Healthy & Gluten Free

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Categories: Smoothies    

Avoid all commercial juices. Most of them are actually cooked, so won't qualify as raw food at all. Also, many are actually not even remotely fresh, and can be as old as a year old. The manufacturers are also allowed to use flavorings in these juices that do not need to be listed on the label.

Fresh blueberry and coconut smoothie in a glass with striped straws, and topped with frozen berries
Image by: Beauty Experts

Prep time: 10 to 20 minutes      Makes: 2 servings      Difficulty: Easy

This vibrant smoothie tastes ultra rich and luxurious. The fresh blueberries are super healthy. If you use both coconut milk and shredded coconut, it gives a lovely tropical taste to a very simple to make smoothie.

Gluten free Dairy free option Egg free Vegan option

All ingredients should be organic, and packaged items should contain no food additives at all.

See Notes at the bottom for some ingredient substitutions, and instructions to make some of your own ingredients from scratch.

Shopping Tips - what to look for to get the best gluten free, real ingredients for this recipe:

The issue of what type of milk is best is far too broad of a topic to cover in depth here. Whether you want cows milk, nut milk, coconut milk, or some other type of milk will be a personal choice.

However, here are some general guidelines to help you when choosing your milk. You can research further if it's an area of interest to you.

Dairy milk - Raw organic is best. Non-homogenized, organic is preferred if you don't have access to raw. Never buy Ultra High Temperature (UHT), or Ultra-Pasteurized milk; you will need to carefully check the label, as it's not always obvious.

Non-dairy milk - Most of these are really just fake food. Most only exist because people are used to white stuff to put on cereal and in coffee, etc.

Very few things in nature look and behave like dairy milk. They have to create unnatural compounds that look and behave like milk.

This category of products is quite challenging to find products that are made out of real ingredients. You will need to really read a lot of labels to find something that is not loaded with food additives, flavorings, binders, fillers, etc.

Many of these additives are very tough on anyone with any sort of digestive problems, which those who must eat gluten free do have.

Coconut milk should be homemade from a fresh organic coconut.

Alternatively, you can purchase organic unsweetened coconut milk that does not contain additional ingredients. It should only contain coconut milk, coconut cream, ground coconut and water or coconut water, or some combination of these ingredients.

Nut milk should be homemade from organic nuts and water.

Alternatively, you can purchase organic unsweetened nut milk that does not contain additional ingredients. It should only contain nuts and water. The many additives in many brands of nut milk are simply used to make water look and taste like nut milk, with a little bit of nuts thrown in for good measure.

Soy milk is not even remotely natural, or normal. White liquid does not come out of a green soy bean in any natural way. Large amounts of additives are added to it to make it resemble milk.

Rice milk should only have rice and water.

If you really want these, many of them can be made fresh at home, and you can completely control the ingredients that go into them. Check out You Tube for tons of videos.

Check out the following 4 articles to help you find the best type of milk for your personal taste:

You want to find organic plain yogurt, made with full fat milk, and bacteria culture, and nothing else.

You want to avoid yogurt made with skim milk, as it's been shown to be unhealthy.

You want to avoid all other common food additives that are found in most Greek Yogurt. Many of these really are ingredients that make white jello, instead of a true cultured dairy product. Many common yogurt additives are very rough on the digestive system.

If you can find raw, that is the best, though that may be much harder to find. Avoid any dairy product that is Ultra High Temperature (UHT), or Ultra-Pasteurized.

Check out the following 2 articles to learn a bit more about dairy:

Fresh fruits and vegetables should be organic.

This reduces a number of toxic chemicals that can cause harm to humans. When you are required to eat gluten free, you will need to reduce all unnecessary stress on your stomach, so that it has a better chance of healing. Using organic fresh fruits and vegetables will go a long way to achieving this.

Each year a US report is created by the EWG (Environmental Working Group) listing the most and least pesticide contaminated common produce in the US. It is useful to know where to put your initial focus on what to buy organic and what can be lower on your priority list. I'd suggest that if a crop is not on the EWG "Clean 15" list on the below listed site, that you buy organic.

Consumer Reports has also published a report. They have a nice summary of residues on both conventional and organic produce. This is a good place to start if this is a new topic for you, and it gives good detail, but in a readable format.

They found that all organic produce has consistently been tested to show low or very low levels of residue. This can make you confident that organic is a good way to go. A link to their summary page on pesticide residues is linked below.

