Coconut Water: Is it Good for You?
Click through the slideshow to find our favorite coconut recipes!
Quick Pepperpot Soup
Jamaican pepperpot soup is usually a long-simmered preparation made with tough cuts of meat and vegetables. This version uses quick-cooking sirloin and coconut milk instead to get it on the table fast.
Get the recipe: Quick Pepperpot Soup
South Pacific Shrimp
Vibrant Southeast Asian seasonings are a natural with shrimp. Freeze any leftover coconut milk or refrigerate it for several days; you can use it instead of broth or water to cook rice or enrich a curry.
Get the recipe: South Pacific Shrimp
Curried-Coconut Chicken Rendang
Rendang is a Malaysian meat dish that's slow-cooked in coconut milk. This recipe flavors chicken thighs with an intensely fragrant ginger-chile paste; it can also be made with beef, shrimp or vegetables.
Get the recipe: Curried-Coconut Chicken Rendang
Coconut Arborio Rice Pudding
Arborio rice is great for this pudding because the plump grains stay perfectly firm and chewy.
Get the recipe: Coconut Arborio Rice Pudding
Coconut Cake with Saffron Cream
Saffron's earthy yet sweet flavors make the spice versatile enough to work in both savory dishes and desserts. This cake recipe uses saffron to flavor the pastry cream for his moist, airy take on coconut cake.
Get the recipe: Coconut Cake with Saffron Cream
Thai Chicken, Zucchini and Tomato Curry
In just 30 minutes, you can whip up this amazing Thai curry with chicken, zucchi and tomatoes!
Get the recipe: Thai Chicken, Zucchini and Tomato Curry
Towering Coconut Layer Cake
This cake couldn't be more traditional: four layers of rum-brushed yellow cake filled and frosted with a light and airy, coconut-scented meringue-buttercream.
Get the recipe: Towering Coconut Layer Cake
In recent years, coconut water, the juice from young, green coconuts, has been marketed as nature's great hydrator, the all-natural alternative to electrolyte-replenishing sports drinks. But according to a recent study by independent laboratory ConsumerLab, coconut water might not be as good for us as we think.
Huffington Post reports that ConsumerLab tested three prominent coconut water brands and found that only one, Zico Natural Pure Premium Coconut Water, had an electrolyte content equal to popular sports drinks. Sodium, an electrolyte commonly lost through sweat, is the key ingredient here. According to Consumer Lab, Zico has 160 miligrams of sodium per serving compared to sports drinks such as original Gatorade, which contains about 110 miligrams of sodium per cup.
The two other coconut water brands tested, Vita Coco and O.N.E. Cococnut Water, contained less sodium and magnesium than advertised.
Of course replacing electrolytes is really only an concern for those who participate in demanding exercises that cause the body to sweat profusely like hot yoga, long- distance running and the like. For athletes of this calibre, replacing lost sodium is the most important part of rehydrating, but if your exercise routine falls into the mild to moderate realm, replacing electrolytes isn't as crucial -- regular old water will get the job done. And more cheaply.
While all coconut waters might not have the rehydrating qualities of regular sports drinks, one thing they do have over the green and orange stuff is a high potassium content, about 25 percent more than a banana. However, many nutritionists say that coconut water is not a good substitute for an actual piece of fruit.
The bottom line? If you're looking for a super-hydrating, post-workout beverage, be sure to check the coconut water's label for sodium counts, or just opt for a sports drink. But if you just like the taste of coconut water and want a little extra potassium in your diet, drink up!
Check out the slideshow above to find recipes that give you the benefits of coconut!