September 7, 2009

Me vs. the Coconut

I used some free time this weekend to do something I've long been wanting to try, and not without some apprehension. I consider this to be perhaps the ultimate-est of Radventures. However, I bought a cleaver last week, which gave me no more excuses to put it off. I was now prepared to crack open a young coconut.

I don't think it was especially silly of me to be scared to do this, what with it involving sharp objects and brute force and all, but anyone who has tasted Bonobo's coconut chai will have the motivation to try to recreate it at home for half the price. And like most things, once I worked up the cojones to try this for myself, it wasn't a huge big deal. But just in case it was, I decided to put the evidence on film. Below is my first foray into "vlogging." It's just two minutes of me babbling whilst I proceed to mangle my coconut, but it's authentically virgin footage, straight from this newly deflowered coconut-buster to you.

Suffice it to say a few more minutes passed after I shut off the recorder, but...


Lessons learned:
  1. Next time, shave way more flesh off the top before beginning to crack it open with the cleaver.
  2. Make the hole much larger--it took major spoon acrobatics to scrape all the flesh out.
  3. When scraping said flesh out, do not get over zealous, as you can and will end up with gristle in your shake. This is not the last coconut in the world, after all.
Conclusion? There really is nothing quite like the taste of fresh coconut meat and water. You'll wonder why anyone ever added sugar to it for any reason.

Shocker? Mine tasted just like the shake at Bonobo's! I don't know why I thought my raw coconut would taste different from their raw coconut, but anyway, here is my improvised recipe.

Coconut Chai Shake
  • meat and water of one young coconut
  • 2 tsp raw agave nectar
  • 1/4+ tsp cinnamon (I actually used 1/2 tsp because I love the flavor)
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Throw in a couple ice cubes if you want it chilled.

This is an adventure worth taking, people. Truth.

But just because I aims to please, let me throw in some new non-coconut-involving combos I've been playing with recently.

The first is an especially fabulous-tasting green juice I enjoyed last week.

Exotic Staycation Green Juice
  • 1/2 head romaine lettuce
  • handful kale leaves (as much as you can tolerate)
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 green apple
  • 3/4 lime
  • 1-2 inches fresh ginger
  • big handful cilantro (I used the better part of a bunch)
Juice it to it!

No juicer? Ok, stay with me. How about some banana soft serve?

Maypole Maple Raw Ice Cream
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp-ish cinnamon
  • 1 crumbled raw macaroon for topping (optional)
Blend all ingredients except topping in a food processor until smooth.

It's called "maypole" because it will make you want to frolic like a little girl. And because maypole sounds like maple. That's the real reason.

No food processor? Sigh. Ok, back to the blender.

I had a really delicious shake with breakfast this morning. Actually, breakfast also contained a couple new-to-me foods: vanilla goat milk yogurt and raw granola.

I found this single serving of raw granola at Integral Yoga (of course) the other day, and since entire bags of it are pretty pricey, I took the opportunity to try it out for $2 and no commitment.

Pretty simple ingredients! And all of them organic and raw. I figured it would be a nice pair to the goat-gurt I'd been wanting to try as well. I assembled both into a parfait, supplemented with some kamut puffs and balmy butter.

As a meal, I'd describe this bowl as "fine." The raw granola tasted pretty much just like you'd expect it to, having read the ingredients. It was just a bit chewier than the conventional kind. The goat milk yogurt, on the other hand, was really thin. The taste was noticeably different from its bovine cousin, but not so much so that it was unpleasant. I'm a goat cheese fan anyway, so I knew I was not likely to find the yogurt's flavor offensive. Goat's milk is said to be easier on our bellies than cow's milk, and the flavor of the yogurt was fairly mild, so I may buy it again if I feel so moved.

What I really liked about breakfast was actually the afterthoughtish side shake I threw together at the last minute!

Scrappy Shake
  • 1 cup almond milk (I used homemade. [Smirk.])
  • 1/2 cup juicer pulp (or greens of your choice, like spinach and/or kale)
  • 1 frozen banana
Blend on high until smooth and creamy.

Forget protein powders! I just ran out of the last of my hemp protein and have been putting off buying any more protein powder-ish products, and I was nervous to let go of my powder-flavor crutch, but I needn't have been! The result is likely healthier anyway.

I hope you had a nice holiday weekend! And if you haven't tried it yet, go bust a (coco)nut. You saw the video--if I can do it, surely anyone allowed to use a cleaver can do it too.


erica said...

