I know it has been a long time since I shared a new recipe, but I think this one is worth the wait and I am pretty excited to share it with you. And it is not because it represents my most mouth-watering or creative culinary feat. Not by far. If you checked out any of my previous recipes, then you know I keep things pretty straight-forward and simple. No, it is for a much more “mom-centered” reason that I consider this recipe a HUGE success. After countless attempts, this is the first “green” smoothie my son will eat and he likes it! Yes, he really does like it – a lot! Yeah for mom!
Now, a few things. I know this smoothie doesn’t look green, it looks like chocolate. And that is very good because we know that chocolate in its raw and unprocessed form (raw cacao) is a true superfood with many health enhancing benefits. The fact that this smoothie doesn’t look green is also part of the genius (ha, ha) behind it. But don’t be fooled, unless you are trying to fool your kids or maybe your spouse, it is truly a “green” smoothie because it contains green veggies and that is the point, right?
You see, my son is my inspiration behind this creation. He is my greatest supporter in my nutritional endeavors and a rock star of a kid when it comes to healthy eating. When I spent this past fall deeply immersed in Meghan Telpner’s Culinary Nutrition Expert (CNE) Program, my son was the one who taste-tested all of my homework and culinary creations, praised them for how great-tasting they all were (Meghan has got some amazing recipes out there – you should definitely check her out) and bragged to his friends about the super healthy lunches his CNE mom packed everyday. He can also rival the Food Babe with his scrupulous reading of nutrition labels and interrogations of wait staff at restaurants. But every boy has his limits. He is a kid after-all. And for my son, he flatly refuses to drink a smoothie that is green!
So with my CNE training, I took to the kitchen determined to come up with a smoothie that not only contained green vegetables, but also other nutrient-dense superfoods that my son would enjoy and be kid-approved. The base was easy since my son loves all things chocolate. And since hazelnuts add some natural sweetness (along with protein, fiber and flavonoids) and go pretty amazing with chocolate, I opted to use hazelnut milk. To further boost the nutritional punch of this smoothie, I added both hemp seeds and chia seeds. Hemp seeds are a truly amazing food, and I sprinkle them on salads and add them to smoothies because they are an excellent source of essential fatty acids in the perfect balance and a complete protein. In addition to making this smoothie thick and creamy, the chia seeds also provide additional fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. The final touch which makes this smoothie extra delicious and will give you an energy boost too, is the peppermint essential oil. Just make sure that you are using a brand of essential oil that is pure and safe to take internally.
So there you have it. A “green” chocolate smoothie that is delicious and so loaded with healthy ingredients that you can feel good serving it to your kids for breakfast, as an after-school snack or even a mini-meal on the run. Kid-tested and kid-approved!
- 2 cups of unsweetened hazelnut milk (You can make homemade the same way I make almond milk, simply substituting hazelnuts for almonds. Just skip the maple syrup and vanilla for this recipe.)
- 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds
- 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
- 1 cup of spinach
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- Handful of ice cubes
- 4 drops of peppermint essential oil
- Add all of the ingredients to a high-speed blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour into two glasses.