It is hard to determine which part of the coconut is the best…
A yogi will tell you that the best way to enjoy a coconut is to drink coconut water. Coconut water has earned the reputation of being “nature’s Gatorade” because it is loaded with the potassium, electrolytes and easily digestible carbohydrates that we need to refuel after a good sweat. It does not contain the extra calories, added sugar, and those other mystery ingredients that go into sports drinks to make them Listerine blue (Yum). [i]
A health conscious chef might say that coconut oil is the best way to consume a coconut. Coconut oil is used as a replacement for traditional cooking oils. It is a sure fire way to increase the flavor profile of sautéed vegetables and baked goods. Aside from added flavor, coconut oil has a high smoke point, one significantly higher than olive oil. Once oils reach its smoke point, chemical reactions occur which change its chemical formula and create harmful free radicals. Therefore, coconut oil can be heated to higher temperatures than most oils while maintaining it nutritional properties. Coconut oil is extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconut and harvested from the coconut palm.[ii]
If you ask us, we love it all! Coconut is the perfect substitution for cow’s milk ingredients found in traditional chocolate. Thanks to coconut oil and coconut milk our velvety smooth truffles have the texture, taste, and vegan qualities that we envisioned for our truffle.
No matter how you choose to enjoy it, coconut has an amazing nutritional profile (we wouldn’t use it if it didn’t!). However, until recently the coconut received unfair criticism because of its high saturated fat content (~80% of its fat total fat content comes from saturated fat). Thankfully, the coconut misconception is now being righted. Studies are finding that the medium chain-saturated fatty acids that it contains may actually improve cholesterol levels and improve healthy HDL cholesterol in the body. One epidemiological study actually found that countries with highest intake of tropical oils have some of the lowest rates of heart disease in the world. Healthy fats like coconut do not make us fat. In actuality they are essential part of a good weight loss plan and a non-negotiable dietary component for a healthy body. [iii]
[i] The Truth About Coconut Water. http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/truth-about-coconut-water
[iii] Glen D. Lawrence. Dietary Fats and Health: Dietary Recommendations in the Context of Scientific Evidence. Adv Nutr May 2013 Adv Nutr vol. 4: 294-302, 2013. http://advances.nutrition.org/content/4/3/294.long
Written by Katie Occhipinti