Kitchen Tip Tuesday: Coconut Water

One of my kitchen pantry staples is a can or two of Coconut Water (or sometimes labeled “Coconut Juice”). By the way, this is not the same thing as coconut milk, which is another of my favorite staples! I have mentioned the coconut water off-hand a couple times on this blog, and have regularly received inquiries regarding this nourishing drink.

Hopefully this will help answer some of the questions. :) I don’t keep fresh coconuts lying about my kitchen here in the Northwest (although you can purchase them from local Asian markets), but I find that canned Coconut Water is a perfect shelf-stable option to our kitchen’s natural emergency medicine supply.

“Why Is Coconut Water Rehydrating?” (or “Why Aren’t You Buying Pedialyte?”)
Coconut Water is a delicious “real-food” option, when rehydrating is necessary, such as due to illness, heat exertion, etc. Many oral-rehydration drinks are commercially available, which have been formulated with electrolytes and sweeteners (such as sucralose). Coconut Water is rich in many vital minerals, vitamins, and proteins, not just the basic “electrolyte essentials” found in a lab-formulated drink.

Here is a great overview of the nutritional properties of coconut water; their list includes my EMT husband’s favorite trivia tidbit: the natural electrolyte & pH balance of coconut water make it suitable for a rehydrating IV solution, if necessary. (You know, if you’re ever stuck on a tropical island with an ill or injured person, now you’re prepared…) :)

The Gluten-Free Girl wrote of drinking Coconut Water during her postpartum recovery. Coconut (in its many forms) is also very healing to a distressed digestive system; which is why people with celiac (or other similar disorders) often use coconut milk/flour/etc. as healing food options.

“How Do You Use/Serve Coconut Water?”
Do not dilute the Coconut Water when serving as a medicinal rehydration drink; the ratios in the juice are perfect “as is.” It is a sweet juice (which may help encourage a dehydrated toddler to actually drink it; the very reason Pedialyte is sweetened with sucralose).

I personally find it too sweet for my palate, and prefer to add it to fruit smoothies or added to fresh juice from our juicer for a summer refreshment. (But when I was really sick with complications of celiac last week, I gulped it down straight when necessary.) It was more reviving than all the treatments I received in the hospital! Calvin also enjoys regularly making jars of Coconut Kefir with it, using a similar method to our Kefir Apple Cider.

“Where Do You Buy Coconut Water?”
I usually purchase a case of the coconut water from Azure Standard, when it goes on sale. However, most natural food or Asian markets keep it in stock in the beverage section. You can also purchase it on Amazon.

Many different brands are available, but I haven’t really found much difference in any of the ones we’ve tried, other than the fact that some companies offer flavored options. Last summer, we were able to find small aseptic “juice-box”-style packaged one-serving Coconut Waters at Grocery Outlet for 30 cents apiece. Calvin was working long hours in the the hot summer weather, so these packed well in his lunches (although we cringe at the wasteful packaging now!).

Coconut Water is a Kitchen Essential for us!

For more Kitchen Tip Tuesday ideas, visit Tammy’s Recipes!

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