A raw vegan smoothie inspired by the flavors of a piña colada with banana in it, also known as a monkeylada. It’s refreshing, delicious, and will fulfill all your piña colada cravings without the alcohol.

Monkeylada in serving glasses with straws

Why We Love This Recipe For Monkeylada Smoothie

I truly can’t say enough about this smoothie. It is the perfect summer breakfast, snack and maybe even dessert (is that a stretch?). It’s loaded with that yummy fresh tropical fruit, and it tastes just like a pool-side piña colada but with banana in it–giving it the name Monkeylada.

Since it doesn’t have any alcohol in it, you can drink it any time, day or night. Plus, it’s totally raw, vegan and gluten-free.

One unusual thing about this recipe is that I added coconut meat, also known as coconut manna or coconut meat butter. A second curveball ingredient is cashews. They both help to make this smoothie incredibly creamy and unique.

For the base of the smoothie, you blend cashews with coconut water to make coconut-cashew cream. If you haven’t used cashew cream before, it is a great alternative to heavy cream in vegan recipes. I’ve also made an almond cream variation which I used in this Swiss Chard Tart with Chevre and Leeks. IT’s a great healthy hack!

If you’re loving this piña colada theme as much as I am, definitely try my Pineapple Coconut Sorbet. I won’t judge if you want to have the Monkeylada Smoothie for breakfast, and the sorbet for dessert in the same day!

Key Ingredients For This Raw Vegan Smoothie

Cashews

Cashews are an amazing and under appreciated ingredient that can turn into the best vegan cream. The trick is to refrigerate and soak them for at least four hours or overnight. If you have time, I would recommend soaking them overnight as I tried it recently and the texture was super smooth and less grainy.

Coconut water

Coconut water is a great form of liquid to add to smoothies. I love it in a recovery smoothie to help aid muscle recovery after a workout. It has a pretty subtle flavor on it’s own, but pairs really well with all fruits. You can find it at most local grocery stores, but a good alternative would be water, almond milk or coconut milk (the boxed kind, not canned).

Coconut meat butter

Coconut meat butter, such as Nutiva Coconut Manna, really gives the smoothie richness and strong coconut flavor. A little goes a long way, so 1 tablespoon is all you need for one batch of this smoothie. You can find it at the health food store with the coconut oil, or a lot of times it will be stocked with the peanut butters. It is thick like peanut butter, and it is great in vegan ice cream too. It is solid below 80 degrees (because some of the fats are saturated).

Banana

I used fresh bananas in this recipe but if you want the consistency even thicker, freeze your bananas ahead of time. Split bananas into pieces and place in a sealable bag. Freeze for at least 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how much time you have.

Pineapple chunks

Just like banana, you can use either frozen or fresh pineapple chunks in this smoothie. Since you can buy frozen pineapple, I find it both cheaper and easier than purchasing a whole pineapple and slicing it up. Frozen pineapple will also help to add thickness and iciness, giving it that real piña colada feel.

Ice

Add more or less ice depending on how thick and chilled you want the smoothie.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Make This Recipe

Drain and rinse the cashews. Purée cashews and coconut water in a blender until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Add banana, pineapple, ice, coconut meat butter and purée until smooth, 30 to 45 seconds. Pour into glasses and serve.

FAQs and Expert Tips

How to make this smoothie ahead:

A smoothie will technically last a day or two in the fridge, but I absolutely recommend making this right before serving. However, you can take certain steps to prepare in advance. Make the cashew-coconut cream up to 4-5 days in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use. Freeze bananas and/or pineapple up to 2 months in advance.

Can I turn this into a real piña colada?

Although it was developed as a healthy breakfast smoothie, the answer is yes, you technically could add alcohol. Dark rum, white rum or coconut rum would be good. In that case though, add more ice.

What happens if you soak the cashews for too long?

As mentioned above, I would recommend soaking the cashews for at least four hours to overnight to achieve the creamiest texture. However, I wouldn’t soak them any longer than that as they can start to become slimy and gel-like.

raw vegan smoothie in serving glasses

Additional Smoothie Recipes to Try

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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Monkeylada Smoothie Recipe | #raw #vegan #glutenfree

Monkeylada Smoothie

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: smoothie
  • Method: blender
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Raw, vegan and gluten-free smoothie recipe inspired by the flavors of a pina colada with banana in it, also known as a monkeylada.


Scale

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup raw cashews, refrigerated and soaked for four hours or overnight
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks, frozen if desired
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 tablespoon coconut meat butter, such as Nutiva Coconut Manna

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse cashews. Puree cashews and coconut water in a blender until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Add banana, pineapple, ice, coconut meat butter and puree until smooth, 30 to 45 seconds.

Notes

Cashew Cream Tip:

As mentioned above, I would recommend soaking the cashews for at least four hours to overnight to achieve the creamiest texture. However, I wouldn’t soak them any longer than that as they can start to become slimy and gel-like.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cup each
  • Calories: 215
  • Sugar: 21 g
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 4 g

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