This is my favorite vegan chocolate smoothie that I enjoy year-round!  It is rich and creamy and packed with good-for-you smoothie boosters: avocado, spinach, hemp seeds, cacao nibs and chia seeds.

Here is a step-by-step video showing how I make it:

My entire family loves this smoothie for a filling breakfast and sometimes we share it for a hearty afternoon snack to get everyone through until dinnertime.  My girls just love it even when I sneak in some baby spinach (which they never suspect).  It is simple to throw together and is ready in five minutes or less.

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Of course this smoothie is 100% dairy-free and gluten-free.  It is also raw and grain-free.  There is an easy nut-free option as well, so pretty much everyone can enjoy!

The smoothie is lightly sweetened with dates (or you could use maple syrup).  Either way these natural sweeteners keep it refined sugar-free!  I personally love using dates in smoothies whenever possible since they are packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals.  Dates are considered a stone fruit and have a distinct caramel flavor that works wonderfully in this smoothie.

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The decadent chocolate is enhanced by an optional drop of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt making this smoothie incredibly addictive.  I love topping my smoothie with extra hemp seeds and cacao nibs.  Totally up to you though.

Haven’t heard of cacao nibs?  Here is the low-down.  Cacao nibs are 100 percent pure cacao and said to be the least processed form of chocolate.  Cacao nibs are prepared by removing the shell from cured, cleaned, dried, and cracked cacao beans. The result is a hard, crunchy and tiny nib.  Each one is unique in shape and fairly jagged.  They are a bit larger than a lentil and smaller than a coffee bean.  With cacao nibs you are getting more flavanols than overly processed chocolate bars that contain additives such as sugar, cream, milkfat or milk.  Although cacao nibs taste intense and slightly bitter as opposed to sweet, they allow you to enjoy chocolate flavor while providing antioxidants, dietary fiber, protein, iron and magnesium.

If you give this smoothie a try, please snap a pic and tag me on social media (#eatingbyelaine / @eatingbyelaine).  Cheers!

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