Choco-Green Smoothie Recipe

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I’ve written a lot about green smoothies before including my Collard Green Smoothie, my Cantaloupe & Spinach Smoothie, and my Sweet Watercress Smoothie. Today, I present you with my Choco-Green Smoothie:

Choco-Green Smoothie

This recipe is an evolution of my Energizing Green Smoothie, but uses a blend of cacao nibs and cocoa powder for that rich, chocolatey-flavor.

By the way, I’ve recently updated my thinking on chocolate after watching what Dr. Greger has to say about it. In particular, I thought this video on using cocoa powder to treat chronic fatigue syndrome was fascinating (I don’t have CFS, but I was still won over by the data):

Side now: in case you’re wondering, I avoided chocolate for awhile because I found it to be really addictive for me. While that is still the case, I’ve added it back into my diet because I was tired of fighting the cravings and I honestly just love chocolate. I’m also using cocoa powder more often than cacao because I find I can use less of it and get the flavor I want.

I start my smoothie-making process the same each time with some unsweetened non-dairy milk. I think healthiest combination is using hemp and sesame seeds. A high-speed blender takes it from this:

Sesame and hemp seeds plus water.

To this, in no time flat:

Hemp and sesame seed milk

You wouldn’t necessarily want to drink this milk plain because it will taste pretty grassy (I can’t think of any other way to describe it) and will separate easily, but it works perfectly as a base of a green smoothie. My ratio is about 1/4 cup seeds (any combination) to 3 cups water.

While I try to get fresh fruit from the farmers’ market as much as possible, I’ve also been buying the organic strawberries from Costco recently:

Organic strawberries

You could definitely alter the fresh or frozen fruits in this recipe, but I find that it works to have at least some of the fruit fresh so the whole thing blends easier. Un-frozen bananas are a great option. Or, you could also put some of your frozen fruit in the fridge overnight to defrost and use the next morning.

Deciding on your greens is important, too. I tend to rotate between spinach, collard greens, kale, and romaine for my green smoothies. It’s actually really important to switch up your greens since some of them are high in oxalic acid and, besides, variety is the spice of life, no?

So once you add your fruit to your non-dairy milk, add your greens on top:

Greens in the Vitamix

You’ll be surprised by how much the greens will shrink down once blended, so just go for the gusto and get as much in there as possible:

Blender stuffed to the top with greens.

After another blend, it’s time to add the final round of ingredients: the chocolate, the frozen fruit, the flax, chia seeds, goji berries, and lucuma powder for added sweetness (totally optional).

Let’s talk chocolate for a minute, too. It is really important to me to use fair-trade and organic chocolate, so I buy both the nibs and cocoa powder from Frontier Coop in a bulk size. I’ve included these in my Amazon store that you can check out here.

You don’t necessarily have to use both nibs and cocoa, but I say bring on the chocolate my friends.

This is what you’ll have before your final blend:

Green smoothie with banana and pineapple

Then, all of your hard work will be rewarded with a sweet, creamy, chocolatey, nutritious green smoothie:

Choco-Green Smoothie with goji berries

Choco-Green Smoothie
 
Author:
Recipe type: Smoothie
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons unhulled sesame seeds
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 ripe mango
  • 1 pint fresh organic strawberries
  • 10-16 ounces baby romaine
  • 1½ tablespoons flax meal
  • 1½ tablespoons ground chia seeds
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs
  • 1 teaspoon lucuma powder (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine hemp seeds, sesame seeds and water in a high-speed blender and process until smooth (about 15 seconds).
  2. Peel the mango and add to the blender along with the fresh strawberries. Add the romaine and blend again (about 30 seconds).
  3. Add flax meal, chia seeds, frozen pineapple, cocoa powder, cacao nibs, and lucuma powder to the blender and process one last time until smooth. Serve cold and refrigerate leftovers for up to 24 hours, tightly covered.

