Posted by: Andi Angel | May 23, 2012

Vegan Pineapple Upside-down Smoothie


I don’t know about you, but as an aspiring vegan, I find my biggest obstacle is my tongue. Even though I’ve gradually been expanding the limits of my gustatory tolerance (or in plain English, what I’m willing to eat), I’m still finding that I revert back to eating what tastes best to me and is easy to grab.

Granted, with a newborn around, the abundance of culinary adventures has dropped off slightly (read: plummeted) in the past few months. Unfortunately, when Simple and Quick reigns supreme, Healthy often takes a dive. So, to find something that’s simple, quick, tasty AND healthy is quite the grand triumph. Here, a recipe my husband created – I give you:

(Ta-da!) the Vegan Pineapple Upside-down Smoothie

A word before we begin – don’t try to do this in a smoothie maker. The blades don’t spin fast enough to pulverize the nuts, and you’ll end up with a lumpy rattling watery Undrinkable. A proper blender is the only thing for it.

Into the Blender: (does that sound like a book title to you?)

1/2 Cup pistachios (unsalted nutmeats)

1 to 1 1/2 Cup pineapple chunks (fresh is best)

1/2 to 3/4 Cup coconut milk (preferably not from a can, as can linings tend to contain BPA)

1 Tbsp hemp hearts (shelled hempseed – see end of article for substitute suggestions)

3/4 to 1 1/2 Cup water (start low and add more for consistency as you blend)

Procedure: Blend it up, then live it up.

How can something so healthy taste so much like dessert? I’m guessing it’s the combo of natural fruit sugar and good fats from the pistachios and coconut. (For those who haven’t been updated about “good” saturated fats versus “bad”, coconut fat is Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) or Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs), which encourage the body to burn fat rather than store it.)

Fresh out of hemp hearts?

You might leave them out altogether. Or substitute flax seeds, sesame seeds, any other seed that appeals, maybe psyllium husks or soy powder? I haven’t tried any of these, so I’m not sure how they’ll affect the flavor, but experimenting is half the fun of food preparation!

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