Creamy Chocolate Mint Smoothie by Nicole Nelson, Certified Holistic Health Coach

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If smoothies were their own food group, I would be the happiest person. I’m absolutely obsessed with smoothies! I love packing them full of superfoods and coming up with yummy flavors. One of my favorites has to be Chocolate Mint. It truly tastes like chocolate mint chip ice cream! The best part? It’s so healthy, that you could have this for a snack every day (I definitely do).

The secret to this smoothie is the raw cacao powder. This ingredient alone delivers so many amazing health benefits. Cacao is a very powerful superfood that can sometimes be overlooked, because people don’t associate chocolate with being healthy. It may surprise you to know that raw cacao contains nearly four times the antioxidant content of regular processed dark chocolate, 20 times more than blueberries, and 119 times more than bananas!

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Ingredients:

1 ½  cups almond milk

1 scoop plant based vanilla protein powder

½ cup frozen zucchini

¼ avocado

3 mint leaves or ½ tsp peppermint extract

1 TBS raw cacao powder

1 TBS Truvia

1 TBS cacao nibs

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender.

  2. Blend until thoroughly combined.

 

The benefits of cacao are truly incredible. Here is a list of the top benefits:

  1. Mood improver: anandamide - known as the bliss molecule, which creates a feeling of euphoria.

  2. Used as an aphrodisiac: Another mood-enhancing compound found in cacao is PEA or phenethylamine, which triggers the release of endorphins and pleasurable opium-like neurochemicals.

  3. Protect your heart and prevent cardiovascular disease: Flavanols an anti-inflammatory and heart protective antioxidant found in raw cacao may protect against cardiovascular disease, reduce the risk of stroke, and help improve blood circulation.

  4. Prevent premature aging: polyphenol antioxidants found in cacao belong to the same group of antioxidants as green tea and red wine. These anthocyanins and catechins protect our cells from premature oxidation or destruction and can keep us looking and feeling younger longer.

  5. Energy boost and combat fatigue: cacao has one of the highest concentrations of magnesium found in this natural food source. Magnesium also helps to protect against osteoporosis, reduces type II diabetes, and lowers blood pressure.

  6. Glowing skin and improve skin texture: “In 2006 the Journal of Nutrition found that women who drank cacao with at least 326 mg of flavonals a day had better skin texture, improved microcirculation, increased oxygen saturation, and improved skin hydration than those didn’t. Stir some cacao powder in your cup of coffee or add to a smoothie.”

One of my favorite ways to use cacao powder is to use it in a tasty smoothie!

 Nicole is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and wellness expert based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Living Well with Nic was created from her lifelong passion for health, nutrition, and wellness. She helps women transform their lives by teaching them how to improve their health, achieve their goals, and live well. Nicole has trained under the world’s leading experts in nutrition and wellness at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Her passion is to help her clients find a balance between primary and secondary foods, in order to ignite inner beauty. You can find more recipes and wellness advice at  livingwellwithnic.com . Nicole can also be reached directly at  nicole@livingwellwithnic.com .

Nicole is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and wellness expert based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Living Well with Nic was created from her lifelong passion for health, nutrition, and wellness. She helps women transform their lives by teaching them how to improve their health, achieve their goals, and live well. Nicole has trained under the world’s leading experts in nutrition and wellness at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Her passion is to help her clients find a balance between primary and secondary foods, in order to ignite inner beauty. You can find more recipes and wellness advice at livingwellwithnic.com. Nicole can also be reached directly at nicole@livingwellwithnic.com.