I'm a huge fan of chocolate, but unlike my days of devouring Snickers bars, I now enjoy healthy, dark bars and one of my favorites, cacao powder. I toss cacao powder in many of my smoothies whenever I'm craving a chocolaty taste (which is often). Not only does it give my blends a rich, delicious flavor, but cacao powder is filled with antioxidants and flavonoids, which is a fancy way of saying that it boosts the immune system, improves cell and blood health and also helps prevent inflammation.(1)
Mention coconut water and other kinds of healthy goodness like berries and banana and needless to say, I'm in heaven. My mouth was watering when I came across a 5-Minute Cacao & Superfood Smoothie on MindBodyGreen. Trust me when I say that it's delicious and filling; hours after drinking it, I'm still satisfied.
One word of warning, although it's not the end of the world. The recipe calls for coconut water and coconut flesh, so if you're inclined to get it all natural right from the coconut itself, you'll need some muscle (aren't you glad you've been working those biceps?) and a couple of tools since opening up a coconut doesn't take 10 little seconds. I watched this YouTube video to learn how it's done. However, the extremely fresh taste is so worth the extra few minutes, and in my case, the urgent "is there a hammer in the house?" text to my boyfriend.
How to Make the Cacao Powder, Banana & Coconut Smoothie
Ingredients (serves 2):
1.5 cups coconut water
1/2 cup coconut flesh
1/2 cup raspberries (recipe said we could use whatever berry we prefer)
1 Tbsp. hemp powder
1 Tbsp. cacao powder
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 Tbsp. maca
Blend on high, pour and top with ingredients like pistachios and hemp seeds which I opted to do.
Sip and enjoy!
Health Benefits of This Smoothie
I already touched on the benefits of cacao powder and that alone makes it a health food superstar in my book.
As for coconut water, it's filled with electrolytes which helps keep our bodies hydrated.(2) It also has enzymes, vitamins and cytokinins that help digestive health, boost metabolism and have anti-carcinogenic effects.(2) Not bad, right?
Bananas are another great health food. They're loaded with potassium, known to play a role in maintaining muscle health and preventing cramps. Plus, they also have vitamins that promote cell growth and bolster the immune system.(3)
I can't get enough of this smoothie.
Here's to your health!
Jennifer Lea Reynolds
Jennifer Lea Reynolds is a weight loss success story who enjoys living a healthy lifestyle. A fan of the elliptical, roasted asparagus and remembering to put the lid on the blender, she’s appeared in many national and local print publications. She lives in New England where she writes professionally about health and wellness in online publications including Reader's Digest, Woman's Day, The Huffington Post, and more.