I've been drinking smoothies for more than twenty years and continually come up with new recipes to keep breakfast interesting. Here's the latest, my chocolate energy smoothie. It's like a healthy chocolate milkshake that powers up your morning. It increases energy, balances your mood and helps you sail through daily stress, so grab your blender and let's get going.
While cacao gives this smoothie its chocolaty flavor and lovely color, the health benefit is from flavanols. Flavanols are a type of phytonutrient found in plants. Published studies demonstrate that consuming cocoa flavanols improves cardiovascular function and lessens the burden on the heart that comes with the aging while lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and preventing blood clots. If that isn't good news for chocolate lovers I don't know what is!
See recipe card for measurements.
- Almond milk preferably homemade (or oat milk)
- Canned coconut milk (for rich smoothness, healthy fat)
- Ground flaxseed (fiber)
- Raw cacao powder (note below)
- Ground maca powder
- Ground cinnamon (I use Ceylon cinnamon)
- Liquid chocolate stevia (to sweeten, optional, or swap maple syrup)
- Greenish banana
- Protein powder of choice (see notes below)
I buy a raw, organic, unsweetened cacao on Amazon. More than just flavor and color, two tablespoons adds 5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein to your smoothie. Cacao powder even provides important minerals such as magnesium, manganese, chromium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, zinc, and copper.
Protein Powder Notes
Protein powder makes it easy to add protein to your smoothie. Choose unflavored, unsweetened powder with no additives. You can also use hemp seeds, chia seeds and other plant-based options.
For suggestions, read this post on How to Choose a Protein Powder
What is Maca?
I use a traditional medicinal herb called an adaptogen. in this smoothie. Adaptogens help your body cope more effectively with stressors. Maca is dried and ground into powder, making it easy to add to smoothies. It has a nutty kind of butterscotch-y flavor and it pairs well with chocolate. One tablespoon adds 3 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber to your smoothie.
Peruvian folklore tells of maca used by warriors to increase strength and endurance. Maca is a root vegetable native to Peru, grown in the harsh high altitudes of the Andes mountains. Research on maca is in early stages. Reports show it helps increase energy and stamina, balance hormones, plus reduce stress and anxiety. It's a healthy natural addition to your healthy diet and lifestyle.
Choose greenish bananas for their lower sugar levels and resistant starch, a type of starch than functions more like fiber. To sweeten your smoothie, use a half dropper of liquid chocolate stevia drops. For cinnamon, choose "true" or Ceylon cinnamon versus common Cassia cinnamon.
Chocolate Energy Smoothie
- 1 cup almond milk preferably homemade
- 2 tablespoons canned coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon ground maca powder
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 dropper liquid chocolate stevia
- 1 small greenish banana
- 1 scoop protein powder of choice see notes below
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao nibs
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut thread
- 2-3 slices banana
- Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. If you prefer a cold smoothie, add a couple of ice cubes. Garnish as desired.