This past week I’ve been trying to take in as my super foods as possible. I probably get a cold 2-3 times a year and every time it happens, I like to eat and drink tons of greens and vegetables, including my favorite go-to turmeric juices. In the past month alone, my cold-brew coffee addiction headed into full gear and I was drinking multiple cups of it per day. When I finally ran out, I resorted to tea all of last weekend and felt phenomenal… until Sunday came around and my sinuses seemed to revolt against me. Maybe it was my body’s way of saying I need to get off the coffee-binge and my body needs a rest.
In between drinking copious amounts of Yogi Tea’s Throat Comfort (my favorite tea in the universe I kid you not), I’ve been having smoothie bowls almost every day for breakfast. Not only are they a great way to start your morning and get in some super foods like nut butters, chia seeds, hemp seeds and protein powder but when you’re sick with a scratchy throat, the taste and texture are the equivalent of ice cream for breakfast.
When I decided to make this frozen grape and cacao smoothie for breakfast earlier this week, I wanted to sneak in my greens some how and knew that if I used cacao powder it would not only cover up the frozen kale flavor but pack in a rich chocolate flavor that I would be sure to love.
Before I began using raw cacao powder, I stuck closely by the unsweetened cocoa powder at Trader Joe’s and added in Stevia. When you’re a college student on a tight budget, sometimes the prices of super foods can often steer you away. Every once and a while I will splurge on a bag of superfood powders like spirulina or maca powder to pretend like I’m one of those high-priced smoothie shops in California making up raw almond butter, banana, maca, moon juice, star dust, miraculous, out of this world smoothies. Also because I clearly love the nutritional benefit 🙂
When Essential Living Foods decided to send me some of their raw superfood snack mixes and a container of their Indonesian Cacao Powder, I was thrilled to test them out in the best way I knew how — smoothie bowls. Before ripping open the lid like a mad woman, I truly don’t believe I had ever tasted raw cacao before. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, this is chocolate in the purest form possible. Essential Living Foods sources their cacao from the food-forests of Bali (TOO COOL) where it is considered a fair-trade product. The flavor consists of hints of vanilla, nutmeg, banana and clove.
To give you an idea of what it really tastes like, when I first took a bite of my smoothie, I had to pause for a second to appreciate how rich and creamy the cacao was. It was unlike any piece of chocolate I had tasted in my past 20 years of living. Imagine eating a chocolate bar from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and all of your wildest dreams came true. That’s how I felt.
To take a twist on a smoothie by adding this raw cacao powder to it, I ended up with an interesting combination of flavors that when blended and placed back in the freezer (for about a half an hour), delivered the creamiest and most indulgent (yet good for you) consistency.
As the banana lends the creamy texture to this smoothie, the black grapes give it that extra touch of sweetness. This might be the best faux ice cream/smoothie mix you’ll ever taste.
- ½ cup frozen black grapes
- 1 frozen banana
- 2 tbsp raw cacao powder (I used Essential Living Foods brand)
- ⅓ cup frozen kale/spinach blend
- ½ scoop Vega vanilla protein
- ¼ cup almond milk (to blend)
- Combine all ingredients into a high-speed blender.
- Blend until thick! Add a bit more almond milk as you find necessary.
- Place into a bowl or mason jar, put into your freezer for 30 minutes. Take out and enjoy the thick creamy magic!
When I added Vega’s Vanilla Protein Smoothie powder to this smoothie for my added protein, I was hesitant to see if the vanilla would sneak it’s way past the cacao. To my relief, the cacao takes on full force in this blend. Because I love adding Vega to every single smoothie I can get my hands on, their vanilla is the right one to add if you don’t want it to take control and overpower the fruits you use.
Feeling adventurous? Try topping this smoothie with some thick and cluster-packed granola or maybe even some chia pudding (what I prefer). I topped mine with OMG Craft Granola in their Vintage flavor with some extra added Superfood Trail Mix but the options are endless. By sticking more towards whatever flavor smoothie I’m eating/drinking toppings-wise, I pick toppings that will coordinate. In this case because the cacao is so flavorful, not much is needed to top it off but naturally, I love some crunch!
What is your favorite smoothie bowl recipe? Have you tried other cacao products in the past that you think I should know about?
You can purchase Essential Living Foods products HERE.
*Essential Living Foods kindly sent me their products, however, all opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this post.*