Cocoa and A Chocolate Smoothie

IMG_2204There are good days and there are bad days. There are days when I feel like eating savory and days when I feel like eating sweet. Some days I like strong spices and other days I only want subtle flavors.

At the same time, EVERY DAY is a CHOCOLATE DAY.

I have mentioned my chocolate obsession/addiction in the past and I am pretty sure it is a genetic thing. (Passed on, once again, to a future generation: my daughter. Pictured here).

Luckily, there are numerous ways in which to incorporate chocolate into a healthy diet, reaping the incredible benefits of cocoa while leaving out the casein, hydrogenated oils, refined sugars, and what not.

Below is a recipe for a divine chocolate lover’s smoothie (with a bit of sustenance stuck in the middle to make it a full meal!) Yay.

IMG_2202

Chocolate Lovers Smoothie

Ingredients:

Smoothie:

  • ¼ cup raw cocoa powder
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1/3 cup soaked almonds (or almond butter…if you don’t have a super duper blender…I use a Vitamix)
  • 6 pitted dates
  • ½ cup unsweetened nut, seed or soy milk (if using soy, make sure it is non-GMO)
  • (I like to throw in a handful of spinach to add a bit more plant power, but not necessary. It doesn’t change the flavor)

Middle Oat Layer

  • ½ cup gluten free rolled oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/3 cup raw cocoa nibs
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Toppings:

  • raw cocoa nibs
  • shelled hemp seeds
  • dark chocolate hemp seed bark (I make mine myself by mixing ¼ cup coconut oil, ¼ cup cocoa powder and 2 tbsp maple syrup and then pouring out onto a baking sheet (topping it with seeds, nuts, berries or dried flowers) and freezing for ten minutes.)

Instructions:

  • Blend the smoothie ingredients together
  • In a medium bowl, mix the middle oat layer ingredients together
  • Pour into a cup or mug, layering the smoothie and the oats
  • Top as desired
  • Serve and enjoy!!

*Some health benefits of cocoa (I am talking about raw, unrefined cocoa): Cocoa flavonoids (antioxidants) reduce the risk of heart disease and are good for cholesterol (lowering bad cholesterol and raising good cholesterol). Additionally, they decrease blood pressure and aid blood vessel health. Flavonoid-rich cocoa consumption was linked to reductions in diabetes risk factors. Cocoa is also rich in fiber, iron and magnesium.

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