If I’m being honest, sometimes I get a little jealous of Owen’s breakfasts. There are the maple-syrup drenched waffles before preschool. The crumb-topped blueberry muffins. The weekend trips to the bakery where he has a chocolate frosted donut with rainbow sprinkles and I have…a cup of coffee. It’s not easy being a health-conscious mom raising a toddler with mean sweet tooth.
I want a treat too! I just don’t want the calories associated with it. I know you feel me.
So let’s just pause to appreciate this strawberry almond cacao smoothie. It looks basically like a giant milkshake, right? Good. That’s what I was going for.
Back in December, I posted a recipe for a raspberry smoothie bowl with cacao nibs. I mentioned the brand I used (Navitas Naturals) and tagged them on social media. I was super excited when they reached out and offered to send me a bunch of new products to play with. I received a big package last week, and the first thing I tried out was the cacao powder.
Cacao powder is different from traditional cocoa powder because it is milled at extremely low temperatures (alternatively, cocoa powder is processed at very high heat). This preserves its rich nutrients, including magnesium and iron, and its pure chocolate flavor. You can use cacao in place of cocoa anywhere for an added boost of nutrition.
To make this smoothie, I paired it with fresh strawberries and a little bit of creamy almond butter. Vanilla extract enhances the flavor, and chia seeds give it great body and texture (you could also use a few tablespoons of gluten-free oats or flax seeds). To finish, I added chopped almonds and cacao nibs for crunch.
↑↑↑ I mean, donuts? Who needs donuts? (Wait, don’t answer that.)
Strawberry Almond Cacao Smoothie
This gluten-free, vegan smoothie tastes like a chocolate strawberry milkshake.
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- 1 banana, peeled and frozen
- 1/2 cup diced strawberries
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 2 teaspoons almond butter
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 4-5 large ice cubes
- 1 teaspoon chopped almonds
- 1 teaspoon cacao nibs
- Combine the banana, strawberries, cacao powder, chia seeds, almond butter, vanilla, almond milk, and ice in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and sprinkle with the almonds and cacao nibs.
- I had difficulty calculating the nutrition facts for this smoothie because the program I use doesn't recognize unsweetened almond milk. But I did the math myself, and this smoothie has 318 calories.
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LUCY! This looks delicious. Help me. I hate bananas (I know, worst taste preference ever when you want to make a smoothie). Can I just omit the banana or could I substitute something else?
Lucy Baker says
Hi Kaitlin! Hmm, I’ve given this some thought, and here is what I would do: increase the strawberries to 1 cup, and use frozen ones. Swap the almond milk for something thicker, like yogurt or kefir. And maybe add a tablespoon or so of oats? I hope this helps!! xoxo
Thank you thank you!!! I’m going to try that this weekend!!
Amanda | The Cinnamon Scrolls says
ooooh, this sounds absolutely divine!! I’m right there with your son on the sweet tooth levels, and it’s SO HARD eating healthy when you’re constantly craving cookies, doughnuts, cakes… but this smoothie looks like it could satisfy so many cravings! Love it! Gorgeous photos, too!
Cristie | Little Big H says
I have all these ingredients in my pantry/fridge right now – that never happens. Can’t wait to try this, it looks delicious.
Wow this smoothie, has everything good in it! You’ve nailed indulgence end healthy together!
Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says
Oh hello beautiful smoothie! This would be such a hit for a afternoon pick me up!
Holly @ 3 Yummy Tummies says
This Smoothie looks amazing and I love the combination of flavors you have used here! What a great, healthy way to satisfy my sweet tooth!
I tried this with hemp hearts and water instead of almond milk. It was totally wonderful! Soooo creamy and sweet! Also extremely energizing! Kids approved too. :).
Thanks for the recipe! Just made it this morning, was tasty and filling!