happiness, I felt energized to clean my kitchen, including polishing appliances and sharpening knives.

I suppose that I could be willing to make the tradeoff of a kitchen that needs to be scrubbed in exchange for the energy to scrub it and then some.

Drink young coconuts, live long as prosper (not like Christopher Moltisano on the Sopranos....Karma's a bitch, and her name is Adriana La Cerva eh?...R.I.P.)



jody said...

In Mysore the coconut guy would whack the top of the coocnut with a machete so efficiently there was little mess and then he would take a piece of the outer shell that had a sharp edge and scrape the the soft inner flesh of the coconut so that you could eat it.
Dang I wanna go back to India....

Debby said...

There is some info on how to deal with young coconuts on the raviana website.

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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