Virgin Pina Coladas Become Luscious Pina “Greena” Coladas—Believe!

Some of you haven’t yet tried green smoothies. Other readers might have tried them and were not impressed. In the least. Still others, like I, took a giant leap of faith some time ago, made a green smoothie, and have not turned back. But, in today’s post, which is part of Nicola’s (GFree Mom) D-Tox January event, I’m going to appeal to the first two groups.

Why should you even be remotely interested in green smoothies? Well, as Nicola—a beautiful and vivacious breast cancer survivor—shared in her kickoff post, eating 27 fruits and vegetables each week can keep cancer away. Now if at the mention of all those fruits and veggies, your mouth dropped open, your eyes rolled, and your head snapped back, please don’t click away. (Oh, wait … those are my typical disbelieving behaviors, but I digress.) It’s true that 27 fruits and vegetables may seem like an awful lot, especially if you are one who feels downright sanctimonious when you get in an apple a day. But, it can be done and much like other healthy lifestyle changes, it gets easier and easier once one takes one action and then another.

Nicola’s D-Tox January event rounds up a variety of the best bloggers with their favorite detox recipes … recipes for juice, smoothies, and soup. These are the recipes where one can get in the most fruit and veggies. For example, I made my tortilla soup the other night. Now this soup has a number of fruits and vegetables in its most basic form. But this time I used a friend’s homemade salsa. Her salsa is much sought after and raved over—by me and others—but in the soup, it was quite potent. So in addition to the tomatoes, onions, and green chilies in her salsa, I ended up adding vegetable broth (leftover from numerous vegetables in a freezer container), corn, peas, lima beans, black beans, sweet potatoes, garlic, and some coconut milk to both tone down the spice and to make a soup full of flavors and textures. While this soup didn’t qualify as a detox soup, my version was a good example of how one can get in a lot of veggies in soup. Similarly, making juices and smoothies can allow one to get in lots of fruits and veggies at once … very pleasantly so, I might add, with little effort other than some chopping and juicing or blending. Usually one can get in more fruits and veggies in juice and smoothies because what you make will be consumed in one or two servings. I don’t have a nutritional background, so I can’t tell you about all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that you’ll be getting in your detox concoctions, but I can emphatically tell you that eating and drinking them makes you feel sensational—just like everyone says. I crave them and feel decidedly unergetic and blah when I don’t get to drink one each day.

So let’s start with a drink that most people like, a nice refreshing pina colada, using this gfe Luscious Pina Colada recipe as our starting point. Since this is intended to be a detox drink, we’ll make ours virgin, of course. And with the alcohol left out and a banana included, chances are you won’t need to add any sweetener. But, if you’d like, you can add a little stevia, agave, or honey, to taste.

Luscious Pina “Greena” Colada Smoothie
(Click here for a printable version of this recipe.)

1 can full-fat coconut milk

2 cups pineapple juice (or crushed pineapple or pineapple chunks)

1 banana (sliced and then frozen is ideal, but not necessary)

1/2 cup shredded coconut/coconut flakes

several ice cubes

handful of baby spinach leaves (about 1/2 cup, packed)

Blend first five ingredients together until smooth. Pour yourself a glass. Take a sip.

Does it taste exactly like a luscious pina colada should? Terrific!

Now, here’s where the faith comes into play … add your last ingredient—a handful of baby spinach leaves—to your blender/Vitamix/Blendtec container. Blend a bit more on high until spinach is incorporated.

What was once your luscious pina colada is now a pale green smoothie—Greena Colada. Go ahead … take a sip of your new beverage now. It still tastes great, doesn’t it? You may think it tastes even better. I know I do. Greena coladas taste brighter and more vibrant than pina coladas and, of course, they are healthier. So pat yourself on the back! You’ve just successfully made your first green smoothie,and most importantly, one that you enjoyed drinking.

You can drink the whole batch at once by sharing with family members or you can drink half in the morning and save half for your mid-afternoon snack time (that time where you often think you will chew off the handle to the refrigerator if you don’t find something to consume immediately).

