• I almost didn’t post this picture of my Banana Jamma Smoothie, full of gluten free goodness: almond milk and almond butter and banana deliciousness. When I looked at the picture, I thought it looked like the surface of the moon. But then I realized that my Vitamix can sometimes be all about the bubbles, especially when I get a little overzealous with the power button. But, I really wanted to share part of the whole reason I made this smoothie in the first place, so I just moved past the crater looking picture:). I have some exciting news. Very. Clicking my heels excited. I am now enrolled as a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I officially begin my studies on September 12, though have been listening to the introductory lectures for the last month. And I am SO excited about what this program offers and promises to bring my way. Over the last 6 1/2 years (since I began blogging), I’ve gotten many, many emails from people who inquire about everything from what gluten free flours to use, to how long it took for my hair to grow back after being diagnosed with Alopecia and Celiac. I’ve tried to answer each and every email and will continue to do so. But now I’ll be able to do it from a much more informed place. Plus, I’ll be able to coach people on how to make changes not only to their diet, but to their lifestyle as well. I will be a certified Health Coach. I will still do the work I’ve been doing for my entire life – that of a musician performing concerts and presenting workshops on music. But I will add this new dimension to my life – with the goal of helping people make healthy, informed choices about the food they eat and the lives they lead. So, back to the smoothie. I thought I ate a pretty clean and healthy diet, but since enrolling at the IIN, I’m definitely cranking it up more than a few notches. Part of my efforts to become the best model I can be for my clients includes paying attention to every part of my eating day. I’ve always tended to at a lot of smaller meals (usually 5 – 6) over the course of a day, but I’m now paying much more care to packing healthy, nutrient-dense foods into all of my food choices. I’m also dealing with a new diagnosis of Candida which is a yeast overgrowth. I’m just, in the last few days, wrapping my brain around what it entails. I know I can go to Ricki’s Diet, Dessert and Dogs blog and learn pretty much everything I need to know about how to eat when one has Candida. She’s the top potato around this topic. Anyhoo, one of the things to note is that when trying to overcome Candida, a reduction in sugar is important, as yeast feeds on sugar (think about when you’re proofing yeast to make bread – you always put a little sweetener in the yeast/water combo). In making this smoothie, every part of me was screaming “ADD THE AGAVE! ADD THE AGAVE!”. But I tried it first without my usual addition of agave to my smoothies and lo and behold, it was plenty sweet enough. The banana and the date gave it all the sweetness my ol’ sweet tooth needed. One of the areas I want to help people with is making healthy choices that are also quick. Many of us lead busy lives and often, our nutrition suffers. But it doesn’t have to. Having a few tricks up your sleeve can make all the difference. This smoothie has six ingredients. Seven if you count the ice cubes. That’s it! I think it took me 2 minutes to put together. So, pull out your blender. I love my Vitamix but if you don’t have one, don’t let it stop you. I think a regular blender will work just as well. Might take a few extra seconds to blend everything together, but go for it. If you have a moment, read the review at Lexie’s Kitchen of the Omni blender. She made a great video comparing the Omni to two other blenders. Lexie rocks. Thanks for stopping by! If you’re not yet a fan on facebook, won’t you consider becoming one? Just go to my Gluten Free Diva facebook page. Thank you!
    Banana Jamma Smoothie


    • 1 c. almond milk
    • 1 date, pitted
    • 1 tbsp almond butter
    • 1 frozen banana
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp flaxseeds
    • 3 ice cubes, optional


    Blend all together to desired thickness. Add a couple of ice cubes if you prefer your smoothie thicker and colder.

    Looking for other smoothie recipes? Try my Banana Cocoa Smoothie. Or any of these: Creamy Dairy-Free Pumpkin Smoothie Red, White & Blue Smoothie (here or here) Smoothing the Gluten Free Transition Berry Green Smoothie (one of my personal faves!)
    • http://www.glutenfreecat.com [email protected] Cat

      Thanks for the link love, Ellen! Your smoothie sounds delightful!!!

