(Oh boy will I probably regret this title when I see the resulting Google searches it may get.).
A few years ago, I ventured into a little, unknown cafe in NYC called Bonobos. Although the cafe was quaint, it was also very quiet. My mom and I were the only ones in the joint for the entirety of our visit. Fast forward to this past summer. Once again, I made my way into Bonobos, which was just as quaint as I remember it. However, the cafe was definitely not as quiet! Not only did the line snake out the door, there was even a camera crew filming a news segment on what has become one of NYC’s most-popular raw-food restaurants.
In need of a snack, I knew I had to try their famous Coconut Chai. This stuff was awesome: so thick and spicy-sweet. Unfortunately, at $5 a pop, it was also expensive. (Why are raw foods so expensive?!) Therefore, I went home and attempted to recreate the luscious brew. First things first: I needed to crack open a coconut.
I put the coconut on its side, made a cut in it with a sharp knife, then pounded the knife into the coconut with another knife. I am sure there is an easier (and less dangerous!) way to open a coconut, but this worked for me. After a bit o’ trial and error, I encountered the elusive Bonobo-y taste for which I’d been searching.And thus, Hawaii in a glass was born!
CCK’s Coconut Chai
(makes 1 cup)
- Meat and juice of 1 young coconut
- Big pinch of Indian chai masala (You can find this at an Indian grocery store. **Or, see below to make your own. You can also leave it out, for a plain-jane coconut shake, but obviously the taste will be different.)
- Sweetener to taste (I liked it without, but if you want it to taste like Bonobo’s, add up to 1T agave, or sweeten with stevia or other sweetener.)
Open the coconut, and blend all your ingredients together (I used a Magic Bullet). Drink up or eat with a spoon. You can also freeze this for an amazing ice cream. Or freeze, then re-blend in your Vita-Mix for a true ice-cream consistency! **If you don’t want to go to an Indian grocery store, you can make your own Indian chai masala. (Combine: 4 whole cloves, 2 cardamom pods, 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces, 1/4 inch fresh ginger, 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.)
Instructions for maximum enjoyment: Put on a lei, close your eyes, and pretend you’re lounging under a palm tree in Hawaii. Can you feel the cool, Hawaiian breeze?
If you’re not coconutted-out, try a Raw Mounds Bar to go with the drink!
Sadly, when you open your eyes, you’ll no longer be in Hawaii… unless, of course, you’re lucky enough to actually live there.