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Love/Hate: Coconut water

August 14th 2013 / Susannah Taylor, Sarah Vine Google+ Sarah Vine

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GTG's chalk-and-cheese-like co-founders Susannah Taylor and Sarah Vine have agreed to disagree on certain topics. This week the subject up for debate is coconut water

Hate It: Sarah Vine

I like a health fad as much as the next woman. Chia seeds, coconut yoghurt, almond milk, spirulina, wheatgrass, juice cleanses - I'll try anything once. And mostly, I find, this stuff's never as disgusting as you expect. With one exception: coconut water.

Perhaps it’s because it reminds me faintly of that thin, watery liquid that precedes the arrival of proper breast milk; or perhaps it’s just the fact that you can't move in London in summer for sylph-like things in diaphanous Zara tops sipping Jax Coco (kill! kill!); I loathe everything about the stuff.

No, I don't want a healthy coconut water cocktail, thank you very much, I want a sodding gin and tonic. Bog off with your electrolytes, your antioxidants, your low-carb solutions. It's disgusting, and that's that.

Oh, one more thing: do you actually know what coconut water does? It serves as a suspension for the coconut's endosperm during its developmental phase. Yes, that's right, endosperm. EndoSPERM. Give me plain water any day of the week.

Love it: Susannah Taylor

What can you drink throughout the day (apart from water, which I just get so bored of) that’s actually good for you? I love tea and coffee but I can’t drink too much unless I want heart palpitations. I also love a Diet Coke now and again but know there’s nothing in it that’s good for me despite being low in calories (nutritionists say it’s pure chemicals and therefore very bad for you). Then there’s Belvoir elderflower cordial which is my guilty pleasure, but it’s not good if your aim is to go kaftan-free on the beach this summer.

SO here’s another suggestion - coconut water. Unlike all the other drinks, not only is coconut water low in calories, rich in good fats, contains no sugar or anything artificial for that matter but it also contains the same electrolytic balance that we have in our blood, making it nature’s isotonic drink. In fact, in WWII it was actually used as an emergency for blood plasma transfusions to wounded soldiers and has been used as short term intravenous hydration fluid.

Like Marmite, people are divided over the taste, however I happen to like coconut water’s slightly sweet, slightly bland flavour. What do people expect it to taste like? Tango? Of course it doesn’t taste as good as a smoothie you might buy off the shelf in Sainsbury’s because anything that tastes that good is going to be rammed with sugar. In fact experts say there’s more sugar in a ready-made smoothie than in cola. Coconut water, on the other hand does make a brilliant base for homemade smoothies and is the perfect thirst quencher for children instead of sugar-laden drinks.

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Some say all coconut waters taste the same. They don’t. The best for taste is Jax Coco which is the most expensive, but there is something about its pure, clean taste that is incredibly refreshing (and it tastes better out of the bottle than the cartons). Don’t ever go for the ones mixed with fruit as this means they’ve been processed (the whole point is that this is a natural drink).

Even if you don’t like the taste, it’s worth knocking it back anyway - see it as a health supplement, not just a replacement for apple juice.

Jax Coco is available at Ocado.com





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