Chocolate Coconut Chia “Pet” Smoothie

Full disclosure: The folks at Stonyfield sent me some coupons for their organic yogurt before Christmas. Unfortunately, my local store didn’t carry Stonyfield products, so the coupons expired. However, the Stonyfield representative graciously sent me some more and I picked up a few products to try at the upscale grocery store in town. Stonyfield did not pay me to write this post and the opinion expressed is my own. I simply like using their products occasionally. In addition, the chia seeds (Nature’s Answer) were part of my iHerb giveaway that I won over at Amy’s (Simply Sugar & Gluten Free). I am just sharing the info because I like both iHerb and the chia seeds, not because I was paid to state such.

This post is my submission for this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free! blog carnival, which is hosted by its wonderful originator, Naomi Devlin, at her blog, Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried. The theme is breakfast in bed. Who doesn’t fantasize about that? You can see Naomi’s submission here. This post is also linked to my favorite hangout spot on Tuesdays—Amy’s Slightly Indulgent roundup.

My good friend, Melissa (Gluten Free for Good), posted a recipe for a Cherry Cabbage Chia Recovery Smoothie recently. It sounded absolutely divine on taste alone, but it was clear it was also super nutritious. (Melissa is a Nutritional Therapist, with a degree in Exercise Science. She is terrific when it comes to telling you all the benefits of specific foods—in delightful layman’s terms, too.) While I was sure I would love Melissa’s recipe just as it was, I didn’t have those ingredients on hand, and I had other similar ingredients that I needed to use before they spoiled; e.g., pears. Very ripe pears make for naturally sweet smoothies. I also included cabbage because I’ve discovered I love green cabbage in smoothies. If you are balking at making this smoothie because of the inclusion of the cabbage, please don’t be hesitant. I’ve found cabbage to be a lot like spinach in smoothies; it doesn’t stand out strongly to me. Rather I find that cabbage just enhances the taste and texture, of course, the nutrition. But, if you’re still doubtful, Melissa recommends Napa cabbage for “newbies” as Napa cabbage is much milder, so you can go that route if you’re still hesitant.

The title of my smoothie recipe comes from the ingredients used and because I was including chia seeds. As Melissa informs, chia seeds offer high-quality protein. They are full of those wonderful Omegas, antioxidants, and fiber, too. (You can read more about the benefits of chia here.) Plus, they give a little texture and crunch to this smoothie. After just a few sips, I knew this recipe was going to become a favorite smoothie flavor; i.e., a pet one. The truth is I just had to get a version of “chia pet” in that name somehow. When I was first dating Mr. GFE, I was amused to learn that he and his family named all of their vehicles. Two of Mr. GFE’s earlier trucks had been called Clementine and Emily, and later after we married, he had a truck he called Chia Pet. It wasn’t green or animal like, or anything Chia-like actually. The commercials for Chia Pets just cracked him up and, of course, stuck in the head of everyone who saw them. When he would arrive home before exiting his truck, he would pat the dash and say, “Thanks, Chia Pet!” just like the commercials closed each time. Yes, admittedly, we can sometimes be silly and, perhaps a bit eccentric in our family. (Lifes is too serious, so we inject some fun.) We don’t name our vehicles any more. (Uh, well, correction … we only name our motorcycles now. LOL We have three and the names come from Black Beauty, which was Son’s absolute favorite story as a child. I bet you can figure them out.) By the way, my vehicles over the years were named The Tank, Goldsmobile, Green Goddess, and Silver Streak. (The last was an unglamorous, but beloved 4-WD Toyota station wagon, so don’t think I was a speed demon or anything.)

Melissa calls hers a “recovery” smoothie. The pollen has been getting to me a bit and while I do think my adaptated version will help me recover, I didn’t want to add another word to the recipe name. Similarly, I didn’t want to include cabbage in my smoothie’s name. For one thing, I don’t think it should get “full billing” as I really don’t taste it in the smoothie. And, that’s not to mention the fact that getting your family to drink smoothies with cabbage in them might be a challenge. Mr. GFE would certainly drink this with the current name, but there would be no way he’d drink it if he knew it contained cabbage. (He thinks cabbage was created to make cole slaw. Period.) But let’s get to the recipe.

Chocolate Coconut Chia ”Pet” Smoothie
(Please click here for a printable version of this recipe.)

1 cup water
½ cup coconut flakes
2 very ripe pears (peeled and chopped)
½ cup (equals one container for most brands) Greek or plain dairy yogurt, or goat’s yogurt (I used Stonyfield Chocolate Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt)
about 2 small handfuls of shredded green cabbage
1 tbsp chia seeds
½ tsp cinnamon (I used Penzeys Extra Fancy)

Add water to the blender (or Vita-mix or Blendtec) and then all the other ingredients. Blend on high about a minute until all ingredients are well blended and shredded cabbage is incorporated.

This recipe makes a little over 3 cups (two tall glass fulls or several small glass fulls, in the sizes shown).

