April 23, 2017 by Nicole Collins
Unicorns are taking over the world!
…Or at least the internet.
The whole unicorn thing has been popping up everywhere these days: from cafes to hairdos; cupcakes to pretty much any dessert imaginable; and now frappuccinos. I can’t tell you how many pictures of Starbuck’s unicorn drink I’ve seen posted across social media over the past few days.
Truth be told, the world is about 15 years late on the unicorn craze. My bestie, Sultan, was known for being a unicorn lover back in the day. Her childhood room was painted in pink, and she had unicorn figurines on a shelf above her bed. We all just knew that Sultan = unicorn. I’d like to give her credit for starting the trend. Well, her and Lisa Frank stickers.
I mean, I get it. Unicorns are synonymous with rainbows, and sprinkles, and glitter, and sunshine, and hopes, and dreams. Who wouldn’t want to be obsessed with that? Though, I have to sometimes wonder, “Is there such a thing as too much of a good thing?”
When I first saw the Starbucks drink, I was blinded by the beauty of pink, fuchsia, and sky blue goodness with a whipped cream cloud and a sprinkle of magic on top. I’m assuming that was the point. Despite my extreme hatred for the smell and taste of coffee, I considered tracking down one of these babies and giving it a go. And then I saw a nutrition label for it. That thing has almost as many calories as a typical meal for me and enough sugar in it to need a shot of insulin after you drink it. Ehh…no thank you.
I’m not usually one to jump on a bandwagon, but I had to figure out a way to make a pretty unicorny drink for myself. It didn’t take me long to realize that fresh fruit provides all the beauty of a rainbow that I could ever need. So, smoothies it is.
Now, I wanted to be smart about this (and dirty up as few dishes as possible), so I used each layer to build on the next layer’s color. To get the pink layer, we take frozen banana, frozen pineapple, frozen strawberries, almond milk, and blend them together. We separate some of that out, and add some frozen pitted cherries to that pink mix to get the fuchsia color. So pretty! We had to cheat a little to get the blue color though. For this layer, I just used the frozen banana and pineapple, but I added a drop of electric blue gel food coloring (the same food coloring that I use for icings). The blue layer is totally not necessary, but it sure is pretty. Since we’re using all the same flavors in each layer, leaving out the blue layer would just make more room for the pink layers. That’s a win any way you look at it.
But we’re not stopping at just the fruit smoothie. We’re topping it with coconut whipped cream. That’s right. And then we’re sprinkling it with strawberry dust. Oh yeah… And of course, it gets a pretty straw for slurping. I’m too good to you, I know!
So, not only do we get to have a pretty unicorn smoothie that won’t cause us to set up permanent residence in the gym, but it also just so happens to be dairy free, and we can also say that we’re being totally healthy! It’s the stuff dreams are made of, for sure.
So cheers to the good stuff, and let’s drink!
P.S. Thank goodness for spell check, because I didn’t realize I couldn’t spell fuchsia without assistance until today.
Serves: 2 Print
For the Blue Layer:
¼ frozen ripe banana
¼ cup frozen pineapple
1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp agave
1 drop electric blue gel food coloring
For the Pink Layer:
½ frozen ripe banana, cut in to 2 pieces
½ cup frozen pineapple
½ cup frozen strawberries
1 1/8 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tbsp agave
For the Fuchsia Layer:
10 frozen dark sweet cherries
For the Coconut Whipped Cream:
1 can coconut cream, refrigerated overnight
1 tbsp powdered sugar (optional)
1 freeze dried strawberry (optional for garnish)
Make the coconut whipped cream: Put a glass bowl and beaters in the freezer for 10-15 mins. Scoop out the hardened cream in to the chilled bowl, leaving the liquid in the can. Using a hand mixer, beat the hardened cream until smooth, about 2-3 mins. Beat in 1 tbsp powdered cream for a sweeter whipped cream.
For the blue layer: Mix all ingredients for blue layer in a blender til smooth. Remove to a bowl, and set aside in the freezer til ready to use.
For the pink layer: Mix all ingredients for pink layer in a blender til smooth. Remove ½ cup of the mixture, and set aside in a bowl in the freezer til ready to use.
For the Fuchsia Layer: Take remaining pink layer, and add cherries to the blender. Blend until smooth.
To assemble: Divide the fuchsia layer between 2 glasses until each glass is half full. Take half of the pink layer, and layer on top of each fuchsia layer. Next, take the blue layer and pour on top of the pink layer. Spread the remaining pink layer on top of the blue layer. Finish with remaining fuchsia layer. Top with coconut whipped cream. Use a microplane to grate freeze dried strawberry dust over the whipped cream for garnish. Enjoy immediately!
*I used organic coconut cream for this recipe. It gets pretty hard in the fridge. Don't panic! Just keep beating, and it will smooth out.
* The powdered sugar is totally optional in the coconut cream. I actually prefer mine without it. But if you like it a little sweeter, go for it.
* The food coloring in the blue layer is just for show. You can leave it out, or swap it out for your favorite color if you'd like. There's no foods that are naturally that color (thank goodness), so we had to cheat a little.
* Make sure your bananas are super ripe when you freeze them...like just about black on the outside. That makes for a sweeter smoothie. I cut my banana in 4 pieces, and freeze the chunks individually before tossing all the banana pieces in a freezer bag. So the math is easy: ¼ banana = 1 piece. ½ banana = 2 pieces.