Leftover coffee. That’s one of those oxymorons, right? Usually there’s a fight for the last cup, but, every now and then, there’s actually leftover coffee. And we hate seeing coffee go to waste so we save the coffee leftovers, putting them in the refrigerator for later. But what then? Sometimes we’ll heat up a cup when we are desperate for a caffeine jolt, but straight coffee isn’t as good reheated. That’s why today’s recipe shows you how to re-purpose your coffee into a cacao smoothie. Yup, this banana coffee cacao smoothie recipe is a little like having a chocolate coffee milkshake! How can you go wrong with coffee and chocolate? You can’t. Read on for the details.
We love our homemade coffee drinks like our homemade gingerbread latte, but that calls for ground coffee beans and doesn’t help us use up our leftover coffee. So, we knew we wanted to come up with a coffee smoothie recipe where we could use leftover coffee as an ingredient. And we also wanted to make a relatively healthy smoothie; I love you Panera Caramel Latte, but you are NOT healthy!
In the spirit of using up ingredients that would otherwise go bad, we also decided to make this a banana coffee smoothie. With 3 kids we go through a lot of bananas in our house. We used to go through even more when they were a food our kids really loved, but like all foods they go in and out of favor; Our kids are picky eaters! But they are always in the rotation as one of our go to fruit options to go with meals or as snacks. And when you have bananas in your house invariably you are going to have some that are on the wrong side of ripe. We’ve found that these (if not too far gone) are still great as a smoothie base. Sometimes we’ll even freeze old bananas for this purpose which works out even better for cold smoothies when you don’t want to have to use ice or some other frozen element. We’ve used them before in this Peach Blueberry Almond Milk Smoothie and this Strawberry Banana Spinach Smoothie. So we knew they’d be perfect in a banana coffee smoothie. What a great way of repurposing some of the leftovers that otherwise might get wasted! 🙂
After the decision to make a coffee banana smoothie, we knew the next ingredient we wanted to use was cacao. Cacao is a pure form of chocolate which is very close to the raw form. I can hear the mother ship calling me home. 🙂 We’ve used cacao before in this vegan chocolate almond smoothie which is actually fairly similar to this coffee and cacao smoothie (just without the coffee). And I’ve always loved the flavors of coffee and chocolate together so I guess it was only a matter of time before I started experimenting with a chocolate coffee smoothie recipe.
Besides the coffee, cacao, and banana, the rest of the recipe is just chia seeds and almond milk (I told you it was a healthy smoothie). Optionally, you can add a spoonful of agave or a sweetener or your choice or you can top with coco whip and cocoa powder or your favorite vegan dark chocolate. Making it vegan is optional of course, but we decide to keep our version vegan.
I first made this recently after a rough night of sleep when one of our kids was sick and had us up frequently. The morning coffee was wearing off and we were dragging so I went into the frig for some of the leftover coffee and whipped up this banana coffee cacao smoothie. I have to say, I was rather pleased with the taste and it helped me through the day.
The below recipe makes just one 12 oz. smoothie which just fits in our small ninja blender cup, but multiply the recipe and go bigger if you want. 🙂