Pura Vida Berry Banana Smoothie

Hot and humid summer months are best tolerated with a tall glass of refreshing smoothie, preferably next to a pool or on the beach. It is amazing how easy it is for us to get used to certain comforts, a certain lifestyle and habits. I realized that more than ever when I came to Costa Rica, and left the comforts of my home behind.

Coming from Croatia, reflecting on my childhood, I’d say it was a bit simpler than my life today. I think no matter the place, twenty years ago, the overall pace of life was a bit slower than it is today. Living in the United States just intensifies everything, the pace, the competition, the background noises. There are benefits to this lifestyle, and there are of course downfalls.

Pura Vida Banana Berry Smoothie

Right now, the slow pace serves me well. I need a break. I love the fact I exchanged busy six lane highways for a small tourist town where I walk everywhere. Changing huge supermarkets for farmers market or feria by the beach. The US is very easy to live in, everything is accessible, and with Amazon Prime, I don’t even have to leave my home to buy, well, literally anything.

So although I am enjoying myself, there are a few things I miss dearly, one of them being my kitchen. It took me a while to collect and build up my kitchen repertoire. Fancy high speed blender (Vitamix I miss you so), masticating juicer, huge fridge, pantry stacked with every herb and spice from organic tumeric to gluten free everything can’t be replaced just like that.

Luckily, Costa Rica offers many riches in return. I found a bhakti yogi friend who makes coconut oil from scratch - from freshly picked coconuts that grow locally all around us. It doesn’t get more ‘in the raw‘ than that! He also makes cacao butter, of the same high quality, and very reasonable prices if I may add. Quinoa here might be expensive like you wouldn’t believe it, but chia seeds are plentiful, affordable and of great quality. I am slowly discovering all the local goodies, like mangoes that are just falling of the trees on the streets (when in season)!

A blender is one of the most essential items in my life

I came to Costa Rica ready to relax and disconnect, rethink my lifestyle, and I was ready for some austerities. However, when I moved to a new residence that had a pretty stacked kitchen, I was excited and relieved! I had a blender again! Oh the joys…

Back home, I am used to stocking my freezer with frozen fruits of all kinds, from berries to peaches to pineapples. Here, I’ve been using fresh fruits, and just adding ice when I need to cool off. Some of the tropical fruits I am not used to blending in smoothies yet, like stair fruit or papaya, so some of my ‘experiments’ turn out interesting. But the good old banana and strawberry combo never disappoints!

For this particular smoothie, I used smaller bananas, sometimes called banano datil, which are incredibly sweet and creamy. You can always substitute for regular bananas.

Pura Vida Berry Banana Smoothie

{vegan, gluten free, rich in plant based protein, high in fiber, low fat}


  • 3-4 small bananas (banano datil)
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1/4 cup blackberries (locally known as mora, they are much smaller and lighter colored than blackberries I’m used to)
  • 1 cup milk of choice (I used Soy original from Silk, but I prefer almond)
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (plus more to garnish)
  • OPTIONAL: 1 scoop of plant based protein powder (I used my vegan Protein Superfood from Amazing Grass. I’m hosting a GIVEAWAY of it if you’d like some for yourself!)


  • Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. If you don’t have your Vitamix or another high speed blender, it might take longer to achieve the same smooth consistency, as I came to realize. Add water or milk as needed to get your smoothie thickness just right.

Enjoy! What are your favorite drinks to cool off this summer?