Vegan Bulletproof Coffee

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Prep time: 1 minute.  Total time: 1 minute.

What do bulletproof coffee and Santa Cruz skateboards have in common?

Despite always vouching for the tried and true seven layers of maple, skateboarders have flirted with alternative deck technology more than they like to admit.  Every so often a board company will come out with purportedly groundbreaking technology that guarantees your board will be utterly indestructible. Skateboarders, for the most part, don’t seem to get all that enthused.

I’ll come clean: I actually really like trying out new deck technology.  I’m riding Tom Asta’s Santa Cruz “Zodiac” P2 deck, and it’s amazing.  Although I was initially reticent to jump on the P2 bandwagon, I’ll put in a shameless plug here: it really is springier and lasts a lot longer for someone like myself who may not always land bolts (*cough*).  I got the clip below riding that board and I already ordered another.  The concave is perfect, the graphic is sick and Tom Asta is a beast.  Throw all that in with a deck technology that truly does add some longevity to your pop and you can’t go wrong.

If you haven’t already guessed where I’m going with this, I’ll break it down for you: P2 skateboards are composed of six thin plies of maple, then topped with a Kevlar insert surrounded by another maple veneer.  Yeah, Kevlar, the stuff they use to make bulletproof vests.  Sorry for the word games, but there you have it: What do bulletproof coffee and Santa Cruz skateboards have in common? They’re both (in a sense) bulletproof.

Credit: http://www.staygould.com, warehouse skateboards.com

That said, P2 is not the first time Santa Cruz has flirted with Kevlar, nor is P2 technology exclusive to Santa Cruz.  Back in 2002 (yes, even before the Foundation Pop Top decks), Santa Cruz debuted a technology called “PowerLyte.”  If you’ve been skating for a while, you should start envisioning dark black and grey graphics with a vibrant yellow top.  Getting nostalgic yet?

santa-cruz-skateboards-committed-2002

Credit: Skately.com

PowerLyte decks were revolutionary and, though I never saw anybody else ride one in person, I swore by them (the Stacey Lowery in 411VM where he launches down some stairs and off the first level of a parking garage sold me on them).  Rather than using just seven plies of maple, Santa Cruz replaced one of those plies with an entire layer of Kevlar (rather than just the insert, like the P2 decks).  The idea, much like the idea with P2, was that they would be lighter, stronger and stiffer.  Apparently, these models were not as ephemeral as I thought; I’ve seen reviews on various message boards up through 2009, but I stopped seeing them in catalogues after maybe 2003.  I had only been skating for a couple of years in 2002 and hadn’t ventured past the 5-stair in my neighborhood, so it’s not like my scrawny 110-pound frame would ever come close to snapping any deck, but I truly believed that I, the little twig trying to learn flatground tre flips, needed that layer of Kevlar.

Admittedly, the technology hadn’t been perfected yet; any abrasions or chips on the side of the board would result in a very frustrating fibrous unraveling of the Kevlar layer.  Still, the PowerLyte decks skated extremely well and were indeed noticeably lighter. The original Jayme Fortune one, measuring an impossibly small 7.4” x 30.9” (seen above), was my jam.  Skateboarding may have not mastered the Kevlar insert until quite some time later, but those PowerLyte models still hold a special place in my heart (and seriously, if you’re ready to venture past the dogma of the traditional 7-ply deck, I highly recommend a P2 deck).

Much like the bulletproof decks keep an extra spring in your board after a few weeks, bulletproof coffee will help keep the spring in your step after a few hours of skating.  These recipes are a dime-a-dozen, so I won’t purport to have any originality here.  Chances are you have already seen plenty of bulletproof coffee recipes, but if you haven’t, this is a simple one that has served me well.

I won’t turn this into a post about the hazards of energy drinks, but if you’re looking for a natural, cheap, healthy way to fuel up for that morning session, bulletproof coffee is a tasty way to get both quick and sustained energy that’ll keep you skating for a couple of hours.  Bulletproof coffee is essentially just adding medium chain triglyceride fats to your coffee; originally, this was done at least partly with butter, but, seeing as how this is a vegan blog, we’ll be using extra virgin coconut oil instead.  The idea behind the craze is that adding healthy fats with your initial morning coffee provides a host of benefits, including increased mental clarity, an increased feeling of satiety, and a slower digestion of the caffeine to help prevent insulin crashes.  Additionally, extra virgin coconut oil goes beyond other medium chain triglycerides via its lauric acid content, which has antiviral and antibiotic benefits.

Perhaps the most appealing benefit of bulletproof coffee for our purposes, however, is the quick energy that medium chain triglycerides provide when consumed 15-20 minutes before exercise.  These fats are very quickly converted to energy, so loading up on a teaspoon of coconut oil before skating (especially when on an empty stomach) is a great way to give you that quick boost that will also help keep you pushing for a couple of hours.  This is the benefit I have noticed most.  During the week I wake up pretty early to try to skate before going into the office.  I don’t typically eat before getting to the skatepark at 6:30 a.m. and, consequently, my morning sessions used to suffer.  As I have been sipping on bulletproof coffee while stretching, I’ve noticed my energy in these morning sessions has become more and more sustained.  No complaints here!

Try it for yourself and see if you notice a difference.  Much like I was reticent to buy into the hype of P2 “bulletproof” technology, I was skeptical of the benefits of bulletproof coffee.  To my surprise, however, both seem to be working nicely.

Here’s how it’s done:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup (6-8 oz) of freshly brewed coffee
  • 1 tsp – 1 tbsp of extra virgin coconut oil
  • Cashew milk or almond milk (to taste)
  • Sweetener (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Brew that coffee. When I have the time, I’m partial to French press (who isn’t?), but any brewing method will do.
  2. Once that’s brewed, mix in the coconut oil and the cashew or almond milk (and sweetener, if that’s your thing). Make sure you’re using extra virgin coconut oil.  While other refined coconut oils may be better for cooking, given their high smoke points, extra virgin is going to give you a more robust coconut flavor.  Additionally, start with a teaspoon of coconut oil at first.  Eventually you can work your way up to a tablespoon, but it’s always a good idea to see how your stomach adjusts first.
  3. You can mix it by hand if you want, but unless you’re stirring very rigorously, there’s going to be some separation. Nutritionally, this won’t really make a difference, it’s all just personal preference. If you really want to make it frothy (like the photos), throw it in a blender (or NutriBullet) for 10 seconds or so.
  4. Sip on that to start your day and then go shred!

Per serving (assuming one teaspoon of coconut oil and two tablespoons of unsweetened cashew milk): 50 calories, 5g fat, 1g carb, 0g protein.

Happy shredding,

Johnny

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