Drink For Your Health In Kapa‘a
Spirulina is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids necessary for a healthy metabolism. Spirulina’s vibrant blue-green color is rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant credited for preventing everything from cancer and skin disorders to eye problems and arthritis.
Healthy eaters understand the benefits of spirulina and head to The Coconut Cup Juice Bar and Cafe in Kapa’a for their daily dose.
“It’s like eating a whole bag of carrots,” says owner Christa Hall of the algae that once sustained the Aztecs. “It has that much beta-carotene in one teaspoon.”
She is comparing the 2,068 IU in an average carrot to 11,250 IU in one teaspoon of Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica. The Coconut Cup goes through a five-pound bag of spirulina a month, one smoothie at a time.
But the cafe offers more than smoothies that pack a nutritional punch. Focusing on local and organic products, The Coconut Cup is a health food lover’s dream. You can get a shot of fresh-pressed wheatgrass or locally made organic honey with kava and cacao. The honey is potent, and when I try a sample, the kava instantly makes my tongue tingle.
The Coconut Cup is makai of Kuhilo Highway across from Kojima’s. Tucked under the Hotel Coral Reef, it’s easy to spot with its grass roof, red umbrellas and green picnic tables. Freshly baked muffins and big, fat cookies from Passion Bakery (also in Kapa’a) line the outside bar.
Handmade signs advertise homemade pesto hummus with organic corn chips ($3.95), or red pepper hummus on a bagel spilling with fresh veggies ($6.95). Glasses of freshly squeezed juice or house-made Kombucha tea are refreshing and healthy alternatives to coffee and soda.
People drink Kombucha tea for medicinal purposes. Originating in Russia, Kombucha also is popular in China and Japan. Devotees say the zesty drink enhances digestion, detoxifies the body and generates energy.
The Gourmet Sandwiches ($8.95) are a handful. Close to four inches thick and made with freshly baked whole wheat bread, you just might have leftovers. Those who like a little animal protein can choose Black Forest ham or turkey breast; vegetarians can opt for the albacore tuna and vegans can delight in the creamy avocado veggie.
A small breakfast menu features comforting Home Style Belgian Waffles ($8.95) with 100 percent pure maple syrup, whipped cream and organic apple bananas. The Organic AÃ§aÃ Bowl ($8.95), with mixed berries served over granola and topped with organic coconut and sliced bananas, is a healthy alternative.
Organic salads such as the Waldorf and Classic Cobb ($8.95) are filling and bursting with life. Mounded on a large plate, beautiful organic greens and colorful vegetables such as avocado, cucumber, shredded carrots and delicate bean sprouts are easy on the digestive system.
Save room for the shave ice made with frozen ionized-alkaline water (drinking this water is said to reduce the acidity in your body, restoring it to a healthy alkaline state). House-made mango or guava nectar, fresh pineapple juice or locally made syrup provide additive-free toppings.
Not only is the food healthy at The Coconut Cup, but Hall’s business practices are healthy for the island. It is listed as a green business with Malama Kaua’i, pledging to be a steward of the island by reducing waste, using green supplies and supporting local farms.
Hall is an energetic and self-professed smoothie connoisseur. “I worked until the day I gave birth,” she recalls.
Maybe all that healthy food gives her the stamina to keep up with her 3-year-old while serving up gourmet smoothies with an abundance of aloha.
The Coconut Cup Juice Bar and Cafe
4-1516 Kuhio Hwy., Kapa’a
Open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.