After a few times making this Pina Greena Colada, if you’re ready and perhaps just a tad brave, you can switch it up and add in a few more spinach leaves, cut back on any sweetener you added, and/or add in a little something else to make your smoothie more nutrient-dense—maybe a little almond flour, chia seeds, or hemp seeds. The following week, sub in kale for the spinach or replace part of the spinach with kale, romaine, or cabbage. Take baby steps. And, if you stick with your original Greena Colada smoothie, that’s okay, too, as Greena Coladas supply several fruit and vegetable servings—a great and tasty start to your 27 fruits and veggies for the week! Incidentally, I believe Wendy and her family (Celiacs in the House) employed soup, smoothies, and juice to help them get in this very impressive number of fruit and vegetables a few months ago.

Check in with Maggie (She Let Them Eat Cake) tomorrow for her D-Tox January contribution. (Update: Maggie starts out by telling you what green smoothies are not, and she’s so “right on”! See her recipe here.) Previous recipes shared for this event are as follows (info taken from Nicola’s blog; links go specifically to D-Tox January posts):

Saturday, January 1st,  our host, Nicola @ GFree Mom, with a berry/vanilla smoothie
Sunday, January 2nd,    Wendy @ Celiacs in the House has posted a satisfying kale cranberry smoothie
Monday, January 3rd,    Ali @ The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen has linked her spring green smoothie (Shirley here: a slight variation of this recipe—the one in Ali and Tom’s cookbook—is what got me hooked on green smoothies!)
Tuesday, January 4th,    Diane @ The W.H.O.L.E. Gang has featured a great looking cherry smoothie with a twist
Wednesday, January 5th,    Deanna @ The Mommy Bowl lets us in on how to make a hot cider smoothie
Thursday, January 6th,    Heidi @ Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom enlightens us on how smoothies = self-love and shares 2 great recipes
Friday, January 7th,    Cheryl Harris @ Gluten Free Goodness focuses on fighting and preventing cancer through nutrition with some clear and easy-to- follow steps and some great links
Saturday, January 8th,    Elizabeth @ Saffron Lane has posted a lovely cleansing kiwi + jasmine green tea smoothie
Sunday, January 9th,    Christian @ Christian Bates shares his simple raw chocolate hazel nut mylk smoothie
Monday, January 10th,    Hallie @ Daily Bites posts her delicious green “creamsicle” smoothie
Tuesday, January 11th,    Kim @ Cook It Allergy Free shared her recipe and tips for making kid- (and husband-) friendly smoothies

You can see the complete listing to know what’s coming up here at Nicola’s blog.

Here are a few other detox recipes and posts from some of my favorite bloggers:

Karina’s (Gluten-Free Goddess) with Detox Green Soup Recipe with Broccoli, Spinach, and Ginger

Kristina’s (spabettie) with Juiced Salad (Read Kimi Harris’ post on the benefits of juicing here at The Nourishing Gourmet.)

Stephanie (Gluten Free By Nature),  shared this post last year on the overall topic of detoxification. The common sense wisdom she shared then still is pertinent today.

Finally, Melissa (Gluten Free for Good) does have the nutritional background plus a degree in exercise science and she advises us daily on limiting the  bad stuff that goes into our bodies, but also clearing it out periodically with healthy detox protocols. She’ll be the first to tell you that she’s not perfect either, so periodic detox is a must. Melissa shared a three-part detox series quite some time ago, but the topic and her guidance are right for today or any time as a body “recalibration.” Check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Now grab your blender and take this green smoothie challenge! Don’t forget to visit Diane’s new Thursday carnvial, Real Food Weekly. She explains the basics on this great new event in her kick-off post here.

Update:  Even though I’d read my dear friends’, Elana’s (Elana’s Pantry) and Karen’s (Cook4Seasons), greena colada posts, here and here, respectively, and commented on them last year, I didn’t remember that when doing this write-up. Aaaargh. My sincere apologies to two of my very favorite people! Oh, how the subconscious mind works (or doesn’t) … sometimes it helps one out and other times it lets one down. All that to say that, clearly, I am not the only one who thinks that tranforming a luscious colada into a green smoothie is a good idea! Elana even had other inspiration, Megan Telpner (Making Love in the Kitchen). While all of our recipes vary quite a bit, the concepts are the same, so if mine is not your cup of smoothie, do check theirs out!

