There’s a new buzz word in the virtual PD offices these days: sugar. It’s joined the other evil S-words of Smoking and Sitting as things that will kill you, and so many people I know are on the no- or low-sugar bandwagon.
I for one have never been extremely conscious of my sugar intake. When I was a kid, it was just one of the many “bad” things that was part of my regular diet, but since I grew up, and especially became vegan, I am rarely exposed to, or tempted by, sugary foods. (NB: When we talk about “sugar,” we mostly mean added sugar–not the good kinds found in fruits and complex carbohydrates.) My family’s predisposition to diabetes is another big red flag I’m always trying to avoid.
I also have figured out my dessert profile. I’m a cake girl, especially super-rich chocolate cake, so I can easily pass up a cookie or candy or fruit pie. To be honest, if you put a slice of my mom’s decidedly non-vegan German chocolate cake in front of me, I’d have to channel a lot of will power to not take a bite–or at least lick the knife.
But even for the sweet-tooth-suppressed among us, sometimes you just have to have dessert. Thinking of my own preference for chocolate, I realized that–duh–raw cacao powder doesn’t have any sugar added: that was a byproduct of colonialism way back when it was first discovered and needed to be made palatable for Europeans. Rather than sugar, cacao has magnesium, antioxidants, and theobromine (a mood booster). Check, check, and check.
This smoothie is a fairly standard green smoothie save for the super boosts of cacao and maca powder; the spinach, blueberries, and avocado* come with their own antioxidants and long list of vitamins (A, K, C, and calcium to name a few). You’d never be able to notice the lack of sugary add-ins (just a bite of banana; 1 or 2 dry dates would also work). Instead, you’ll be treated to a delicious dessert-like meal that you can feel super good about any time of day.
The next time you pass one of those Kate Spade bags proclaiming “Eat Cake for Breakfast,” raise your mason jar as proof that, yes, you can have your (smoothie) cake and eat it, too.
*And yes, you CAN freeze avocado! And it makes such a difference when it comes to achieving a thick, creamy consistency.
Superfood Chocolate Smoothie
- 3 cups fresh spinach
- 1 pint frozen blueberries
- 1/3 medium frozen banana
- 1 tablespoon coconut yogurt**
- 3 tablespoons cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon maca powder
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2-1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 avocado, frozen and cubed
1. Take the frozen ingredients out of the freezer to slightly defrost, about 1 hour.
2. Thoroughly wash and spin dry the spinach.
3. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Adding liquid 1/4 cup at a time, blend until smooth and the desired consistency (straw vs. spoon) is reached.
4. Divide into two jars. Garnish with unsweetened dry coconut, a few blueberries, and chocolate shavings if desired.
**I swear by Anita’s Coconut Yogurt. It’s pricey but the only non-dairy yogurt I’ve been able to stomach: super thick and a light coconut-y flavor that compliments this recipe perfectly.
Also by Jennifer: Vegan Dessert Recipes: Tahini Truffles
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Photos: Jennifer Kurdyla