Sinful Smoothie

by Gena on June 3, 2010

It’s fun to misbehave.

The running joke among my friends and colleagues is that I’m sorely in need of a vice. They’re sort of right: I don’t drink. I don’t smoke (anymore). I don’t do drugs. I don’t sleep with anyone, these days married men. Older men used to be a weakness of mine, but I’ve grown out of it. I don’t cheat or steal. I go to bed early (unless I’m working late), and wake up early. I’m always almost always on time for work.

And as for food — well, I’m not exactly fighting off a junk food habit ;-)

What’s a girl to do? It’s not as though I’m about to take up gambling. When my friends point out my lack of vice, I either admit defeat or launch into a long rant about how I hate the whole idea of “vice,” because it implies that everyday life is lacking in pleasure and fun, which makes us crave the forbidden, which is a fundamentally depressing for so many reasons…and so on, and so forth.

But let’s face it, they have a point. We all enjoy channeling our inner teenager, and that’s what we do with the occasional misdeed. It’s exhilarating to break a rule, or a norm. Do I think that “vice” is fundamentally overrated? Sure. If you’re counting the moments to your next drink, or line, or joint, or you next illicit liaison or inadvisable shopping spree, you probably need to invest your everyday existence with a lot more passion and fulfillment. But once in a while, it’s fun to play with the idea of vice.

Which brings me to the title of this post. You guys know about my love of coffee, right? I hesitate to even call it a vice, because a) in moderation, coffee isn’t so bad for you, and b) vice implies something off-limits, and believe me, coffee is hardly off limits in Gena-land. I really can’t think of a habit I’m less interested in changing. But in the grand scheme of my health freak lifestyle, I’d have to say that my java fixation wins the “one of these things is not like the other” award. Especially when it’s flanked by green juice and kale salads and beans!

So over the weekend, when I dumped half a packet of Starbucks’ new instant coffee (which tastes fabulous, by the way) into an otherwise healthy, alkaline smoothie:

…it felt deliciously sinful.

It was Sunday, and I’d just whipped up a sumptuous banana smoothie for breakfast. I was about to serve it up, when my eye caught the little red box of Via in my pantry. Hmmm, I thought. Wouldn’t this smoothie be better if it were coffee-flavored?

Did I dare?

Reader, I did. Into my super healthy smoothie went half a packet of Via. It was delicious, and if you should wish to invite a little vice into smoothies of your own, here’s the recipe:

Gena’s Sinful Smoothie (serves 1)

1 large, frozen banana
2 tbsp hemp protein
Half a cup of homemade hazelnut milk (or any nut milk)
Ice (about half a cup)
1/2 packet instant coffee (about a teaspoon)
1 tbsp coconut butter

Blend all ingredients in a blender on high. Add more nut milk if needed.

Yes. Sometimes it’s fun to make mischief.

After I made this, I realized that the smoothie was not only infused with coffee, but coffee that’s corporate and neither organic or fair trade. Meh. Those concessions to imperfection are way less cute than my original one. But I bought the box for travel emergencies, and I buy organic and fair trade the rest of the time, so I’m just going to put Via in the “imperfect” category, and leave it at that.

Speaking of non-mischevious smoothies, I also recently tried my friend Kristen’s much adored chocolate cherry bomb for the first time. Well, I certainly see what all of the fuss is about! It’s decadent and delicious. I’m not a cherry fan, but fortunately, they were fairly submerged beneath choco-banana bliss, and just lent a hint of flavor to the drink. Another winner! Thanks, Mama-to-be.

With that, I wish you all a good night–naughty or nice!


Print Friendly
Be Sociable, Share!

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristina June 3, 2010 at 10:45 pm

your vice could be… STARBUCKS !! ha ha ! :)

and then back to organic + free trade !

that looks delicious, either way.


MarathonVal June 3, 2010 at 10:45 pm

I gave up coffee awhile ago (in favor of green tea) but this is ridiculously tempting….. my gosh how I used to LOVE a good frapuccino, which this looks eerily similar too (but 10x better, I’m sure!)



jenny (green food diaries) June 3, 2010 at 10:52 pm

the addition of coconut butter in a smoothie intrigues me more than anything (especially with hazelnut milk!). i remember those days after high school when i would get a giant frappuccino with whipped cream… wow those were the days. haha!


mary June 3, 2010 at 10:55 pm

your smoothie looks delish! so does that chocolate cherry bomb. Your vice could definitely be starbucks ;)


melissa June 3, 2010 at 11:02 pm

hahaha, i have a vice or two to share! That looks like a great idea. I have an entire box of via I haven’t even tried! I even bought the travel mug!


