Try it: coconut ash

Add this form of activated charcoal to your morning smoothie bowl.

Activated charcoal is showing up in juices, face masks, and even toothpaste. The fine black powder is made from natural materials like peat, coal, or coconut shells that are processed at a very high temperature. The latter, known as coconut ash, is primarily microporous compared to the other forms, making it extremely absorbent. It's purported to trap toxins and chemicals that are smaller in molecular size and carry them out of the body. It's also believed to reduce indigestion, prevent hangovers, remove dirt from your skin when applied topically, and lift stains when used as toothpaste.

Try it in this creamy smoothie bowl; it's loaded with healthy fats from coconut milk and avocado and has plenty of antioxidants from the berries and chia seeds. "It's important to drink water when you consume activated charcoal to help it [and any toxins it picks up] move through your system," says Katzie Guy-Hamilton, food and beverage director at Equinox. And hold off on taking any medications until a little later in the day as the absorbent quality of coconut ash can potentially remove the good chemicals and nutrients along with the bad.

Coconut Ash Berry Smoothie Bowl

Serves 1

Order matters: Start with liquids on the bottom, then add any sweeteners or powdered ingredients to make sure that they are evenly distributed and absorbed. This will help with that chalky taste that smoothies sometimes have. Add your frozen items last.


½ cup light coconut milk, shaken well
1 tablespoon black chia seeds
2 teaspoons coconut ash
1 teaspoon agave syrup
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1½ cups frozen mixed berries


Fresh berries
Toasted coconut flakes
Toasted pepitas
Cocoa nibs



In a blender, combine the coconut milk, chia seeds, coconut ash, agave, avocado, and frozen berries and puree until thick and creamy. If the smoothie is too thin, add a few ice cubes. Pour into a chilled bowl and garnish with fresh berries, coconut, pepitas, and cocoa nibs as desired.

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