Going Crazy for Coconut Water

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Healthy Food Bali

So it seems coconut water isn’t only popular here is South East Asia, over the last couple of years we have seen a real craze for this refreshing drink all around the world. No longer is it just a decorative drink to sip on a tropical beach vacation, it has fast become the go-to re-hydration drink for gym fanatics the world over. And who can blame them? I know I’m a huge fan of this nourishing natural drink.

Bali Coconuts

A small hole made just big enough to put a straw into to enjoy the coconut water within.

Not to be confused with coconut milk or cream, which are products made from the meat of the coconut, coconut water is found in young, green coconuts (typically harvested between 5-7 months of age). Each nut contains between 200-1000ml of liquid. In contrast to the milk and cream, it is a clear, sweet liquid with a slightly nutty taste. You can literally pick one of these young, green coconuts, break it open and sip away. It really is one of nature’s most refreshing drinks.

Bali Coconuts

Young coconuts in Bali ready to be harvested.

Demand for coconut water has sky-rocketed in recent years, but why has it become so popular? Perhaps because of its nutritious and health-benefiting properties. This clear liquid contains a unique combination of sugar, electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes that replenish hydration levels within the body. It is low in calories, naturally fat and cholesterol free and contains more potassium than four bananas! No wonder it is being marketed as a natural energy or sports drink. Though it is mostly popular for its hydrating properties, it can help with a whole host of conditions from hangovers to kidney stones!

Bali Coconuts

A refreshing glass of coconut water.

Coconut water has long been a popular drink here in Bali and in other parts of the tropics. It is widely available from street and beach vendors who cut the coconuts in front of the customers to ensure the freshness of the coconut water. Some people enjoy simply drinking the water through a straw from the inside of the young coconut, while those in the know squeeze some lime into the water before drinking, then use a spoon to scrape out some of the young coconut flesh to eat. This is a must try the next time you find yourself on an exotic beach on your holidays!

Bali Coconuts

A coconut freshly cut open by a street vendor.

I often visit my local street vendor and buy a bag of coconut water to take away on my way home from the gym or a yoga class to try and replenish some of the liquids my body has lost having sweated out lots of fluids and electrolytes in the tropical heat here. “A bag of coconut water?” I hear you ask! Yes that’s right. My local vendor cuts open the coconut and pours the coconut water into a small plastic bag for me, he then ties it with a knot so I can take it home and pour into a glass. Mush easier than having to carry the whole, heavy coconut home!

Bali Coconuts

Young Thai coconuts.

Also for sale from the coconut street vendors here in Bali is the ever popular “es kelapa muda” (iced young coconut). This is one of my favorite refreshing treats and I actually crave it at certain times of the month. It consists of coconut water, shredded young coconut flesh, sugar syrup, lime juice and ice. You drink the sweet iced liquid and use a spoon to eat the coconut flesh. This is certainly not fat-free, but a delicious sweet treat nonetheless and something else to try if you come to Bali for a holiday. From the street vendors it only costs a few thousand rupiah (less than a dollar) and is well worth it to help you cool down in the heat here. And remember that coconuts contain good fat so you don’t need to feel too guilty about eating the flesh of the young coconut!

Bali Coconuts

Delicious “es kelapa muda”, a favorite Indonesian treat.

Now coconut water is widely available all around the world so look out for it in your local supermarket. Conveniently packaged in cartons or bottles, it is often found next to the sports and rehydration isotonic drinks. Though no one can deny the importance of drinking plenty of plain drinking water every day, I would definitely suggest trying nature’s own sports rehydration drink rather than the other sports drinks on offer.

Bali Coconuts

Conveniently packaged coconut water aimed at gym enthusiasts.

Next time you enjoy a carton of coconut water after your work out you can close your eyes and imagine for a moment that you are on a tropical beach somewhere! Everyone can dream right?!

Bali Coconuts

 

*** Enjoy Bali suggest you take your own flasks to the street vendors and take your own flasks to the gym. Say NO to frivolous plastic and packaging use, you can even carry your own re-usable straws! ***

 

 

 

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