This post is linked to Gluten-Free WednesdaysReal Food Weekly, Pennywise Platter Thursday, and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

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.


64 Responses to “Virgin Pina Coladas Become Luscious Pina “Greena” Coladas—Believe!”

  1. glutenfreeforgood on January 12th, 2011 8:23 am


    Thanks so much for the sharing my detox posts with your readers. I wish I had been more on top of what’s going on in the blogging world as this event of Nicola’s sounds right up my alley (or kitchen in this case). That blog post of mine that you mentioned was actually from 2 years ago. =) An old one, but this (a periodic, mild detox) is something I truly believe in as far as good health goes. We all stray from healthy eating habits and doing a mild detoxing cleanse when you feel you’ve fallen off the healthy eating wagon is such a good way to get back on track. I could blah, blah, blah about this. It’s such a good topic and one dear to my heart (liver is more like it).

    One thing I’ve found important in the “smoothie craze” is that just because it’s healthy, doesn’t mean it’s low calorie. Some of these very healthy fats, nuts, seeds, etc. come with a whopping amount of calories, which can be surprising.

    Your photo had a ripe banana, which is awesome. Those brown spots are good. The banana is more alkalizing when it’s ripe, ripe.

    I laughed out loud at your “chew off the refrigerator door handle.” I think we’ve all been there at one time or another. Being prepared is SO important in managing what you eat. Good point!

    Very creative post, Shirley! Your greena colada sounds so good I think you should serve it in a fancy cocktail glass!

    P.S. Sorry for the novella.

    • Shirley on January 12th, 2011 9:08 am

      Hey Melissa–Gosh, I was sure that series was last year. Boy, how time flies! We’ve “been together” a while now. ;-) I updated the post so it wouldn’t contain inaccurate information. (Please check out my rewording and let me know if you have any concerns.) Yes, you would have been a great participant in Nicola’s event. Maybe she’ll make it an annual event. I know we could all use the detox focus at least that often, as you just reiterated.

      Thanks for the reminder on the calories and also noting the benefits of the ripe banana! This smoothie is definitely higher calorie, but it’s a great beginner recipe. One of the most surprising things to me is that the more I make green smoothies, the healthier they get. The old adage “less is more” truly comes into play as I want less of the fattening ingredients that can hide the true green smoothie ingredients. It’s really been a delightful and rewarding transition!

      I know that many folks have that mid-afternoon, after work hunger attack. ;-) Having that smoothie there ready to drink is just fabulous!

      Too funny on the cocktail glass … I had a tall champagne glass at the ready, but decided to go with the two stockier glasses. :-)

      Back at you with the novella! xoxo,

  2. Wendy @ Celiacs in the House on January 12th, 2011 9:24 am

    Great introduction to green smoothies, Shirley. I really have come a long way from turning up my nose at them to the very tart and not very sweet concoctions I drink everyday like my kale smoothies. I wouldn’t have believed it a year ago, but my body just craves them now. Thanks for linking to my veggie list post. The smoothies and soups help so much to boost that veggie consumption.

    • Shirley on January 13th, 2011 9:18 am

      Hey Wendy–I think all of us end up saying the same thing about green smoothies after we introduce them and stick with them. It continues to amaze me how much I love them and how my body craves them, too. No recipe is really ever needed any more and I truly haven’t made a bad one yet. :-) And, I love the kale and/or cabbage in smoothies! That was just earth-shattering news to me.

      I am still blown away by that list of veggies in your post a while ago! I really do think a periodic challenge/roundup where we all tracked our veggies for the week would be so helpful. In our spare time, right? ;-) It might actually be an easy post with follow-up though … and using a linky tool. ;-)

      Thanks for sharing your success with us all, Wendy, and, of course, being one of the first in the D-Tox January line-up!

