A deliciously creamy and smooth, chocolate protein smoothie. It's the perfect breakfast to fill you up for many hours. My 11 year old grandson helped me create this smoothie, we had so much fun testing it over several days in the school holidays. We topped our Chocolate Banana Smoothies with some of my granola (recipe link) and cacao nibs. (Actually, I had the nibs and he had 70% organic dark chocolate chips on top, yum!). This is a great way to get a healthy breakfast into children, especially when it looks and tastes like a delicious treat.
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Add all the smoothie ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until you reach a smooth consistency.
Divide between two glasses or jars and top with cacao nibs and granola if desired.
Serve with a straw and spoon to eat the crunchy topping with the smoothie.
In a paleo diet it's best to eat bananas in moderation. They are excellent to use to naturally sweeten a recipe and then you can reduce or eliminate other sweeteners. Bananas are a very good source of vitamin B6, manganese, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber potassium, copper, so you can see they are healthy but I find it's best just no in large qualities due to their high natural sugars.
A dairy free milk made from soaking almonds over night, rinsing well and blending with fresh water. Drained through a nut bag and all the liquid milk squeezed out. Recipe on page 297 of The JOYful Table cookbook, if purchasing a commercial brand, read label to avoid added sugars, gums, thickeners and preservatives.
You will be able to find a recipe for cultured coconut yoghurt online using grass fed gelatin or tapioca starch for thickening. If purchasing a commercial yoghurt, read labels as many use vegetable gums and additives. Coconut yoghurt can be made in a yoghurt maker or a Thermomix machine. If you can tolerate some dairy natural organic Greek yoghurt can be used in it's place.
Raw cacao powder and cocoa are made from the same source but are so different. Cacao powder is raw, unsweetened and in it's natural state, it has a stronger flavour and you would use less than cocoa powder. It is so good for you; high in dietary fibre, iron and is a good source of magnesium and antioxidants. Cocoa has been heated and processed, the high heat when processing kills all the minerals and vitamins.
Almond butter may also be called almond spread. It is finely ground down almonds to a texture resembling a paste. In my cookbook I have a recipe for roasted almond butter, which has extra flavour due to the roasting and a little organic salt added. If purchasing a commercial almond butter in a jar, make sure it's 100% almonds.
Golden flaxseed meal is finely ground linseed. You will find it in many of my recipes. It is also a great egg substitute when mixed with water. Flaxseed is very low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for people who limit their intake of carbs. It is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which is the key force against inflammation in our bodies. Flaxseed must be stored in the fridge. I like to use golden flaxseed as it is lighter in colour, than the brown variety and produces a nicer colour to your baking.
These little seeds absorb 9-12 times their weight in water and are excellent to add as a thickener to sauces and fruit spreads. They can also be used as an egg replacement in muffins and cakes (1 tablespoon chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water). Chia seeds can also be used to make delicious chia puddings for breakfast or desserts. There are many health benefits of chia. It is the richest plant source of Omega 3 fats, dietary fibre and protein. Chia seeds are also packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and fatty acids.
Raw Maca Powder is a revitalising super-food that is rich in nutrients that benefit the body and mind. Maca is an ancient Peruvian root crop belonging to the radish family, the roots are ground into a fine powder. Grown in the mountains of Peru, it has been called “Peruvian ginseng”. Maca is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and antioxidants, it's also known for increasing stamina and endurance. Maca has an earthy taste that is mildly nutty with a hint of malt.
I use Medjool dates in my recipes, I like the flavour and softness of these dates. A bonus, there are no preservatives used with these dates. They blend easy when adding to recipes and give a slight caramel flavour.
Medjool dates are an excellent source of dietary fiber, rich in potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium and vitamin B6.
Use an organic vanilla extract (not an essence) or vanilla powder. Vanilla makes a big difference to the flavour of a recipe, I recommend keeping to the quantities I have stated in a recipe. I prefer Madagascar pure vanilla extract manufactured by ‘Simply Organic’ and for powder, Vanillamax 100% pure, finely ground Madagascar vanilla beans produced by Bulletproof.
Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.
Use filtered water to make your ice.
Organic cacao nibs are simply raw, crushed cacao beans with no added sweeteners or preservatives. Use them in place of dark chocolate chips, they are bitter but just a few goes a long way. Cacao nibs are a nutrient dense plant based whole food, containing very high amounts of antioxidants known to help fight free radicals and may assist in reducing inflammation, they are also high in, iron, magnesium and fibre.