Coconut water has become a hot trend in the food world, but some of us have been drinking it for years. Fresh coconut nothing to new to me, but some of you may be wondering what the fuss is all about.
For starters, coconut milk, which you’ll find in cans in the Asian food aisle of your grocery store is not the same as coconut water. The water is the clear liquid that comes out when you crack the coconut open. Coconut milk is when some of the water is pureed with some of the white meat of the coconut. This is then strained to remove some of the fat and to get a creamy consistency. The “light” milk you see is simply just the coconut milk that is strained again to produce a lower fat liquid.
There is a huge difference in fat and calories of the coconut milk and water. Coconut meat is high in fat (it’s good for you though!), so the milk is too, at over 500 calories per cup! The water is low in fat and calories and contains very little sugar. As an added benefit, coconut water is extremely high in potassium, with one cup having more potassium than a banana!
In Key West, there is an abundance of coconuts, and you’ll see them everywhere. People even sell them on the side of the road with a straw to drink the water. I have seen people who are confused because they expected the creamy coconut milk, but mostly it’s a pleasant surprise.
As far as the meat, it’s used in everything from desserts to savory soups and even sliced up and eaten as snacks, and let me tell you if you’ve never had fresh coconut meat (not the dried sweetened kind you see in bags), you’re missing out on a healthy and delicious treat.
Coconuts are a staple part of the daily diets of people all over the world, and all parts of the coconut are used, from the water, milk, and meat, and the meat is pressed to produce oil which is used for frying, baking and other cooking uses. Even the brown husks and leaves are used for furniture, and decorations where there are an abundance of coconuts.
If you’ve never had the water, even if you’re not in the tropics, you can now readily purchase it in your local grocery store. You should try it for health and refreshment as a low calorie treat.
Do you drink coconut juice? Have you ever purchased a coconut? Let us know your experiences in the comments!