Raw, Vegan Blueberry Coconut Breakfast Shake

blueberry coconut breakfast shake

So the other day on Twitter, one of my readers asked me if I would be up for doing some “WIAW” posts. I responded that WIAW isn’t my jam—I think you all could guess some of my reasons—and she asked if I might be at least willing to post some breakfast posts, along with my lunchboxes. Why not, I said? This was followed by a request for smoothie ideas, and I confessed that I’m not really big on smoothies at this time of year. It’s not only a temperature issue (I know you can make them to be room temperature), but also a texture thing. When it’s cold outside, I appreciate denser foods with more chew. It’s a little irrational, but that’s just how I roll.

Ironically, it has been a very warm week here in D.C., and so today, I woke up with a smoothie craving. I haven’t been out to purchase any smoothie staples in quite a while, so it was up to me to sate this craving with whatever I had at home. This included blueberries, coconut water, some spinach, and the usual nuts and seeds. As I was trying to decide what to do with them, my eyes fell upon a bag of natural dried coconut. Boom. The blueberry coconut shake was born.

I’ve made blueberry smoothies with young coconut meat before and loved them, but the truth is that young coconuts can be time consuming and pricey. If you love using young coconut meat but just don’t have the time, patience, or access, using coconut flakes will be possible so long as you have a high speed blender (those of you with regular blenders could try modifying this recipe—I’ll give some ideas after the jump). The smoothie that results is super creamy and delicious, full of healthy, nourishing fats, and a beautiful color, too.


Raw, Vegan Blueberry Coconut Breakfast Shake

Serves 2

2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries
1 1/2 cups coconut water (or almond milk)
1/2 cup dried, shredded coconut (make sure you find an unsweetened, natural brand)
2 pitted dates (more if desired)
2 tablespoons chia seed
1 handful spinach or any other greens

Blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender. Serve!

I love how simple and subtle this smoothie is—neither too sweet nor too coconutty, but a little bit of both.


So if you don’t have a Vitamix, of course, this recipe is tough, because the Vitamix will handle pulverizing dried coconut far better than a conventional blender. If I were you, I’d try blending the blueberries with 1 1/2 cups coconut milk in place of coconut water, and then using 4 tbsp chia seed instead. See what happens! The chia should compensate for thickness, the coconut milk for fat/creaminess. I hope it works out.

Sending you all my wishes for a happy weekend! I’ve got a lot of studying, yoga with Anne, and some meal planning to do for my job in a local gastroenterologist’s office. Till soon!


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Categories: Smoothies
Method: Blender
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, No Oil, Soy Free, Vegan

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  1. Hi i was wondering whether you have to soak the dates overnight? Also does this recipe work without th spinach? Would appreciate if you could get back to me withing the week 🙂 Thanks

    • You should soak them if you’re not using a high speed blender. As for the spinach, you can definitely leave it out!

  2. I love this! I used a mix of baby greens which had arugula in it and it was a little too overpowering for me. Next time I’ll stick to spinach or kale. The combination of blueberries and coconut is wonderful.

  3. Hi Gena! First, that looks utterly delicious. Second, largely inspired by you and the daily dose of wisdom I get from your blog… I finally started my own blog! So this comment is a little selfish. Forgive me! Just eager to get in on this community that I’ve loved from afar for so long! 🙂

  4. Maybe I’m a bit slow on this but what does WIAW stand for?

    This smoothie looks delish, I too found myself in a strange smoothie craving mood this week, not sure what’s up!!

    • It stands for What I Ate Wednesday. A lot of bloggers post and take pics of everything they eat on that day.

  5. All I can say is that this picture drew me in and fast! It looks so delicious and thick and creamy.

  6. oh! p.s. at the risk of tmi…i had asked you for some gluten free options to help me round out things a bit since i was dealing with post pill amenorrhea (just anovulatory not HA related at all–i had serum work done).

    i added some buckwheat groats into my routine, reduced animal protein to 1x daily (vegan the other 2 meals) and after 2 months…my cycle returned! i wouldn’t say i’m like clockwork but at least my cycles are more ‘regular’ (i still think my work stress is contributing to things). coincidence? maybe, but i’m feeling better than ever so thanks for the great recipes & recs!

    • That’s amazing, Melissa!!!!! Congratulations on this big step for your health 🙂 I am so glad your intuition, which I echoed, that some grains might be grounding and “round out” your diet, was right. Delightful news, and I hope that in 2013 it becomes even more regular.

