This is a creamy, frothy, sweet, frosty and decadent Healthy Chocolate Mocha Smoothie that is full of healthy fat, fiber, plant based protein and a little caffeine to help jump-start your day. You can feel good about gulping it down because it is refined-sugar free, vegan, raw, gluten-free and easy to make.
Healthy Chocolate Mocha Smoothie
This Healthy Chocolate Mocha Smoothie recipe title sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? It is sort of like a copy-cat, healthy version of a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino. But without 9 grams of saturated fat and over 60 grams of sugar (!) AND over 400 calories (!!). Woah there!
This nutritious smoothie has all the amazing qualities of a mocha frappe. It is creamy, frothy, sweet, frosty and just plain decadent. But it is full of healthy fats, fiber, protein and just a little caffeine to help jump-start your day. You can feel good about gulping this one down because it is refined sugar-free, vegan, raw and gluten-free. And it is easy to make. Just throw everything in the blender and puree. Done and done!
When I started experimenting with this drink, it was because I decided mornings should be as fun as possible. And breakfast is a huge part of that for me. My rule for breakfast (and really any meal for that matter) is it should be low on the effort scale and high on the flavor/yummy scale. Chocolate for breakfast is always yummy in my book and if I can squeeze in some healthy fats, fiber and protein then major bonus. This chocolate smoothie is everything for me right now. I have been making it almost every morning and enjoying the buzz I get from the little bit of cold brewed coffee I add to it. It gives it that amazing mocha flavor. Now, personally, I'm not a coffee drinker. Well I guess technically now I am. But in the past, I never enjoyed coffee because it gave me heart burn, the jitters and an upset stomach. And I didn't even like the taste - too bitter for me. But then I discovered cold brewed coffee by accident. I was sent a free sample in the mail and I tried it one day. And I liked it. To me, it is much less bitter than regular coffee. In small doses I can handle it well and it doesn't give me any of those crummy symptoms I mentioned. Horray! A small win.
The cold brewed coffee I use in this recipe is concentrated so I find 2 tablespoons is all I need to get me going in the morning. Feel free to use more if desired. If you do, you may want to add an extra date for added sweetness. Taste first and then decide. You could even use a couple coffee ice cubes if desired. I haven't tried that spin on it yet myself.
I keep this smoothie thick and creamy by using almond milk ice cubes. If you are allergic to almonds, you can substitute any frozen milk such as hemp, coconut or rice milk. The avocado also lends a nice creamy texture to the smoothie and helps keep me fuller longer.
This chocolate smoothie is also a wonderful place to hide greens. So if you are not a green smoothie fan then this is the perfect smoothie to sneak it in. You really cannot taste or see it. Try adding a handful the first time around and increase to two or even three eventually.
I'm so pumped about this recipe (and not just from the caffeine high - ha). It really does taste like dessert but is full of good for you things like hemp seeds, chia seeds, raw cacao powder, cacao nibs, avocado, dates, almond milk and spinach (if you add it). It sounds crazy, I know. But it just works. Hopefully the pictures convey how incredibly yummy it is. I make it for my two girls without the coffee and they love it too.
Why Unsweetened Cocoa Powder?
I use unsweetened cocoa powder in this chocolate smoothie recipe. Years of nutrition research show that chocolate may provide health benefits from antioxidants called flavanols found in the cocoa solids (as opposed to the cocoa butter). When consumed in large amounts, studies show that flavanols in chocolate may:
- Lower high blood pressure and decrease levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol leading to decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke
- Promote lung health and protect against asthma
- Decrease the risk of diabetes and several types of cancer
- Benefit the brain and preserve cognitive abilities to lower the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease
- Improve mood and feelings of pleasure
- Benefit the vascular system by reducing the risk of blood clots and increasing blood flow in arteries and the heart
What’s the difference between Dutch processed and unsweetened cocoa powder?
Many recipes call for Dutch-processed cocoa powder, which is cocoa powder that has been alkalized to remove the bitter taste. This process substantially reduces the flavanols (about 65% of the flavanol content is lost). Flavanols provide a dark pigment, so visually you can look for a darker color in your cocoa powder for more nutritional benefits. Always double-check the ingredients to make sure it doesn’t contain added sugar, cocoa butter or milkfat.
You can boost the nutrition profile of this smoothie even more! Here are add-on items I sometimes throw in. These are great ingredients to have on hand if you enjoy smoothies!
- Chia seeds – for more dietary fiber, healthy fats, plant-based protein, antioxidants and minerals such as calcium, iron and magnesium.
- Hemp seeds – even more dietary fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals (zinc, iron and more) and a source of complete plant-based protein.
- Raw baby spinach – provides plant-based iron and sneaks more veggies into this recipe. One serving of raw spinach (½ cup) has only 5 calories and contains calcium, iron, 60% of your daily vitamin A, and 15% of your daily vitamin C.
Health Benefits of Dates
Let’s talk more about dates! They’re a fresh stone fruit that come from a date palm tree. They are not considered dried; instead, they are naturally “dehydrated.” They are sweet, moist, juicy and have a distinct caramel flavor. They’re such a great addition to vegan desserts!
From a health perspective, they are full of amazing benefits. They contain loads of fiber which aids in weight loss, digestion, and heart health. Dates are fat-free, sodium-free and cholesterol-free and also contain nutritious vitamins and minerals including zinc, copper, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6, niacin, calcium, iron and vitamin K.
Woah, that’s a lot. And this fact blows me away: dates contain 50% more potassium than a banana (weight for weight). Potassium builds muscles, regulates your heartbeat, controls fluid balances and breaks down carbohydrates. We all need it.
For those of you following eatingbyelaine on snapchat, you know how often I have been making this one. If you give it a try please rate it, comment below or tag me in a pic on social media so I can see your smoothies! (#eatingbyelaine / @eatingbyelaine)
The Best Blender for Smoothies
You might know by now that I LOVE smoothies! I even have a Rock Your Blender cookbook all about my favorite smoothie recipes and resources. My favorite appliance is my high-speed blender. It’s the best! It’s powerful, easy to clean and will run for years.
More Colorful Smoothies
All of these smoothies and vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free.
Download my Smoothie E-Book: Rock Your Blender for my favorite smoothie recipes of all time. The smoothies in my e-book are exclusive content not offered on the blog!
This is a creamy, frothy, sweet, frosty and decadent smoothie that is full of healthy fat, fiber, plant based protein and a little caffeine to help jump-start your day. You can feel good about gulping it down because it is refined-sugar free, vegan, raw, gluten-free and easy to make.
- 1 cup unsweetened, vanilla almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
- 8 unsweetened, vanilla almond milk ice cubes (just freeze the milk in an ice cube tray the night before - any milk works)
- ¼ large avocado, peel and pit removed
- 6 pitted Medjool dates
- 3 tablespoons cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons cold brewed coffee concentrate
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder or 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt (trust me!)
Optional Smoothie Boosters:
- 2 tablespoons hemp hearts
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds or flaxseed
- 1-2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach
- 1-2 tablespoons cacao nibs
- Cacao nibs
- coconut whipped cream
- chocolate shavings
- Place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth and creamy ensuring the dates have been fully incorporated and no chunks remain. Taste and add more almond milk ice cubes for a thicker/frostier drink. You can also add more coffee if desired. If you want a sweeter drink you can add more dates or a teaspoon of maple syrup. You can also add flaxseed meal or chia seeds for more nutritional boosters. I have also added a handful or two of spinach to this which works very well. You cannot taste the added greens and it doesn't impact the color of the drink very much either.
- Prep Time: 8 mins
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Blender
Keywords: mocha smoothie