Pineapple Raspberry Smoothie with Chia Seeds and Mustard Greens

I call this the Sweet and Heat Chia Smoothie! It’s a delicious twist on a traditional pineapple raspberry smoothie.

“Spicy” is not necessarily a word that comes to mind when I think about smoothies. Smoothies are usually sweet, maybe with a little sour thrown into the mix if you want to get a little wild with it. But then again, most smoothies aren’t green, nor do they have such an amazing nutritional profile; so it should be expected that we would break the mold.

I recently spent a few days immersed in research and development of dozens of green smoothies, all to be included in an upcoming smoothie recipe book. My kitchen was bursting at the seams it was so full of fresh greens and fruit!  I ate nothing but green smoothies for those couple of days, and let me tell you, I haven’t felt cleaner and energized in my life. 

Along with so many vitamins and minerals that I was getting direct from the source, I was also getting a plentiful amount of good fats, protein, and fiber from the chia gel I added to each smoothie.  Each smoothie was a complete meal; I’ve never been more full off of fruits and veggies!

But, I digress.  To continue, I drank a lot of smoothies, all crammed into a couple of days, that much of it is just a blur in my memory. So how do I choose a favorite to share with you? Well, that’s easy: I chose the one that I remembered clearly because of how unusual and interesting it was. Hence, the spicy smoothie was born! This is a sweet & spicey tropical smoothie.

Now, if you’re timid about trying something spicy, don’t worry! This definitely has a kick to it, but it’s also sweet; I chose fruits with a high sugar content to balance out the spiciness of the greens. 

So let’s be daring! You’ll be glad you did. 

You’ll notice I don’t give you exact measurements on this recipe. That’s because smoothies aren’t an exact science, so feel free to add more fruit or scale back on the greens if it’s too intense for you. Making smoothies should be fun, so let your creative juices flow!

Ingredients

To make around 24 ounces of this smoothie, you will need:

1 handful mustard greens

half of a fresh pineapple

1 handful of raspberries

1/2 cup of water

1 cup chia gel

Directions

Put all ingredients in your Vita-Mix blender and let ‘er rip!  Enjoy immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Chia Cashew Vegan Milkshake Recipe (Sugar-Free, Vegan, Gluten-Free)

This is one of my favorite vegan milkshake recipes. Yes, it is possible to make a milkshake vegan and taste delicious (like a real milkshake)!

I must admit, I have a love/hate relationship with milkshakes. 

I love how cold and creamy and smooth they are, but I will inevitably get a stomach ache after a few sips because of the lactose. 

So I have been on the hunt for a good vegan milkshake recipe, and I think I’ve found a really good one. It seems like a lot of vegan milkshakes require bananas, and don’t get me wrong, I love bananas, but do I always want a banana-flavored milkshake? No.  And you probably don’t either.

This vegan milkshake has a slight vanilla taste and is sweetened with dates, so there are no refined sugars, but it’s just as creamy and wonderful as the real thing. This is basically a guilt-free dessert since there’s chia in it and chia seeds have many benefits. Best of all, you can’t even taste the chia!

You’ll be able to fool your kids into drinking this with no problem!

Another thing I love about this vegan recipe is it’s almost infinitely adaptable.  If you’re not into vanilla milkshakes, add some cacao powder to make it chocolate, or some fresh strawberries or other fruits.  You could also freeze it in an ice cube tray, then blend it with a tiny bit of almond milk to make ice cream.

So the next time you get a craving for a milkshake, but don’t want the guilt or stomach pain that goes along with indulging the craving, go to this recipe for a healthy, animal-safe way to satisfy that sweet tooth!

How to make a vegan milkshake?

To make a chia cashew vegan milkshake, you will need:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 1/4 cups ice-cold water
  • 3 soft, medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract*
  • A blender

First, you will need to soak the cashews. Put them in a bowl and cover with water. Let sit for an hour in the refrigerator and then drain.

How to remove the pit from medjool dates

Remove pits from medjool dates

I’m pretty new to working with dates, and if you are too, you might want to keep reading to get some info on them. If you are a medjool date pro, you can move onto the next step. 

There are many types of dates, but you’ll want to specifically get medjool.  These are available in most health food stores.  I have never been able to find them pitted (although apparently they exist in this form, so if you can find pitted dates, go for those). 

I buy them with the pits still in them, but the pits are fairly easy to get out.  Just slice the date in half and you will see a tiny wood-like oblong pit.  You can pull it out with your hands. Viola, pitted dates!

Throw the cashews, chia, water, and dates into a blender and blend until smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract, then serve.

I like to make my own vanilla extract because it has a much better flavor than any store-bought vanilla. You’ll find a brief tutorial on how to make your own vanilla extract below. Using your own vanilla will add a depth of flavor to everything from baked goods to teas/coffee and milkshakes.

How to make homemade vanilla extract

Slice two vanilla beans lengthwise and place in a mason jar. 

Cover the beans with vodka and seal the jars. Keep in a dark place and shake every day for two weeks. 

After two weeks, it’s ready for use, but will continue to develop flavor the longer you keep it in there. 

Just shake every once in a while (like, whenever you think about it).  It will be good for up to a year. When you run out, just pour more vodka over the same beans and repeat the process.