Friday, February 10, 2012

Coconut Water


Nothing gets better than the luscious, green, young coconut right from the tree. The water inside is bursting with life itself and the meat, so moist and tender, is as close to a liquid an edible thing can be. At Agaja beach in Lagos, Nigeria, you can get them just picked and opened especially for you by a machete-wielding, tree-climbing, young man.


The beauty and simplicity of the whole experience is unmatched; from asking for one,


 to waiting while it is retrieved from on high,


to watching as it is expertly chiseled across the top to make for the perfect drinking vessel,


to the final splitting of the empty nut to reveal its delectable vegan flesh!


 Oh, the joys of fresh coconuts!


In Accra, the machete-wielding entrepreneurs bring to the city what you have to journey to the beach for in Lagos!


And, as you can see from the leftovers, I am not the only one who is in love with these incredible, all-natural, living-water filled gems!


Here, coconuts are at your beckon call.


You can have them any time you want them, day or night, whether or not you have beach access. Did I mention, I love Accra! They even come in two varieties here, hard and soft. The longer the young coconut has been on the tree, the harder the flesh becomes. So, there you have it, coconuts in a nutshell! ;-)  Ok, seriously, now. If, sadly, you find yourself in Lagos without a boat and are craving the living water, never fear; you can always get a mature coconut, the kind that has fallen off the tree of its own accord. These are far denser, with less water, but still quite amazingly good. Check out this valentine's day worthy one, which I wacked open myself by banging it skillfully on the deck floor.


If all else fails and you, coconut lover, find yourself in the U.S. or somewhere far, far from the tropics, you do still have options. Yes, there are coconuts here; but they are rarely fresh, frequently stale and often dry. The few organic, good ones are flown in for the raw foodies and always priced exorbitantly, if not sold out. So, this is what you can do.


Drink Harmless Harvest 100% Raw Coconut Water, which is as close as you're going to get to the real deal. It's delicious! And so is Nature Factor Organic Coconut Water, if you don't mind drinking living water from a soda can.


And last as well as least, with no health food store in sight, you may be able to snag this wanna-be from Zico.


Touted as pure premium coconut water, it pales in comparison to the other bottled versions and sinks low when placed in the same category as it's distant source, the fresh coconut. But, if you're obsessed with coconut water, like me, it will do. Coconut Water! For all its naturally occurring nutrients - more potassium than a whole banana, along with magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, thiamine and manganese, all the essential electrolytes - this stuff should be gilded. With no fat, zero cholesterol and sweetened by nature, as well as gluten free, you can't beat this treasure.

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