This dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie recipe is inspired by my recent trip to Vietnam.

They have a lot of coconuts in Vietnam. We visited the Mekong Delta on day two, and went by boat to a tiny island where they make sweets out of coconut, grinding up the coconut and boiling it with sugar cane. We saw a lot of coconut based souvenirs too and, best of all, I got to drink a lot of coconut water. Pretty much everywhere you go you can order coconut water to drink, just like you might order a Coke – they just cut the top off a coconut and stick in a straw.

Not only does it taste amazing but it looks pretty cool too.

When Dole asked me if I wanted to try out their new frozen fruit packs then, I thought it might be fun to try and create a coconut smoothie recipe that you could actually drink out of a coconut, should you felt so inclined. 

Pineapple and coconut smoothie recipe

Of course you can just make it and have it in a glass like a normal person, but where would be the Instagrammable fun it that?! I realised too, when I came home and found myself ordering a massive cheese platter when out for lunch with a friend, that I pretty much ate no dairy in Vietnam, so I figured a dairy free smoothie recipe would fit well.

But first things first…

How to break a coconut in half

This was the challenge. 

I’ve won coconuts at fairs before, but I’ve only ever eaten them by smashing them up with a hammer. You can’t display a smoothie just by pouring it over a smashed up coconut can you?

No.

I needed something a little more professional looking. 

I watched a few YouTube videos and the best approach, should you not happen to have a circular saw lying around at home, (which I don’t), seemed to be to tap around the circumference of the coconut with a hammer. (Drain the coconut water out first, or you will make a mess.)

I did this for about three or four minutes and started to get worried as nothing was happening. I had bought three coconuts, just in case anything went wrong with the first one, but I didn’t especially want to fail at the first hurdle. I kept on tapping and lo and behold, just at the point when I was ready to throw it on the floor and stamp on it, a crack started to appear! I kept tapping, following the crack, and look what happened!

I felt pretty pleased with myself.

dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie recipe

Then the recipe – this is a piece of cake in comparison.

How to make a pineapple and coconut smoothie

It’s pretty straightforward to make a dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie, and the beauty of smoothie recipes is that you can be really flexible with them and adapt them according to personal taste or whatever you have in the fridge. For this recipe I used the following:

dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie recipe

I was making my smoothie just for me, so if you want to make it for more than one person you’ll need to scale up the quantities.

Start with a big dollop of coconut yogurt in the bottom of a regular sized Nutribullet cup. Add a good handful of Dole frozen pineapple chunks. The benefit of using frozen fruit, other than that you don’t end up with mouldy fruit in the fridge because you forget to use it, is that you don’t need to add ice – the frozen fruit thickens the smoothie up a little and makes it lovely and cold.

dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie recipe

Top up your cup to around the ‘max’ line with coconut drink. I used Koko dairy free but you could use whatever you like. You could even try using the liquid you drained out of your coconut earlier if you are going for the full tropical experience.

dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie recipe

Then just whizz it up!

Now is the fun bit. If you’re just going to drink it, like a regular person, then go ahead! It’s yummy isn’t it? I was worried about the balance between the pineapple and coconut flavours but I think this is just about perfect. The Dole frozen pineapple gives it a lovely fresh, clean flavour and chills it too. This would be lovely with a cheeky splash of rum.

If, like me, you prepare all your food and drink with the sole purpose of taking nice Instagram pictures, then now’s the time to pour your pineapple and coconut smoothie into your coconut. (If you’re using the half with the three holes then don’t forget to plug them with something. I used blutac. Please don’t take that as a recommendation.)

I decorated my pineapple and coconut smoothie with tropical straws and toasted a little bit of flaked coconut to garnish. I did this just by tossing the coconut in a dry frying pan for about five minutes.

Tada!

dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie recipe

dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie recipe

 

How to win your own Nutribullet

If you’d like to win your own Nutribullet, so that you can easily whizz up a dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie whenever you fancy it, all you need to do is come up with your own easy smoothie recipe, inspired by your own travels. Take a picture of your smoothie and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #MYDOLESMOOTHIE.

I’ve posted about the competition here on my own Instagram, to inspire you:

It doesn’t have to be a super fancy recipe, just something that you love, and that makes you think of a favourite holiday or adventure. The winner will be chosen based on a combination of creativity, quality of photography and the story behind the recipe. The competition will close at midnight on 31st December, so you have the holidays to get creative. (Full T&Cs at the bottom of this post.)

Good luck!

Like the look of my dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie recipe? Why not pin the image below for later?

dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie recipe

Produced in association with Dole. 

The winner will be notified via private message on Instagram within seven days of the closing date and must respond within 30 days with their name and a mainland UK address for the prize to be delivered to. If any Prize Winner fails to claim the Prize within 30 days they will forfeit the Prize and another valid Entry may be drawn. We will arrange for the Prize to be delivered to you at the address provided, at our cost. Please allow up to 28 days for delivery. Only one Entry can be made per Eligible Participant; additional Entries made by the same Eligible Participant will not be accepted. Entrants must be in the UK and 18+. Judge’s decision final.

 

I’m a bit loathe to call this a recipe, as the whole point of bubble and squeak is to use up leftovers. I don’t want you to look in the fridge and think ‘Oh, I’ve only got two leftover sweet potatoes, so I definitely can’t make this…’

That’s really not the point. 

I’ll just tell you what I did, and then you can copy it, or have a look in the fridge and switch in other ingredients. I’m cool with that.

So, food waste. I’m actually pretty good at this, mainly because I’m so slack at doing the shopping in the first place that I never have enough in the fridge for dinner, let alone for leftovers. Since I upgraded my phone though, and no longer have to delete Twitter just to take a photo, food waste has become a bit more of an issue. I’ve rediscovered the joy on online food shopping you see, which means I get all over excited and order loads of things for actual recipes. Then I remember that I’m only home one night in the next four, and wonder what I’m going to do with it all.

This afternoon for example I’m leaving work early to make four steak and ale pies for the freezer (never done that before) because I have all the ingredients but we are going to my mum’s for tea.

Sainsbury’s is on a bit of a mission to reduce food waste too, with their #WasteLessSaveMore initiative

Households in the UK waste a mind blowing 15 million tonnes of food and drink every year. To bring this to life, that includes 5.8 million potatoes, almost 6 million glasses of milk and an astonishing 24 million slices of bread everyday!

Not only is this a huge problem for our environment, but families are throwing away money along with food. In fact, the average British family wastes £700 per year on food that could have been eaten, but is thrown away instead, that’s around £60 a month.

Sainsbury’s is passionate about helping families waste less, and save more, which is why they’ve invested £10 million in helping shoppers reduce food waste at home. A big part of that is helping families make better use of their leftovers – which is where you come in!

The website is definitely worth a look as it has some great recipes for using up leftovers, tips on freezing food properly – loads of useful stuff. I love the look of their eight winter salads, especially the beetroot one. I love a bit of beetroot.

You can make a start on reducing food waste and saving money by using your leftovers to make me twist on classic bubble and squeak…

How to make spicy sweet potato and spinach bubble and squeak

I started off with one large sweet potato, which had been cooked the day before. Sweet potato is less starchy than regular potatoes, so it works particular well when they are genuine leftovers and have had chance to dry out a bit. If you’re cooking them fresh, make sure to drain them really well. Mash the sweet potatoes up with a little bit of butter, salt and pepper. You won’t need to add any liquids.

I used ground cumin and garam masala to spice my sweet potatoes as these are my favourites. I went with a liberal sprinkle – maybe around half a teaspoon of each? 

spicy sweet potato and spinach bubble and squeak recipe View Post

I want to talk to you today about cutlery.

There are some things in life that, for me, represent adulthood. They’re a sign that you’ve made it – that you’ve made the transition from studenty type who can’t afford anything that matches, to proper grown up who has things like mugs that are actually beautiful, rather than just a collection of random gifts and 1990s Easter egg freebies.

Cutlery is one of those things.

Both of my sets of grandparents had strong cutlery games. I could describe their cutlery sets to you now, even though they’ve been dead for years. Both kept their cutlery in sideboards next to dining tables that were actually used to eat meals at, rather than to ‘store’ important documents and style photos of pretend meals. (Like I do.)

My cutlery drawer on the other hand, has always been a shambles – mismatched knives and forks that I’ve accumulated over the years, which often double as tools when I can’t be bothered to look for a screwdriver. It’s the cutlery collection of a 22 year old.

UNTIL NOW.

Now I have the cutlery drawer of dreams. I have a set of Robert Welch Malvern cutlery.

Ooh!

Robert Welch Malvern cutlery View Post

How did you imagine your life would look when you grew up? What were your dreams and, more importantly, have you achieved them?

I’ve found that as I’ve got older, my dreams have changed. Whereas once I might have imagined myself in some high-powered job, or living in a mansion, (what is it with being a kid and wanting to live in a mansion?!), now I’m quite content pottering about watering my plants and buying cushions. 

Fiancé too has pretty simple dreams. (Which is why we get along). If I had to compile a list of his top ten best things, it would go something like this:

  1. Me (natch)
  2. Somerset County Cricket Club (generally)
  3. Marcus Trescothick (specifically)
  4. Peanut butter
  5. Music
  6. Banana flavoured things (If you’re ever in Bristol, the banana gelato at Swoon is amazing)
  7. Books (especially biographies)
  8. Looking inside churches that we find when we are out for a little drive
  9. Imagining he has a pet polar bear
  10. Watching reruns of classic comedies

(I’m not sure of the order of the first three.)

He is especially happy when I manage to combine two of more of the ten. For example, I have set up a Goggle alert for ‘Marcus Trescothick’, so when any interesting Marcus related news breaks I can act interested and knowledgeable about cricket, thus combining the entire top three.

This sort of scene would get him excited – it’s a cricket pitch with a church in the background to look at:

university building Oxford church and cricket pitch

If we were sat together at the edge of this picture, watching Somerset and eating banana ice-creams while a small polar bear slept at his feet, he’d be just about in heaven. I think it could probably only be improved if he got to actually play for Somerset County Cricket Club. This really would be living the dream. View Post

Do you make your own Christmas cake?

I have once. It was a right faff. Totally worth it though in terms of how smug I felt come Christmas day, presenting the cake I’d been liberally soaking in brandy for what felt like about two years. Plus once I’d trimmed off the burnt bits and covered it all in marzipan and icing, it tasted pretty good too.

It went nicely with my display of intricately decorated Christmas gingerbread cookies:

Christmas gingerbread cookies

Haha! Not really. Can you even imagine?!

Still, when you think about it, it’s cake plus alcohol, so what’s not to like about that, regardless of how it looks?

Christmas of course is not just about cake and booze.

(Seriously?! That’s disappointing.) View Post

unicorn poo cupcakesAs you may have picked up in the seven or so years that I’ve been blogging, I don’t have what you’d call a passion for housework. My ideal way of spending less time ironing is simply to not do it, and instead to wear stretchy clothes where the creases get sort of pulled flat.

Or, to get out of ironing other people’s clothes, you could try the method I accidentally employed on an ex-boyfriend. I was trying to be helpful and was ironing a few shirts. I was doing his favourite white shirt when Bee showed me a picture of a baby doing something cute. I can’t remember what exactly – it was dressed up as a lobster or something like that I think.

I laughed and dropped the iron on the floor. 

Whoops.

I figured that if I just picked it up really quickly and carried on, that no one would notice. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice the large amount of carpet that had melted onto the iron and which I then proceeded to iron onto the back of the shirt.

I wasn’t hugely popular when the boyfriend got home to find a patch of carpet missing. Even less popular when he discovered the missing patch had found a new home on his shirt.

Double whoops.

I do appreciate though that neither of these approaches are an effective long term strategy, and that ironing is one of those things that you just have to do, both for everyday things and more special occasions. Like last week when I bought new curtains for the two windows in our bedroom. Seriously, it felt like I was ironing those curtains for about two days. View Post

I was a massive fan of Roald Dahl stories when I was little. I know, who isn’t? But I loved them. I had a tape of Fantastic Mr Fox that I listened to again and again and again, and my favourite books were probably The Witches, Danny Champion of the World and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (The latter was a particular favourite as it had a character in it called Josephine. Which is my name, in case you didn’t know.)

With Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it was never really the idea of a lifetime’s supply of chocolate that did it for me, it was always the factory itself. I desperately wanted to try the chewing gum that was a three course meal. As I read it, I would try to imagine the warm tomato soup trickling down the back of my throat, morphing into roast beef and gravy. I’m doing it now as I type.

I wanted to be there, seeing how things were made, seeing inventions come to life.

A couple of weeks ago I got about as close as I am ever likely to get when I went to visit the Thorntons chocolate factory. (Although I don’t remember them wearing sexy hair nets in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.)

Thorntons chocolate factory tour View Post