During my endurance training for Tough Mudder I really got into drinking coconut water blends. Chia seeds and coconut water are great for hydrating the body and coconut water in particular for boosting electrolyte intake. However I've never been a huge fan of coconut water on its own, to me it has a little bit of an odd taste that's kind of sweet as if it doesn't really know what flavour to be… sorry coconut water I don't want to diss you as you are so healthy!
I began adding it to my drinks and desserts such as this tropical chia pudding and these watermelon and cucumber coolers. However much as I like the coolers I still wanted to come up with a way of keeping the coconut water as close to its original state as possible and with even less prep.
Enter the coconut water smoothie!
Simply add a dollop of fresh fruit and chia seeds for an extra boost. So far I have experimented with raspberries, mango and strawberries… However the key ingredient is banana! Literally a generous inch chunk of a banana will be enough to emulsify the other fruit so that it doesn't separate when mixed together.
Just check out the difference between the two photos below of the strawberry version....the only difference between each was a small piece of banana.
I used a quarter a cup of fresh fruit in addition to 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. Therefore approximately three quarters of the large glass consisted of coconut water. It had a lightly creamy and not too watery consistency without being particularly thick either, the chia seeds helps to ever so slightly thicken and emulsify so that I could barely taste them within the final drink when blended up so finely… It's a winning combo!
After trying lots of variations my favourite combo is simple vanilla and banana and so this is the one I have given a little recipe for below...but obviously have a play with other 'fleshy' fruits too!
Recipe: Vanilla banana coconut water smoothie
- 2 cups coconut water
- 1 small banana (or 1/2 a large one)*
- 1 tbs white chia seed (dark will work but will not look so pretty)
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla bean powder
- (* options- reduce amount of banana to approx. 1 tbs and add 1/4 cup berries or mango)
Blend together well and serve. The banana is important as this is what emulsifies the liquid and prevents separation.