  3. The Teenie Foodie on January 12th, 2011 11:26 am

    I’m not that keen on smoothies with just fruit, but prefer green smoothies as I find them less sugary/sweet and green is my favorite colour! Thanks for the intro, green smoothies are the best.
    Wow this looks delicious… Virgin Pina Coladas were my favourite drink when I was younger, so I can’t wait to try this one with an added green kick!
    Great post again

    Teenie Foodie

    • Shirley on January 13th, 2011 9:20 am

      Hi Teenie–Hey, you’re already a green girl when it comes to smoothies–yippee! :-) Bet you’ll make this Pina Greena Colada even greener right away! ;-)

      Thanks, dear. Hugs,

  4. Kim - Cook It Allergy Free on January 12th, 2011 11:32 am

    A Green Colada! Now that is something that I would not have to trick Kurt into! LOL! I loved this post. And I can only imagine how delicious his one will be! I am even thinking you would not feel so bad about the alcohol that you could add if there was spinach or kale in there!! Awesome post! As usual, my friend.

    • Shirley on January 13th, 2011 2:21 pm

      Hey Kim–I think you all would greatly enjoy this one! :-) But now I’d be afraid of including the rum because your little smoothie stealer might continue with his tricks. ;-) I admit I did think of that trade-off though. LOL

      Thanks for all the lovely words! See you next week—woohoo! xoxo,

  5. Betty on January 12th, 2011 1:52 pm

    Sounds delicious. I just have one question: is that 1/2 cup of coconut flakes? Will be making this as soon as I get to the store for the spinach.

    • Shirley on January 13th, 2011 2:23 pm

      Hi Betty–Welcome to gfe! I’m so glad you alerted me to my omission. I’ve been known to leave those measurements out from time to time … darn it. :-( But, the recipe’s fixed now, thanks to you! :-) Can’t wait to hear if you like your first green smoothie!


  6. Maggie on January 12th, 2011 2:09 pm

    And the winner is…SHIRLEY! Such a great post, I loved every word! Greena Colada to start the day? An afternoon snack? Yes please! Thanks so much for directing your readers to me tomorrow, and for sharing everyone else’s post. You rock!

    • Shirley on January 13th, 2011 2:26 pm

      Hi, my dear Maggie–LOL You are a sweetheart! :-) You can’t go wrong with these any time of day. ;-) I loved your post, too, especially the part about what we thought green smoothies would be like before we tasted them. One has to wonder how many foods and recipes people avoid because of preconceived notions. We could be missing out on more goodness! I promise to share anything I find if you do the same. ;-)


  7. Karen@Cook4Seasons on January 12th, 2011 2:30 pm

    This is one of my favorite drinks…anytime of the year…and it’s even better that it’s so good for you. I was first inspired by a Greena Colada via Elana, then I did a zucchini version last summer at the farmers’ market.
    So many variations – thanks for another good one, Shirley!

    • Shirley on January 13th, 2011 2:29 pm

      Hi Karen–I have to offer another sincere mea culpa. If you hadn’t dropped by and mentioned how I had first heard about Greena Coladas, I don’t know that I would have ever remembered. Sigh. My brain needs to work on better categorizing skills … “strictly mine” … “adapted from others” … “inspired by others,” etc. If my frozen shredded zucchini doesn’t make it into some chocolate zucchini bread soon, I think it needs to be added to your version of this smoothie. ;-)

      Big hugs to one of my favorite blogger buddies!

  8. Alta on January 12th, 2011 2:31 pm

    Yay for smoothies! This sounds yummy and tropical.

    • Shirley on January 13th, 2011 2:30 pm

      Hi Alta–Yes, smoothies rock … we need to keep spreading the word! I think you’d love this one. ;-)


  9. Diane-thewholegang on January 12th, 2011 3:30 pm

    What a great idea. I’m thinking with this drink I need a lounge chair, a little umbrella in my drink and maybe the pool boy to hand it to me.

    • Shirley on January 13th, 2011 2:32 pm

      Diane–Now you have my thoughts straying from deliciousness and nutrition to some exotic paradise with cabana boys … oh my. ;-) But, great point … might get more folks to try this smoothie! :-)


  10. Laurie on January 12th, 2011 3:37 pm

    Hey, I just found your web site and I really like it! My teenage daughter was diagnosed six months ago and she has realized on her own that she doesn’t need packaged gf stuff to enjoy her diet. Never a fruit and veggie fan, she has even started embracing smoothies thanks to the Vitamix my husband got me for Chanukah. I’m going to bookmark your page and use many of the recipes in the weeks ahead. Thanks!

