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Written by Tera on June 6, 2012 – -
by Guest Blogger
I just love the way I feel when I bless my body with fresh raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. But, I have to say, of all those glorious foods out there, nothing rivals the coconut! If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may remember a recent article on the benefits of coconut oil.
When reading this article, I couldn’t stop saying yes, yes, and YES! Coconut oil has so many wonderful health and beauty benefits. Well, I’m here today to tout the benefits of the entire young Thai coconut, starting with coconut water.
Did you know that the water from young Thai coconuts is very similar to our own blood plasma? High in electrolytes, coconut water trumps commercial sports drink every time. Reach for fresh, pure coconut water after a run, workout or just to give yourself a boost throughout the day. Along with sodium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous, coconut water is packed full of other beneficial nutrients, including chloride, iron, and lauric acid.
Coconut water is anti-inflammatory and has been shown to reduce inflammation in many cases as well or better than prescription anti-inflammatory medications for joint pain and is healing to the gut.
One cold, fresh young Thai coconut
Cut open a cold fresh young Thai coconut and pop a straw in! Yum! What could be more simple!
I have to admit, this is my favorite way to consume coconut water. Think of all the health benefits of coconut water and then make it exponentially more beneficial by culturing the water and creating your very own probiotic beverage. Easy and quick!
3-4 young Thai coconuts
Water kefir grains or starter (Kefir grains multiply, so check with your friends to see who may be making water kefir and I’m sure they will have some to share. Otherwise, check out culturesforhealth.com for water kefir grains or starter and some great “how-to” videos)
Plastic mesh strainer
Now that we have all our supplies in place, it’s time to start cutting open those coconuts and pouring the water through your plastic strainer, into the quart jar. Usually it takes 3-4 young Thai coconuts to fill a quart jar. Pop in your water kefir grains, cover the jar with a coffee filter secured by a rubber band and sit it on your kitchen counter for about 24 hours, depending on the temperature in your home. In cooler temperatures the process will take a little longer than when it is warm.
After approximately 24 hours, strain out the kefir grains (and pop them into a fresh new quart of coconut water, repeating as above). You will now have a probiotic drink that I describe as tasting like coconut beer! It is so healthy for you! Enjoy!
Add a little of your favorite juice to the coconut water kefir and allow it to sit overnight for variety.
Coconut water can also be added to smoothies or juices, any way you’d like!
Don’t forget the yummy coconut meat. After emptying out the coconut water, be sure to scoop out all that lovely white coconut meat. This spoonable meat is an excellent source of medium chain fatty acids, protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. It also makes for some really yummy and healthy dishes!
Another favorite way to consume coconut water and the meat!
1 Young Thai coconut
Milk kefir grains or culture (see sources above; and remember for coconut milk you need milk kefir grains, not water kefir grains)
Plastic mesh strainer
Cut open the coconut and pour about ½ the water into your blender. Scoop out all the coconut meat and place in the blender. Blend for about 1 minute and you’ve got creamy coconut milk! You could drink it as is, put it in smoothies, or pop in some milk kefir grains to cream coconut milk kefir. The rest of the process is similar to making water kefir above. After about 24-hours, strain and pop your kefir grain sweeties into a fresh batch of coconut milk. You will need a rubber spatula to press the kefir through the strainer and find all your beautiful kefir grains.
Make coconut milk as described above. Add above 1 Tablespoon of raw cacao powder and ½ Tablespoon of maple syrup (or agave nectar). Blend up and sip. Depending on your preference of chocolate and sweetness, play around with the amounts a bit. This is one of my daughter’s favorites!!
The possible delicious and healthy creations using coconut water and coconut meat are endless!!! I could go on for hours with recipes and ideas using my favorite food on earth THE COCONUT! What are your favorite ways to enjoy coconuts?