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Raw Cacao Almond Bliss Smoothie (High Protein)

Smoothies are one of my go to meals after the gym or first thing in the morning. Stuffing my blender with a heaping serving of superfoods and densely nutritious ingredients gives me the energy to power through the crazy school week morning hustle nudging four kids out the door. This recipe is perfect for mums because its chock-a-block full of natural magnesium, the calming mineral. Grab your blender mamas and let's whip this one up!


Raw Cacao Almond Bliss Smoothie (High Protein)  | Eat Nourish Glow
Raw Cacao Almond Bliss Smoothie (High Protein) | Eat Nourish Glow

Smoothies make for some of the healthiest meals and are cheap to make. Blending fruit, greens and vegetables together with a few superfoods or protein, is one of the fastest ways to make a densely nutritious meal.


On a budget? Smoothies are an excellent way to use up leftover fruits and vegetables, or produce that is about to spoil. I know in my household of five kids, once the bananas freckle, they turn their noses up at them. Freeze or blend produce that is nearing its expiry to avoid wasting food. Its also helpful to buy in-season or on sale to make smoothies a cheap way to nourish.


What Goes In Smoothies?


What makes a smoothie? What doesn't is a much shorter list, to be honest. You can add just about anything to your smoothies to create some of the most delicious and Instagram worthy meals. Typically, a smoothie contains a few fruits, leafy greens and a vegetable or two. This is combined with liquid from water, coconut water or dairy and plantbased milk. Most health conscious people add in extra fibre, protein powder, and healthy fats to the mix to create a well-balanced meal out of smoothies.

Try preparing smoothies using all of these ingredients:

  • High fibre, low carb fruits such as berries (all types), mango, citrus, banana etc

  • Vegetables of all types either raw or steamed like sweet potato and cauliflower

  • Leafy greens such as beet and carrot tops, lettuce, kale, spinach, or watercress

  • Protein such as from organic, whey-based or plantbased sources

  • Healthy fats from coconut oil, nuts and seeds, or fruit like avocado

  • Superfood powders and ingredients to boost antioxidants and the nutrient profile


Why are smoothies considered so healthy? Blending wholefood ingredients together can be a very healthy way to consume more fruit, vegetables, greens and nutrients. When you blend (versus juice), you retain all the dietary fibre found in plantbased foods. Fibre is a macro nutrient that is required daily for good health and can only be found in the foods you eat. Having smoothies every week can help you consume more essential fibre, vitamin-rich fruits and veggies than if you had to eat them individually. Smoothies are great time saver and as along as you don't go overboard with the ingredients, can support natural weight loss, better gut health and overall well being.




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Key Ingredients Used

Raw Cacao & Almonds Are The Base Of This Smoothie  | Eat Nourish Glow
Raw Cacao & Almonds Are The Base Of This Smoothie | Eat Nourish Glow

Raw cacao is the "raw" part of chocolate and is an excellent source of essential minerals such as selenium, magnesium, chromium and manganese. Cacao also contains sources of iron that are more easily absorbed by the body than from other foods. But it is really the magnesium and tryptophan (an amino acid) that your body uses to produce serotonin, the brain chemical that helps you relax, that we're after. Hello calm mama...


  • Nutrient-rich: cacao is one of the richest sources of magnesium in nature, and provides a great, wholefood source of antioxidants, calcium, zinc, copper and selenium.

  • Calming: the magnesium found in raw cacao has been used to ease mental health issues, reduce stress, and relieve anxiety, insomnia and depression.

  • The happy powder: raw cacao triggers the brain to release neurotransmitters, which naturally stimulate the production of happy hormones.


Yep, all good reasons to stop avoiding and eat more chocolate! Well, wait, I mean the raw version, that is. Unlike commercial chocolate which contains dairy, a ton of sugar and additives, raw cacao powder or the nibs are densely nutritious. If you suffer from stress or anxiety, consuming some with your meals every day has many proven benefits.


Healthy Smoothie Variations


Raw cacao comes in a several forms from the raw beans, nibs to powdered form. Be sure to check the nutrition labels and ingredient lists to make sure you are getting the most raw and unprocessed forms with no additional ingredients like sugar or artificial flavours.


