Eating fresh coconut used to be nearly impossible. You’d have to be on an island somewhere and find either a local with a machete or a resort bar with fancy straws.
When not on vacation, you’d find them at the market, all hairy, brown and overlooked. They were the thing you’d always say, “Oh cool, coconuts…” but then you wouldn’t actually buy one.
If you did decide to bring one home it would sit on your counter until someone decided to get out the hammer and (you’ll have to fill in your own blank here, maybe a screwdriver? giant nail?) to get the job done with lots of hacking, cracking and laughing.
The meat of the coconut is a total mystery of dry and crunchy yet moist and rich. No other food offers this kind of yummy complexity. And beyond the taste, coconut also has a great fatty acid profile that offers amazing health benefits.
I’m super happy that there’s been a coconut revelation and I can find coconut in all forms all over the place now, not just on an annual trip to palm tree land. If you’re looking to get more of this tropical goodness in your diet, here are 3 easy ways.
3 Easy Ways to Get More Coconut into Your Diet
Coconut chips are basically dehydrated coconut. They come in little baggies, are portable and easy to open as anything and deliciously satisfying. I like to eat them as a snack — either alone, or sprinkled on fruit. Try them this weekend on your yogurt. They’re ridiculously addicting but you only need about a half an ounce to get the job done — you can over do it on these. Trust me.
Coconut water (agua de coco – sounds so much more exotic, don’t you think?) has been a rage for some time now. Imagine if you could just pop a straw in a whole coconut…that’s pretty much what we’re talking about here. Coco water is a great post workout replenisher since it’s full of electrolytes, and it comes in a portion controlled box. You can find them at any deli or drug store, but be sure to grab the plain kind since the flavored versions can be high in sugar.
Coconut butter is made from the meat of the coconut and coconut oil is just the fat from the coconut without the meat in there. They are both great alternatives to regular butter because they have those amazing fatty acids to improve, rather than damage, your heart. The fat in coconut has also been linked to fat metabolism (aka burning fat). A little fat for taste and satiety goes a looong way when you go the coconut way. Try coconut butter on your sweet potato, toast, roasted veggies or popcorn. It’s like going on vacay in every bite.