Cacao Cooler Smoothie

Summertime is here (very much here in humid South Florida)! What better way to cool down and nourish yourself all at once than with this delicious cacao cooler smoothie... I mean who doesn't love chocolate? Throw a healthy spin on what tastes like a chocolate milkshake and you really can't lose. 

This particular smoothie is on the sweeter side of all of the smoothies I usually make which means it is probably perfectly suited for almost everyone else's taste buds. (I am notorious for not liking things very sweet) This smoothie is also packed full of great antioxidants and plant based protein - I highly recommend this for a post workout snack.

The almond butter, protein powder and banana provide great sources of protein - perfect for pre or post workout. It's so important to always sneak greens in wherever you can and since spinach breaks down easily and doesn't have much a flavor I love to throw handfuls into smoothies to up the healthy factor. I promise you won't even detect it in there. The cacao is packed with magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus and more - it's important to get raw cacao powder because it is cold pressed and not roasted like cocoa powder is which strips the cacao of a lot of its natural living enzymes and nutritional value. I urge you to look into the other amazing benefits of Cacao and you will see that it has a multitude of benefits for our bodies and diets.

Lastly - not pictured below is collagen powder that I also put into this smoothie. What the heck is collagen powder you might be asking? Well much like you've probably heard about collagen in the past it is first and foremost wonderful for the skin (for elasticity and moisture retention). It is also great for hair and nail health - it helps to support bone and joint health and for those of you working out a lot this can be hugely beneficial in keeping your body healthy and well oiled. It also supports digestion because of the amino acids present in the collagen which help to stimulate production of stomach acids which aid in nutrient retention and overall digestive health. One more important thing to note here is that it is often used as a protein powder substitute - so while I used a bit of protein powder and collagen powder in this smoothie you can omit one or just do half and half like I did. Another great pro to adding collagen powder is that it has no taste at all so you won't even notice it's in there. It also dissolves easily into almost anything and both hot and cold liquids so you can even put it in your morning coffee or tea.

I plan to add more pictures like the below image to my future posts so you can see what products I use and recommend. I know you will enjoy this smoothie so please sound off in the comments. Thanks for visiting as always!

What you need:

2 tbsp almond butter ( I love this raw one from Trader Joes - great price point and the only ingredient is raw almonds!)

2 tbsp protein powder or collagen powder or 1/2 and 1/2 (I use a vegan powder - here I used Vega with natural flavor so it doesn't add an extra flavor)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 pitted date

2 tbsp raw cacao powder

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 cups organic baby spinach

1/2 banana either fresh or frozen

3 frozen strawberries (or 1/3 cup berries of your choosing)

3-4 ice cubes

2 tbsp hemp hearts for the topping (other great toppings are shredded coconut, chia seeds and cacao nibs)

Throw all of the ingredients into a smoothie blender and blend for a few minutes or until everything blends evenly. Be sure to use a few ice cubes so that you get a smoothie consistency if not your smoothie will end up being too watery. 

Sip, cool down and enjoy!