Most of us have seen those amazing smoothie bowls on Instagram, and more often than not, they are served in beautiful coconut bowls.
Coconut bowls and cups are made out of - you guessed it - coconuts. Coconut shells are usually discarded as people pay for the coconut flesh, the oil and the milk, not the shells. But the shells are so beautiful all on their own and they are a sustainable alternative to regular bowls and cups.
So, on our journeys towards limiting the waste in the world, let’s add this to our list.
Lets save some coconut shells by making our very own coconut bowls or cups!
How to get started
First you take the coconut and pierce the eyes of it, and pour out the coconut water in a bowl. You can strain this and drink it, or use it to cook with. Then you take the coconut and figure out how big you want your bowl to be. Draw a line all around the coconut, and cut it there with a regular hand saw.
Once the coconut is split in two, you can remove the coconut flesh from the inside. I used a regular knife and set it as close to the shell as possible and then cut down and pointed it forward. That way I sort of pushed out pieces of coconut flesh, one by one.
To your right, you can see every stage of making these coconut cups or bowls. ->
But it doesn’t look like the picture?
Not yet, it doesn’t. But soon it will.
Now you should remove as much of the coconut fibre from the outside as you can, and then check if the bowl stands on its own. If it doesn’t, you need to file the bottom of the bowl until it does. File all the edges, the outside and the inside and then use sandpaper until everything is smooth enough that you could kiss it. Start with a rough sandpaper and then use the finest one you can get (at least over 150).
Now what you want to do, is to treat the bowls with coconut oil. Grab some coconut oil on a piece of cloth and rub the inside and outside with it. Do this a few times and then set to dry.
But What do you do with the coconut flesH?
You make coconut milk and coconut oil, of course!
First you start by making coconut milk. Place all the coconut flesh in a large metal bowl, and pour hot (not boiling water) over them. With a hand blender, mix it together for a minute or so, until it started to look creamy. Then pour in the rest of the water and continue with the hand blender for another minute. Let it cool down to room temperature or thereabout, and then strain it through a folded linen cloth, a nut-milk bag or a strainer.
You can use the coconut pulp to make coconut balls. Mix the pulp with organic oats, a couple of ripe bananas, hemp seeds and either an orange or some chopped dates. It’s an excellent nutritious raw vegan snack.
Pour some of the coconut milk in a cup and drink it while it’s still slightly warm, and then pour the rest in a covered metal or glass container and place it in the refrigerator for a day.
In the container, the oil and cream mixture will separate from the water. Remove the oil/curd mixture and place it in a bowl and cover it. Set it someplace warm in your home and wait for the oil to melt. As it melts, the curd and the oil separates. You can then strain the mixture and then you have your cold-pressed coconut oil.
If you want to know more, there are many YouTube videos on how to make cold-pressed coconut oil.