I've been DYING to make this smoothie since I found inspiration on The Chalkboard Magazine here a few days ago. What was the holdup? Mint was apparently a rare commodity... I couldn't find organic anywhere and didn't want to settle for a peppermint extract with added oils and alcohol. Whole Foods finally had some in stock when I went yesterday to load up on gluten-free, sprouted almond milk sandwiches ;) And thank goodness they did because what happened this morning in my blender was pure magic I tell you. This smoothie is everything amazing. And everything that is good in this world.
Of course, once I began making it, I decided to put my own spin on things to make it even more amazing and in line with my body's cravings. Therefore, I added a special "nana ice-cream" to top it off. The results: Chart topping.
Chock full of a few nutritional superstars, this Mint Cacao Chip Smoothie is quite the rockstar.
Here's a quick rundown on each of the showstoppers:
- Spirulina: This miracle from the sea is high in protein and rich in B vitamins as well as iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium plus a whole host of other vitamins and minerals. Its high chlorophyll content makes it great for removing toxins and increasing immunity. For my favorite Spirulina powder, check out my super foods post here.
- Cacao: This raw chocolate goodness is one of my favorites. Providing the chocolate flavor without all the junk, cacao nibs are nature's chocolate chip. And nature knows what she's doing by loading these crunchy nibs with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber... everything a superfood should contain. Best part besides the flavor? Cacao is a true mood booster due to the alkaloids theobromine, phenylethylamine and anandamine, which make you feel in love. We're never breaking up. xo
- Coconut Water: Loaded with potassium and electrolytes, this drink is super hydrating and satisfying. Fun fact: Drank too much Friday night and hungover? Drink this to feel better ASAP.
- Mint: A great herb for de-bloating and overall digestion. Its antioxidants have been said to possess anti-cancer and anti-allergy properties. Plus, it freshens your breath. Win.
- Banana: This delicious fruit has gotten a bad wrap as being fattening, but that's just silly. If you find yourself gaining weight, let's be real, it's probably not the fruit... Some people fast only on bananas for certain lengths of time and continue to consume as many as 20 per day while maintaining a slim, healthy figure when combined with exercise and a healthy lifestyle. While I think that may be a bit extreme, I urge you to always tune in to your body and your specific needs. On to the humble yellow fruit's nutritional stats... Bananas are high in potassium, a valuable mineral and electrolyte that is crucial for muscular function and digestion. Inside its yellow peel is a wealth of vitamins A, B, E, K, and C including a hefty 6 mcg of folic acid. Plus it tastes delicious and is nature's best and most portable fast food.
Now on to the main event. Without further ado, meet my new love in a mason jar...
Rocking Mint Cacao Chip Smoothie
Smoothie: (in your high speed blender)
1 cup spinach
3/4 frozen banana
1/8 cup raw cashews
2 tbsp raw cacao nibs (unsweetened) *Reserve some for topping
1 tbsp mint leaves, packed
1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder (I used Sunwarrior Warrior Blend) **If omitting, add 1 tsp of vanilla
Aloha Daily Greens Natural Blend (optional but adds extra nutrients and super powers)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (homemade is awesome but Whole Foods 365 brand is great in a pinch)
1/4 cup coconut water (I recommend Harmless Harvest)
Directions: Add all ingredients to blender and blend away!
Spirulina-Mint Nana Ice-cream Topping (in your food processor)
1/4 frozen banana
2 mint leaves
1 tsp spirulina
dash of almond milk to get things moving
Directions: Place banana, mint and spirulina in food processor, processing with no almond milk at first and then slowly adding some in until it moves around and is thick and creamy like ice cream.
Assembly: Pour smoothie into mason jar or glass of choice. Then top with nana ice-cream. Sprinkle cacao nibs on top and Enjoy!