So, I was reading a cookbook by some Hollywood “family chef” and saw a recipe for smoothies using coconut water. Call me crazy, but I had never heard of coconut water or even seen it in the store. But, all of the sudden I have seen it everywhere. Some stores display it in the juice aisle or in the produce section. The price seems to vary greatly, so you’ll want to shop around. I have only used C2O brand, but I know there are several brands available.
So what is coconut water? It is the liquid inside the coconut when you crack it open, and unlike coconut milk (which is the coconut meat ground up and liquid pressed out) it is very low in fat and calories. Coconut water is water, natural sugar, and minerals; I’ve read it’s like nature’s version of Gatorade. Of course, minus the artificial flavoring, colorings, etc.
There are lots of health claims surrounding coconut water, and I doubt it’s a miracle food or anything, but it is extremely high in potassium and slightly sweet tasting, making it a smart choice for desserts or smoothies.
My kids were sick and wanted smoothies; I couldn’t find a appetizing smoothie recipe with coconut water, so we came up with our own version. It was really easy to throw together in my food processor and it tasted great! I am not a huge smoothie fan in general, they usually need copious amounts of sugar or honey to make them palatable, but this one tasted just right to me. The coconut water added just enough sweetener, without it tasting like a dessert. Of course, our frozen fruit may have been especially sweet.
I used plain Greek yogurt because that is what I had in the fridge, but I think any yogurt would work, even a flavored one. And of course a sweeter yogurt would make a sweeter smoothie, which the kids would probably prefer anyway.
I think Coconut Water Smoothies make a healthful breakfast or snack. And of course coconut water, or a beverage made with it, is a great alternative to Gatorade if you are dehydrated from illness or strenuous exercise.
Coconut Water Smoothie
Makes 2 large smoothies.
- about 2 cups frozen fruit (we use a combo of frozen peaches, melon and berries)
- 1-6 ounce container Greek yogurt (I use plain)
- about 6 ounces coconut water
- 1 TB sugar or honey to taste if desired
- In a blender or food processor, pulse the frozen fruit until it is chopped into small pieces. Add the yogurt and coconut water and continue to pulse until smoothie has reached desired consistency; adding more coconut water if needed. Taste and add sugar or honey if desired (although I think it is sweet enough without the addition of sweeteners, the kids disagree).