Memories are all about the senses. The smell of earthy coffee on that perfect Sunday morning, the sweet taste of strawberries in Summertime, seeing the ripening vines on the sun blushed hillsides and hearing the satisfying crunch of fish and chips at sunset on the beach can all trigger lovely memories. Or maybe it is just the sun that does all these things? Either way this recipe for Balinese cacao and young smoothie takes me back to sun laden beaches of Indonesia and an amazing little organic, raw cafe I found in Ubud, Bali.
Tucked away in the winding lanes of this culture capital is the most amazing organic and raw eatery – Atman Cafe. And one of their best recipes was one of their cacao smoothies. What set this smoothie apart from any other I had ever tasted was the fact that it was extremely thin in consistency (i.e. not that much more thick than coconut water), yet it was so packed full of delicious flavour that it left my senses buzzing and my taste buds roaring with happiness. The perfect drink to energise and vitalise on a humid sunny morning in the tropics.
This raw smoothie recipe is my attempt at recreating this fond memory. However, like the recreation of all fond memories I have to say I have never quite managed to match the pure and amazing wonderment of flavour that I experienced upon many of my morning trips to Atman Kafe during my stay in Ubud. Although, after much experiment I believe I have come pretty close – I guess I am just missing sights and sounds of Ubud itself and the exotic flavour of the jungle which, unfortunately, I just cannot compete.
A couple of the ingredients that were in the original smoothie are not readily available so I have substituted a few ingredients. But if you are interested in copying the exact smoothie recipe (jungle honey and irish moss are both becoming more popular around the world) from Ubud here are the actual ingredients that I think Atman Kafe used: young coconut water, young coconut flesh, raw cacao powder, Indonesian jungle honey (this is a syrupy nectar – much like coconut nectar, which is what I use in my recipe), irish moss, chai spices (black tea not included) and chilli.
Raw Smoothie Ingredients (serves 2):
- 1 young coconut – the coconut water and flesh (do not use the flesh unless it is from a young coconut)
- 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 2 tbsp coconut nectar (you can also use agave, honey, maple syrup or any liquid sweetener 0 but coconut syrup taste the best as it has a delicous caramel flavour) *add more or less depending on your preference for sweetness
- 1/4 tsp chai spice mix (black tea not included i.e. equal parts of cinnamon, cardamon, cloves and ginger all ground)
- 1 pinch cayenne powder – you only want a hint of chilli so err on the side of caution
- sometimes I also add a few spinach leaves – but try it without first, because it changes the consistency and that is what I want you all to experience
- cacao nibs to garnish (again optional)
Raw Smoothie Method:
Combine all of the ingredient together in a blender and mix until it reaches a completely smooth consistency. You can vary the amounts of ingredients to taper them to your particular tastes – some people like more chilli for example.
Try refrigerating the young coconut before you open it to get a nice and cool smoothie. You can also add ice to chill it slightly.