Monday, September 17, 2012

Double Chocolate Paleo Smoothie

I'm not one of those women who needs to eat chocolate. I don't claim to need it to get me through a certain time of the month, and since childhood I'd always choose vanilla over chocolate.

I am a mother of two, however, and all three of us have a might sweet tooth. Enjoy Life dairy-free chips certainly sneak their way into my treats; I don't claim they are strictly paleo, nor would I suggest they're "healthy" just because they're a bit cleaner than standard chips. But everyone loves chocolate...

... and people love to believe the health claims about it. But let's be honest, a chip is a chip (even if it's dairy-free). My favorite way to incorporate TRULY healthy chocolate into my diet is through raw cacao nibs. They are definitely an acquired taste, and not one that either of my kids has developed. In its raw state, cacao offers antioxidants, flavonoids, magnesium, iron and potassium. The nibs** are obviously not sweet, but do add a nice crunch. I sometimes sprinkle them on top of paleo porridges at breakfast, but my favorite way to incorporate them is in smoothies.

Adding cacao nibs to smoothies not only adds nutrition, but a nice texture. I decided to double up on the chocolate this morning, also using some unsweetened cocoa powder in my smoothie. This made it especially rich and fudgy, not to mention helped disguise the spinach that I also like to sneak in.

Double Chocolate Paleo Smoothie

1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 ripe avocado
handful of baby spinach
1 tbs. raw almond butter
1 tbs. raw cacao niibs
1 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder

Combine all ingredients in blender and process until smooth. If too thick for your liking, add more coconut milk or water to thin it out. Sprinkle a few more cacao nibs on top, if desired.

**I get them on Amazon when the price is right, but also have purchased from Vitacost. Just make sure to look for raw and organic nibs.

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