Updated: Mar 28, 2020
This smoothie is perfection if you want a bit of a treat-like smoothie, or if you are just getting into the world of green smoothies. Any chance to add some cacao (and nut butter) and kale to my life -- I am IN.
You can keep this super simple or add all the add ins. I love this for breakfast if I'm wanting something sweet, but I know my body needs more nourishment (not just waffles and syrup). Or it can be that perfect afternoon pick-me-up that is a little sweet but won't give you that sugar crash. And WILL give you super food nutrients your body loves.
1 + cup nut milk or water
1 tsp cacao powder
1 + tbsp nut butter
1 tsp spirulina
1 + kale leaves
1 pitted medjool date
ice to taste
A FEW INGREDIENT NOTES:
* Water or almond milk (or whatever milk you love) works well. Of course if you use nut milk, the smoothie will be a little creamier. When we use water, we make sure to use our Berkey filtered water.
*Not all cacao powder is created equal. Cacao powder can be high in heavy metals, so it's important to purchase from a transparent brand. I listened to a podcast by Doctor G, and he reviewed so many major brands -- and this was one of his top three recommendations based on their transparency on the heavy metal testing results. Of course it's okay to eat this in moderation, but like with anything - you don't want to over do it! All that to say, here is the brand I use: Viva Naturals Organic Cacao Powder.
*If you don't have spirulina, no worries. Also, you can obviously add MORE add ins. Collagen powder, chlorella, maca, would all be great in this. Chia seeds, flax seed -- the list goes on. I often add various add ins depending on my mood and what catches my eye in the pantry. See my smoothie guide for details and health benefits of all my fav add ins. I think maca pairs well with cacao, so if you don't have spirulina - that's a great switch.
*Depending on how greeeen you want it, you can vary how much kale you put in. Of course, the more you put in, the earthier it will be. For myself, I do a little more. For my kids, I do one kale leaf. You can switch out kale for spinach or whatever you green you have at home.
Directions: throw it all in a blender and boom! I add the amount of water or milk that makes the consistency I like. This is personal preference.
SUPER FOOD BENEFITS:
1 cup of raw kale contains:
Vitamin A: 206% of the DV (from beta-carotene)
Vitamin K: 684% of the DV
Vitamin C: 134% of the DV
Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
Manganese: 26% of the DV
Calcium: 9% of the DV
Copper: 10% of the DV
Potassium: 9% of the DV
Magnesium: 6% of the DV
Kale also is also high in antioxidants, including beta-carotene, as well as flavonoids and polyphenols. We need those antioxidants to help counteract oxidative damage by free radicals in our body. Oxidative damage is a key driver of aging and many diseases!
Cacao powder is THE most potent super food in the world. YES, that's right. It contains 40 x the amount of antioxidants as blueberries and is full of magnesium and calcium. I do recommend not having cacao daily in smoothies, unless you are limiting it to 1 tsp a day. Cacao is a source of heavy metals, so I try to put cacao in my smoothies maybe a couple times a week!
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae and a known super food due to it's high protein and vitamin content. Research suggests it has antioxidant and inflammation-fighting properties, as well as associated with immune regulation support. It may have anti-cancer properties as well as improve symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Spirulina is also high in protein. This is the spirulina I use right now.
And of course the other ingredients have some benefits too! I love the fat + protein that I get when I add peanut or almond butter, and the date provides that natural sweetening from a real food. Bananas are high in vitamin C, manganese and potassium, and also provide a great creamy, sweet effect in the smoothies.
Cheers, friends! Let me know if you make this nourishing and satisfying smoothie. We all need our nourishment -- now and always. XOXO.