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Blueberry banana smoothie with chia seeds

This simple and creamy blueberry banana smoothie is packed with antioxidants, protein, fiber and healthy fats.  It is an excellent substitution for your afternoon cookie or candy bar. It is also a good mid-morning treat.

The blueberry banana smoothie recipe is great because it’s easy to keep all of the ingredients on hand. We buy buckets of Artisana raw organic coconut butter which last for 15-18 months from the date of manufacturing. Additionally, blueberries and bananas can be stored in your freezer, frozen blueberries are good for 6-8 months and bananas for 2-3 months. Dried chia seeds have a shelf life of 2-4 years.

I am featuring chia seeds in this recipe, but I actually use them almost daily in my green smoothies. We buy Nutiva organic chia seeds (120z) bags at Costco (several at a time), but you can also get very affordable ones on amazon. Mostly, I add them for extra fiber and protein. It’s ideal to soak the chia seeds in water for at least 10 minutes before blending. Soaking them helps to sprout the chia seed adding in their digestion making the nutrients more bioavailable.

Two tablespoons (or 1 ounce) of chia seeds has about 130 calories, 8 grams of fat, 11 grams of fiber (about 50% of daily recommended value for women), 5.5 grams of protein and no sugar. It also provides 18% of daily calcium, 27% of phosphorous, 30% manganese, and some potassium and copper.  Chia seeds have lots omega-3 fatty acids which help to increase HDL, the good cholesterol. The aid in weight-loss, with diabetes, digestion and detox.

Recipe for blueberry banana smoothie with chia seeds

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 medium-large banana
  • 2 tablespoons coconut butter – we buy this in bulk and use it to replace milk in all dairy and non dairy recipes – Artisana Organic Raw Coconut Butter, 17 Pound
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 4+ cubes of ice
  • 1 and 1/2 cups water

Mix all ingredients in blender on high for two, 30 second intervals until very creamy and seeds are well incorporated. This smoothie has the best texture when consumed fresh but it will store for up to 2 days in the fridge.

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4 simple ways to open young green coconuts for coconut water

Fresh coconut water with lime — Yum! The hardest part about this recipe is opening the coconut. Here are 4 easy ways and tips on how to open a green coconut for coconut water.

4 ways to open a green coconut

1. Use a coconut opener

If the coconut is young enough you can use a coconut opener tool to open green coconuts. There are a few different types. The best types I’ve found is the kind featured in this picture which I found on Amazon. There’s several similar with ranges in prices. If the coconut is young enough one about this price range should be able to do the trick.

 

There are other tools on the market, like the “tap punch” kind that go for half the price but they are basically useless. This also another mallet type of coconut opener tool, with a trademark version called the Coco Jack on the market that I have not tried, but is gaining popularity and getting good reviews.  This one has a price of $20 – 35.

 Using a stainless steel opener:

Use the pointed edge to remove the remaining part of the coconut flower from the “tree” side of the coconut (the side that was connected to the tree).  This is the side that has 3 pores (little holes like a bowling ball). Then drive the opener into the middle, where you will hit one of those pores.

photo illustration of germinated coconuts

Treat it like a screwdriver, or a drill and scrape the sides until the hole is large enough for the water to flow freely. Then invert over a pot or bowl. If you are finding it hard to get to the water with this tool, or it is sort of stuck, you can turn the coconut over and bang it on a hard surface (floor, cutting board) etc. If it still won’t open, you may have to use a sharp knife or machete to cut the opposite side as described in #3.

 

 

2. Crack the coconut on a hard surface

To crack open green coconuts without a tool you need a hard surface, concrete ideally, or a large flat rock. It’s important to be safe when doing this. Throw with a lot of force and lift your hands away as it hits the ground. Try hitting on several sides. You will lose some of the coconut water, but it’s still worth if you have no other tools.

3. Cut the “lobe” end with a machete.

This is the side that is closest to the seed inside. Carefully, with a sharp and strong knife or machete, make firm cuts at each lobe. This will take several cuts but the results are rewarding.

4. Use a pick axe

A pick axe can be used to remove the exocarp, the coconut coir from the seed. Firmly, place the flat edge of the pick axe in the ground. Then use the sharp side to tear off the exocarp. This will take a little more time but the nut will be easier to use for
meat. After the husk/coir is removed, punch a coconut opener or tool into one of the pores to get the water. To open
completely, crack on hard surface.