Coconuts are a taste of the tropics; the hard brown shell is a difficult nut to crack, but once pierced out flows delicious coconut milk and the fragrance of the Caribbean. As celebrated as the coconut is, little is known of the young, fresh green coconuts that contain super hydrating water - coconut water. I was curious about coconut water, I thought it was just juice, but after hearing my sister harp on about it for long enough, I gave it a try. I was repulsed. It tasted like dirt and I was unimpressed while she sipped away.
That was until I went on holiday and fresh young coconuts were in abundance. In the glorious sunshine it was hard to keep hydrated, so I bought a fresh young coconut from the supermarket's refrigerated section. This changed my life.
Unlike the cartoned, packaged stuff that claims it is not from concentrate, this was so fresh I immediately felt like I had been given a slap on the behind. It was slightly sweet with a mild coconut flavour - young coconuts are the best drink you'll ever have, especially when in need of hydration.
What makes coconut water so superior to the average H2O is that it is rich in potassium and electrolytes. On average, 1 young coconut contains twice as much potassium as a banana. The electrolytes found in coconut water (cytokinins and lauric acid), are great for the skin, it also increases metabolism and boosts energy! So if you're struggling with weight issues, coconut water is the best nutrient rich drink for you.
In addition to the amazing health benefits, primarily that it rehydrates the body better than water and is low in sugar, fresh coconut water tastes great. You can also cut the young coconut open and eat the jelly-like flesh inside - kids love it!
Be sure to buy fresh because cartoned is nowhere near as tasty. If you don't live in a tropical country, you can buy young coconuts (green skin) in Asian grocery stores. They can be found whole with the skin on, or they may be wrapped in clingfilm which helps retain the moisture.
Please note that coconut milk does not flow out of mature coconuts, but is made by squeezing grated coconut with water. The best use for young coconut juice is to mix it with rum. By pouring rum into the coconut, then drinking it from the nut, you get the best effect. When finished, split the nut and eat the soft young flesh, which has absorbed some of the rum. Great!