Shirley’s Notes: All of Stonyfield products, EXCEPT for their YoBaby Plus Fruit & Cereal, are certified gluten free by GIG’s Gluten-Free Certification Organization.  Their products are organic and delicious. (I’m never been a fan of yogurt by itself, but I love using it in smoothies, baking, and sauces, like the avocado dressing I made for fried calamari.) Read labels to ensure gluten-free status of any other yogurt used. For coconut flakes, I used sweetened coconut because that’s what I had on hand. You may wish to add a tiny amount of sweetener like honey, to taste, if you use a unsweetened coconut flakes and/or unsweetened yogurt. If you use plain yogurt, but still want the chocolate flavoring, add 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons of cocoa. Note that having all of the ingredients already chilled will produce a tastier smoothie. Alternatively, you could add a couple of ice cubes and slightly less water. I haven’t made a bad smoothie yet, so be adventurous if you don’t have quite the same ingredients. If one sample taste is unpleasing, add a bit of something else until you like your concoction. Final note … of course, my all-time favorite smoothies for getting in the most nutrition—while sacrificing nothing in taste—are Green Smoothies. I will forever be grateful to Tom and Ali of The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen (and their Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen Cookbook) for their awesome recipe.

Adapted from Melissa at Gluten Free for Good

Drink up and be sure to check out the complete Go Ahead Honey! breakfast in bed roundup at Naomi’s site at the end of this month!

Not just gf, but gfe!

Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.


15 Responses to “Chocolate Coconut Chia “Pet” Smoothie”

  1. Iris on April 17th, 2010 10:15 pm

    I love Stoneyfield Farms yogurt. I’m intrigued by the addition of cabbage. I never would have thought to put that in a smoothie, but it’s pretty mild, so it makes sense. Never had chia seeds though. Have been put off by the price tag, but I know I’ll break down and buy them eventually. I’ve been hearing so much about them lately!

    • Shirley on April 17th, 2010 11:56 pm

      Hey Iris–Have you tried the chocolate flavor I mentioned? It was perfect for this smoothie … just a light undertone of chocolate. Cabbage is terrific in smoothies. I started using it in green smoothies and was surprised that I enjoyed them so much. It works great in this one, too. Just added fiber and nutrition mostly.

      I only recently tried the chia seeds. The other way I’ve used them is like sesame seeds on homemade buns. At iHerb a 1-lb jar, which is pretty large, costs $13. That does seem excessive, but this jar will last me for many months I’m sure. I’m looking forward to experimenting more with them. :-)


  2. Aubree Cherie on April 18th, 2010 12:20 pm

    This looks lovely! I JUST bought some chia seeds but had no idea what to start doing with them – this would be an excellent start! …would have to use a substitute for the yogurt, but I’m sure I could figure something out :) I also love the idea of cabbage. I usually use spinach and would love to try cabbage instead!

    ~Aubree Cherie

    • Shirley on April 18th, 2010 12:34 pm

      Hi Aubree–Thanks so much! There are some amazing recipe using chia seeds on the blogosphere on many of the gf blogs that we both read. I know Kelly at The Spunky Coconut has some, as well as Elana at Elana’s Pantry. As far as the yogurt, I just read about this rice-based yogurt over at Alisa’s site, Go Dairy Free! But another option that you can make right away is a non-dairy “buttermilk.” Buttermilk is often suggested as a substitute for yogurt. You can make a dairy-free version by using any non-dairy milk and adding 1 tbsp lemon or vinegar and letting it sit for a short while before adding it to your recipe. Of course, the smoothie mixture won’t be quite as thick with “buttermilk,” so adjust other ingredients accordingly for consistency. Hope that helps!


      • Aubree Cherie on April 18th, 2010 3:20 pm

        Thanks Shirley! I’ll definitely have to check the other recipes out. I also like the non-dairy buttermilk idea – who knew! :)

        ~Aubree Cherie

  3. Naomi on April 19th, 2010 11:24 am

    I can’t believe you got this so smooth with all those lumpy ingredients! I love the idea of coconut and pears.

    x x x

    • Shirley on April 19th, 2010 9:49 pm

      Hi Naomi–LOL … not lumpy for long! :-) This was a great combination. Re: pears, san you believe that for most of my life I didn’t eat pears? Those canned ones will ruin a girl almost forever. As far as the coconut, I love it in just about everything. ;-)

      Loved your smoothie, too! Now if we could just get someone to serve these to us in bed .. wouldn’t that be fun?



  4. Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free on April 19th, 2010 11:59 am

    I am a big fan of Stonyfield yogurt because it is fortified with Vitamin D. A commenter on my blog recently told me to start using Chai seeds…haven’t done so yet but maybe I will.

    Love this smoothie – especially with the pear.

    • Shirley on April 19th, 2010 9:52 pm

      Hi Amy–Thanks, Amy! Stonyfield yogurt is good for so many reasons. And, chia seeds are just a nutritional powerhouse it seems. I’m looking forward to experimenting with them more. :-)


  5. Alta on April 19th, 2010 4:54 pm

    I love chia seeds and smoothies! I made a version of Melissas (subbing spinach for the cabbage) soon after she posted it – a few cherries will work wonders for flavoring a smoothie. Will have to try yours too. Yum.

    • Shirley on April 19th, 2010 10:14 pm

      Hi Alta–Thanks! I know I would love Melissa’s version, too. you’re right … the cherry flavor would make the smoothie so delicious. I love spinach in smoothies, too. I think I’m really going to like hers when I give it a try. :-)


  6. Laurie @ DomesticProductions on April 20th, 2010 9:40 am

    Ditto to everything thing above! :) I’m going to try it this week, so healthy and sweet !!

    • Shirley on April 20th, 2010 10:37 pm

      Hi Laurie–Welcome to gfe! :-) This was really good … not super sweet, but just enough sweet and mildly flavored and just plain good. ;-) Hope you enjoy it!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.


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