Today: The key to better smoothies.
Coconuts have long been a tradition in Tess Masters's family. "My father grew up in the north of Australia with coconut trees in his backyard, and we lived in Asia for many years, so coconut has been a staple in my house ever since I was born," Tess recalls, whose recently released book The Blender Girl Smoothies includes several recipes that use the versatile fruit's juice and meat. By trying endless combinations for smoothies, Tess has found that just one ingredient—a coconut's juice, or coconut water—can thoroughly upgrade your smoothies.
Full of live enzymes, nutrients, natural electrolytes, and other good stuff, coconut water is mild enough to hang out with fruits and nut milks, and its slight sweetness makes drinking your greens a lot more doable. And while smoothies can be intimidating—finding the just-right consistency, flavors that are't too bitter or sweet—coconut water is that secret ingredient that makes all our smoothie worries a little easier to handle.
And since we wanted her secrets to no-fail smoothies, we asked Tess to share five of her favorite green smoothie recipes, all of which can be made with just one quart of coconut water. Here are her picks, good enough that we might be making one of these instead of a cocktail tonight:
"This tangy, refreshing blend is my go-to breakfast," Tess says. With spinach, avocado, cucumber, and coconut water forming the base of this smoothie, the zip of lime juice and zest balances all of the creaminess.
More: Don't want to go by the book? Here's how to make a smoothie, sans recipe.
Even with ingredients like parsley, cucumber, and lemons, Tess assures that this blend is surprisingly sweet. The recipe's frozen pineapple gives zing and optional add-ins like ginger and a little extra sweetener make it easy to customize.
This bold combo blends up sweet and strong, Tess tells us. Packed with apple, grapes, celery, fennel, and kale, the Green Grappler is hydrating on any kind of hot day, and bonus: With a pinch of ginger and cayenne pepper, you'll really ramp up the flavor.
The Green Mojito is a perfect rescue for any sign of sickness. Tess says that it can help soothe coughs and sore throats, as well aiding in alleviating nausea. Lime and ginger provide zing to this smoothie while mint gives it a fresh, herbal finish.
If you'd take a vegetable-driven juice or smoothie over one made with fruit, this should be the next recipe in your blender. Red onion and liquid aminos are not to be feared as they balance any sweetness that comes through. "This is the ultimate jump-start to your day," Tess adds.
Reprinted with permission from The Blender Girl Smoothies by Tess Masters (Ten Speed Press, 2015). Photography by Erin Kunkel.