This delicious and creamy smoothie tastes so good you won’t even know it’s healthy!  The main ingredient makes it super nutritious while giving it a dessert like taste. This was actually the first smoothie I ever made in my Vitamix and to this day it is still one of my very favorites(and my toddlers favorite)! When describing the taste to people I always compare it to the popular chocolate dessert drink, the Frosty, from well known fast food chain Wendy’s. Take a quick look at the ingredients in a Frosty and then compare with mine below! Frosty ingredients include milk, sugar, corn syrup, cream, whey, nonfat milk, cocoa (processed with alkali), guar gum, mono and diglycerides, cellulose gum, carrageenan, calcium sulfate, disodium phosphate, artificial flavor, vitamin a palmitate. Alarmingly it also contains 11.5 tsp of sugar(daily recommended allowance for kids and adults is 2-3 tsp), very high in saturated fats, what we call bad fats(talked about below), and highly processed in general. So now let’s talk about a healthier option!

Cacao, not to be confused with cocoa, are similar in texture and appearance but aren’t exactly the same product. Cacao comes from the Cacao fruit trees which produce little cacao pods that you open up to get the beans. The cacao beans can be processed several different ways – like making cocoa powder, which you are most likely most familiar with and grew up using in your baking. Cacao is the purest form of chocolate you can consume, meaning it is raw and much less processed than cocoa powder or regular chocolate bars. Research shows that raw cacao powder is one of the best ways to get the highest source of antioxidants and magnesium. In fact, the particular study I researched says it contained 20x the amount of antioxidants of blueberries! Raw cacao contains more fiber and calories than cocoa, which isn’t a bad thing. I know people are typically trying to count calories and sort of freak when you say “fat” but keep in mind there is a difference between good fats and bad fats. When consuming a real food diet there are tons of good fats to take advantage of without worrying about the extra baggage bad fats tack on! We actually never count calories in our house, we welcome all the good fats! So now that you are a little educated on raw cacao vs. cocoa and the nutritional benefits the raw form holds, here is a great way to put it to use! I also use cacao powder in all my baking, substituting it anytime a recipe calls for cocoa powder. A couple of other favorite uses are chocolate energy balls and fudge popsicles.

Chocolate Cacao Banana Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1 large fresh banana (or 2 small) – can use frozen.
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup ice (omit if using frozen banana)
  • 1 tbsp raw honey

Optional Add Ins:

  • 1 tbsp flax and/or hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp organic peanut butter or 1 tbsp almond butter(or nut butter of choice)
  • handful of spinach(can’t taste but will slightly change color)
  • 1-2 tsp bee pollen

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients together in a high powder blender. Enjoy!

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