Smoothies are a great way to pack in many of the nutrients that you need in a day. You can add anything you like to a smoothie. The more you vary the ingredients, the more nutrients you will pack in.
In my smoothie recipes I only include fresh, organic ingredients. They are all non-dairy and vegan. You can adapt them however you like to suit your personal tastes and nutritional requirements.
You may be aware by now that chocolate is actually considered a “superfood”. If you have been in the dark about the benefits of raw chocolate, it is time to become blissfully aware!
What is a superfood?
A superfood is a food that is rich in phytochemicals. These phytochemicals are special elements that have been proven to have disease-fighting properties. They can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, reduce harmful inflammation, strengthen the immune system, or be an otherwise positive contribution to good health.
Cacao is chocolate in its raw form. It is extracted from the cacao bean. The cacao bean contains alanine, alkaloids, alpha-sitosterol, alpha-theosterol, amylase, arginine, ascorbic-acid, ascorbic-acid-oxidase, aspariginase, beta-carotene, calcium, dopamine, fructose, glucose, glutamic-acid, leucine, linoleic-acid, lipase, lysine, niacin, peroxidase, phenylacetic-acid, phosphorus, riboflavin, rutin, tannins, theobromine, thiamin and many other things. It also contains Phenylethylamine (PEA), a chemical that is found in the brain of people who are happy. When you experience love, then your PEA level dramatically rises. This effect can also be achieved by someone who is just feeling happy and has a lust for life. Eating chocolate can actually make you smile!
Chocolate is also known to contain strong antioxidant properties that work to protect cell membranes and cell DNA from free radical oxidative damage and its negative effects. There are other potential benefits found in chocolate. These benefits include a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and prevention of certain types of cancer and a lower blood pressure. However, once cacao is processed and milk is added it loses these wonderful benefits. It is chocolate in its raw, dark form that is beneficial.
This smoothie is a chocolate powerhouse. It contains raw cacao powder (found in health food stores or better food markets like Whole Foods) and that deep chocolate flavor. That means that it will give you all of the benefit of the superfood chocolate! Try this healthy smoothie recipe for a chocolate fix and a mood boost.
1 cup of avocado
½ cup of agave nectar
¼ cup of raw cacao powder
½ cup of young coconut flesh (available in Asian markets, some health food stores or Whole Foods)
1 cup of coconut water (can come straight from the coconut or is also available as a packaged product)
Place all ingredients in a powerful blender. Blend until smooth. Sip for a deliriously happy, as well as nutritious, affect!