If you follow me on any social media, you know I’ve gone a little coco-nuts with my recent obsession with cocos. If one thing was consistent about my experience in Nicaragua, it was this:
Every morning my friend Katie would wake up at the crack of dawn to pry into one or two freshly picked young coconuts to create the most energy-inducing smoothie for our pre or post-surf sessions. For daily three-to-five hour surf sessions, this drink proved to be beneficial and never left us feeling hungry.
When our trip came to an end, Katie inspired me to take a crack at coconuts at home. So instead of caffeine with a standard breakfast, I’ve been trying this smoothie every morning.
I CONFESS…I don’t use a machete to crack open my cocos, so I would like to caution anyone who decides to crack open a coconut for their first time. If you must use a fresh coconut, don’t jeopardize your digits and other appendages by whacking the coco with an 18-inch machete blade. Your fingers are more valuable than the 8-to-10 ounces of water and meat inside the coco. Be safe and use other tools to get into that coco. I use a large knife to shave off the top and a flat head screwdriver and meat tenderizer to break into the coco. *Many thanks goes out to my roommates who get to hear the incessant hammering :)*
Or you can simply purchase the water!
For this recipe, we will stick with the basic store-bought coconut water:
- 8 ounces coconut water
- 2-3 tablespoons of cacao powder (not to be confused with coco powder-unlike coco, this product does not contain any sugar)
- 2-3 pitted medjool dates (the meat from these dates is thicker than other dates)
- 1/2 banana
- 2-3 ounces coconut meat
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
*Serving size: 1*
Blend all of the ingredients together in your licuadora (blender) and drink immediately! You won’t be disappointed. :) In this recipe, it is best to use a young coconut because there is more water inside and the meat is less fatty. Experiment with other ingredients, too! Add some flax seed or maybe your favorite protein powder! Spinach can make your smoothie creamier, not to mention packed full of iron. Berries are tasty, too. I threw in some papaya and it made my smoothie super creamy! Whatever your palate wants, give it a try! My friend created a gingerbread coconut smoothie from fresh ginger and coconuts. I hope I get to try it! :)
Some info on coconuts: According to the Library of Congress, the coconut is loosely considered to be a fruit, a nut and seed, although it is formally considered a ‘drupe’ to botany freaks. A drupe is a fruit with a hard stony covering that encapsulates a seed. Drupes often have three layers and come in forms like avocados, peaches, pistachios and coffee beans.
Coconuts are also packed with protein, they have more potassium than a banana and contain tons of electrolytes and healthy fats–an overall amazing combination for surf fiends, like yours truly. However, if you are going for broke on your workout or surf sesh, do not solely rely on coconut water, as it does not contain much of the necessary mineral sodium that you loose when you sweat.
For me, I never felt fatigued after surfing my brains out…Coconuts or bust!!
After I got back to the states, my Christmas list went a little something like this:
1.) Machete or big knife
2.) Swiss Army Knife
3.) Hammer and nails
4.) Water Purifier
…you get the idea. My dad’s response:
“So you want a treasure map, too?”
Only if it leads to perfect waves and coconuts, dad. ;)