  7. “I responded that WIAW isn’t my jam” hahahaha! nor mine. i love seeing a recipe but honestly don’t need to see every morsel that enters someone’s body during the day. it seems a tad intrusive no? but such is the age of the interwebz i suppose. we’re out there, publicly!

    shakes tend to be my breakfast of choice even in the winter because i hit the ground running once i step foot into my office/lab. my shake yesterday was pretty similar actually though, subbing coconut oil for the flakes and hemp seeds instead of the chia + a scoop of manitoba harvest vanilla hemp protein powder. i really tried to get into vega powder to bulk out my shake but with the exception of the almondilla flavor, i couldn’t get past the strange aftertaste/stevia? flavor? i like to add my own sweetener (dates or maple syrup).

    happy weekend! i am sure the GI office has been enlightening so far! it’s a bit disconcerting though how very vague dx can be in terms of the symptoms presented by a patient though right? we know so much, yet so little in terms of human disease! humbling for sure…also, you need to see #overlyhonestmethods if you haven’t spotted it on twitter yet. i’ve contributed a few 😉

    • Hahaha. I’ll go look for that hashtag!

      As for the sweetening thing: I used to be a big stevia person, and I’m so not anymore. I think it’s fine for those who are into it, but for me, I think a lot of the stevia was lingering fear of sugar, and now that the fear has passed, I’d so rather use dates or maple syrup or coconut crystals. To each his own.

  8. Couldn’t wait for breakfast so had this for dinner using my Nutribullet with half a banana and almond/coconut milk. It was yummylicious. Thanks for a wonderful creation.

  9. I the color of this smoothie – it looks like it’s between icy and creamy, and that’s how I love my smoothies.

  10. I have been all about different variations of blueberry smoothies lately…And I just got a fresh bag of organic coconut flakes, so this is perfect. Thanks for another great recipe! : )

  11. I love the color of this smoothie! I totally agree with you on not wanting a smoothie in the colder weather as well as wanting something denser to chew on in the winter months.

  12. Ooh, this looks lovely! And for once it’s something where I can find better substitutes in the UK, not worse. (I only have a food processor to make smoothies with and it won’t blend dessicated coconut smooth, not on the same day I start making the smoothie haha, but I can buy creamed coconut anyway which is the same thing 🙂 ) Thanks for the recipe!

    • Just in case you’re interested – I’ve found putting flaked (rather than dessicated) dried coconut in the food processor makes coconut butter just like nut butters. And you can then use that in recipes like this!

      • So funny you should say that, Hannah: I have a recipe for homemade coconut butter coming soon.

  13. I hear you on WIAW. Not that I’m a food blogger. Just that copying other people’s is the opposite of what I’m about, which is learning to eat intuitively, to tune into my own bodies needs. Plus, I know myself, and if I were ever to blog and be a part of something like WIAW, Wednesdays would inevitably be the days where I didn’t manage breakfast or lunch, and at 8 PM, after nary a cup of dark roast twelve hours earlier, I’d be eating a meagre salad, drinking ginger tea, and heading to bed. I’d probably never end up posting the far more common scenario of hefty protein-packed smoothie, afternoon tea with nutriet dense snack, wine and olives and mega salad with legumes and fatty dressing, and of course, a BIG serving of raw dessert. Something about tracking that leads to me restricting. Unconsciously because as you know, I don’t abide restriction.

      • I should probably proofread my blog posts now and then, too. But we’re all human 🙂

        I totally agree with you. For me, cataloging my food always results in my breaking everything down according to macronutrients and health benefits. It’s not the same as my former restrictive impulses, but it’s an extension of my tendency to reduce food to fuel–a tendency that is intertwined with my eating disorder and came right after it, perhaps as a stepping stone between fearing food and truly embracing it. You were crucial in helping me with this transition, by the way! The less i document, the more I can focus on enjoyment.


        • When I was recovering from my eating disorder, the nutritionist I saw insisted that I do food records. At first, I really enjoyed doing them because they provided me with the opportunity to obsess even more over what and how much I was eating. However, the more I progressed in a healthier direction, the less I wanted to do the food records, and I eventually stopped doing them. I think it was because I realized that I had begun to nourish my body rather than deprive it (and then lie about my eating on the food records), and that made me feel satisfied.
          By the way, I’ll definitely have to try that smoothie; it looks creamy and frosty, just the way I like it!

          • Elisabeth,

            I think there’s a lot to be said about records for keeping people accountable: either those trying to gain, or those trying to lose. I know that having a food journal really did help me to be mindful of how much I was eating when I was in recovery, and prevented me from the whole “oops! I ‘forgot’ to eat lunch!” thing. That said, there is a time and a place for everything, and it outlived its place. I’m happier now without the journaling, though I recognize that it was helpful for a while.


  14. WIAW gives me the heebie-jeebies. As does the idea of taking to a young coconut with a machete. Therefore I support this post with all my heart.

    • Right? Ick. It’s right up there with Fitspo for me. (But not as bad as Fitspo.)

  15. Do you think smoothies made the night before are good for you? Or keep their nutrients?

    • Fresh is always bad, but if there’s not enough time, preparing them the night before is really no problem!

    • You could put it in the freezer in a mason jar right after making it and then take it out in the morning.