A chocolate shake for breakfast? Of course you want one, but you think you shouldn’t. Well, I’m about to give you permission. This chocolate shake tastes like an indulgent dessert, but it is actually really healthy and full of amazing superfoods. I sometimes treat myself to one after a long yoga practice. Whenever I serve this to friends, they always look at me with a sideways glance when I tell them what’s in it, but once they taste it, they’re impressed. It’s yummy.
This shake is sweetened by blueberries and bananas. The hemp and chia seeds give you a major protein boost – over 13g of protein in this one serving! The raw ground maca root is energizing and adds a yummy caramel-like note to the flavor, and the raw cacao powder is full of chocolaty antioxidant goodness. Curious for more information? Further details on the health benefits can be found at the bottom of every recipe on this site.
- 1 large frozen banana or 1-1/2 small frozen bananas
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 t. vanilla extract (preferably non-alcoholic)
- 1 T. raw maca root powder
- 2 T. raw cacao powder
- 2 T. raw hemp seeds
- 2 T. chia seeds
- 1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup crushed ice (optional, but especially helpful if you use fresh blueberries, to keep the shake cold in the blender)
Slice the frozen banana for easier blending. Add all of the ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and frothy. (A regular blender will definitely work, but in that case you may need to add more liquid to get the ingredients moving, especially if you use frozen blueberries.) This recipe makes one large 16-oz. (pint glass) serving.
Tip: If you want to replace a meal with this shake and need something a little heartier, add a tablespoon or two of raw almond butter to the mix. That should keep you feeling pretty full for a little while.
What’s healthy about this recipe?
Hemp seed is 65% protein by weight, making it one of the best plant sources of protein available, and it’s especially good because that protein comes in the form of globulin edestin, which is easily digested. It also contains the essential fatty acids (EFAs) in a ratio that is suitable for human nutritional needs. It is a good source of fiber, as well as magnesium, iron and zinc. It’s also gluten-free, and there are no known allergies to hemp seeds.
Chia seed was highly prized by the ancient Mayans and Aztecs, and for good reason. It is a source of protein, fiber, omega-3, -6 and -9, antioxidants, calcium, iron and magnesium. Chia seed has been found to lower high blood pressure when taken daily, and can help keep the blood sugar at a more even level over time because it slows the way complex carbohydrates are digested and assimilated. Chia also helps the body maintain a healthy level of hydration, which makes it particularly helpful for athletes.
Raw cacao (pronounced kah-KOW, different from the roasted, refined version we know as cocoa [KOH-koh]) is full of antioxidants, and studies suggest that cacao may also help promote healthy circulation and blood pressure. In its raw form (unheated, unrefined, without the sugar, milk fat and hydrogenated oils often added to commercially available chocolate candy), it is beneficial to the human body and is known to boost the level of certain neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin and endorphins, which produce a mood-boosting, anti-depressant effect.
Maca is a root vegetable native to the Andean region and is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is known for its energizing effect and the way it helps to balance hormone levels, promoting healthy sexual and reproductive function in both men and women.
Blueberries are a good source of Vitamin C and K, but they achieved “superfood” status for having a high phytonutrient content. These antioxidants are known to reduce the effects of oxidative stress on the whole body (anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular and circulatory support, muscle repair, and reportedly even memory boosting benefits).
Coconut milk is a liquid made from coconut flesh and water; it is not the water found inside the coconut (that’s called “coconut water”). Its biggest claim to fame is that it contains lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that is quickly metabolized by the human body and is the most abundant fat found in human breast milk. Lauric acid is believed to promote healthy brain and bone development.
What’s your favorite superfood? Tell us in a comment below!