If you're anything like me, you drink carbonated water by the bucket. From cans of La Croix to freshly aerated bottles from my Soda Stream, seltzer is my regular drink of choice. But this fizzy drink is good for far more than just drinking.
Those tiny bubbles that fizz and pop, the ones that make seltzer such a wonderful beverage, are also what make it such a smart ingredient in cooking and baking. Yes, it's all about the bubbles. When used in cooking and baking, these bubbles create pockets of air that expand when heated, which results in foods feeling lighter and airier.
Here are five ways to up your cooking with seltzer water.
Attention, fellow smoothie lovers — this will blow your mind. Hali shared her idea for swapping the liquid in my smoothie for seltzer to make a "sparkling smoothie," and my world hasn't been the same since.
Substitute all or part of your smoothie liquid for seltzer water. It makes for a smoothie that's fizzy, airy, and simply downright fun.
2. Pancakes and Waffles
Like fluffy pancakes and light, crisp waffles? Yeah, me too. For a stack of even fluffier pancakes, and soft and springy waffles, go ahead and swap the milk or water in your recipe for fizzy seltzer water. You won't actually taste any carbonation in your breakfast, but expect super-light and airy forkfuls.
3. Matzo Balls
The addition of seltzer aerates the dough for matzo balls, leaving them super light, airy, and moist. But there's more. Filled with air pockets, these matzo balls will easily float through a bowl of broth, soaking up all the savory flavors that fill the broth.
4. Scrambled Eggs
A splash of milk or cream always works to make eggs a little fluffier, and a spoonful of seltzer does the same thing, but even better. It makes for the lightest, fluffiest scrambled eggs I've ever tasted.
Tempura and all other batters used to coat fish, meat, and veggies can really benefit from a good splash of seltzer in the mix. The carbonation makes the coating light, airy, and even crispier than you'd expect.
(Image credits: Faith Durand)