While I often use coconut milk in cooking, I’ve never thought to use coconut water as an ingredient. Granted, it’s become a popular beverage only recently in the United States so I have only thought about it as a beverage.
Up to now.
I started thinking about how plain water, juice or broth are essential ingredients in so many recipes. And then I couldn’t stop thinking up ways to experiment with coconut water: Whip up tropical smoothie? Sauté scallops? Steam some veggies? Cook a batch of whole grains?
After watching a culinary demo on Indonesia cooking, I settled on poaching chicken in coconut water with a few aromatics. A couple of garlic cloves and chunks of fresh ginger in a pot of simmering coconut water created an amazing scent and not to mention, a super tasty chicken.
I figured, why stop there? So I cooked some brown jasmine rice in more coconut water, which resulted in a slighty sweet, delicious flavor. Avocado, green onions, mint and lime juice mixed into the rice along with pieces of the cooled chicken completed the dish.
Oh my goodness.
I could not stop eating this.
Let’s just say coconut water is my new pantry staple.
And here’s what I like about the Vita Coco unflavored coconut water I used for this recipe:
- 45 calores per 8 ounces
- Water comes from younger coconuts, which provide electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, calcium)
- One serving has more potassium than a banana (now I’m thinking about a banana colada smoothie!)
- Never from concentrate
Vita Coco has a variety of coconut water flavors, like orange and pineapple but hands down, my favorite is the pure, unflavored version (now if I could only drink it right from the coconut with a straw, I’d be in hog heaven.)
Have you ever cooked with coconut water?
Disclosure: Vita Coco compensated The Recipe ReDux (co-owned by ReganMillerJones, Inc. and Teaspoon Communications), to sponsor this recipe contest. We are therefore not eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. Opinions expressed are our own.