Suzanne Hollander, MS, RD

As a dietitian, home cook, and enthusiast of all-things-delicious, I'm often asked, "so what do YOU eat?" Here's a blog to answer that very question! My hope is that you'll find (even just a little) inspiration from some of my favorite recipes, restaurants, party-ideas and food musings for your own happy, healthy, food-loving lifestyle.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Coconut Water Craze

On store shelves for a few years now, coconut water has developed quite a following as the "perfect all-natural sports drink." We're used to some pretty over-the-top marketing ploys in the health and fitness market, but this claim actually has some truth to it. Here's why:
  • Like other sports drinks (i.e. Gatorade), coconut water contains electrolytes, which your body needs to replenish as you sweat them out to prevent muscle cramping and dangerous dehydration. 
  • Coconut water also contains carbohydrates, which are necessary to consume if you are doing one hour or more of high-intensity exercise, like running. 
  • Unlike other sports drinks, coconut water is natural. It contains these fitness-focused nutrients without the artificial stuff. 
In addition to serving as a sports drink, coconut water is also a great choice for a lower-calorie substitute for juice or a low sodium cooking alternative. Give these quick and easy recipes a try:
  • Smoothie: Blend 1 cup frozen fruit + 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt + 1/2 cup coconut water. Perfect breakfast for the summer heat! 
  • Coconut rice: (makes 4 servings) Boil 2 cups coconut water in small heavy saucepan. Add 1 cup brown rice, cover, and reduce heat to simmer for 45 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. The coconut water gives the rice a slightly sweet flavor--perfect stir fry accompaniment! 

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