High in protein this pineapple smoothie with quinoa is a great way to start your morning or be boosted with energy halfway through the day. Seven simple ingredients - quinoa, pineapple, turmeric, bananas, chia seeds, honey, and your favorite milk, make this creamy smoothie.
I like this smoothie because it's full of flavor and it gives me energy for a couple of hours! This smoothie is easy to make dairy-free, and it's also easy to switch up the frozen fruit for alternative flavors.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Seven whole ingredients are needed for this smoothie. Below I will expand on the basic nutrition of each ingredient as well as alternatives and replacements you can use.
- Pineapple supports digestion and works to cleanse the body. Key nutrients are vitamin C, folate, iron, and fiber. For this recipe, we use frozen pineapple. You can use fresh pineapple, if so I recommend adding 4-6 ice cubes to make this smoothie cold and thick. You can also use frozen mango, frozen peaches, or a mixture of these.
- Quinoa is known as a 'super grain' as it has all essential amino acids which classify it as a complete protein. This grain is high in iron, B3, B6, and phosphorus. In this recipe, we use cooked quinoa you can use between ¼ cup to ¾ cup for this smoothie, a perfect way to use leftover quinoa! I haven't tried using uncooked quinoa for this recipe, and I don't recommend using it unless you have a high-power blender.
- In India and China, turmeric has been viewed as a tonic for the whole body. It is well known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In this recipe, you can use ½ teaspoon of powdered turmeric or ½ inch of the bright orange fresh turmeric root (found in the produce section by the ginger in the grocery store). If you don't have it you can make the recipe without it, however, it's what gives the smoothie the bright color.
- Chia Seeds are known as an energy booster, this is because it is a complex carbohydrate and high in protein. I used white chia seeds but black chia seeds work just the same and are easier to find in the grocery store.
- Bananas are high in potassium, folate, vitamin C, B vitamins, and many other nutrients. For this recipe you need 2 unfrozen bananas which create a smooth creamy texture.
- Honey is optional, but used to sweeten the smoothie. I like to use raw honey as it will contain a small amount of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that will benefit the body. If you are staying away from sweeteners or feeding this to infants you can omit the honey.
- To complete the recipe we need 1 cup of milk. This can be cow's milk, or any dairy-free alternative like almond or coconut milk, or whatever you have in your fridge! I use almond milk in this recipe.
See recipe card for quantities.
Smoothies are easy to make, however, follow these simple steps for the best texture. It's all about layering!
Place the soft ingredients in the blender first. The banana, cooked quinoa, chia seeds, and turmeric.
Add the liquid next, whatever milk you want to use!
Thirdly, place the frozen fruit on top of the other ingredients. This is the pineapple (and peaches or mangos if using).
Blend for about 1 minute until creamy, then pour your smoothie into glasses! This will make 2 medium smoothies or 1 large smoothie.
It's good practice for the blender's blades to put soft foods on the bottom and frozen foods on the top. But most importantly it creates a good consistency of a smoothie, instead of pouring more milk or juice on top of frozen fruit if it's stuck on the blades at the bottom.
Hint: Rinse and wash the blender right after you are done using it! This is the best way to make sure nothing dries onto that blade in the bottom of the blender container (which is hard to wash off as it is so sharp).
Blenders have a big impact on how a recipe turns out. Texture honestly makes a smoothie delicious or yucky.
I have used a ninja blender and a Vitamix blender so I can speak to these. I found when I used a ninja blender (keep in mind this was in 2020 the quality may be different now) it didn't fully blend blackberry seeds.
When I blend frozen fruit, any tiny seeds, or raw nuts in my Vitamix it comes out perfectly smooth. Therefore I love and will always recommend Vitamix.
Here's the one I have, and use it every single day.
High-power blenders can do amazing things these days and if you are keen to make healthy food this is one of the first things I recommend investing in!
If you have leftover smoothie two different ways you can use it!
Freeze it into an ice cube tray and add one or two cubes to future smoothies.
Make it into popsicles! I find sometimes my son doesn't want to start the day with a smoothie so...I give it to him later as a popsicle (today's toddler hack)! This is the popsicle mold I like to use.
Yes! There are two ways to prep or batch your smoothie ahead of time. Both ways will last in the freezer for three months.
Freeze the ingredients needed minus the liquid for the smoothie together in a bag. Write on the bag what liquid to use and how much to add so you remember when you go to make that smoothie. Note that you may need to add a little more liquid to the smoothie when preparing it this way.
Alternatively, make your smoothie, pour it into a jar with a sealing lid, leave at least 1.5 inches at the top (as they can expand in the freezer), and place in the freezer until ready to enjoy it.
I give all my smoothies ratings 1 to 3 for thickness, sweetness, and if they are kid-friendly. For thickness 1 means thin, and 3 means very thick. For sweetness 1 means not very sweet, and 3 means sweet. For kid friendly 1 means not very liked by my toddler, and 3 means very liked by my toddler.
Sweetness: 2 (Without honey it's a 1.)
Kid Friendly: 2 (You can't taste the quinoa but you can taste the turmeric.)
Pineapple Smoothie with Quinoa
- 1 blender
- ½ cup cooked quinoa*
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder**
- 2 tablespoon white or black chia seeds***
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 cup any kind of milk
- 4 cups loosely packed frozen pineapple (or peaches or mango)
- Place the soft ingredients in the blender first: the banana, cooked quinoa, chia seeds, and turmeric. Add the liquid next, whatever milk you want to use!
- Thirdly, place the frozen fruit on top of the other ingredients. This is the pineapple (and/or the peaches or mangos if using).
- Blend for about 1 minute until creamy, then pour your smoothie into glasses! This will make 2 medium smoothies or 1 large smoothie (4 cups).