Before we get started, I thought I should introduce myself. You’ve already heard my obsession about granola bowls and this month I’ll be sharing my deepest adoration for the cacao smoothie, and yet I haven’t even told you my name… So, hi. My name is Laura and I am the daughter of Noele and Brendan (supernature's founders)… you know the one who had to give up dairy, wheat and processed sugar because of their eczema? Yep, that’s me! We’ll save the full life story for another day perhaps, but I thought my ramble would make a lot more sense knowing who it was coming from.
Right, back to the good stuff:
Looking to mix up your daily fruit smoothie? Need an extra energy boost before your workout or throughout the day? Then you have got to try this gorgeous cacao smoothie, which is not only delicious, but a filling and nutritious boost to kick-start or re-charge your day.
I’m not going to lie, the day my Mom told me she was going to make me a healthy chocolate milkshake, I was sceptical. But OH MY GOODNESS, I have never looked back. I mean the fact that you can make a healthy smoothie packed with fibre, potassium, antioxidants and more, whilst still tasting like chocolate?! I was sold.
Aside from how delicious it is, we love using this smoothie to mix it up a little bit from the fruity classics. It has definitely been a family favourite since Mom started making them for us in school; we’d love them as a filling and energising breakfast or to bring with us to our sports competitions. Since then, my obsession has only grown, and in my year at dance college, I found them to be the perfect drink for an exercise-filled day. If I was feeling hungry but didn’t want to eat too close to a class I would love these as a pick-me-up.
Anyway, now that I have declared my love for these heavenly chocolate drinks, how about we move on to the star of the show… The actual recipe!!
So here’s the classic recipe we like to play with (serves 2):
- 1 ½ Cups of Almond Milk
- ½ Cup of Water
- 1-2 Medjool dates (depending on how sweet you like it)
- 2 Bananas- Bananas are one of the reasons why this can be a good drink for half an hour to an hour before your exercise as they are high in carbohydrates, fibre, easily digestible and rich in potassium.
- Handful of Spinach (a lovely way to get some leafy greens in early in the day- you don’t even taste them, I promise!)
- 2 Tbsp of Cacao Powder (we tend to use Iswari- they have a nice organic one)
And some optional add-ons:
- If you are a nut butter fan like us, you may want to include a little dollop of peanut butter or almond butter- almond butter is full of heart-healthy fats and energy-boosting omega-3s.
- Of course the almond milk can easily be swapped for coconut, rice or oat milk, depending on your preference. Personally, I’m a big rice milk fan as I have quite a sweet tooth and I find it a bit sweeter than some of the others (really going for that milkshake taste ;). Oat milk can be a good option if you’re doing exercise, as oats provide energising B vitamins and gradually release carbohydrates to keep your energy consistent throughout your workout.
- You can also throw in a tablespoon of chia seeds but we would recommend you soak your chia seeds in water overnight. This makes chia seeds easier to digest and will prolong hydration and the retention of electrolytes throughout the day. It will also thicken your smoothie.
- Another good way to thicken your smoothie and get some good fats going on is to add a little avocado.
- Sometimes we like to throw in some wheatgrass or maca powder just because the smoothie is so delicious we often don’t even notice… You could also add some kale in there as well- although, we know that is a tad stronger in taste so I can’t make any promises that it will go completely unnoticed.
- If you’re still looking for your fruit hit, we sometimes like to throw in some blueberries and raspberries as they go well with the chocolatey flavour. Just like our Raspberry Chocolate Raisins, hint, hint, wink, wink ;).
- Finally, we often throw in a tablespoon of milled flaxseeds (we are a fan of Linwoods) if we haven’t put them in our granola bowl that day.
Well, didn’t I get carried away with all those optional extras? As you can see there are numerous different ways to jazz up this chocolate wonder.
Let’s take a closer look at cacao powder, which is high in antioxidants, potassium, iron, protein and magnesium, to name a few- not to mention nutrients that aid in boosting our mood and reducing anxiety. Looking up the benefits of cacao powder is quite fascinating really and the more I try to research the more I seem to find.
A lot of our personal understanding of the benefits of cacao powder came from David Wolfe and his book "Superfoods” where he lists cacao beans as a superfood, with health benefits ranging from helping to prevent cancer and improving memory loss, to protecting your nervous system and reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.
We got the inspiration for this recipe from the Medicinal Chef cookbook who explains that the ingredients also help with osteoporosis, anxiety and high blood pressure.
Ok so we know cacao powder is pretty damn brilliant…
Sneaky I know, raving about how great cacao is, when it also happens to be one of the 3 ingredients used to make our chocolate… So just like this cacao smoothie will give you energy and lovely health benefits, so will the cacao in all of our products!!- See how we snuck that in there… clever, huh?
Now that we’ve discussed what goes in the smoothie, we have a couple of tips for how to drink it. I know, I know, how to drink a drink? I’m sure you think there’s no way we could tell you how to do that differently… But here’s a few potential tips:
- Drink it on an empty stomach - You’ve made this lovely nutritious drink for your body and now it’s just going to sit in your tummy waiting for everything else to be digested. No, thank you.
- Avoid adding ice – This is something we tend to do as numerous experts have discussed how drinking particularly cold drinks may hinder digestion and nutrient absorption… also prevents that brain freeze.
- Finally, and now this is the weird one- I thought my mom was a bit mad when she told us to start doing this:
- CHEW your smoothie. Yes, chew it. Don’t just knock it down running out the door. Forget what all those close-minded traditional folk have told you about how one must chew one’s food and drink one’s drink and just get chomping.
- OK, OK, I got carried away- basically, you just want to chew it a little bit and not gulp it down, as chewing kick-starts your digestive enzymes.
Finally, we asked you all to share some of your favourite supernature-style smoothie recipes this month. Whether that meant including cacao powder, nuts, nut butters, or even some supernature itself, we’ve loved receiving these new recipes and we can’t wait to give them a go.
Be sure to let us know and tag us on Instagram if you try out any of these delicious smoothies. We love trying new bits and bobs so be sure to share them with us if you give it your own little twist!
Hope you enjoy!!
Love the supernature team xo