Mint Cacao Chip Smoothie
Consider this recipe an updated, vegetable-packed, and elevated version of my matcha mint chip smoothie. Because it’s always good to go back and revisit something as deliciously classic as mint chocolate chip – anything.
I am addicted to mint chocolate chip. Mint chip ice cream? Yes please. Oreo’s limited edition mint chocolate chip cookies (way) back in the day? Check. Mint chocolate chip brownies, cake, or anything else sweet? Yes yes and yes.
Of course, most mint chocolate chip treats lack their namesake herb – mint, and are packed with artificial colors, sugars, and flavorings instead. Here’s a healthier take on the sweet combination that’s packed with real deal mint and other goodness, too.
Mint, aka mentha, composes a group of over 15 different mint species including peppermint and spearmint. These herbs are loaded with a variety of trace vitamins (vitamins C & A) and minerals (calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron), and an impressive amount of antioxidants, phenolic acids, flavanoids, and carotenoids. (1)
One of mint’s most well studied properties is its effectiveness in easing symptoms associated with upset stomach, nausea, indigestion, gas, and irritable bowel symptom (IBS). Mint is thought to both increase bile secretion in the gallbladder, and increase bile flow in the small intestine to improve speed and ease of digestion, and even decrease cholesterol levels in the process. (2) Mint has been found to be a short-term treatment for IBS, with little to no side effects, unlike common IBS drugs. More research is needed to see if mint can serve as a long-term treatment. (3)
Mint’s not the only sneaky vegetable in this smoothie recipe. It’s also packed with frozen cauliflower, frozen zucchini, and spinach. I’ve been loving adding frozen zucchini and cauliflower to my smoothies; it not only thickens the texture without the addition of banana, it provides ample nutrients too. Both veggies are packed with vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium, too.
No, you won’t taste the zucchini, cauliflower, or spinach- I swear. Adding in a scoop of vanilla protein powder (Ora Organic is my favorite!) along with vanilla almond milk and coconut butter adds a hint of sweetness and rich flavor to the smoothie. You seriously will not believe that there’s no added sweetener or fruit! Crunchy cacao nibs, of course, seal the deal and make this classic smoothie truly nutrient-packed. Top of your glass with coconut flakes and enjoy this creamy, flavorful, and delicious treat – for breakfast, lunch, or dessert! :)
Frozen zucchini and cauliflower + nutrient-packed spinach + delicious coconut butter + fresh mint + crunchy cacao nibs = an elevated take on a classic mint chocolate chip shake!
Mint Cacao Chip Smoothie
Makes 1 Large Smoothie, or 2 Small!
¾ cup frozen cauliflower
1 cup frozen zucchini
1 cup spinach
1 Tablespoon coconut butter
¼ cup fresh peppermint leaves
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
3 Tablespoons cacao nibs
1 Tablespoon coconut flakes, to garnish
Place all ingredients, except for cacao nibs and coconut flakes, in a high-speed blender. Blend on high for 40-60 seconds, or until all ingredients are completely broken down and combined.
Add in cacao nibs, reserving a sprinkle for garnish, and pulse in the blender once or twice to combine.
Pour smoothie into a large glass (or split into two and share with a friend) and garnish with reserved cacao nibs and coconut flakes. Enjoy!
- Add a boost of extra goodness to this smoothie, if you’d like. A tablespoon of chia seeds of ground flax seeds amp up the fiber, while hemp seeds or a scoop of nut butter add a bit more protein and healthy fats!
- Another delicious boost? A half of avocado – yes please!
- No fresh peppermint? A few drops of food-grade peppermint oil will do the trick. Add to taste.
- My favorite vanilla protein powder: Ora Organic’s plant-based vanilla.
- My favorite coconut butter: Artisana Organic’s coconut butter is bae. Not to be confused with coconut oil, coconut butter is the whole food blended form of coconut meat and oil. It’s divine!
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