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What exactly is a sprouted coconut?
Coconuts are not only the fruit(actually a nut) of a coconut palm, they are also the seeds. When the coconut is mature it will eventually sprout given the right conditions and become a brand new coconut tree. As the mature coconut germinates, a white sponge-like ball develops within the shell, absorbing the liquid and hard meat. The sponge can be eaten. Many cultures from all over the world with tropical climates suitable for coconut palms have been enjoying sprouted coconut aka coconut bread, coconut apple, or coconut heart for centuries!
How do you sprout a coconut?
There is no quick or easy way to sprout a coconut. It requires a lot of patience. The coconuts must naturally fall from the tree (at this point they are completely brown) and after about 4-6 months of resting on the ground, they will sprout. The only "maintanance" we do on our coconuts is pile them up next to each other on top of some mulch and occasionally we will water them with a hose during the non-rainy season (winter). A regular coconut harvested prematurally and purchased from a store will not sprout. You can however collect fallen coconuts from the base of a coconut tree and wait for them to sprout after a few months.
Is sprouted coconut a sustainable food source?
Yes. Coconut trees are one of the most prolific fruit trees that we've ever seen. If we planted every single sprouted coconut on our farm, we wouldn't have any space for other fruit trees. You can also carefully remove the sprout from the ball and plant it so that it can continue growing into a tree.
What is the season for sprouted coconuts?
Sprouted coconuts are a year-round fruit.
Healthy coconut trees can produce a rack every moon cycle (about once a month) all year long.
How do you open a sprouted coconut?
We made an instructional video here. You can also hack at it with a machete or cleaver. You can find our favorite coconut opening tools here.
What are the health benefits of sprouted coconuts?
There is not a ton of information on the nutrition content of a coconut sprout (partially because it really depends on the level of maturity) but also because it is not a common food. From what we've found, it is high in nutrients and fiber. All sprouted nuts contain enzymes which help boost digestion and increase the absorption of nutrients in the digestive tract.
What does a sprouted coconut taste like?
In my opinion, each one has a unique flavor. The younger coconut embryos are typically more sweet. As they mature, they become more savory and even a little salty in flavor. The outside of the sprout ball contains the most flavor. The inside of the sprout has a very mild taste.
What is the texture of a sprouted coconut?
The outside of the sprout ball is typically more hard and crunchy. Sometimes it is covered in a light layer of oil. This oil makes an amazing skin moisturizer. The inside of the sprout ball is fluffy like cotton candy or angel food cake.It makes a light crunch sound when you pull it apart or bite into it.
Where can I get sprouted coconuts?
If you live somewhere tropical look around any coconut trees (just make sure it is okay with the owner if that tree is located on someone's property). You may be able to find one at the base of the tree. You can also order from miamifruit.org and get a box of sprouted coconuts shipped to your door if you live anywhere on the mainland US.
How did you decide to price this fruit?
A lot of hours of unseen labor goes into these sprouted coconuts. First, we collect them from underneath trees all over South Florida (often times it can take hours) and then we bring them back to our farm and organize them in huge piles to make it easier for us to collect them when we get an order (this is usually a multi-day event). Next we package and ship them off to our customers which can be an all day event. We started selling this fruit many years ago and the only comparable price that we could find on the mainland US was for coconut tree sprouts which are the same thing but often used to be planted in the ground and grow into a tree. You can plant these sprouted coconuts if you buy them with the husk and plant one yourself so you can have your very own sprouted coconut producing tree in about 5-10 years. :) As sprouted coconuts continue to grow in popularity and the demand becomes higher, we may be able to drop the price, but for now this is what we value this rare (in the mainland US) and exiting fruit to be.
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