Monthly Archives: October 2014

The “Calm” smoothie by Canyon Ranch

Hi everyone!

One of the great parts about traveling or eating at different restaurants is coming across new recipes or food preparations that you absolutely love.  I was recently coerced into trying a smoothie that I never thought I would enjoy at the Canyon Ranch.  The smoothie was named the “calm” and consisted of ice, coconut water, strawberries, pineapple, lime and basil.  Since I don’t like limes and don’t typically care for basil in my beverages, I was hesitant to give this a gulp.  But I’m so happy I did because it was pleasantly delicious!

Since this drink contains a ton of natural sugar, I wouldn’t indulge daily.  But every now and then, it is an awesome treat!

Below you will find my recipe for the smoothie.  Follow it loosely and add/subtract ingredients based on your taste preferences.  You will need a blender that chops ice well.  I used my handy Ninja Blender, which I love so much.  This blender has lasted after years of heavy use.  Not to mention by some people who are not gentle on the equipment 😉  Below is the list of ingredients to be placed simultaneously in your blender.  This recipe makes about 10 cups.

*16-20oz coconut water (Please be conscientious when purchasing as the choices are overwhelming!  I used Harvest Bay    purchased from Whole Foods).

*4 cups ice cubes

*1 lb. strawberries (remove greenery)

*2 cups chopped pineapple

*1 lime, peeled

*4 large basil leaves (You may want to add these last as it is easy to place too much basil in)

Blend well and enjoy.

The photo below shows how much smoothie remained after 5 minutes shared among 3 people, and the blender was completely filled.  It’s that good!

Calm Smoothie

Enjoy your weekend!

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How to find the best Coconut Water

Coconut water has been hot for well over a year now, which has given the food and beverage industry time to bombard local shoppers with an overwhelming amount of choices!  How do you figure out which coconut water is best?

I am not a fan of coconut water because the sugar content is so high.  Yes, even too much natural sugar is not good for our bodies.  Anyway, I went to purchase coconut water because my beau and I tried a fantastic smoothie at the Canyon Ranch containing coconut water, and we plan on replicating it at home.  The “calm” smoothie consisted of coconut water, strawberries, pineapple, basil and limes.  Obviously a ton of sugar, but DELICIOUS!

Onwards to my coconut water adventure.  As I stood before the massive selection of coconut waters at my local Whole Foods, I wondered if all the varieties of natural coconut water (no flavoring) consisted of the same ingredient(s) yielding the same nutritional profile.  This is where things got strange.  I found 9 coconut waters and all had different nutritional profiles!  My thought was, “how can plain coconut water be so different?  Isn’t coconut water just the natural liquid produced from coconuts?”  Well, let’s take a look.

The 9 brands and their corresponding nutritional profiles for 8 fl oz are:

Naked

Naked

Coco Libre

Coco Libre

Vita Coco

Vita Coco

O.N.E.

O.N.E.

Harvest Bay

Harvest Bay

365 Whole Foods Brand

365

Zico

Zico

Blue Monkey

Blue Monkey

Harmless Harvest

Harmless Harvest

You can see the variety!  Among the 9 brands, Calories per serving range from 60-40, sugars range from 15g-4g, carbs range from 15g-10g, and the list goes on.

The ingredients must be different, right?  That would give reason to why the nutritional variations.  Wrong – 6 out of the 9 contain the exact same single ingredient – coconut water.  So what gives?

I chose the Harvest Bay coconut water as it contained the least amount of sugar at 4 grams.  But I am skeptical of the nutritional label’s accuracy since many of the other brands that contained the same ingredient list of only coconut water show between 8g-12g of sugar.

WHAT NOT TO BUY: Don’t choose Coco Libre (contains natural flavors), Vita Coco (contains added fruit sugar and vitamin C) or 365 brand (coconut juice, not water).

Remember, just because these are well-marketed as healthy nutritionally optimal beverages doesn’t mean they are.  They all are filled with a lot of natural sugars and no fiber, which leads to blood sugar spikes.  Moderation is key, but with coconut water, I’d recommend drinking it only as a treat or not at all!

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