How to Open a Coconut

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A big glass of fresh, cold, coconut water, straight from the coconut. Nothing beats it. Sadly, those little tetrapaks of coconut water that are all the rage don’t hold a candle to fresh coconut water straight from the source. The cost is about the same, but the taste and nutritional value of water fresh from the coconut are far superior. No pasteurization here. No funky tastes from the packaging. Just pure goodness.

If you’re ready to taste some real magic, go to your nearest health food store or Asian food market, and get some young green coconuts (sometimes also called young Thai coconuts). They will probably look something like the photo above, except covered with plastic wrap.

I’d recommend getting at least two, since you can’t really tell from the outside whether they’re fully ripe or not.

How to open a young green coconut (video) |

Once you’ve brought this beautiful naked food home, the next challenge is how to open the darned thing? Now, I’m a big ol’ wimp with knives, especially when you need to use them aggressively. And opening a coconut is no gentle act. In this video, I demonstrate how even someone as timid as me can make it happen. It might not be the most graceful coconut-opening you’ve ever witnessed, but here’s the deal: if I can do it, you can do it.

What will you need?

A big cutting board (like this)
And a big knife, preferably a cleaver (like this)

If you’re looking for creative ways to use coconut water and meat in your day-to-day, checkout The Naked Foods Cookbook. Available NOW from and

Yum! Enjoy and let us know in the comments below if you have any other great tips for how to easily open a young green coconut!

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  1. debra joy

    March 28, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Margaret That was fantastic. I’ve always wondered how the hell you open those babies. I’m a total wimp with knives too so I”m so glad you did that.

  2. Wendy

    March 28, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I just wanted to see that fabulous baby belly!!! : ) : ) : ) The opening the coconut part was great too. Always been afraid of them but no more!

  3. Catie

    April 2, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Hi Margaret,
    I thought you might be interested in our coconut opener. Like you Im a whimp with knives so we invented the Cococut so you can safely open young coconuts to access the meat and the water. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
    Peace love and coconuts

    • Margaret Floyd

      April 3, 2012 at 10:28 am

      Hi Catie – would love to see the coconut opener! Do you have a link to it?

  4. Hannah

    April 8, 2012 at 8:37 am

    We just did it!! Success! So delish.

  5. Michelle

    May 1, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    This was a great video and I particularily love when you say “yum” and “mmm so good” in your videos. Your passion for healthy food really shines through!

  6. Cat

    June 9, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    We just tried this at home and it worked like a charm! Thanks!

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