    • Shirley on January 13th, 2011 2:35 pm

      Hi Laurie–Welcome to gfe! I LOVED reading your comment and hearing about your daughter’s transition to gluten free and non-packaged stuff … that is so awesome! :-) Bravo for getting the Vitamix and helping her enjoying smoothies—love that.

      Last, thanks for the kind words on gfe. I hope you’ll enjoy all the recipes you make. Shoot me an email if you need any help or have questions!


  11. nicola @ gfreemom on January 12th, 2011 3:44 pm

    Thanks for such an amazing summary of D-tox January Shirley and some additional great links too. Am giggling about Kim’s comment – a splash or two of something else in those smoothies sounds like fun! I’m with Diane on the lounge chair too. The smoothies look fabulous and delicious. I’m not doing very well at sharing my smoothies at the moment and am drinking whole batches in one go. The blender is on overdrive as a result as “mama, can I please have a smoothie” has become the new thing to nag me about – I like those nags. xo

    • Shirley on January 13th, 2011 2:39 pm

      Hey Nicola–We all need to get together and have a green smoothie party … wouldn’t that be so much fun? ;-) Chuckling on not sharing the smoothies … I totally get that. One can drink whole batches of them and know how many fruits and veggies that were easily consumed. Be cautious though … some folks find that the added fiber needs to be introduced more slowly. Sometimes if I drink too much in the early am, I wish I hadn’t. ;-) Nagging for a green smoothie? Oh, yeah, that’s the best kind of nagging! Finally, many, many, many thanks for those lovely words in your post referencing mine. You are way too sweet … I’m so lucky to be able to call you a friend. :-)


  12. Melanie on January 12th, 2011 4:16 pm

    Hi Shirley!

    It’s been a while, but I wanted to say hi and that this recipe is going to be made immediately! Wow! It looks wonderful!

    Happy New Year!

    • Shirley on January 13th, 2011 2:40 pm

      Hi Melanie–Happy New Year to you, too! So great to see you, dear. :-)

      Hope you and your family love your new green smoothie! Would love any feedback. ;-)


  13. KRISTEN'S RAW on January 12th, 2011 5:12 pm

    Mmmm Yum! Love green smoothies. Today mine was homemade raw organic almond milk with an orange, orange zest, frozen strawberries and rainbow chard (with a dash a stevia).


    • Shirley on January 13th, 2011 2:44 pm

      Hi Kristen–So great to see you here again! I love how you show up when the talk turns to green smoothies with raw ingredients. ;-) Now that smoothie that you just made sounds out-of-this-world good! I have not had rainbow chard yet, but now I’ll be looking for some and adding it to my next smoothie … yum on all of it! BTW, your name, site, etc., often come up at my support group meetings. My members love your recipes and guidance!


  14. Linda on January 12th, 2011 5:35 pm

    I’m pretty much middle of the road when it comes to green smoothies. I don’t hate them, but I don’t love them either. This green smoothie sounds delicious, though, and I really wish I had some baby spinach in my frig right now.

    • Shirley on January 13th, 2011 2:47 pm

      Linda–I sincerely believe this recipe could be the beginning of your “conversion” to smoothie addict. ;-) Baby spinach is one green that I try to keep stocked. It’s also one of the few organic veggies that my basic grocery store carries.

      Keeping my fingers crossed that you will love this recipe!


  15. Zoe on January 12th, 2011 6:09 pm

    Gosh, if I had all the ingredients for this I think I’d make it right now! Probably just for me since I like to treat myself on occasion. ;) This looks great, Shirley!

    • Shirley on January 13th, 2011 2:49 pm

      Haha, Zoe, yes, this is one that you might just want to keep to yourself … at least the first time you make it. Then you can share with your brother and other family members after you’ve had the full experience. ;-)

      Thanks, dear! xo,

  16. Tia on January 12th, 2011 8:08 pm

    Another fabulous post as always. I love the idea of this one. I have always loved pina coladas, even when I was a kid. My mom would make a virgin one for me before she added the alcohol. I also like the idea of a little splash of something, but I guess it isn’t very detoxing, then. How does that work? Does the spinach cancel the alcohol? If I add enough greens, does it negate the calories? That would be nice. ;)

    Took me all day to read this while chasing Max around, but it was worth it. You did a wonderful round up job, so I think I will just link to you in my post so I don’t have to do any of the work. ;)

    Hugs! Talk to you soon in one way or another.

