I drink a smoothie nearly every single day, and for very good reason! Smoothies are such an easy way to get in a hefty dose of fruit and veggies, all in one delicious, filling drink! They also serve as an amazing way to implement adaptogens, superfoods, and gut-healing ingredients without even knowing it. This Chocolate Banana Smoothie was intentionally formulated with gut-healing, skin health promoting, and stress-reducing ingredients, all while tasting like a chocolate milkshake.
If you’re ready to learn more about how to make this rich, chocolatey smoothie, keep reading!
Is Chocolate Healthy?
Growing up, I always had the misconception that chocolate as a whole was unhealthy, as I believe many people still do. In my teenage years when I just began struggling with acne, I was told, once again, to avoid chocolate altogether, as it was preached to be a major culprit of skin issues for most people.
It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned that chocolate in-and-of-itself isn’t bad at all. Instead, it’s the added milk, sugar, and other harmful ingredients that make it unhealthy. (Click here to read why we believe milk is harmful to our bodies).
Chocolate is actually an incredibly healthy superfood! However, the healthful nature of chocolate is highly dependent on what type is being used. I can most certainly guarantee that there is little to no benefit to a Reese’s or Snickers bar.
Preferably, you’ll choose a 100% cacao bar or powder, with 100% cocoa being the second best choice. So what’s the difference in cacao vs. cocoa?
Cacao vs. Cocoa
While both cacao and cocoa are derived from cacao beans, the difference all comes down to the processing of the chocolate.
Cacao is the minimally processed product of cacao beans, resulting in a highly nutrient-dense, rich powder. To achieve such a high percentage of nutrient retainment, cacao is cold-pressed to remove the cacao butter, and roasted at low temperatures.
You might have guessed it by now, but cocoa is the highly processed form of cacao. It still maintains some of its original nutrients, but its not nearly as beneficial as its unprocessed counterpart.
Cocoa powder often includes added ingredients, preservatives, or is alkalized to reduce acidity, once again, reducing the nutrients.
Cocoa is not inherently bad, it’s just simply not as beneficial. However, when choosing this product, it’s vital to ensure you are purchasing from a clean brand with no added ingredients or preservatives. Anthony’s is a great brand for this!
Chocolate Banana Smoothie Ingredients
I love smoothies for a lot of reasons, but one of these reasons is that they’re so incredibly easy and quick to throw together! Although this smoothie uses quite a few ingredients, you can create and be enjoying your smoothie from start to finish in less than 5 minutes.
Here are the ingredients!
A frozen banana is what gives this smoothie it’s creamy, milkshake-like texture. If you don’t have a frozen banana, a fresh banana with around 1 cup of ice will work well as a substitute.
This Barlean’s Greens Powder is a great way to effortlessly get in an extra boost of fruit and vegetables during the day. With ingredients like spirulina, barley grass, chlorella, spinach juice, and much more, this is a nutrient-dense addition that’s incredibly easy to implement!
While this product use cocoa instead of cacao, the real focus of this mix is on the benefit of the greens, veggies, fruit, and antioxidants.
Like mentioned above, the preferred, and most nutrient-dense version of chocolate is cacao. Since the green powder above uses cocoa, I added in one tbsp (feel free to add more based on your preference) of 100% pure cacao for all the benefits of highly nutrient-dense chocolate!
High quality, grass-fed collagen is not only incredible for boosting skin health and elasticity, but it’s also incredibly healing for the gut!
Collagen is flavorless, making it the perfect addition to any smoothie, dessert, juice, or even your morning coffee!
Ashwagandha is a herb that has long been used for its medicinal properties. It is highly helpful in reducing cortisol levels (a stress hormone), stress and anxiety, blood pressure, inflammation, and much more.
I take ashwagandha daily, and while it took around 6-weeks of regular use for me to see major results, it is totally worth it! Ashwagandha has been amazing for my chronically high cortisol.
Flaxseed is incredibly nutrient-dense, full of omega-3 fats, rich in protein, fiber, and can be helpful in balancing hormones!
Acai became popular a few years back with the introduction of the acai bowl! This berry is full of antioxidants, and is rich in vitamins A, B, C, and E. It’s also thought to be beneficial for skin health, and reducing inflammation.
Navita’s offers a high-quality powder, making it easy to add into any recipe.
Medjool dates add an extra hint of nutrient-dense sweetness to this recipe. Dates are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber, and promote a healthy digestive tract.
Since I choose to be maintain a dairy-free diet, I regularly swap dairy-based milk for plant-based milk. This recipe would be delicious with any milk alternative, but my absolute favorite is Elmhurst’s Unsweetened Cashew Milk!
If you’re ready for the full recipe, let’s get into it!
Chocolate Banana Smoothie
This Chocolate Banana Smoothie is is ready in just a few short minutes, and is the perfect way to start your morning.
- 1 Frozen Banana (or a fresh banana with 1 cup of ice)
- 1 Scoop Barlean’s Greens Chocolate Silk Powder
- 2 Scoops (or tbsp) Collagen (omit for vegan)
- 2 Tbsp Flaxseed Meal
- 1/2 tsp Acai Powder
- 1–2 Tbsp Cacao Powder (depending on how rich you prefer the flavor)
- 1/2 tsp Ashwagandha
- 2 Pitted Medjool Dates
- 1 Cup Dairy-Free Milk of Choice (I like Elmhurst)
- Combine all ingredients into a high speed blender, and blend until smooth.
- Enjoy immediately!