Thursday, March 27, 2008

Coconut Water

Anything that finds its way into ambrosia can no longer be considered an exotic ingredient. Still, the coconut is a greatly misunderstood food. And drink.

For instance, if you crack one open, you don't, as cartoons suggest, get milk. That's made by some combination of cooking, pressing or straining. You get coconut water, or "juice." Technically it's a liquid endosperm, but that doesn't sound very appetizing.

Most commercially available coconut water, like Goya's, is chock full of refined sugar and preservatives. But I must say that the increasingly available unsweetened varieties, like Amy and Brian's, are pretty close to the fresh stuff I used to climb trees for as a kid in South Florida.

I've always found coconut water to have a powerfully energizing effect. After a long day of travel, when I pop open a can that's been nicely chilled by the belly of an airplane, my whole mood changes. So I wasn't surprised to find that it's a naturally isotonic beverage. But unlike synthetic sports drinks, it doesn't glow. It does, however, have chunks.

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Karen B said...

I tried to make coconut milk the the other day and I don't think it worked out so well. Mark Bittman says to put water and shredded coconut in the blender and strain for a coconut milk that's free of preservatives but I must have gotten the proportions wrong--very thin.

Can you make coconut water at home?

Aaron Kagan said...

I had the same experience but got slightly better results from using less water than he recommended. Also, did you get it nice and hot first?

Can you make coconut water at home? Sure! Here's the recipe:

1. Get a coconut or a can of coconut water.
2. Open the coconut, or can.
3. Drink.

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