Q: Coconut water is supposed to be a great alternative to sports drinks. Are you a fan? Do you use any other coconut products?
Amy Marsh answers:
Coconut is an amazing tropical fruit enjoyed throughout the world for its delicious taste and remarkable nutritional benefits — including an abundance of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Healthy and versatile, coconut comes in many forms, from shredded bits that can be used for baking to hydrating water that quenches thirst after a tough workout.
Personally, I love both the smell and taste of coconut and use it every day, both in the kitchen and in my personal care routine. Here are some ways you can enjoy it too:
Coconut oil. The next time you saute vegetables or make a stir fry dish, try using coconut oil instead of butter or olive oil. Unlike other types of oil, it withstands high heat and doesn’t break down easily — not to mention the great flavor it adds to just about anything you cook. Coconut oil is also a great choice for “greasing” baking pans and other cookware — or you can use it as an ingredient in your baked goods. Not up for cooking? Simply spread coconut oil on a slice of bread or some crackers.
Coconut milk. Thick and creamy, coconut milk makes the perfect addition to Thai curries and soups. It also adds a nice tropical flavor to smoothies or shakes. Instead of using artificially flavored coffee cream, try adding a splash of coconut milk to your morning cup of coffee!
Coconut flour. The best thing about coconut flour is that it’s gluten free. An ideal alternative to conventional wheat flours when baking, coconut flour allows even those on restricted diets to enjoy their favorite treats. Be sure to follow cooking instructions carefully, because coconut flour absorbs moisture — you’ll need to use less of it in recipes than other types of flour.
Coconut water. Coconut water is a liquid extracted from fresh, young coconuts (unlike coconut milk, which is pressed from the flesh of mature, ripe coconuts). It not only quenches thirst, but it contains minerals and electrolytes that can replenish your stores after a workout. It’s a great alternative to plain water or sports drinks. Coconut water is available in ready-to-drink form, packaged in handy bottles, cans or cartons that can be brought along anywhere you go.
Coconut bath and beauty products. From body washes and lotions to shampoos and hair treatments, there’s an endless variety of coconut-fortified bath and beauty products out there. Not only do they smell wonderful, they’re amazing for moisturizing and soothing skin and for adding shine and softness to hair. You can also use ordinary coconut oil to make your own skin and hair treatments — it’s easy and inexpensive to do!