With the warmer weather I find I am outside more, working in the garden, hanging out with the kids and generally being more active. All of this means I need to stay hydrated. I am trying to minimize the amount of artificial sweeteners I have, so diet soda or diet lemonade is not a good drink choice. Fruit juice and sports drinks taste great, but have way too many calories. Of course I could just drink plain water, and I do, but it is nice to have something more tasty and exciting sometimes, because plain water gets boring if it is all you ever drink. It turns out coconut water is a perfect drink in this situation, because it is all natural, with lots of vitamins and electrolytes, but only about 25 calories per serving! I can drink it without feeling guilty about the nutritional value or the calories.
In addition to using coconut water for a refreshing drink I also enjoy using it in smoothies. I love smoothies, but I don’t like to use milk or yogurt in them. It is not that I am lactose intolerant or anything like that, I just like my smoothies fruity, not creamy! A few months ago I discovered that coconut water is good for this, because it strikes the perfect sweetness balance between fruit juice and plain water. Fruit juice makes my smoothies too sweet, but if I use plain water they are not quite sweet enough. In addition coconut water adds all those electrolytes other nutrients, so it makes the smoothies even more healthy.
Yesterday I made one of my favorite smoothies, a Strawberry Banana one. Fresh strawberries are just ripening here, and they are my favorite fruit. This recipe is super simple! I used a banana and 7 strawberries.
I combined them in the blender with 1/2 c. of tropical flavored coconut water and 1 cup of ice, because I also like my smoothies thick and frosty. That is it, just four simple ingredients, and it tasted amazing!
The entire blender full is only about 150 calories, and there was plenty for two servings. I could have easily shared it with one of my kids, but I drank it all myself! I posted one of my other favorite smoothies using coconut water a few months ago, a Pineapple Mango Smoothie. Right now these are my two favorite smoothies, but I am planning to branch out some and experiment now that fresh fruit is starting to show up stores. I am sure there are many great combinations just waiting to be discovered, that will blend well with a coconut water base.