Sophie Uliano: Coconut Water vs. Coconut Milk

Coconut water is the clear liquid that comes from the center of young green coconuts (not to be confused with coconut milk -- which is pressed from the coconut flesh: an emulsion of coconut water and fresh grated coconut).

Coconut water has been called “Nature’s Gatorade.” It contains similar amount of electrolytes as sports drinks, but less sugar. Getting the right balance of electrolytes could replenish your energy, help lower your blood pressure, and help rebuild lean muscle, which are only some of the reasons coconut water has become one of the latest health crazes. In addition, coconut water has fewer calories, less sodium and more potassium than most sports drinks. The best choice is straight from an actual young green coconut. Next best choice is raw coconut water. This is coconut water that hasn’t been pasteurized with heat. The heat kills off all the good enzymes and minerals, so it’s way better to get it raw. The third choice is coconut water that has been pasteurized. For all of them, you can drink them. straight, or add it to smoothies in place of milk. Coconut milk—in a carton, not a can—is great for boosting energy. The fats it contains are easily broken down by the body. Coconut milk tastes good, fills you up, and gives you energy all at once. Regular non-canned coconut milk has low calories and grams of fat, which is perfect to add to your coffee or to pour over a bowl of cereal. Canned Coconut Milk can have a lot more calories and tons of fat, but it is mainly used for cooking and baking – not for drinking. It’s healthy for a once in a while treat, but you need to look at the additives, of which there are many.

Most store bought coconut milks are filled with additives and more sugar than you might want, which is why it’s great to make your own. It’s also a huge money-saver because 1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut makes a quart of coconut milk. Coconut Milk Recipe:
• 4 cups of filtered water
• 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut • 1-2 tablespoons raw agave nectar • Cheese cloth or nut bag Recipe:

  1. Place the water and the coconut in your high-speed blender (i.e. Vitamix). Blend for 2 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth or nut bag. And bingo you have the best coconut milk ever.

It will last for 3 days in your fridge.
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