For anyone who really wants to dig into the full datasets of the EPA residue testing, they can find that at the bottom link below. This will include the most recent reported data.

Blueberries are not on the EWG "Clean 15" list (2018). They rank 16th out of 48 for contamination. They should be purchased as organic.

Strawberries are listed as #1 on the EWG "Dirty Dozen" list (2018). They should be purchased as organic.

Raspberries are not on the EWG "Clean 15" list (2018). They rank 23rd out of 48 for contamination. They should be purchased as organic.

Check out these 4 articles. The first 2 show this year's EWG report on pesticide contamination, and will be updated automatically based on the current year. The third article is the Consumer Reports summary page for pesticide residue on produce, including conventional and organic, and domestic and imported. The fourth article is the direct link to the EPA residue testing site, where you can do further research:

All dried fruit should be organic, labeled gluten free, unsweetened, unsulfured and contain no other ingredients or additives.

You can make your own shredded coconut from a fresh organic coconut.

Alternatively, you want to look for organic, labeled gluten free, unsweetened shredded coconut, without sulfur, and no other additives. If it does not contain sulfur it will actually need to state that, as sulfur is not always required to be on the label. It should only contain coconut. It's readily available in stores that carry organic products. There are even some labeled as gluten free.

Buying organic reduces a number of toxic chemicals that can cause harm to humans. When you are required to eat gluten free, you will need to reduce all unnecessary stress on your stomach, so that it has a better chance of healing. Using organic fruits and vegetables will go a long way to achieving this.

Consumer Reports has also published a report. They have a nice summary of residues on both conventional and organic produce. This is a good place to start if this is a new topic for you, and it gives good detail, but in a readable format.

Check out this article on the benefits of organic:

You want to find raw, unfiltered honey. It has many nutritional benefits over pasteurized and filtered honey.

The best place to buy it is directly from the bee farmers, either at their farm or at a farmer’s market. Sometimes smaller health food stores may carry it. There's limited regulations on the word raw, so often store bought raw honey won't actually be raw. You can hunt for a farmer who is located next to organic land or wild land, and it will be the least contaminated.

Raw unfiltered honey will not be crystal clear. It should be crystal like, and have small or tiny "floaties." These floaties are bee pollen, honeycomb bits, propolis, and even broken bee wing fragments. Some farmers will have some light filtering, which will be simply a course sieve. This will remove the wings, but leave in the smaller bits of pollen and propolis.

Over time, raw honey will solidify. You don't want it filtered, or heated, or treated, which completely removes any benefits of honey.

For additional reading on raw and unfiltered honey, check out these 3 articles:

You want to buy organic stevia. It comes in a variety of suitable forms, and a variety of non suitable forms.

This is a plant that has a natural sweetness about 100 to 300 times as sweet as sugar. The chemical make up of this plant is actually different, so the sweetness does not actually come from a sugar type of molecule, thus it has none of the effects of sugar, such as being a load on the insulin system in your body.

Fresh leaf - The best form to use would be to use the fresh leaf, and chop it very fine, and add to your dishes. Since it's green, it can take a bit getting used to. A trick I used when I first started using fresh stevia was to just think of it like mint.

Dried leaf - You can also buy it as a dried herb. This also can be used chopped fine and added to food. You can place it in the liquid part of your dish for a couple hours, and the sweetness will enter into the dish.

You can also brew it like coffee, and make "sweet" water, that you can then add to dishes.

Concentrated liquid or powder - NO FILLERS - You can also buy it as an extremely concentrated pure liquid or superfine powder. You need to be VERY careful when you buy this, as you want pure liquid or powder extract. You DO NOT want to buy the new versions that have recently hit the market that are loaded with all kinds of fillers, additives and sugars.

Since stevia in it's natural form takes up a ton less space than sugar, you will need to adjust how you cook. The "cup for cup" new products out there are a toxic mess. Don't buy those, as most of the fillers and additives will cause varying degrees of stomach upset. And the ones with sugar as fillers are just plain stupid. The point of using stevia is to stop using sugar.

Give yourself at least a couple weeks to get used to it if you don't like the taste. For those who are new to stevia, lemon (and other citrus fruits) are a good mask to the slightly different flavor of stevia. This is such a great sugar replacement, that it really will be worth the effort to get used to it.

To get your family and kids used to it, if they whine about it, then mix it 25% of the recommended amount of stevia, with 75% of the amount you would normally use of sugar or honey, and then transition over a couple weeks to fully using stevia. They also will get used to the taste. 1/32 of a teaspoon of powdered stevia (no fillers!) is equivalent to 2 tablespoons of sugar or honey.

