protein

Pina Colada Smoothie

For those of you who don’t know me personally, I spent two years living in Albuquerque, NM. They were two of the hardest and best years of my life! I learned so much about being independent: finding a job, making new friends (from scratch!), going to a new school, and all of this done in a place where almost no one has eaten a biscuit or cares about football. New Mexican food is truly unique in that it utilizes lots of local peppers, namely the green chile (which can range in heat from mild to ridiculously slap your mother hot), and spices to make it taste like no other Mexican or Tex-Mex you’ve ever had. At first, those of us who are used to fast food joints like Taco Casa or “Mexican” restaurants in Alabama may not appreciate the flavors of New Mexican cuisine. However, it doesn’t take long for it to get in your blood and trust me, it never leaves! It has been eight years (holy crap!) since I have lived in that colorful city and I still crave the food!

Now that I have your mouth-watering for chiles and Mexican food, let’s talk about smoothies!! One habit I picked up in New Mexico was replacing meals with smoothies. I’m not sure if this is more common out West or if they just make better smoothies out there but I have yet to find a good smoothie joint in Alabama. My favorite place in Albuquerque was called Keva Juice and my favorite drink was a Keva Kolada. I remember on those hot desert days, there was really nothing more satisfying!

When I moved back to Alabama, I was set on duplicating the recipe (since I couldn’t find one online). It took a ridiculous amount of trial and error. I even made a friend of mine in Albuquerque go to Keva Juice and stalk one of the workers while he/she made a Keva Kolada!! I think my ingredients are slightly different from the original, but the taste is deliciously similar!

All of this being said, the recipe I’m posting below is purely for taste. I’ve recently started running [more on that later; I’d like to know if I can write a definitive success or fail verdict before I go into great detail about it] and I’m sure there’s a way to make this thing more healthy! Protein powder (or Greek yogurt, but I think the stuff may as well be sour cream – so more power to you Greegurt lovers but I’m not one!) would be the easy way, but I know some people swear that you can “hide” spinach and kale and all sorts of things in smoothies. What do you think?

[Or you could always go the complete opposite direction and add rum… drunk running could be a sport. No judgment.]

Also, I highly recommend the Cuisinart Immersion Blender for this little project. It’s brilliant for smoothies, soups, (say it with me) hhhkkkummmus, and milkshakes. It comes apart for storage and the DISHWASHER (sold!!). And oh my gosh so many pretty colors. The instructions don’t tell you about the obligatory first time user mess, so just be aware, stop pushing the button before you pull it out of whatever you’re mixing. Every time. Trust me. Do it. Every. Time.

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I was going to pour the smoothie into a pretty glass for the picture but come on, I was starving and I know y’all really didn’t want me to dirty up another dish! Plus this way you get to see the cool measuring/mixing cup that comes with the Cuisinart blender. Yes, I drank the smoothie straight out of it and it was delicious.

For a 12 – 16oz drink:

4 – 6oz pineapple juice
One small banana, chopped
3 heaping spoonfuls non-fat vanilla yogurt (not the frozen kind)
4 or 5 heaping spoonfuls pineapple sherbet
One spoon sweetened coconut flakes (a little goes a long way)

I don’t add ice to this drink. If it’s too thin, add more sherbet a spoonful at a time.