Max Alcobi makes WelleCo protein powered smoothies at his shop, Loco Coco on Lexington Avenue in NYC. Here are some of his pro tricks for taking yours next-level.
I always consider the three pillars of product inception: health benefit, flavour and looks, in that order.
Start with a targeted health benefit in mind. Let’s say skin for example. I start with WelleCo SUPER ELIXIR, then nail down some key superfoods and ingredients to promote the specific health benefit. My next priority is flavour because taste is everything! Next I think about colour and presentation and how I can make the prettiest and healthiest smoothie or bowl possible.
WelleCo elixirs add a significant amount of nutritional benefits. We always include some type of superfood element to really boost the nutrient profile of the dish be it staples like. Pitaya, acai, raw coconut and matcha green tea, as well as more complex ingredients like camu came, maqui berry and CBD activated hemp oil.
I try hard to minimise using bananas or at all. Bananas are a double-edged sword - they are a great thickening agent as well as a sweetener, but unfortunately, they contain lots of natural sugars and are quite high in carbs compared to other fruits. For customers trying to stick to a low carb/sugar diet, bananas are a tough sell. Whichever produce I choose to use, I try to include a full serving of each fruit used in each product, always keeping in mind the balance of flavours and the colour.
WelleCo notes: We love to substitute bananas with nutrient-rich avocado.
Ice Ice Baby
At Loco Coco we use zero ice - we don’t even have an ice machine so everything is strictly fruit, veggies and superfoods. Never any added sugars or fillers, everything is completely plant-based and natural.
We only use the highest quality IQF (instant quick freeze) fruit available to us. IQF is a process where a fruit farmer or purveyor will harvest the fruit, cut it up into chunks or keep them whole, depending on the fruit, and immediately flash freezes them at a temperature well below -20 degrees. This locks in the nutrients right away so they don’t escape from the time of freezing. They are essentially the highest nutrient fruit you can find due to the time they take to harvest then freeze the fruit. In my experience, freezing your own fruit can be a hassle and hard to accomplish if not done correctly. Most times people don’t have a flash freezer - so the process of freezing the fruit is slow and sometimes difficult. Some fruits stick together and change colour, which is a big no for us, as we rely so heavily on the natural colour of the fruit.
Frozen lemon zest combined with SUPER ELIXIR is a great marriage. Both have a tangy flavour and promote similar health benefits. Madagascar Vanilla Bean is an ingredient in our pitaya bowl and tastes luxurious. Ashwaganda with chocolate is the perfect balance too. At loco coco our ingredients are very targeted towards specific health benefits, so if we use flax chances are that chia seeds and hemp seeds will be included for the extra oomph!
1 scoop NOURISHING PLANT PROTEIN Peruvian Chocolate
1 cup almond milk
Blitz, top and inhale.
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