Smoothies have become a crucial part of our family diet. The kids love them, the grown-ups love them, they can be made in endless variety, and you can pack in tons of nutritious ingredients. Today we’ll teach you how we make our Vegan Chocolate Almond Smoothie.
On cold winter mornings, I love sitting and looking out the window with a warm drink, wrapped in a blanket, snuggling with a kiddo (or three), my husband, and the dog. Maybe watching CBS Sunday morning. Or reading together. Or playing a game. But, now that it’s hot and summertime, I have switched to a morning smoothie with tea or greens and berries. I still have my morning cup of coffee, but snuggle time is often in shorter supply (there’s always time for some snuggling) as we often look to head outside to play, garden, or to explore while the day is still cool. The eastern shore of Maryland has hot/humid summers so “cool morning” may be a relative term, but it still beats the midday heat so we look to get outside early if we can and the middle of the day is reserved for activities that involve air conditioning or a pool. Smoothies are a great way to ensure we do make it outside early as they make a great grab and go breakfast. Plus, a healthy smoothie is a good way to start the day with a serving of fruit and veggies regardless of what comes next.
Currently, we’re working on figuring out how to get our kids more independent when it comes to mornings. They are still young so expecting them to get up and fix a big egg breakfast and clean up after themselves is a little unreasonable. However, after reading this post about creating a more peaceful breakfast routine, I decided I needed to re-work our mornings a little bit. We’ve started a list of favorite breakfast items the kids can help execute. It’s usually cereal or yogurt with toppings or waffles we made earlier in the week for brinner (breakfast for dinner) with a banana or fruit smoothie. We are working on expanding the list–how easy would one of these overnight oat concoctions be to have the kids help assemble the night before and pull out in the morning?! Anything to make life easier.
There are lots of make ahead items worth exploring. We love the sound of these Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats from Fit Foodie Finds. The same goes for these Peanut Butter Overnight Oats from Minimalist Baker. Our kids have recently gotten back into oatmeal for breakfast so I’m am digging the idea of overnight oats. Prep work and the worrying about healthy eating can become overwhelming for parents so anytime you find things the alleviate both of those it’s a big deal!
So, since smoothies are definitely on the popular breakfast list and part of are low prep/high health plan, we experimented and came up with this chocolate almond vegan smoothie recipe. The flavor reminds me of chocolate no bake cookies. It’s not a chocolate milkshake, so don’t bill it as one, but it tastes better than a plain glass of chocolate milk and is much healthier. Plus, it can be made the night before and poured into mason jars and kids (or grownups) can pull it out and drink it in the morning.
Chocolate Almond Smoothies (Cacao vs. Cocoa)
One of the star ingredients that gives it the chocolate component is cacao, but just what is cacao? And what is the difference between Cacao and Cocoa?
Cocoa and Cacao sound similar and they are, but there are also several very important differences. Cacao is the purest form of chocolate you consume (if that doesn’t make you want to at least try it then I don’t know what will!). It is raw and much less processed than cocoa or the average chocolate bar you find at the store. And raw does comes with a number of health benefits, but that doesn’t mean cocoa doesn’t maintain it’s own benefits. Here’s a great cocoa vs. cacao comparison which discusses each in more depth. I think the big takeaway is that there some pretty solid reasons to regularly consume various forms of chocolate!
Along with cacao, this smoothie has some other great healthy ingredients like bananas, chia seeds, almond milk and more!
Here’s the recipe:
Chocolate Almond Vegan Smoothie
- 1 1/2 c . almond milk
- 1-2 frozen bananas
- 1 T . chia seeds
- 1/4 c . almond butter
- 2 T . cacao
- 1/2 c . oats
- 2 dates , pits removed
Place all ingredients in blender.
Blend until smooth.
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