    Tia :P

    • Shirley on January 13th, 2011 2:53 pm

      Hey Tia–I know … darn it, alcohol is not known for being on the detoxification end of the spectrum. Although now that I think of it, that might be the next big marketing ploy … alcohol that has a neutralizing effect so one doesn’t have to detoxify. LOL, but there’s a gimmick behind so much these days. The calorie negation effect by adding the spinach would be nice, too!

      Oh, you’re a sweethear to persevere while entertaining your little one … not sure what that says about my long posts though!

      Yep, I do want to chat with you about something … will send email later. xoxo,

  17. Carol, Simply...Gluten-free on January 13th, 2011 9:36 am

    As always you are such a great resource – I love that I can hop over to your blog and get caught up on what’s happening in the blog world. I bet I could even get my hubby to try this green smoothie :)

    • Shirley on January 13th, 2011 2:54 pm

      Hi Carol–Thank you for the “warm fuzzies,” my friend! You always know how to make a girl feel good. :-) Happy to help with keeping you in the know, and would love to know if you try this on your hubby. ;-)


  18. Diane-thewholegang on January 13th, 2011 11:33 am

    Thank you for sharing this on Real Food Weekly and for adding the badge to your post and linking back. We do love smoothies in this house!

    • Shirley on January 13th, 2011 2:56 pm

      Hey Diane–Wanted to reply separately to this comment … the Real Food Weekly is going to rock and be such a valuable resource for all! Thank you so much for hosting! You guys are smoothie veterans now … you probably don’t need this recipe, but on those days you want that pina colada (full strength), this one might do the trick instead. ;-)


  19. Melanie on January 13th, 2011 8:11 pm

    oooh I love pina coladas! I used to make them for the holidays. I can’t wait to try your recipe.

    btw, I made your coconut whipped cream, it turned out fabulous! thank you!!

    • Shirley on January 14th, 2011 12:22 am

      Melanie–Thanks so much for reporting back on the coconut whipped cream! Yippee on your success … it’s just so easy and good, isn’t it? :-)

      It’s funny that you mention pina coladas in association with the holidays. We used to go to visit hubby’s two sets of aunts and uncles on Christmas morning. One uncle provided the usual egg nog … spiked or virgin/plain. However, the other uncle offered beer and his wife, a beloved aunt, offered pina coladas. None of those (except maybe plain egg nog) are what one would expect to drink first thing in the morning, but the pina coladas were a nice treat. ;-) In this smoothie form, I think they are even better. Hope you’ll think so, too!


  20. Natalie on January 13th, 2011 8:24 pm

    I love pina coladas too and this looks sooo yummy!!!

    • Shirley on January 14th, 2011 12:25 am

      Hi Natalie–So good to see you again! :-) I bet you’ll like this smoothie if you like pina coladas!


  21. Saundra on January 14th, 2011 2:00 am

    Thanks for the updates I found in my mailbox today on the smoothies and detox for January. I need to get back on the smoothie “wagon”. It seems I have been so sporadic lately. Maybe the January blahs!
    On another note, since I am fairly knew to the gluten free diet, I am trying to find some reasoning for using the various flours that I find on the various food blogs and books. Some like you, have a gluten-free flour mixture while others use almond flour or coconut flours, etc. Is their a basis for deciding which to use? Or do certain recipes need a certain type of four?
    I have been eating “Alkaline” for the past several years. Grains are an acceptable ingredient there. But, I’m not getting totally well and have decided to limit the gluten as well. So even though I’ve been health conscious and learned alot about the acid-alkaline difference, the gluten situation is fairly knew to me. Thanks for all your concern and sharing with everyone. I have appreciated reading your blog the past couple of months!

