A few months back my husband and I fell in love with coconut juice/water. I had long known the claims surrounding it and we already used coconut oil, coconut flour, and the fresh meat from young coconuts for raw desserts, coconut yogurt and coconut kefir. Coconut is just all around one of the most AMAZING foods you can consume. But despite that we didn’t buy the individual bottles of coconut juice. Water seemed to work just fine for our hydration needs.
Earlier this year though my husband kind of kicked off a new wave of fitness goals around here when he joined a workplace challenge. Unlike many workplaces in this country my husband’s actually wants to try and do something about outrageous healthcare costs and so they negotiate breaks on insurance costs by actively encouraging their employees to be healthier. The employees participate because the payoff might be a large monetary bonus or a new flat screen TV. The company benefits by having healthier employees and by getting cheaper rates when they can show their insurance carrier their progress. Well, my husband started running every day and lifting weights. He didn’t end up winning the challenge at work but he won in his mind and mine because he started looking like his teenage self again. Both of us were pretty muscular and active in years past and seeing him get closer to his old physique was enough to send me to the gym too. ;) Both of us embarked on a journey into fitness, weight lifting, running, barefoot shoes, protein shakes, food supplements, and various other things including… coconut water.
What makes coconut water different from plain old water is the electrolytes: calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, and phosphorous. When we exercise for any length of time and sweat a lot, our body can be depleted and the electrolytes help us recover faster. This is why sports drinks are so popular but I happen to think Gatorade and most other sports drinks taste nasty. They also have artificial sugar which is no good IMO. Coconut water is a natural source of electrolytes with natural sugars and it is low in calories and fat if you want to watch that type of thing. I happen to like the extra calories (compared to water) because it can be tough to get all your calorie requirements met when you eat heavy on the fruits and veggies. I just went over this with my mom who was not eating nearly enough calories on her almost vegan diet and replacing water with coconut water in her twice daily green smoothies was just one way to get more calories without making her feel like she was eating all day long.
Anyway, we tried and liked one of the major coconut water brands. The only issue was that I did not like the way they tasted straight up so I it was green smoothie or nothing for me. Then I came across Amy and Brian Coconut Juice on Twitter and they offered to send me some cans for review. It has turned out to be a match made in heaven.
One issue I had with some other coconut drinks is that they come in plastic bottles or non-recyclable juice boxes. I didn’t really care for either of these packaging options. Amy and Brian Coconut Juice comes in cans, which have their drawbacks as well, but I prefer them overall. No one is making a glass bottle coconut juice/water that I know of. ;) Also I like the taste 1000% better than any other brand I have tried and that may be because it is coconut water mixed with some of the coconut flesh. My fave option, as well as my husband’s, was the coconut juice with pulp. It looks a little strange but it is delicious! I LOVE the chunks of coconut swimming around and I can drink it straight up or in a green smoothie.
The cost is not to bad either. These are big cans with two servings so we can easily use half and save it for the next day if we want. My husband prefers to drink only one serving but I have no issue downing a whole can. You can buy a 12 pack on Amazon and use the subscribe & save feature to get them for just over $25. That qualifies you for free shipping and the per can price is just over 2.00. Hubs and I buy Amazon gift cards through Giant Eagle so we can get the fuelperks to and that ends up knocking off another $6 on two 12 packs. Right now my husband and I are both lifting 4 days a week. We will usually have Amy and Brian Coconut Juice mixed in a green smoothie on gym days. On off days we drink almond milk and whey protein powder shakes. It seems to be working out well for us right now and we plan to keep buying since we like them so much.
But what about their impact on the planet? Well, I came across an article on the Mother Jones web site that addresses the sustainability of coconut products and overall coconut farming is pretty easy on the environment. Coconuts require little fertilizer, and their giant root systems help prevent soil erosion. The tough husks also mean that pesticides are rarely used. For the most part coconut farming is still done by small scale family operations so that that is a nice perk. Shipping to the US is the biggest environmental impact, as with many products. Coconut products go on my list of acceptable compromises (along with bananas and pineapple) in our household.
Green Smoothie Recipe:
Popeye’s Coconut Surprise
1 can Amy and Brian Coconut Juice w/pulp
1 banana (frozen or fresh)
1 cup of frozen fruit ( I used peaches)
3 cups fresh spinach
1-2 scoops greens powder