Last weekend, we discovered our favorite farmer's market yet in San Diego -- Solana Beach. Most people would swear by Hillcrest or Little Italy for their weekend bounty, but we vastly preferred the afternoon time span (Hillcrest closes at 2pm??) and how much smaller and quieter it is. We were able to get all our necessities, discovered a few new treasures (both in the market and surrounding shops), and enjoyed the prepared food (read: tamales).
I adore exposing my daughter to a farmer's market any time, any where. She gets SO excited about fresh food and begs to try all the samples. On this day, she absolutely couldn't wait to drink fresh coconut juice straight from the coconut. I have to admit that the little pink umbrellas that came with the coconut didn't hurt either :) We slurped down the coconut juice in no time . . . but since I've discovered all the amazing health benefits of the coconut, I just couldn't bear to throw away the rest of the nut.
[I have to stop for a minute here and confess that the last time I tried to open a coconut, I almost cut my hand off. No joke. So here is a very helpful video, should you be inspired to reap the benefits of a coconut yourself :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZquDvW9X_U ]
Once we got home, armed with a mountain of fresh produce, we got busy with meal planning . . . and decided a fresh, coconut-themed smoothie was in order. Inspired also by the bunch of organic spinach, I created the following bit of wholesome smoothie perfection:
Tropical Green Smoothie
1 slice of pineapple (about 1", include the core if you have a Vitamix)
2 kiwi, peeled
1/2 c of young coconut meat (or however much your coconut yields)
Several handfuls of spinach
1 c ice
(NOTE: If you substitute shredded coconut for young coconut in this recipe, start with less and adjust to taste as needed. Young coconut meat is much milder than using shredded coconut -- thus, the young coconut is more appropriate for smoothies. Shredded coconut is always from a mature coconut and has a more concentrated coconut flavor -- thus, it's better for baking, cooking, etc.)
Add ingredients to your blender in the order listed. Blend until thoroughly incorporated. Garnish with a slice of pineapple, just cuz it's pretty :)
Seriously. BEST. SMOOTHIE. EVER.