the happy sip: fresh coconut water


It's was warm in Seattle yesterday, the kind of day you can put the top down and enjoy the sunshine. I had just walked into the house when I got a call from Chef Joy. "I'm coming over and I'm bringing you something you're going to love."

I met her outside and this is what she handed me, straw and all. "Sip. You're going to love this. I promise." I did as she asked. I sipped. It was my first time trying coconut water. It tasted nutty with a slightly salty aftertaste. I thought of Hawaii.

As I sipped and cooled off, I started wondering about the health benefits of coconut water. By drinking this, was I undoing my run from the morning? Was it healthy or full of sugar? Here is what I learned:

Coconut water is high in antioxidants and Potassium (more than four bananas worth!) 

In some developing countries, sterile coconut milk can be used for plasma or intravenous saline.

Enjoying water from one young coconut will cost you less than 50 calories and less than 5 grams of sugar. It is also naturally low fat.

You can find coconut water virtually anywhere today in Tetra Paks, but I liked the primalness of drinking directly from the nut. Chef Joy said she stopped by our local Asian market to buy the young coconuts at less than $2 each and used a sterilized screwdriver to poke a hole in the coconut big enough for a straw.

Will coconut water make you happy? It will. There's something kind of sweet and slow and summerlike about sitting on your front step sipping from a cold coconut that reminds you of being young and happy. Plus, you're doing your body good. Coconut water? It's a happy food.