    • Shirley on January 16th, 2011 9:53 pm

      Hi Saundra–Looks like this is your first time commenting … welcome to gfe!:-) I get off track on smoothies and other healthy eating from time to time, too. For me, what works best is making sure to have the ingredients ready to go in the refrigerator or making the smoothies the night before. That smoothie line-up is certainly great for inspiration and a “to make” list, isn’t it? :-)

      There are lots of reasons to use a variety of grains and flours. First, the grains … there are ones that offer much more nutrition and/or others that work better for certain kinds of recipes. I admit I’m not an expert in this area for a number of reasons. I like to keep things simple. (Honestly, my eyes tend to roll back in my head and my love for baking goes out the window when I have to store umpteen flours in my pantry and know what to do with them all.) There are lots of gluten-free grains I don’t do well with. (Ever since the pilot study came out showing that many of them contain fairly high levels of gluten due to cross contamination, I’m wondering if my super gluten-sensitive body hasn’t been telling me that all along.) The other flours tend to be much mroe expensive than the Asian white rice flour/cornstarch mix that I use sparingly. But, many of the other grains and flours made from them are also lower glycemic, which is healthier. As far as grain-free flours, I’m a big fan even though these generally are much more costly. They are lower glycemic, tend to contain more protein, and while sometimes more challenging for baking, are worth it to me. Still, I use them sparingly. A 5-lb bag of almond flour lasts about 4 to 6 months in my house. I’ve just started used coconut flour. If you’d really like to learn more about all types of grains and their flours, plus grain-free flours, I recommend visiting a few other blogs. Amy (Simply Sugar & Gluten Free) has a series on flours and what to use for different types of recipes. Elana (Elana’s Pantry) is the queen of almond flour. Kelly (The Spunky Coconut) makes a lot of recipes using coconut flour. Those are the first resources that come to mind, but I know there are more.

      As far as not healing completely, I truly recommend getting tested to determine if you have gluten issues (from sensitivity to celiac). The reason is that limiting gluten will not do much good for you if you have ANY gluten issues. As one friend rightly says, “a little bit of gluten is like a little bit of rat poison.” Even what’s considered a small amount of gluten can keep the damage going. Currently the recommended amount for what is considered safe is less than 20 parts per million. Think a few drops of water in a barrel and you get the picture. I am not trying to tell you what to do, but I hope you see what I am saying and will get tested to help you determine your best path.

      Finally, thanks ever so much for the kind words on gfe! All the best,

      • Saundra on January 19th, 2011 2:11 am

        Shirley; Thanks for the reply which you so generously shared much information. Yes, I’m a new commenter — I think that was only the 2nd one!
        I do subscribe to the other blogs you mentioned. I guess that is why I have the confusion. Each uses a different approach for a grain or grain-substitute. And yes, the almond flour is costly! I’ve purchased some small bags at my health food store a couple of of times. EEeekkkk! But I loved the recipes I made with them.
        Then I have bags of rice flour, sweet brown rice flour, oat flour, etc. in my pantry. It does get overwhelming — that was the reason for my question I guess. So it appears that I should use what is listed in a recipe if I really want to make it. Also, the almond flour is lower glycemic — which is important to me as well.
        I’m learning — and of course I appreciate you and other bloggers who share your knowledge so willingly.

        • Shirley on January 20th, 2011 12:00 pm

          Hey again, Saundra–I agree that buying almond flour in small bags is not economical at all, plus the almond flour that comes from Honeyville or Digestive Wellness is very finely ground and much higher quality. To me, paying about $30 for a 5-lb bag is quite a good deal. (Sometimes I think of all the pseudo food that I used to spend money on, and I realize that now my money is going further on real food!) I think if you do a cost comparision to the almond flour you have been using, you’ll see a big difference in savings. Note that it pays to sign up for Honeyville’s email newsletter to be notified of discounts (e.g., 10% off, free shipping). I always order using one of the discounts. :-) Another point is that some folks just make their own almond flour using raw almonds and a coffee grinder. My friend, Chelsea (The Crazy Kitchen), explained how to do that here. Similarly, one can use certified gf oats to make oat flour. I don’t know about a coffee grinder for oats, but I have made oats into oat flour using my food processor. So those are a couple of options for you. :-)

