Bottled-at-the-source mineral water is delightfully refreshing, and with no calories or chemicals, is a drink that’s good for you and a base for many make-your-own sparkling beverages. It’s also ideal for cooking, with countless ways to improve basic recipes.
For bright green broccoli and vividly orange carrots, cook them in sparkling mineral water. “Boil vegetables in sparkling water to preserve color and vitamins. Mineral water decreases oxidation and the loss of chlorophyll and carotenoid pigments, and keeps vegetable’s bright colors,” says Rino Mini, CEO of Galvanina natural spring water, renowned since ancient Roman times. “Sparkling mineral water also softens vegetables so you can reduce cooking time, better preserving the vegetable’s vitamins and nutrients. It lets you skip the step of plunging cooked vegetables in ice-cold water to retain their color.”
Tempura and fritters
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Use sparkling water for better batter. Simply mix flour with sparkling water, dip your favorite vegetables, seafood or fish in the batter and then lightly fry. The sparkling water will make anything you fry extra crunchy.
Sparkling iced drinks
Instead of buying sodas, make your own. Sparkling water creates festive thirst-quenchers but without the added calories of bottled drinks. Combine sparkling water with lemon or other fruit juice for your own homemade natural fruit drinks. Add it to your favorite brewed tea or coffee for natural sparkling iced tea or coffee. “Use sparkling water in your coffee-brewing machine. Not only will it make chemical-free espresso or coffee but it has the delightful added advantage of keeping your machine from building unpleasant residue,” says Mini.
Cake, waffles, crepes and pancakes
Add sparkling mineral water instead of water or other liquids in cake recipes or cake mixes. The sparkling water makes it rise nicely and results in a fluffier texture. Great too with waffles: substitute one part of the milk for the water and follow the recipe as you normally would. Try it in your favorite crepe and pancake recipes. Replace half of the milk in the recipe for fizzy spring water for a improved texture. You’ll be thrilled with the delicious light and airy crunch.
Angel Food Cake
Recipe courtesy of Opera Lover’s Cookbook (Stewart, Tabori & Chang)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Baking time: 35 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
12 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sparkling spring water, such as Galvanina
1 teaspoon vanilla or maple extract
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup cake flour
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Generously butter and flour a Bundt or tube pan. Reserve.
2. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer set on high, whip the egg whites, salt, water, extract and cream of tartar until the egg whites form soft peaks, about 5 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add the cake flour and sugar until just combined.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake until golden, about 35 minutes.
4. Carefully invert the pan onto a wire rack and allow it to cool upside-down for about an hour, which prevents the cake from falling. Run a knife around the edges to remove the cake.
Main photo: Combine sparkling water with fruits to make your own natural fruit drinks. Credit: Courtesy of Galvanina