Chocolate Superfood Protein Smoothie
Anyone who knows me or has followed me for a while knows that I love chocolate! So I'm really excited to share with you a delicious and healthy way to have it. I have this smoothie all the time and it is one of my favorites. Hope you like it too! Below the recipe, I thought it would be helpful to also explain the benefits of the superfoods, so read on and learn what this awesome smoothie will do for you.
Chocolate Superfood Protein Smoothie
1.5 c. unsweetened nut/seed milk (I'm loving pea or flax right now)
1 serving chocolate or vanilla protein powder (I love Garden of Life or Tone It Up)
1 tsp. CrioBru grounds
2 Tbsp. raw cacao
1 Tbsp. DandyBlend
1 Tbsp. collagen powder
2 Tbsp. hemp seeds
1 tsp. maca powder
2 emptied capsules / 1/2 tsp. ashwaganda powder
Greens powder (I use 1/4 scoop Garden of Life)
1 Tbsp. MCT oil / coconut oil
1/4 - 1/2 frozen banana (about a 2 or 3-inch chunk)
1 c. ice cubes
1-2 Tbsp. cacao nibs (optional, for a crunchy texture)
Directions: Blend first 11 ingredients (everything except banana, ice, and cacao nibs) until smooth. Add banana and ice cubes to blender and blend again until smooth (a few seconds in a high-powered blender). Finally, add cacao nibs (optional) and blast 1 or 2 seconds to break them up a bit to give your smoothie a crunchy, chocolate chip feel. Serve immediately.
Superfoods - what are they and why eat them?:
- Cacao - This is the raw form of chocolate. It's one of the most mineral-rich superfoods - high in calcium and iron, and also the record-holder for the food highest in magnesium. Cacao is energizing, mood-enhancing, increases serotonin levels, and is off-the-charts full of antioxidants. Cacao is also super rich in polyphenols, which help to reduce bad cholesterol and support heart health. Yes, chocolate really is a health food! But not chocolate from a Hershey bar. The healthy kind of chocolate is just the chocolate, raw and unsweetened. This is different from cocoa powder, which is roasted, and has way more antioxidants because it's raw. It might sound weird if you're unfamiliar with it, but it's incredibly easy to find. I get mine on Amazon, and you can use it anywhere you'd use regular cocoa powder, like in baking.
- DandyBlend - this is a coffee substitute made from dandelion root and other roots and grains, without caffeine but with that same rich flavor.
- Hemp seeds - These sound a little rebellious, but they're harmless as any other seed. Hemp seeds are from the cannabis sativa plant, which means they are a relative of the marijuana plant but without the THC that makes you high. They taste similar to sunflower seeds and they're a hardy crop that doesn't require pesticides. Meaning you don't have to pay extra for organic - you're fine with conventially-grown. Hemp seeds are one of the best protein sources on earth with all 8 essential amino acids. They are very digestible, contain GLA to help balance your hormones, along with omega-3 fatty acids and the minerals iron, magnesium, and zinc.
- Maca - Maca is an adaptogen, which is a group of herbs/roots that support the adrenals and are amazing for managing stress. Maca has a flavor similar to butterscotch, although not as sweet. :) It helps to balance hormones, increase fertility, boost the immune system, and energize. It's rich in B vitamins, vitamins C and E, calcium, magnesium, and more. It's super easy to toss into a smoothie and get all the amazing benefits!
- Ashwagandha - Another adaptogen I love and a powerful Ayurvedic herb. This helps to combat stress and high cortisol and promote a healthy stress response. Ashwagandha helps protect the immune system, improve memory and learning, reduce anxiety, stabilize blood sugar, and enhance libido. Talk about a superfood! You can buy the capsules or the powder - I notice a big difference in my stress level when I take this.
- MCT oil - MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, which sounds boring so let's stick with MCT. This is one of the best fats out there! MCT is a liquid coconut extract that is more bioavailable than coconut oil itself. MCT helps to produce ketones and quick brain fuel. It also contains lauric acid, which will kill candida and yeast overgrowth and maintain gut balance.
So there you go. If you have any questions about superfoods, let me know in the comments!