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Crazy for coconuts! And coconut water…

Lately, it seems all things coconut are available for sale just about everywhere.

Coconut bits, coconut milk, coconut butter lotion, coconut oil, coconut sugar and so on.

What I have noticed most of all, is a proliferation of brands of coconut juice or coconut water for sale at local grocery stores.  Coconut water is the liquid inside green, young coconuts.

And it turns out that coconut water is one of the fastest growing beverage category in the U.S. and in the U.K.

Coconut beverages — a nice selection — for sale at our local Whole Foods Market

Zico was founded by Mark Rampolla,a former Peace Corps volunteer who fell in love with coconut water while serving in Central America. An article from The Huffington Post noted that the Zico brand is backed by Coca Cola, but I did not see this information on the official Zico website (www.Zico.com)

Laguna Brand Coconut Juice for sale at a local Asian store — interesting that although Laguna is a Philippine brand, the juice is manufactured in Thailand.

Coconut water naturally contains a high amount of potassium, and is touted as an alternative to drinking Gatorade type beverages.

A serving of coconut water contains twice as much potassium as a banana.  Our bodies use potassium to promote regular heartbeat, to help build and contract muscles, and to regulate blood pressure.  Potassium also helps to control the water balance in body tissues and cells.

I grew up in the Philippines and have been drinking coconut juice (or coconut “water”) for as long as I can remember.

Young coconuts are picked fresh, piled on carts and sold by street vendors.  The top is lopped off, and you stick a straw through the soft coconut meat, or poked a hole through the flesh to drink the coconut water.

Photo via Wikipedia article on coconut water

In the Philippines, young coconut meat is also mixed with water, sugar, milk and ice and sold as iced buko or buko juice” — buko is the Tagalog/ Philippine language word for young coconuts — and ladled out of glass or plastic containers.  Icy cold and refreshing, it is a perfect drink for the tropical climate.

It is amazing to see all these coconut water products available in so many places, and that there are now many companies producing hundreds of beverages containing some form of coconut water.

When I go back home to the Philippines, one of the very first things I crave and ask for is a buko, so I can have fresh coconut water and eat the sweet and deliciously tender coconut meat.

Who knew that this humble, everyday drink from coconut producing countries would turn out to be the next big beverage trend in America!  What is nice is that I do not have to wait for a trip to the Philippines to enjoy this healthy beverage — though I do prefer coconut water from an actual young green coconut, rather than from a can.

For more on the coconut water trend, read this article by Chris Arnold, on Coconut Water – the next big trend and billion dollar market in soft drinks.

Ding climbing a coconut tree to pick a fresh young coconut for us!  Photo www.NativeLeaf.info

Did you know…in the Philippines is one of the largest coconut producing countries in the world?  There, the coconut tree is referred to as “the tree of life”.  Practically all parts of the coconut —  from the trunk, the fruit to the leaves and fronds are used locally or for a commercial purpose.

Oh, and yes, there is a connection to coconuts and Native Leaf, and why I wrote this blog post — aside from the fact that I do love coconut water.

We make coconut products, mostly from the  twig or flower spikelets.

The twigs (flower spikelets) behind & in between the coconuts pictured here, is what we use for our coconut twig table runners, coasters and soap holders. Photo www.NativeLeaf.info

Native Leaf’s 72″ coconut twig table runner

We also make coasters, sold as a set of four in a reusable abaca textile pouch.

Visit our Shop our Market, and rustic table runners category/tab or click on the photos above for more on this unique Native Leaf product, made from the tree of life, the coconut tree!

Coconut timber wood features interesting specks and makes a unique napkin ring. Perfect for our cacao brown color romblon placemats. Photo www.NativeLeaf.info

Coconut timber — or wood from the trunk of coconut trees is the material used for our one-of-a-kind napkin rings, fastened with copper wiring.  Click on the photo or here for more.

And please comment if you are a fan (or not) of coconut water.  Do you prefer one brand over another, or straight out of the young green coconut?

mj



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