This key lime smoothie made with light coconut milk tastes just like key lime pie and the tropics. It’s the perfect drink for summer!
Back when I made this key lime coconut panna cotta, I had key limes laying around for weeks.
You had to buy them in a bag and while I used some for that recipe, I still had like 20 something key limes sitting in my fridge begging to be used.
Since that panna cotta recipe was right about the time we started the kitchen renovation, I will say a good chunk of them got used in my nightly Corona light with a serving (or three) of kettle corn Popcorners before dinner.
It was my “happy hour” after cleaning the house of all the construction debris from the day and a chance to chill out and talk myself through what would become a 90+ day period of construction chaos.
Besides the Corona lights, I did find other use for that bag of key limes and it was this key lime smoothie.
I had meant to write and publish this recipe during the renovation when I was unable to use my kitchen and needed pre-photographed content.
But, despite working ahead knowing that, my mind ended up so flustered and unable to focus with all the construction going on around me. I was barely able to sit down and actually write out anything. Anything cohesive at least.
So, here we are a few months later with this key lime pie smoothie recipe.
Honestly though, I think it’s more of a summer type smoothie recipe than spring anyway.
In my post about how to make a healthy smoothie I talk through the 3 basic steps of smoothie making:
- choose a liquid
- pick fruit + vegetables
- Add the extras
Check out that post for lots more info, it’s a fool-proof method for making delicious healthy smoothies every time.
For this key lime smoothie, the same method applies.
How To Make This Key Lime Smoothie
The base liquid for this smoothie is light coconut milk.
I like using light versus full fat coconut milk in drink recipes (versus a soup recipe like this delicata squash soup where you want a nice thick creamy base) to keep things a little lighter and easier to drink through a straw (here’s a link to these fun rainbow party straws I used). Not to mention, lower calorie too.
For step 2 of the healthy smoothie guide, cute little key limes are the fruit of choice for this recipe.
While there are plenty of smoothie recipes that include both fruit and vegetables (like this apricot green smoothie, my detox green smoothie or my most recent favorite, this green spirulina smoothie!), this smoothie is purely fruit based.
And thats ok!
For the extras/add-ins of step 3, there’s a few things this coconut key lime smoothie recipe has: vanilla extract, xanthan gum for thickening, a sweetener of your choice and optional unflavored collagen for a protein boost.
Everything is added to a high powered blender at the same time and blended until smooth.
Do I Have To Use Xanthan Gum?
I love using xanthan gum to thicken smoothies. A little goes a very long way though and I hardly ever use more than 1/4 teaspoon in any application.
That said, it’s not necessary to the flavor of this key lime pie smoothie at all, it just helps with consistency/texture. If you don’t have any or just don’t want to use it, that’s totally fine. Your smoothie may be a little thinner as a result.
This is the xantham gum I use.
Can I Use Protein Powder Instead of Collagen?
I like unflavored collagen peptides instead of protein powder when I want a protein boost to something (usually a drink) without any weird texture or possible other flavors mixing in.
I find that protein powder, even unflavored protein powders, add a gritty/chalky texture most of the time that I don’t like.
Collagen peptides, however, sort of melt into the drink without any weirdness. You’re also getting all the health benefits of collagen itself beyond the protein component which is nice.
This is an optional ingredient altogether though so omit it if you like or need this to be vegetarian/vegan.
This is the collagen powder I used in this smoothie recipe.
What Sweetener Should I Use?
This is totally up to you and if you’re not a sweet tooth, you may not even want/need sweetener in this key lime smoothie.
I suggest blending it up without any added sweetener, tasting it and then adding after if you think it needs something.
I like using monk fruit or stevia for zero calorie sweetener options. Honey would also work well in this recipe (obviously not vegan) or, just regular sugar.
This is the monk fruit I used in my version.
Does This Really Taste Like Key Lime Pie?
It really does! This key lime pie smoothie has all the flavor of the delicious pie in smoothie form.
It’s sort of like putting a tropical beach vacation in a glass and slurping it up.
Make It A Cocktail!
Pro-tip: Make this a cocktail by adding some white rum to the blender!
If you want a tropical beachy smoothie cocktail of sorts – this is the way to go. It’s reminiscent of a piña colada and key lime pie combined and you’ll be envisioning yourself on a pool chair in the sun with one in your hand on the first sip!
I’ve done this coconut and lime combination a few times before like in this Coconut Lime Smoothie (a similar recipe but uses kefir, ginger and mint) or in this Coconut Lime Baked Chicken with Coconut Mango Sticky Rice and this fun Coconut Lime Ice Cream Float from last summer.
I think what keeps drawing me back to this classic combination is how fresh, bright and tropical the two flavors become when put together.
This key lime smoothie is all those things in a healthier drink form. It’s the perfect thing to sip on a hot summer day when you want a “treat” without imbibing 1,000 calories from opening a can of Coco Loco.
Whip up a batch in the blender, take it out to the pool (if you’re luckier than me and have one in your backyard) and enjoy!
Love this key lime shake recipe? Try one of these other fun smoothies:
Key Lime Smoothie
- 1 can 13.5oz light coconut milk
- 1/4 cup fresh key lime juice
- zest of 1 key lime
- 1- 1 1/2 cups ice
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- sweetener of choice *see note
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 scoop unflavored collagen powder optional, leave out for vegetarian/vegan
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and slightly thickened, about 30 seconds.
- Pour into 2 glasses top with additional key lime slices and toasted coconut flakes if desired.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.