Jennifer June 3, 2010 at 11:05 pm

I have been doing the same thing for awhile now. I LOVE smoothies with Starbucks VIA in it!! Coffee would be my “vice” too.


Ilana June 3, 2010 at 11:39 pm

The other morning I was super late and it was really hot out, so I put coffee in my green smoothie – in theory it seemed disjointed but in reality it was amazing. Romaine, peanut butter, almond milk, coffee, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ice ice baby. Definitely a “vice” concept – the way I always used to think of fraps as a “special treat.” Don’t get me wrong, cawfee is my thing, I’m into it, but I try not to drink too much of it because I am prone to dehydrate easily.

But I’ll act surprised when some instant coffee accidentally ends up in my breakfast smoothie tomorrow (which, incidentally, is generally a chocolate-cherry smoothie these days).


Jackie (Peaces of Earth) June 3, 2010 at 11:42 pm

It’s a slippery slope when it comes to coffee and I. I have one cup and I can’t wait for my next. This seems perrrrrfect for my once and a while coffee fix!! Plus, a Via commercial just came on so I think it’s a sign. :)


Kate June 3, 2010 at 11:42 pm

Gena, I shudder to think of how sinful you would consider my idea of a mischievous meal/snack/dessert. You might never talk to me again.


Sonia @ Master of Her Romaine June 3, 2010 at 11:49 pm

haha I don’t think I have any real vices either! I do drink occasionally but I don’t really consider it a “guilty pleasure” or anything like that…
The smoothie looks awesome though! And I wouldn’t feel too sinful drinking it! MMM


Casey June 3, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Great post Gena!! Though I would be concerned about channeling my inner teenager for too long…if I got stuck there I could no longer say I practice what I preach today! Light years apart! Part of the fun though, right? ;)


Jessica Lee June 4, 2010 at 12:02 am

Its amazing how we can change our lives around! You’re amazing Gena. Coffee is not a vice, as long as you aren’t ADDICTED to it which doesnt seem to be the case at all. Coffee-banana smoothies…sounds good to me!!


Ameena June 4, 2010 at 12:09 am

I don’t have a single vice either! Seriously, I am about as boring as they come. I bore even myself sometimes. :)


BroccoliHut June 4, 2010 at 12:13 am

Wow, this smoothie combo sounds superb–and I happen to have all the ingredients on hand…


hihorosie June 4, 2010 at 12:34 am

Good for you! Sounds awesome! I want some too. ;)


lola June 4, 2010 at 1:15 am

Hahaha i’m in a desperate need of a vice too!!! i quit smoking, i broke up with my boyfriend, i exercise 5 days a week, i don’t eat junk food, i do good at school, i rarely drink!!! I drink coffee like it’s my job, but as you said, i don’t think it’s off limits :P


crunchy granola gal June 4, 2010 at 3:33 am

Gena, I love your blog-honesty! Thank you for being so open and honest- it makes for an engaging read! Will definitely try some instant coffee in my next smoothie.


Danielle (Runs on Green) June 4, 2010 at 5:12 am

I’m all over coffee in smoothies :D And those Starbucks via packets are the best instant coffee I’ve ever tried!

I guess I’m as much as a good girl as you are…except I curse like a sailor :D


Gena June 4, 2010 at 6:39 am


I’ve got a ***king filthy mouth, too. Ask Kristen, of Kristen’s Raw! She saw it in action when we met. Maybe I’ll add that to the vice list ;-)



Angela Lee June 4, 2010 at 7:04 am

Yummy!!Great idea :) While I think supporting a local coffee shop is always wonderful, purchasing products from Starbucks is not as evil a choice as everyone seems to think :)


elizabeth June 4, 2010 at 7:38 am

That sounds delicious!!!!! Hey, at least it isn’t with whip cream and sugar-loaded! i drink my coffee with stevia and almond milk, and it’s a lovely treat. Do you have a brand of hemp protein that you like the most?


