Satisfying a serious sweet tooth doesn’t have to be a missed opportunity for loading up on your nutrient-dense superfoods. My Superfoods “Chocolate Shake” Smoothie makes for a sweet and hearty breakfast, afternoon snack, or dessert with zero refined sugar, lots of fiber, and natural energy to boot!
I hesitate to admit that I’ve been on a Superfoods “Chocolate Shake” Smoothie kick for breakfast these last few (ahem) days. You see, as far as the body is concerned, sugar is sugar, whether it comes refined out of a box or from the mushy goodness of a Medjool date. And this smoothie is brimming with natural sugars. So ideally, you’d consume this smoothie in moderation. But I’m only human, right?
I enjoyed my Superfoods “Chocolate Shake” Smoothie out on the front porch this morning, soaking in the last bit of warm weather before my fourth autumn in New York. My neighbor, renowned for her health-food-loving sweet tooth, took a sip and called it “pure evil,” which means I’m really on to something. She’s right… it’s all I can do not to chug this thing down in a minute flat!
Raw Cacao Powder: The purest form of chocolate, cacao powder is a great source of dietary fiber and one of the most abundant sources of antioxidants found in nature (read: anti-aging). It contains magnesium, iron, and high levels of flavonoids, which may benefit cardiovascular health.
Chia Seeds: These seeds are a great source of Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), an Omega-3 essential fatty acid that cannot be produced in the body and must be obtained from the diet. Daily ingestion of ALA has been associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression. Chia seeds add a subtle nutty flavor and make this smoothie super thick and creamy.
Maca Powder: Maca is a root grown in the Andes Mountains that has been cultivated and used medicinally in Peru for at least 3000 years. It is known to increase stamina, combat fatigue, and even boost libido. It’s chock full of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty and amino acids. Maca powder has a distinct butterscotch smell and adds a malty flavor to this “Chocolate Shake.” To be honest, the flavor took me some getting used to. I’d start with a ½ teaspoon, as suggested in this recipe, and add more as you familiarize yourself with its distinct taste.
Lucuma Powder: Similar to Maca, Lucuma is a plant native to the highlands of Peru where it has been cultivated for many thousands of years. The lucuma fruit is naturally very sweet and produces a flavor that reminds me of maple, sweet potato, and dates. In fact, it’s a popular ice cream flavor in many countries. It’s also packed with carotene, Vitamin B3, and other B vitamins. This is a seriously healthy sweetener!
Superfoods “Chocolate Shake” Smoothie
Vegan / Gluten Free / Soy Free / Refined Sugar Free
- 1 banana*
- 2 Medjool dates, pitted**
- 1 and ¼ c vanilla almond milk, unsweetened
- 2 Tbsp raw creamy almond butter
- 2 Tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp lucuma powder (optional)
- 1 tsp maca powder (optional)
- 2-3 ice cubes (I use three 1” cubes)
Whiz all the ingredients together in a high speed blender until creamy and smooth. Serve immediately and enjoy!
*I enjoy freezing my bananas before adding them to smoothies. Make sure to peel them (and cut them, if desired) before placing them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer, or else they’re nearly impossible to pry open!
**If you’re not working with a Vitamix or another high speed blender, it may be useful to soak the dates in warm water in order to soften them for easy blending.
Makes about 2 cups, good for two small servings or one jumbo smoothie.