Check out this list of articles about stevia:

You want to look for organic real vanilla or vanilla extract, and not artificial.

There are artificial versions of vanilla called vanillin or vanilla flavor. You want to make sure you don't buy those. You also have to watch out for vanillin and vanilla flavor on labels, as it's an indication of an artificial ingredient, and not real vanilla.

Check out this article on real vanilla and more details on what to look for:

Coconut cream can be homemade from fresh mature organic coconuts.

You Tube has a lot of different ways to make it. Try out some different methods, such as using hot water and a blender, or cool water and squeezing it, or no water and squeezing it, etc. Each will create different textures, and you can find those that you like the most.

Alternatively, you can purchase organic canned coconut cream. You need to ensure that it contains no other ingredients beyond coconut. Also avoid those that also contain water or coconut water, as it simply dilutes the coconut cream, and is a bit of a rip off.

What I like about the canned coconut cream, is that most of the time when you open it, there will be a layer of very thick cream, almost like butter. And a layer of more liquidy cream, more like dairy cream. I generally will not need the whole can for whatever my recipe calls for, so I use the form most suitable, then find something else to do with the rest. I love fresh strawberries with the really thick coconut cream! If you prefer, you can also remix it with a whisk, so it's all reblended, and use it like that.

You want to look for a fresh organic coconut, that still contains liquid inside of it.

Canned, boxed or packaged coconut water is not suitable. It is a cooked product, which degrades many of the benefits of drinking coconut water. Coconut milk also is NOT the same as coconut water. Coconut water looks almost like water, with just a hint of cloudiness, and varying degrees of sweetness and coconut taste.

Only if you absolutely cannot get fresh coconuts would this be a suitable occasional item to use. If you do buy it, be certain it contains nothing besides organic coconut water. Many of the additives in beverages cause digestive problems.

Buying organic reduces a number of toxic chemicals that can cause harm to humans. When you are required to eat gluten free, you will need to reduce all unnecessary stress on your stomach, so that it has a better chance of healing. Using organic fruits and vegetables will go a long way to achieving this.

Consumer Reports has also published a report. They have a nice summary of residues on both conventional and organic produce. This is a good place to start if this is a new topic for you, and it gives good detail, but in a readable format.

Check out this article on the benefits of organic:

Ingredients:
2 cups Milk of choice
1 cup Fresh blueberries
1/4 cup Shredded coconut
 
Optional Ingredients:
1 tablespoon Honey, raw and unfiltered
OR    
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon Pure stevia (* see Shopping Tips section above to find out the right form to use)
1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
  Coconut cream, to drizzle
Directions:
  • Combine all the ingredients in a blender, and blend on high speed until smooth.
  • Top with a drizzle of creamed coconut and sprinkle with some shredded coconut.
Notes:

For the milk, you can use any of the following. Each one will provide a bit different taste, so try several to find what you like the best, or simply switch them around to get a variety of nutrients over different days:

Milk
Cream
Plain yogurt
Fresh coconut water
Fresh coconut milk
Fresh nut milk

You can use any berries you want, such as strawberries or raspberries or mix them up.

I'd recommend using fresh coconut and make your own shredded coconut. I'll discuss two ways of preparing it for this smoothie.

Cut the coconut meat out of the coconut. Use a grater or mandolin to shred the coconut. You can use is just like that on your smoothie. This gives a lovely fresh coconut crunch to your smoothie. You can also lay the shredded coconut on a cookie sheet and put it under the broiler in the oven. Stir it occasionally, and watch it very closely. It will take 2 to 6 minutes to toast, depending on your oven. This can be sprinkled on fruit or even on a stir fry. Keep both types of shredded coconut in a sealed jar, and store in the fridge, and use within about 3 to 4 days.

FREE Guide to get you started
10 Steps to Healthy Gluten Free Eating
The free 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular Member only tips to get you started on the road to healthy gluten free living.
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Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
10 Steps to Healthy
Gluten Free Eating
 
The free 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular member only tips to get you started on the road to healthy gluten free living.
Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
10 Steps to Healthy
Gluten Free Eating
 
The free 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular member only tips to get you started on the road to healthy gluten free living.
Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
10 Steps to Healthy
Gluten Free Eating
 
The free 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular member only tips to get you started on the road to healthy gluten free living.