Coconuts to Cool Your Pitta Fire
I love coconuts, especially during the summer months. From coconut water to coconut ice cream, there’s something about them that’s synonymous with hot weather. As always, Mother Nature has provided a good reason. Coconut water is a natural source of electrolytes and low on the glycemic index. I have had a few unlucky incidences of heat exhaustion when coconut water pulled me through. It’s a much better choice than sugar-laden sports drinks, and I always keep a bottle with me now when I’m biking in the summer.
There are lots of options available, as coconut water has become a bit of a trend. Of course, the healthiest and most effective choice comes straight from the coconut. But unless I’m vacationing in the Caribbean or biking through Chinatown where they’re piled high in front of the bodegas (they lop the top off the coconut and stick a straw in it), I don’t always have the real thing handy. Many of the coconut waters in the store have been ultra-pasteurized, thereby eliminating valuable nutrients.
Coconut milk makes a wonderful substitute for people who don’t drink cow’s milk and it’s a great addition to curries, stir fry and smoothie recipes. Avoid using the canned coconut milk you find in the store if possible–many of them have unnecessary added ingredients and are often in BPA-lined cans. If the thought of making coconut milk from scratch is daunting, here’s an easy option, made using dried coconut:
Coconut oil is a healthy fat with amazing healing potential. It’s good for the immune system, digestion, regulating blood sugar and has both antiviral and antibacterial properties.
You can sauté with coconut oil (it has a high smoke point), bake with it, make pancakes with it, pop popcorn with it (yum!), or add it to smoothies for a healthy fat.
So, enjoy coconut in whatever form you like this summer–especially if your Pitta is on fire. And if it is, check out my article Pitta Season: It’s Finally Here! for lots of other tips on how to stay cool and balanced.
P.S. Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss Ice Cream (dairy and soy-free) is divine!