Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Coconut Water: Nature's Gatorade

Where have I been for I don't know, a month? I guess keeping busy training for a half marathon. The event took place this Sunday where over one thousand runners raced in the local City to the Sea Half Marathon. During my training, I discovered a drink called coconut water. The health promoting, new age hipster blogs that I read rave about it, so I decided to give it a try. It has since been a staple beverage in my household that I enjoy after strenuous workouts or a night of partying alike.

So what is it?
Not to be confused with coconut milk, coconut water is the clear liquid found inside young, green, unripe coconuts. When a coconut ripens, the liquid inside hardens and becomes a part of the white flesh, which is used to make coconut milk.

Coconut water is naturally 99% fat free and low in carbohydrates and sugars. It is a natural isotonic beverage that contains essential salts and minerals in the same concentration as our bodies, thus making it ideal for replenishing and rehydrating after a workout. Ten ounces of coconut water has more potassium than a banana (about 15 times more than most sports drinks) thus making it ideal for preventing cramps and promoting muscle recovery. Best of all, it is a drink found in nature, so when you drink it you can be confident that it doesn't have chemicals, artificial colors, added sugars or preservatives that you would find in most sports drinks.

What does it taste like?
I have an undying love for coconut and anything with coconut in it. So naturally, I enjoy the taste of this beverage quite a lot. My best description of the flavor would be a very cold, flat, coconut taste that is nutty and not overly sweet. If coconut isn't your thing, many companies make "flavored" coconut water that is naturally created with the juices of other fruits such as lime or passion fruit. I prefer the original flavor.

Other random facts:
  • It has almost identical properties to human blood plasma, and in times of war or famine it has successfully been used as a replacement for intravenous hydration fluid.
  • Some pregnant women prefer drinking coconut water as a natural aid to help ease digestion problems or heartburn during pregnancy. The lauric acid found in coconut water is the same as human breast milk.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Low Fat Banana Bread Muffins

2 large eggs
3/4 c organic sugar
1/3 c applesauce
3 smashed extra ripe bananas
1 T canola oil
1 T vanilla extract
1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 c toasted chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325. Using mixer, beat eggs and sugar for 5 minutes until thick. Add remaining wet ingredients, sift in dry ingredients. Pour mixture into baking cups. Bake until tops are golden brown, about 30 minutes until cake tester comes out clean.