EASY - A few years ago we ordered the raw vegan Kookies & Kream Smoothie at the Go Raw Cafe, in Las Vegas, Nevada, and we fall in love with the taste and texture. I thought that based on the ingredients it would be easy for me to make at home. So, I played with different combinations of ingredients, and I have also simplified it to avoid having to "milk" almond milk or coconut milk while maintaining it's heavenly taste for both children and adults.
SANS-ENSLAVED MONKEYS - I was using young Thai coconuts for this recipe... until I found out that there may be as much as 99% of the Thai coconuts being picked by enslaved and abused monkeys. See below for more information on my recommendation for alternative coconuts.
NUTRITION - Coconuts have healthy (undamaged) fats, this smoothie has very little omega 3 fatty acid, so make sure that you also include omega 3 fatty acids into your diet. I highly recommend using CRON-O-Meter to keep track of macro and micro nutrients.
Blender - Good news! You do not need a high-powered, high-speed blender (such as Vitamix or Blendtec) for making this smoothie. NOTE: BPA-free blenders are not truly BPA free - according to independent studies. We recommend using a glass jar blender without plastic on the bottom (Dynablend Clean DB-950 or Oster Pro 1200 both have stainless steel on the bottom) to avoid toxic chemicals from plastic leaching into your food. Click here to watch our videos for more details.
If you are unable to access fresh young coconuts, you will need blend and strain the pulp from mature coconuts, using a nut milk bag or strainer since the mature coconuts are very fibery.
Nut Milk Bag - To avoid eating synthetic fibers and leaching toxic chemicals into your food, from synthetic (nylon) nut milk bags (often just relabeled paint strainers), I recommend using a 100% organic or natural nut milk bag.
NOTE: On Amazon.com there are many fake nut milk bags that claim to be "organic" but are in fact not organic, and not even fully "natural". We tested several nut milk bags, and all of them had fraying synthetic threads and even glue on the end of the threads when they claim they use organic cotton threads and do not use any glues! Click here to read our article: EXPOSED! Fake Organic Hemp Nut milk Bags sold on Amazon!
Strainer - If you do not have a nut milk bag, a fine mesh stainless steel strainer will also work well if you are only working with a small amount of milk (1 cup or less).
For 1 Batch(es)
SUGGESTIONS FOR RECIPE INGREDIENTS:
DATES - Why choose dates over other sweeteners? - Dates and/or date sugar are the most nutritious sweetener. Here is Dr. Michael Greger video The Healthiest Sweetener. I usually buy whole dates from a local farm, but if local dates are not an option for you, here is a great website for different varieties and good price value for boxed organic dates and they are shipped in cardboard boxes (Yay, no plastic boxes/shells!). Date palms grow very well in a desert environment, so no need to cut down tropical rainforest forest. I live in Las Vegas, and we even have date palm trees growing in parking, unfortunately just for decoration. I was inspired to plant date palms in my own yard.
VANILLA - Why vanilla bean is different from vanilla extract? - I used to use organic vanilla extract (alcohol based), but according to this Dr. Michael Greger video Breast Cancer and Alcohol: How Much is Safe? there is no safe alcohol level. So I switched to using vanilla powder or whole vanilla beans. Since I could find vanilla beans or vanilla powder only in plastic packaging, I buy at least a pound, this way it will last me for several years and less plastic packaging is used.
BANANAS - Got deforestation? Bananas are another tropical fruit that is in high-demand and usually causing tropical rainforest deforestation, "We, as American consumers are not making matters any better as we eat, on average, twenty-eight pounds of bananas per person per year." (averages to 7 bananas per month). In many smoothies, bananas can be replaced with other whole foods like pears, nuts, chia seeds, home-made soy milk (I mostly use USA grown organic black soybeans). Many stores in the USA throw away ripe (with brown spots) bananas and a few stores even sell them at a discounted price instead of throwing them away when they get brown spots, so support those stores is helpful.
Side note: If you care about reducing food waste We did an investigation and a petition - Whole Foods - Stop wasting food, that could be sold at a reduced price. Sign Petition
COCONUTS - Choose Coconuts that are free from monkey slavery & abuse - Most stores that sell coconuts offer a few different types of coconuts - Thai, Mexican and mature. For the freshest and lowest cost, I buy coconuts in Mexican or Asian markets, prices are usually lower than in health food stores. Asian markets also sell tools for opening coconuts, also usually at lower cost than online and you save earth from extra packaging.
Young Thai coconut coconuts - white colored with round base and a cone-shaped top, wrapped in plastic. These are the best-tasting coconuts. In Asian Markets they are sold both individually and in a box of 9, for around $10 in my home city of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Thai coconut water is sweetest of any other coconuts I ever tried.
Thai coconut meat is the softest, and almost jelly-like.
If used to make a coconut milk or any other recipes it does not require straining after blending. Just blend coconut water with meat and you get ready to drink sweet milk. Thai coconuts are very popular in raw vegan gourmet cuisine and used often as the base ingredients for cheesecakes and many other recipes.
Not Ethical - Unfortunately, in Thailand, it is estimated that 99% of the coconuts are harvested by enslaved monkeys (macaques), so this kind of practice is definitely not considered ethical and thus not Vegan, which is why I am not buying them anymore. Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and other countries in the region also use monkeys.
There are lists of companies on the internet that claim that they do not use monkeys. Based on my experiences, I do not automatically trust any company based only on their words (often just marketing rhetoric), because they could be lying. I would guess that some of these companies may have never even see the coconut farm(s) they buy from or independently investigated where their coconuts come from, since they just buy wholesale coconuts or already processed coconut products.
So, to be sure I would only buy from countries that I am sure do not use monkeys. Please note if a coconut product says made in USA (for example coconut oil or flour), it does not necessarily mean that the coconuts are grown and picked in the USA. Made in the USA, can be from 100% imported product(s) since it is usually referring to processing not where it is grown.
Fresh/Green coconuts in their husk - They often have their top and bottom trimmed off and are also wrapped in plastic. I think these are the second best choice for water and meat. They are often found for sale in Mexican Markets for about $2-$3 each. They offer good quality for both water and meat, and are great for smoothies, but may be little too fibery for coconut milk without staining, so for smooth /silky coconut milk the blended water with meat will need to be strained (separate the fiber).
White dehusked (aka mature coconuts) - also a good quality water and milk product, but too fibery for smooth smoothies, and require straining to make smooth coconut milk.
Brown dehusked - water usually not good for drinking, it also has very little water, meat is good for coconut milk, but will require straining to make smooth coconut milk.