Growing up in the east of India in the city of Kolkata coconuts were a part of everyday life. Unlike the general perception, like the southern India, the east is also filled with coconut trees and both tender coconuts and the ripe ones occupy a prominent position in our cuisine. Tender coconut water is a very soothing drink which helps in cooling down the body during the long summer months. It is also a popular beach drink. I can hardly think of an Indian beach where you won't find a few stalls selling tender coconuts. In a temporary shack these guys sit with a big stash of these big green fruits, you get to choose the one you want, they then cut a hole on the top of the fruit with a machete and insert a straw for you to drink with. Once you are done with the drink, they half the fruit and make a little spoon with a bit of the fruit itself for you to scoop out the tender coconut flesh. Now for me that was the best part. If you like coconut, then tender coconut is a must try.
Not only beaches, tender coconut stalls could be found outside all touristy places and before the colas invaded India, tender coconut was the most popular drink in India.
So I was naturally intrigued to come across tetra packs of tender coconut water in the grocery stores of London. Of course it is not the real deal but it is as near you can get to the real thing. My husband is a huge fan of the Vita Coco brand, he says it is the best in the market. We generally buy big packs and he is forever drinking them. So when Vita Coco wrote to me about their product, I couldn't resist the temptation to review the new flavours. I must confess I prefer the flavoured coconut water to the natural one. I loved the peach and mango flavoured one. It's a drink I see myself drinking a lot.
I also wanted to see how coconut water tastes in a smoothie. If you are fond of putting coconut cream/milk in your smoothies this is a much lighter option, but of course the taste is way more subtle. In fact I like this better than the creamy coconut milk which I find too rich.
The smoothie I made I named it Tropical Tornado. With the pineapple, the banana and the coconut water it does taste of the tropics, of sandy beaches and warm, sun kissed seas.
I like my smoothies chunky with bits of fruits to chew on, so I stop blending a little early. If you want a smooth one, please blend till all the chunky bits are gone.
Enjoy your smoothie, complete your 5 a day quota and dream of the beaches.