          Happy to help! Hugs,

  22. Alisa Fleming on January 14th, 2011 12:47 pm

    This is one of my favorite smoothie combinations but I haven’t made it in ages! I have no willpower though. I have to make just enough for myself or myself and husband as there is no saving any for later! I’m frequently complaining of smoothie bloat :)

    • Shirley on January 16th, 2011 9:59 pm

      Hey Alisa–Haha, first, I hear you on no willpower! Yep, this is a great beginner or “convert one to smoothies” recipe, but not one I make often myself. Usually I make this when I am limited on greens in my house. ;-) I actually prefer the greener/healthier smoothies because there’s much less of a likelihood of bloating. :-)


  23. Jennifer R. on January 14th, 2011 12:50 pm

    This looks so yummy — it could be dessert at our house :) I do have everything on hand (I cut up a fresh pineapple and froze it myself) so perhaps tonight we’ll make it. And you know I will put I big ole handful of spinach in ours!! Made the mint chocolate chip ice cream this week when my siter was visiting — her family LOVED it. Gotta love adding greens to everything!!

    • Shirley on January 16th, 2011 10:05 pm

      Hey Jennifer!–Oh, yes, this is a perfect dessert smoothie! You always impress me with your “beginnings” for recipes. Fresh pineapple that you froze would make this smoothie extraordinary I think. :-)

      Woohoo on the mint choc chip ice cream success! Love that recipe. Need to make it again … thanks for the reminder. ;-)


  24. Jennifer on January 14th, 2011 6:04 pm


    I just wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed making your recipes. I’ve tried at least 10 of your recipes, and they have all been delicious and ones that I will make again! My oldest, who is 4, has a severe wheat allergy, so we eat gluten-free for him. As a mom of three little boys, I need recipes that are gluten-free and easy, since I don’t have a lot of extra time. Your recipes meet both of these criteria, and I love to prove to others that eating gluten-free tastes just as good, if not better than wheat-filled foods! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge – I look forward to making many more of your recipes!

    • Shirley on January 16th, 2011 10:12 pm

      Hi Jennifer–Your comment totally made my day when I read it—thank you! :-) (So sorry that I am just responding. I’m on the road right now and neglected my blog as I was getting ready to go, too.) Everything you have shared is exactly the goal of gfe, so your comment is especially appreciated. Please spread the word. I want living gluten free to be easy and delicious for everyone. Hope you’ll keep enjoying all the recipes you make. Please let me know if there’s anything particular you are looking for. ;-)


  25. Ricki on January 15th, 2011 8:35 am

    One of my favorite breakfasts is a green smoothie, and this sounds like it could quickly become one of my favorite green smoothies! And bonus–I don’t have to feel as if I miss alcohol any more! ;) I agree that 27 veggies/fruits sounds daunting, but if you separate it out per day–and if you can get 2 or 3 into a smoothie first thing–then it’s really not that many at all. Thanks for the recipe and for posting the list of all the recipes in the D-Tox so far. They ALL sound like things I want to try! :)

    • Shirley on January 16th, 2011 10:19 pm

      Hi Ricki–LOL … yep, the taste with no alcohol, gotta love it! I never cease to be amazed how tasty green smoothies are. :-) And, I totally agree on the 27 being so much more doable when broken into daily allotments and when the fruits/veggies are added to smoothies. That was definitely part of Nicola’s goal with her event. I so love the variety in the recipes thus far.


  26. Jenna @ Newlyweds on January 18th, 2011 2:34 pm

    Your right I’ve tried a green smoothie before and wasn’t too impressed. But this one I think I can handle. I am off to try it soon.

    • Shirley on January 19th, 2011 1:03 am

      Hey Jenna–Green smoothies are definitely a transitional thing and there are some “less than appealing” recipes out there. I do hope you’ll give this one a try … it’s a favorite for sure. :-)


  27. Christine on January 18th, 2011 7:59 pm

    I love how you just sneaked the spinach in there! I’ve never actually had a green smoothie, but this seems like a good one to test the waters with. :)

    • Shirley on January 19th, 2011 1:10 am

      Hi Christine–So nice to see you! :-) I think you’ll love this smoothie and it’s so cool because often it becomes a launching point for other recipes and getting in more fruits and veggies. ;-)


Leave a reply

Related Posts with Thumbnails