    • http://glutenfreeeasily.com Shirley @ gfe

      Oh my goodness, Ellen, that smoothie looks amazing to me! I'm all about the bubbles. Seriously. :-) The trick to using a date in a regular blender is to soak it in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. I've added them without doing that and it does works, but it's harder on the blender and they won't incorporate into the smoothie as well if not soaked. BTW, the banana is missing from your recipe. 😉 I know how key those can be to good smoothies (and do add most of the sweetness), so we don't want to leave that out. 😉

      While getting a candida diagnosis is a bummer, it can lead one to even better eating and more creative recipes. And yes, Ricki is definitely the queen of the ACD!

      Finally, congrats on your new pursuit! I'm sure you will use what you learn for the benefit of so many. I'll be anxious to watch you learn and share some of that here, on FB, etc. 😉


    • Diane Eblin

      First the pic is great, and the smoothie sounds even better. I can't wait to try it. Love that you used a date.

      I also love how you take a situation that some might see as a problem and you immediately turn it into a solution. You will ROCK as a health coach.

      CONGRATULATIONS on IIN. I'm so excited to be classmates. It's an amazing program and you'll be stoked at how it builds on what you already know so you can dig into more details where you want.

      Enjoy the ride.

    • http://www.godairyfree.org Alisa Fleming

      Congrats Ellen! This is so similar to one of my favorite smoothies … as in the one I have three times a week :)

    • http://dietdessertndogs.com Ricki

      First, congrats on enrolling in IIN!! That is sooo exciting–I know you're going to love it. Sorry to hear about the candida, though! And thanks so much for the shout-out.

      The diet is really not so tough once you get used to it. . . and this smoothie sounds like a good way to transition. Yum! :)

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    • http://www.wheatfreemeatfree.com Kalinda

      Hey Ellen,

      I'm with Shirley, the bubbles are great. Just wanted to let you know I included this smoothie in my roundup this week. :)

    • Pingback: Weekly Gluten-Free Roundup – August 28, 2011 « Celiac Kitchen Witch()

    • http://gfreelife.com Jen Cafferty

      I just started the IIN program in July. Congrats!!

    • Ricki

      Hi Ellen! I posted a comment previously but for some reason WordPress doesn't like me lately. . . gah!

      Congrats on pursuing holistic nutrition–you will LOVE it! And thanks so much for the shout-out. I can only hope that you don't actually have to ever follow the anti-candida diet as it is decidedly no fun (at least for the first few weeks). But once you're done you can enjoy smoothies like this one–something for me to look forward to! 😀 Hope you're having a great Labor Day weekend.

    • kathyfannon

      Congratulations on your enrollment at IIN, Ellen! You're in for quite a ride this year! I just graduated in July and I LOVED it! You will be a 'natural" at it, so to speak. :)

    • http://www.abirdgd.com/blog Anna S.

      That looks delicious! I'm wondering: could you substitute frozen banana (I say "substitute" loosely) for the ice cubes? The only reason I ask is because I never finish a smoothie fast enough to avoid the water separating to the top.

    • http://www.glutenfreeandlovingit.com Rogene

      That smoothie looks so good! Wishing you the best with your studies. My hubby is also looking at that program so will be interested in hearing how it goes.

    • http://www.healthykitchenplus.com/juicers Missy

      this sure looks good. I love smoothies and I'm going to try it with a little chocolate.

    • http://www.healthykitchenplus.com/juicers Mike

      This really sounds good.
      Thanks !

    • http://glutenfreegift.blogspot.com/ gluten free gift

      Ellen – congrats on signing up for the formalized training and jumping in with both feet – very exciting! I've battled with Candida over the years too… and the symptoms can be almost as bad as those from celiac (certainly fatigue!). The smoothie is a great idea, because the first week on the diet you crave sweet like crazy – and banana will give you that. Your post reminded me that it's time to get back on the almond milk too (regular milk has snuck back into my diet as nothing seems to replace it for me in my morning tea!!). Love your blog – I've linked yours on the side of mine since listing you as one of my top 5 gluten-free places to visit :)

    • http://www.healthykitchenplus.com/wheatgrassjuicercomparisonchart Annette

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    • http://www.healthykitchenplus.com/grain-mill-comparison-chart Ann

      This is a great way to start off the New Year. Happy New Year to all.

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