  • Raw beans: you can find the beans in health food shops and grind them up yourself.

  • Cacao nibs: the inside of the cocoa bean, these cacao nibs have a woody texture and slight chocolate flavour. They add a little crunch as toppings or enjoyed straight from the bag.

  • Raw cacao powder: this is by far the most popular way to consume cacao and lends itself to many recipes. Add the powder to smoothies, baking, desserts, coffee and overnight oats or chia pudding.


No matter which version you choose, adding raw cacao to your meal plan each day is fabulously delicious way to nourish and consume more essential nutrients and antioxidants.



Free Wholefood Recipe Sampler Download

Try My Mini Wholefood Recipe Collection


Get this FREE recipe collection with healthy and delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes that nourish from the inside out. Each recipe is jam-packed with goodness and created by a qualified Nutritionist, for nutrition you can trust is good for you. Stop eating boring food to be healthy, come see how good healthy tastes – download your free recipes today!







Food Sensitivities


What if I am allergic to chocolate? In most cases, you would already have discovered a sensitivity to chocolate and generally avoid it. If this is the case, raw cacao is no different. Symptoms to watch for include oral/gastrointestinal issues, respiratory symptoms, or in more severe cases, anaphylaxis after ingestion.


Warning: this recipe also contains nuts: if you have a sensitivity or are allergic to nuts, you will need to adjust the recipe to remove the almond butter and milk. Instead, try the recipe with coconut, cow or goat's milk, oat or soy as healthy alternatives. If you want to use the butter, try flax seed, sunflower seed, tahini butter instead of the almond butter used.


Raw Cacao Almond Smoothie Recipe

Raw Cacao Almond Bliss Smoothie   |  Eat Nourish Glow
Raw Cacao Almond Bliss Smoothie | Eat Nourish Glow

This Raw Cacao Smoothie is naturally high in protein, healthy fats and is densely nutritious. You can enjoy it as is or add a small cup of berries (any type) to the recipe for another delicious cacao recipe. I suggest you try it plain first and then experiment. I love it both ways.


Ingredients

  • 250ml almond or oat milk, unsweetened

  • 1 small banana, frozen

  • 40g Vanilla flavoured protein powder (I use vegan 'Nourish by @aussiebodies)

  • 3 tbsp almond butter or 10 almonds, organic

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds (excellent fibre source)

  • 3 tsp raw cacao powder, organic

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground

  • 1/2 cup crushed ice (optional, gives a thick texture)


Method

In a blender, add all the ingredients and process on high until well combined. Add the ice if you want a thicker, more soft-serve consistency. Pour in a mason jar glass or serve in a smoothie bowl (as pictured) with your favourite toppings.


Batch Cook & Meal Prep


Yes, you can batch cook and meal prep smoothies! Many of the ingredients used in smoothies can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the freezer until you are ready to blend. This is worth the time spent on meal prep to create fast, easy garb-and-go meals for you and the family.


Pre-chopped bananas that are too freckled and unappealing for the kids to eat. They are perfectly ripe at this point and provide a lovely texture to your smoothies when frozen. Chop and add to individually portioned zip-lock bags or a big storage container. They will keep for several months.


Using an ice cube tray you can freeze any milk, yoghurt or other liquids used in your smoothies. Add a few cubes to your blender to equal the liquid used in recipes, or add to the above mentioned zip-lock bags and create a pre-portioned smoothie bag with all the ingredients (except the powders) in a "drop bag". When you want to make the recipe, simply drop all the ingredients from the freezer bag into your blender, add the powder ingredients and hit blend. Easy as!


Other Smoothie Recipes You'll Absolutely Love...


If you love smoothies or are just getting into them, be sure to check out my smoothie themed 7 Day Meal Plans all geared towards supporting a wholefood diet. You can choose from high protein, fat-burning and other delicious smoothie recipes by visiting the shop, click here.


Healthy + happiness,

Emma Lisa xx

HEALTH & NUTRITION PRACTITIONER




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