This post was created in partnership with Naked Juice for #DrinkGoodDoGood. All opinions are my own—including that #DrinkGoodDoGood is an easy and fun way to help combat food deserts in your community.
It’s my favorite time of the summer: when, out of the doldrums of heat, the #DrinkGoodDoGood campaign to end food deserts emerges. #DrinkGoodDoGood encourages folks (like you) to take a selfie with their favorite fruit or veggie and post it using the eponymous hashtag—a simple share triggers a 10-pound donation of fruits and vegetables from Naked Juice to communities where fresh produce is scarce. These food deserts are far more prevalent than you’d think: Nearly 30 million Americans live in food deserts, yet 60% of US citizens aren’t aware this problem exists in their own communities.
Every year, #DrinkGoodDoGood rolls around just before my birthday, in the throes of summer produce ecstasy. For those of us who live close to farms or in the privileged realm of urban famers markets and well-stocked grocery stores, stone fruit bursts with juice. Melons drip honey nectar. Tomatoes of every hue erupt with sweet acid. Berries pop like confetti. Corn and squash and herbs abound. This access is not ubiquitous, but for those of us with produce to grab, Naked Juice and Ralphs have created an easy way to help.
With every fruit and veggie selfie, Wholesome Wave will donate 10 pounds of produce to communities in need. Taking it one step further here in Southern California, Naked’s Give the Goodness Inside initiative will make a fresh produce donation to the LA Regional Food Bank for every Naked Juice purchased at a Ralphs grocery store in the area (store locator here). It’s so simple. Drink good, do good.
Which, speaking of, I’ve got some seriously good drinking for you to do with this watermelon coconut slushie. Pure blended watermelon goodness, swirled with tangy, frosty coconut cream. But before we get there, I want to talk about selfies.
A few weeks ago, I started experimenting with the idea that I (and others of us who live in the age of phone obsession and are thereby likely to take a selfie now and again) use selfies as lovability checks. Here’s the selfie formula: I feel anxiety, I feel need, I feel a longing for some affirmation of my place in the world, and so I tap my phone’s front-facing camera into life and snap a few selfies. I try to get the angle right, so that the camera captures my inner version of me-ness, the one only I can see, the fantasy selfie me.
But what if, instead of picking up my phone every time I wanted to check on my lovability, I took a concrete action to love myself instead? What if I did something to turn outward, rather than further within?
First, what if I looked in a mirror and said I love you, and meant it? Could I let myself receive that kind of real, direct tenderness, from within? I started to experiment. When I noticed myself reaching for the phone to take a selfie, I stopped myself. I put one hand on my heart and one on my belly. I took a deep breath. And I said I love you. I love you no matter how you look in this selfie. I love you because the longest relationship of my life is this one, between my body and my mind, and I want it to be a good one.
But then, after the self-love, the next impulse is to turn that love outward. To share, rather than hoard. To give, instead of to fear. Enter: #DrinkGoodDoGood, with which, ironically, I get to have my selfie, my self-love, and my community love, too. Join me? Take that selfie, but for the good of your neighbors and your community—and, too, because you want to show off that sexy summer produce.
And for goodness sake, make this slushie. I first began dreaming of the combo when writer Emily Nunn posted a photo on Instagram of a watermelon milkshake from a roadside burger stand in North Carolina. I swooned. Knew I had to recreate it. She mentioned the vanilla ice cream had been too sweet, so I imagined pairing it with my go-to coconut slushie base, which is rich with vanilla but tangy with lime. It’s so good with the frozen watermelon you’ll want an IV of the stuff.
Best part: It’s easy as a summer breeze to make. You can even stock pile bags of extra watermelon and coconut ice cubes to make on a whim.
Happy #DrinkGoodDoGood week! Show me your selfies, for good.
Watermelon Coconut Slushies
Watermelon Slushie Base
- 3 cups chopped fresh watermelon
- 1 teaspoon honey or agave or sweetener of choice
Coconut Slushie Base
- 1 13.5 ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons honey or agave or sweetener of choice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice from about 1/2 lime
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6-8 cracked ice cubes more as needed
Place watermelon and honey in a high-speed blender. Blend on high, until smooth and juicy. Pour into ice cube molds and freeze until solid, at least six hours or overnight.
Rinse the blender and dry completely. Add all ingredients for the coconut slushie base into the blender. Mix on high until fully incorporated. Pour into ice cube molds and freeze until solid, at least six hours or overnight.
Once all the cubes have frozen, remove them from the molds and put them into ziplock bags separated by flavor.
Blend the coconut cubes in a high-speed blender with about six cracked ice cubes. If you have one, use a blender tamper to compress the cubes as they blend. The end result will be a thick slushie with the texture creamy snow or an icy soft serve. Transfer to a bowl and place briefly in the freezer while you blend the watermelon cubes.
Rinse the blender and dry completely. Blend the watermelon cubes, using a blender tamper to compress the cubes as they blend. The end result will be a slushie with the texture of snow.
Remove the coconut slushie base from the freezer and layer both watermelon and coconut slushie bases in glasses, serving as you like.