Vegan Delish Giveaway:

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m giving away 10 free downloads of my recipe app, Vegan Delish, this week to celebrate the kick-off of Vegan Mofo. Follow the Rafflecopter link to be entered:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The app has a whole category devoted to Smoothies, too! Just this past weekend, I uploaded a new recipe for a vegan version of the Iced Pear Smoothie from Sandra at Candida Diet Plan. Here’s a screenshot of the iPad version showing my Energizing Green Smoothie:

Screenshot of Vegan Delish

Conclusion:

This is my 2nd Vegan MoFo post…18 more to go. :) Be sure to check out all of the great blogs participating in this event here.

Want more of Carrie on Vegan? Connect with me on FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, or Google+ and don’t forget to help keep my blog going by downloading my recipe app, Vegan Delish, on the iTunes store here.

See you tomorrow!

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Carrie
    I love your blog, smoothies and recipes, there are so much healthy ideas here!
    I have a couple question for you regarding the smoothie (s): when you make this and it yields 4 cups, how much of it do you eat/drink in one sitting? Do you freeze what is left or just store in your fridge? And do you drink it all in one day?
    I want to make this smoothie as it is similar to the ones I like and make myself and I know I will totally enjoy, but I also know I am probably not be able to consume all in one day. I am thinking about making 1/2 recipe, but not sure I will drink 2 cups at once…. I may though as my smoothies are always thick, creamy and voluminous, lol!
    Thanks for sharing this recipe and all the other awesome ones you have in your amazing blog!
    Ana

    • says

      Hi Ana! I should clarify that this makes 4 servings, not cups. It is probably more like 12 cups total! What we do in my house is drink half of it the day it’s made (shared with my husband), and then drink the rest the next morning. You can also freeze the leftovers and then just defrost in the fridge, I did that last year before my thyroid cancer surgery and I do that before I travel sometimes so I can take along the frozen smoothies to defrost in the hotel fridge.

  2. says

    This look amazing Carrie!:) I use cacao in all my smoothies. It really gives me great energy and my skin never looked better. I know the extra iron also helps, and it’s such a great source of antioxidants!:) I’ve wanted to use hemp milk in a smoothie for some time now, so thanks for the extra dose of inspiration!:) I love this smoothie! So lovely:0 I also love using frozen cucumbers instead of fruit since I’m sensitive to sugar, and use a recipe similar to this one:) LOVE IT!

    • says

      Hi Heather! I’m glad to hear I’m not the only choco-lover around. I agree that it provides a nice dose of nutrients, I think magnesium is another one. Not that I need more reasons to eat chocolate, but it helps that there’s some evidence that it’s healthy. :)

  3. Patty says

    Carrie,

    This is such a great post!! Thank you!! I love how you not only say what you put in the smoothie and share the recipe, which looks and sounds delicious by the way, but you also broke it down for us step-by-step with a little rule of thumb type formula for building a smoothie. I liked that you explained the importance of changing up the greens, and talked about cocoa and provided some links. I love this sort of information, so much. I find it to be really educational and makes me feel more confident building my own smoothies without always following a specific recipe. And, as you know, I love the posts where you share your personal happenings and photos, too!! Makes it all so interesting to read and learn from. Plus makes me feel like I have another friend! :)

    • says

      Patty, thanks so much for the supportive words! I’m so glad you liked this smoothie recipe, as well as the way I put it together. I definitely feel as if we are friends, too, which is one reason why I love blogging so much. I’ve met so many incredible people, including yourself, that I never would have met otherwise. Hugs!!!

  4. says

    mmmmmmmm yummy! I TOTALLY agree with getting more flavour with cocoa instead of cacao and also the quantity needed being much less! And that sure adds up with the cost of cacao out here – not sure if its the same where you are or not but its soooooooooooooo expensive here!