VeggieGirl June 4, 2010 at 7:39 am

Hahaha love it – you and that coffee ;)


Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) June 4, 2010 at 7:54 am

Mmm what a WONDERFUL way to sin :D



Keri - I Eat Trees June 4, 2010 at 8:25 am

Kristen’s chocolate cherry bomb is sooo good. I’m going to have to try your sinful smoothie. As far as vices go, I’m pretty good. I don’t smoke, drink, do drugs, and I’m married so my husband frowns upon the sleeping around. ;) I do love coffee and have a tendency to stay up too late, but I’ve been working on it (the staying up not the coffee)! I’m always doing a lot of sweet vegan baking for friends and family at their requests, but I’m pretty good at staying out of it myself or just taking one.

On a side note, we’re going on our Chicago trip in a week- can’t wait to try the great vegan places you posted about!


Lauren June 4, 2010 at 8:40 am

This sounds delicious! :) I think I’ll try it with Teechino since I can’t drink coffee! :) XO


Annie D. from Annie'sSimpleLife June 4, 2010 at 9:01 am

I think we’re twins. HAHAHAHHAHAHA!!!


Ian June 4, 2010 at 9:03 am

Delicious looking smoothie: coffee is a fantastic idea to add to something like that. An equally lovely story to accompany it :D


Kenzie (HealthyPurpose) June 4, 2010 at 9:38 am

I’ve been loving an almond, blueberry, cacao, banana smoothie I make! It is fun to fight the inner teen. But it’s funner to compromise with it sometimes :)


Caleb June 4, 2010 at 9:52 am

I’m going to have to try this sometime. I “kicked” the coffee habbit a while back, but it only lasted about six months, eventually I was up to a couple coffee’s a week, now I occasional have up to 4. Trying to curb it a bit again, but this sounds too good to not try :)


Natalie June 4, 2010 at 10:17 am

I have a question!!

I’ve been toying with adding coffee to some of my smoothies. Like you, I LURVE my coffee. However, my one concern is about whether or not the coffee impedes absorption of all those wonderful nutrients in the smoothie.

As it is right now, I usually leave 1 to 1 1/2 hours between my morning smoothie and my morning java. Is this unnecessary? Or perhaps I could just reserve the java smoothies as a weekend treat… YUM! :-)


Gena June 4, 2010 at 10:26 am


This is a fun question. I’ll answer it in my next post :)



Catherine June 4, 2010 at 2:13 pm

I second this question! I sometimes add a spoonful of instant coffee to my banana, spinach, cashew milk and mint smoothie for a mocha-mint flava but I always wonder if it kind of negates the good stuff from the fruit, veggie and nut milk.


Brittany June 4, 2010 at 10:36 am

I made a coffee smoothie yesterday for a snack. It was very similar to this one only cold brewed coffee instead of instant and a few minor changes. For instance, I added cacao powder for a little mocha flavor. :)

Isn’t the Chocolate Cherry Bomb amazing? <3


maddie June 4, 2010 at 11:17 am

I’ve totally done this. Like Brittany said, there’s healthier ways to do this.

Its easy to find a hand full of green coffee beans in Portland, land of small-batch roasters. Ground ‘em in a coffee grinder. Soak ‘em overnight, like you would a cold-press coffee. Basically raw coffee extract.

That said, I drink at least five cups of real, roasted, steaming hot coffee a week. :-)


Gena June 4, 2010 at 11:23 am

Yes, I think the point was that I wasn’t really looking to make a healthier or more virtuous choice ;-) But this is a good idea!


Happy Herbivore June 4, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I just tried that smoothie last night — the cherry one, but i added some spinach… it was really good!

I like the idea of slipping coffee into food here and there. i can’t handle coffee on its own anymore (it doesnt like my tummy) but I did and still do LOVE the taste… and I think this is just enough balance that I can have the best of both worlds.


gina (fitnessista) June 4, 2010 at 1:00 pm

oh YUM!!
i haven’t had coffee in quite a while, but this would be perfect for those mornings when i need an extra bzzzzzz :)
hope you’re doing well <3
sorry i've been a comment slacker lately- i'm always reading though!


Christine (The Raw Project) June 4, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Love your views on vices, so true! They shouldn’t be needed to enjoy like. Then again, I have my own vices. :-P

I love this smoothie idea, but I could only have in the morning because I’ve become hyper-sensitive to caffiene. But this sounds like an ideal add to my breadfast smoothies for my busy weekend.