This post is packed with so much deliciousness, I can hardly handle it!

VeggieGirl said...

LOVE IT!!! I'm still intimidated by cracking open coconuts, even after Gena personally showed me how to do so, haha :-D

That ice cream sounds AMAZING!!

Gina said...

I have heard about goat's milk benefits, thanks for the information about the yogurt. I need to do more research on goat's milk in general, as I am getting my questions about it!

Lizzy said...

you are way more adventuress then i am! way to go girl!

Jenny said...

ow ow way to show that c-nut who's boss! get it girrrrrrrrrl

melissa said...

yum! way to kick some coconut ass! your day looks incredibly delish!

brandi said...

congrats on conquering the coconut! that chai smoothie sounds amazing.

and you just reminded me that we need a new food processor since ours broke the other day. and a juicer...just because I want one :)

Elina said...

I'd be scared to crack that baby open too. Glad you won over the coconut ;) Coconut water is AWESOME and so is fresh coconut meat. When I was in Italy last year, they sold pieces of fresh coconut on the street, and it was the most refreshing treat on a hot day :D
Love the idea of adding maple syrup to the banana soft serve. I'm going to try that next time I make it!

Devan Geselle. N said...

gahhh. i was LICKING my screen at your coconut chai shake
thanks for all these awesome recipes!!

fitforfree said...

Way to conquer that coconut!! And you can sleep well at night knowing that the cleaver is in the house - intruders beware!

Anonymous said...

I really want a coconut now...not sure if I'm ready to attempt one yet. You've certainly peaked my curiosity! :)

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

I havent watched the video, my daughter is napping and I don't want the sound of any coconut ax murders waking her :)

Anyway, your shakes look awesome. Nice on the coconut chai.

Also the maple softserve...genius. I figured out how to create softserve in the vitamix without creating soup. I will add the maple action next time I have some real maple syrup.

I still dont know how anyone juices with regularity. I just got a juicer a month ago and already am so over cleanup. Blech.

Dominique said...

Geez! It's almost midnight and I should be getting to bed but now I want to go juice and blend things. Sigh. I guess it'll have to wait until tomorrow after work.

Question! This is going to sound incredibly stupid but for almond milk do I really just juice a bunch of raw almonds? I wasn't particularly pleased with the Almond Breeze I purchased several months back (it's actually still in the fridge, oops), but maybe my own almond milk along with some other things, I might enjoy it.

My dad used to crack young coconuts for us all the time but for some reason I was never really a fan. Weird, considering that I'm pretty much obsessed with anything coconut. I might have to ask him to do the axing for me though as I'm now 200% intrigued about this Bonobo Coconut Chai that you talk about. I love coconuts and I love Chai...what could be better than both?

Thanks for the awesome post! I'll probably end up dreaming about your eats today though. ;)

BroccoliHut said...

Even though it sounds a bit labor intensive, I bet that fresh coconut taste is SO worth it!

Diana said...

Dominique -

Don't put almonds in your juicer!!! Maybe that's not what you were thinking, but I feel compelled to put it out there anyway, haha. To make almond milk, you just soak 1 cup almonds in 4 cups water over night and blend it all, then strain through a nut milk bag or cheese cloth. You can google the procedure easily for an official how-to. It really tastes much better than any boxed almond milk, ESPECIALLY Almond Breeze! :)

Gena said...

Very proud of you, m'dear!!! Welcome to the amazing world of coconut.

elise said...

hahaha...thanks for letting us all witness you losing your v card to the coconut. considering your previous mandolin injury, i can see where the apprehension stems from!!
i feel ya on the intimidation factor. sometimes i get that way and build things up so much in my mind...way to get over your fear.

that coco chai recipe sounds delish, but im still cleaver less myself.

Anonymous said...

I JUST procured a food processor this weekend and am going to try the banana soft serve recipe ASAP. I attempted the recipe in the past with a blender and it's not quite the same...

Congrats on cracking the coconut :-)

Dominique said...

Oh wow, I'm glad you clarified on the whole juicing almonds thing. I'm going to pick up some raw almonds tomorrow and give them a try.

I FINALLY made some banana soft serve today--yummy! I added some raw cacao nibs and really enjoyed it. I also blended up some frozen grapes...mmmm. I am enjoying them right now. It's like grape sorbet.