I’m sharing a very un-Molly recipe today. Why? Well,these smoothie parfaits are…wait for it…gluten free AND vegan!
What?! I know. Shocking. The funny thing is that I wasn’t originally intending for them to be gluten free or vegan; it just kind of worked out that way. I love me some bread and cheese, so most of the recipes on this site tend to go more in that direction. That said, though, I’m happy to keep experimenting with these types of recipes, as many people require these dietary considerations in daily life.
At the end of the day, I’m happy to eat both gluten free and vegan foods as long as they taste good. Pretty simple, right? Give me something that tastes like cardboard and I’m out. The good news is this: these smoothie parfaits taste AMAZING.
I’m so on board. This is my type of vegan. This is my type of gluten free.
It all starts with an incredible coconut granola. It is, hands down, the best granola to come out of my kitchen yet, and that’s really saying something. I am a self-proclaimed granola aficionado.
I make granola several times a month, this being my go-to recipe. I’m obsessed with snacking on it or piling it on top of Greek yogurt with some fruit. Or, as you can see today, layering it with a creamy but healthy carrot cake smoothie. Yes. So much yes.
Here’s my thing with coconut: I love it as long as it doesn’t taste like a bottle of sunscreen. Know what I mean? For instance, any sort of savory dish with coconut milk added in is my J-A-M (see here, here, and here to start), but I tend to shy away from it more in sweet applications. I think I’m sensitive to the artificial coconut flavor? Sometimes coconut cakes and icings and such taste TOO coconut-y. So this smoothie was definitely an experiment for me. But I’m so happy with how it turned out.
The coconut milk just makes things all sorts of creamy and luscious, while the health benefits of raw carrots, spices, and superfoods like chia seeds, hemp hearts, and flaxseed make things all balance out. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that it tastes like CARROT CAKE. Cake-flavored smoothies!? Sign me up.
You could definitely whip up the smoothie and forego the granola altogether (or make the granola another time and enjoy it on its own – IT’S SO GOOD), but I have to say, the cold creaminess of this smoothie works SO WELL with the crunch of the coconut granola. It’s ridiculous. Texture heaven, if you will.
It makes a smoothie in February much more appealing, too. I’m more prone to enjoying smoothies when it’s hot outside, but this winter, I’ve been making them almost daily. I can’t get enough. Maybe it’s because it’s a healthy, quick, and generally delicious meal that I can eat (drink?) while chasing the little one around the house.
Whatever the reason, I’m glad I gave this smoothie a go. Vegan and all. Gluten free and all.
IT TASTES LIKE CAKE, PEOPLE.
2 cups old-fashioned oats (use gluten-free oats, if desired)
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
⅓ cup slivered almonds
⅓ cup pepitas
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon fine salt
¼ cup coconut oil
½ cup honey (or maple syrup)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
1 cup shredded or grated carrots
1 frozen banana (peel and slice before freezing)
½ cup coconut milk yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar (or sweetener of choice)
1 tablespoon chia seeds, ground flaxseed, or hemp hearts (or a combo of these!)
1 cup canned coconut milk (well mixed so solids and liquids are combined)
¼ cup coconut milk yogurt
2 teaspoons honey or agave (or sweetener of choice)
Splash of coconut milk
Toasted nuts or additional spices, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, almonds, pepitas, cinnamon, and salt.
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together the coconut oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla bean paste/extract. Whisk until the coconut oil is melted and the mixture is combined. Remove from heat and then pour over the dry ingredients. Toss well to combine.
Spread the mixture out on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 25-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Cool the granola completely and then store in an airtight container.
In a blender, place the carrots, banana, yogurt, vanilla, spices, honey, chia/flax/hemp hearts, and coconut milk. Blend for a minute or so until thick and smooth.
Add in a handful of ice and blend again, adding a little more coconut milk as needed to thin out.
Pour into a glass and top with the whipped yogurt and desired garnishes
Combine the yogurt, honey, and the coconut milk in a bowl and whisk for a minute or so until fluffy and light. Spoon on top of the smoothie, garnish with spices/nuts, and enjoy!