The Voracious Vegan June 4, 2010 at 4:28 pm

I don’t drink coffee because my body cannot take a lot of caffeine without going completely haywire, but my husband LOVES the stuff…and he doesn’t suffer from core meltdown like I do! This smoothie is such a great idea, I can’t wait to whip one up for him. He will be thrilled, thanks, Gena!


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) June 4, 2010 at 4:57 pm

The sleeping with married men cracked me up! Oh boy LOL

The vice you have no interest in changing (coffee) and that in moderation it’s not some horrible terrible thing..THANK YOU and I agree!

And your creation looks wonderful. I never use instant coffee but now I know what I can do with it :)

And I need to finally try Kristen’s Choc Cherry Bomb too..

Have a stellar weekend, Gena!


Bianca- Vegan Crunk June 4, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Yea!!! I’m so glad Gena has a vice! I’ve always thought of you as totally perfect. Seriously. I didn’t believe you had any vices left. But now we know your dirty little secret, which isn’t really that dirty at all. But hey, it’s relative right? You know I love coffee more than anything in the world, so I must try this!


pure2raw twins June 4, 2010 at 6:47 pm

It is fun to be a little sinful at times :) I think we all have it in us. We drink coffee every now and than, and when I drink it I do enjoy it but later that day I do feel guilty, ugh. HAHA.

Both smoothies look great!!!


emptyjar June 4, 2010 at 9:52 pm

I’ve never been a coffee drinker. Tea, hot chocolate, hot cocoa, etc…yes…but coffee, nope!
I have enough habits, i ought to leave coffee out …i think coffee is angelic compared to other stuff of mine :)


April June 4, 2010 at 11:16 pm

I have been looking for a great coffee drink to make in my blender. The others have all been too ‘watery’. I have tried to not make them as sweet as the coffee houses…so they are not coming out as I like them.

However, I think I may be on to something with your recipe. I am not big on the frozen coffee drinks, but if I omit the ice and put a reg banana, no frozen, and instant coffee instead of brewed coffee…I may have a start to something. Thanks for the recipe.

And as for your vice…good luck with that…could be something worse…


Elaine @ Om Sweet Om June 4, 2010 at 11:41 pm

That’s definitely better than what I had today! I had a Starbucks Decaf Coffee Frappuccino…with soymilk though! Hard to resist the temptations on a hot day!


Mama Pea June 5, 2010 at 12:56 am

If this is your only vice, you are in good shape, sister. I, on the other hand, had two glasses of champagne tonight celebrating my court victory. Ugh. I should’ve had a green juice. Or a sinful smoothie.

Happy weekend (or in Gena terms, day when you don’t have to officially go to the office but still accomplish more than most people do all week)!


Marissa June 5, 2010 at 8:30 am

I already make this smoothie (even w the same starbucks instant coffee!) but I add a spoonfull of raw almond butter too. It’s the only coffee I ever have and it’s a bit of a treat, but so worth it! Glad you enjoy it too.


Melissa @ TryingToHeal June 5, 2010 at 10:34 am

ohhh…i need to try that coffee smoothie. i’m on a smoothie kick. me needs coolness draining down my throat…

i’m writing an email as we speak. you’ll be getting it soon! <3 you!


Aisha June 5, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Lol, I annoy my workplace with my constant giving up of vices, first i became vegetarian (3 years, woo!), then I gave up diet coke and most artificial sweeteners, then coffee, now caffiene and chocolate. The only vice I seem to have left is crisps, which will hopefully die soon.
I truly don’t think we need vices, I think it is just a support mechanism which if people tried hard enough they could just be rid off.
I love the sound of the smoothie though, I have to try it without the coffee, I recently tried a cherry chocolate bomb and found it to be delicious so I know I have to experiment now with more.


christine June 6, 2010 at 10:32 pm

i cant find the link for all you lovelies, but Frank Giglio posted a video around the holidays re: making a nutritious coffee beverage. i usually cold-brew (or french press, if i’m rushed) coffee and add milk (him: raw grass fed cream, me: coconut milk) and add maca, cacao, tocos, coconut oil and other yummies. i think he adds powdered reishi or chaga too. its amazing and balancing, and takes the edge off.


Amber Shea @Almost Vegan June 10, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Mmm, I love the coffee-hazelnut mylk combo!


Jess - The Domestic Vegan June 11, 2010 at 6:02 pm

I just made a variation of this, and it was delicious! I added 1/4 c. raw cacao powder to the mix, which was even more decadent!


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: