I love piña coladas. They're my favorite summer beverage. Not because of the alcohol. On the contrary, I very much like to drink the virgin variety. Because I love the coconut/pineapple flavor combination. It's the flavor of summer. The end.

So here's the problem: As you know if you've read this blog, I'm a clean eater. Piña coladas - even the non-alcoholic kind - are pretty unhealthy. What's a girl to do? I need my coconut-y pineapple-y goodness!

Enter this smoothie. I was chilling at home one night last week and thought, "You know, I could really go for something piña colada-y right now. I need that coconut/pineapple flavor combination in my life. Like right now." Lucky for me, I had some coconut water and pineapple juice on hand. I threw some ice, frozen strawberries, and coconut extract in there (and a bit of flaxseed for good measure) and came up with a downright delicious smoothie that has all the flavors of summer. Seriously, this smoothie is amazing. Possibly my new favorite. And that's saying something for me. I consume smoothies quite often.

Then came another experiment. I got home from the gym earlier this week and needed my post-workout fuel. I have a go-to protein smoothie I almost always make for after a workout. But I wanted this pineapple coconut smoothie again. So I thought, "What if I throw some of my chocolate protein powder in there?" And you know what? It was AWESOME! So if you find yourself in need of a post-workout protein shake, just throw a scoop of protein powder in that bad boy. It's just as good, as the original.

About my protein powder: I use About Time Whey Protein Isolate (chocolate flavor) - a clean, non-GMO, lactose- and gluten-free protein powder that is sweetened with stevia. It's a delicious and clean protein powder that I highly recommend (This is not a shameless plug. I actually use it pretty much exclusively.).

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~ Ingredients ~

½ c. coconut water
½ c. 100% pineapple juice
½ c. frozen strawberries
½ c. ice
1 tsp. pure coconut extract
1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
1 scoop protein powder - recommended chocolate, vanilla or strawberry flavor (optional)
Unsweetened coconut flakes to top

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~ Directions ~

Combine all ingredients together in a blender and blend until smooth. Top with a spoonful of unsweetened coconut flakes.

Sit back, relax, sip and pretend you're on a beach far away.