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Can you juice coconut in a juicer?

Coconut water has become an increasingly popular health drink in recent years. Known for being naturally sweet and low in calories, coconut water provides electrolytes and minerals like potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium. Some people enjoy drinking coconut water after a workout to rehydrate. But can you actually juice coconuts and make your own coconut water at home? Let’s take a look at whether or not it’s possible to juice coconuts with a typical juicer.

The Challenges of Juicing Coconuts

Most conventional juicers are designed to extract juice from fruits and vegetables with high water content. Coconuts, on the other hand, have a thick, fibrous husk surrounding the interior coconut meat and liquid. This makes it difficult for standard juicers to break down and extract the coconut water.

Here are some of the main challenges with juicing coconuts:

  • Hard exterior husk – The outer layer of a coconut is extremely tough and difficult to cut through with a juicer.
  • Thick meat – After getting through the husk, you still have to break down the thick coconut meat containing the coconut water.
  • Lack of water content – With less natural fluid than fruits like oranges or grapes, coconuts don’t contain enough liquid to properly juice.
  • Clogging – Coconut fibers can easily get lodged and clog up juicer parts.

While the average juicer is designed for softer, juicy fruits and veggies, coconuts present some unique challenges that make it quite difficult to extract their water content through juicing.

Specialized Equipment for Coconut Juicing

If you don’t have the right equipment, trying to juice a coconut will likely damage your juicer. You need a very powerful, heavy-duty juicer specifically designed to handle coconuts. Here are two juicer options that can work:

Commercial-grade juicers

Heavy-duty, commercial juicers with a very high-powered motor can pulverize and press coconut meat to extract the moisture. But these industrial-strength juicers are expensive investments, costing over $2,000 for a quality machine.

Steel lever presses

Specially designed steel lever presses can crack open a coconut and press the meat with immense pressure to squeeze out coconut water. Some popular manual presses include the Tropical Traditions Coconut Juicer Press and the Tribest Gourmet CJ-1000 Electric Coconut Juicer Press.

While these machines utilize brute strength to juice coconuts, they still require pre-cracking the coconuts with a hammer or machete before pressing them. And the yield of coconut water is low – you won’t get nearly as much as you would from simply opening and pouring the coconut water from the interior.

Juicing Coconut Meat

The coconut meat can also be juiced to make coconut milk, but this still requires heavy-duty juicing equipment. First, the hard coconut shell and husk must be removed. Then a powerful motor shreds and grinds the coconut meat into a thick paste which is strained to extract the coconut milk.

A few juicers capable of juicing coconut meat include:

  • Omega J8007S Juicer
  • Tribest Slowstar Vertical Slow Juicer
  • Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer

However, the resulting coconut milk yield from juicing is low. And coconut meat clogs these juicers easily. So most people prefer making coconut milk from grated coconut meat soaked in hot water, which produces higher yields.

Can You Juice Coconuts in a Centrifugal Juicer?

Centrifugal juicers spin produce at high speeds while pressing it against a mesh sieve. But they lack the power and machinery required to effectively juice coconuts. The exterior husk cannot be penetrated by a centrifugal juicer blade. And the coconut meat will not release enough moisture through a centrifugal juicer’s pressing mechanism.

If you try to juice a coconut in a centrifugal juicer, you’re likely to damage the juicer. Small shards of coconut can get lodged in tiny crevices. And the juicer is not designed to handle that type of fiber and torque. You may burn out the motor by overworking it on coconut meat.

Can You Juice Coconuts in a Masticating Juicer?

Masticating juicers, also known as slow or cold-press juicers, crush and press produce at low speeds. They may provide more torque than centrifugal models. But standard masticating juicers still lack the specialized power and design required to effectively juice whole coconuts.

The exterior husk cannot be penetrated by standard masticating juicer augers. And while the auger can grind coconut meat, the strainer screen will quickly get clogged. You may be able to get a small amount of coconut milk from a powerful masticating juicer, but it’s an inefficient use of time and you risk damaging the juicer.

Can You Juice Coconuts in a Blender?

You cannot juice coconuts in a standard blender either. Blenders liquefy and mix ingredients, but do not have a mesh sieve or strainer to separate juice from pulp. So you’d end up with a pulverized coconut mixture rather than fresh coconut water.

However, you can make coconut milk in a blender by blending grated coconut meat with hot water. The blender pulverizes the coconut flesh to release the oils and moisture. Simply strain the mixture through cheesecloth afterwards to extract the coconut milk, leaving behind any solids.

Easiest Method: Cracking Open a Coconut

While juicing coconut meat for milk is possible with heavy-duty equipment, juicing coconut water remains extremely challenging. The easiest and most effective method is simply to crack open the coconut and pour out the interior coconut water.

Here is a simple guide to retrieving the coconut water:

  1. Pre-crack the coconut by hitting it around the equator with the back of a chef’s knife or cleaver. This separates the coconut meat from the interior shell.
  2. Puncture one of the three coconut holes with a screwdriver. Drain the coconut water into a cup.
  3. To access the meat, wedge the shell fully open with a knife.

While fresh coconut water straight from the source is preferable, you can still get bottled coconut water that’s cut straight from fresh young coconuts. Avoid coconut water that’s reconstituted from concentrate, which loses many nutrients.

Conclusion

Juicing coconuts is extremely difficult and not practical with most consumer-grade juicing equipment. Specialized steel pressing machines can be used to extract a small amount of coconut water, but cracking the coconut open yields far more juice. Powerful commercial juicers are able to juice coconut meat to make coconut milk, but require a lengthy prep process.

The easiest method is just drinking the coconut water directly from the cracked coconut itself. And opt for bottled coconut water made from fresh coconuts, not from concentrate. While regular juicers may struggle with coconuts, they can still make nutrient-rich drinks using fruits and veggies with high water content.

Nutrition Facts of Coconut Water vs. Orange Juice

Here is a nutrition comparison of raw coconut water and fresh orange juice:

Nutrient 8 oz Coconut Water 8 oz Orange Juice
Calories 46 112
Carbs 8.9 g 25.8 g
Sugar 6.3 g 21.6 g
Fiber 2.6 g 0.5 g
Potassium 600 mg 496 mg
Magnesium 60 mg 27 mg

As you can see, coconut water is much lower in calories and carbs than orange juice. It also provides more electrolytes like potassium and magnesium. Coconut water makes a great low-sugar hydration drink.