Like most good things in life, it started around a campfire. That’s when my friend Lis cracked open some coconut water to “re-hydrate” after a long, hot day—and to stave off the hangover that an empty bottle of whiskey always presages. Coconut water? I’ve always kept cans of coconut milk around for my flaming-hot curries, but it’s not something you’d want to drink.
Little did I know that coconut water has taken the sports drink world by storm. Packed with potassium, magnesium and sodium, and free of artificial flavors or any added sugars or sweeteners, it’s quite literally Mother Nature’s Gatorade. The unusual salt-sweet flavor is something you either love or hate, according to Jim Tonkin, brand consultant for Zico Natural Coconut Water. I’d put myself closer to hate than love on that spectrum, but after dissolving a killer, head-pounding hangover with a modest 11 oz tetra pack of coconut water, I’m willing to acquire the taste.
So now that coconut is on my radar as a miracle food, I’m starting to see it EVERYWHERE. And I find that new iterations of the ingredient are finding their way into my grocery basket every time I go to the market. First coconut oil—which has more or less replaces all other cooking oils in my arsenal—and now coconut flour. This latest novelty has me a little suspicious, but according to Bob’s Redmill who makes the stuff it’s high in protein and fiber, low in carbs, and naturally a little sweet. Sounds to me like someone needs to try putting it in EVERYTHING. Along with coconut oil and maybe some coconut milk too. Did you know there’s coconut palm sugar? I bet you didn’t, but there you have it. According to Purely Elizabeth—an awesome gluten-free baked goods company—“The Food and Agriculture Organization has even named this the world's most sustainable sweetener. Measuring low on the glycemic index (35), it is also nutrient rich - high in many vitamins and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and B vitamins.”
So here’s my plan: I’m going coconuts and I’m going to make zucchini bread with coconut flour, coconut oil, and coconut sugar—assuming I can find the sugar at the market; I’ve got the other two. And I’ll wash it down with a glass of coconut milk. Wish me luck!