    • says

      Hi Sandy! I didn’t know if I was crazy with feeling like I get more of a chocolate flavor from the cocoa vs. the cacao (I would have thought otherwise?). I’m glad I’m not the only one to notice that. Both cacao and cocoa are expensive in the U.S., too, especially since I buy the “fancy” kinds. But, I must say, it’s sooo worth it! :)

      • says

        haha def not crazy ;-)
        Yes I must admit hat cocoa isn’t actually a cheap product but way more affordable than cacao here! and also available in a regular grocery store which helps not to have to make a special trip to the health food store. And esp with how much of it we go through ;-)

  5. Patricia says

    I like reading your posts and I like it when ‘health claims’ are backed up by a study. Thank you for sharing and I’m learning a lot from you. I love chocolate ( who doesnt?) but I rarely eat them. Now, I can enjoy chocolate in my smoothies.
    I recently moved back to the Philippines and we have plenty of cacao here and there’s a lot of veggies that are new to me . Sometimes, it’s so hard to find substitutes for the green veggies that I used to make smoothies the US. We don’t have favorites, kale and spaghetti squash. There’s a lot of ‘super greens’ though and most local fruits and vegetables are organic. I just have to keep on experimenting ang most importantly writing down what tastes good and not. I almost sold my Vitamix before relocating. I am so thankful I brought it here ( but have to use a converter )I can’t live without it!

    • says

      Hi Patricia! Wow, I think you might be my first reader in the Philippines. Cool!!! That’s really neat that you can find lots of fresh produce, I bet the fruit is really incredible. Ohhhh, thank goodness you didn’t let go of the trusty Vitamix, I also use mine at least twice a day. :)

      P.S. You should start a blog! I would love to read about what life is like where you live.

  6. says

    I just wrote this super long reply, and it gave me an error! comment gone. boo.

    What I was saying was that as someone who has been recovering from CFS for almost 3 years now, I’m really skeptical of this small (10 person) study. Chocolate, in it’s various forms, will give me a lift but to maintain it I need to eat more of it. Also, the buzzing energy becomes more of a nervous jittery feeling, and I would still be too fatigued to exercise off this burst of energy. They didn’t formally assess the participants physical activity, so it’s anyone’s guess how much the chocolate really improved their CFS.

    The study has a chart showing what exactly was in each of the chocolates. the “fake” chocolate had twice as much sugar and also contained whole milk and whey powders. It’s no wonder those test subjects felt worse during the study. Sugar and dairy are two of the most energy draining things for CFS.

    They also mention that 2 of the people in the study were able to return to work. I wish it were as easy as eating chocolate to heal from this, but treatment is complex and involves permanent lifestyle changes.

    I’m not trying to say that chocolate is the devil or anything, but I do think that it’s wise to avoid chocolate and any other stimulant foods when recovering from CFS.

    You’re smoothie looks super yummy, btw. I might have to make some with carob!

    • says

      Oh wow, Marissa, thanks for the amazing input. I didn’t read the study and wish Dr. Greger had discussed some of the points you made. I guess I made the standard error of just listening to the “highlights.”

  7. says

    Wow Carrie,
    This was an amazing smoothie recipe because you included a lot of ingredients that I don’t normally use in my smoothies. I do use Hemp milk a lot, but I need to use sesame seeds more often because they are very nutritious. And of course, collards, lucuma and goji berries are so healthy for us. This smoothie (with the extra boost of chocolate) should have you bouncing with energy all day! Is it necessary to soak your sesame seeds overnight or not for this smoothie?

    • says

      Hi Deborah! I do not think that sesame seeds need to be soaked. I do use the unhulled (brown) version though, because they are a richer source of calcium and other nutrients in that form, as opposed to the white hulled version. It was a bit tough to find the unhealed sesame seeds, but Bob’s Red Mill sells them and they are in the bulk section of my local health food store.

  8. says

    This smoothie sounds so good! And I have to admit, I’m happy to see you are eating some chocolate. I think it’s ok to have some things we really enjoy in moderation. I have a bit of a choco-problem myself, but I like it so much that I have a hard time swearing it off. I think it can be healthful too actually and it sounds like you don’t have it very often anyway.

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