Erbology Vegan If you're following a healthy, plant-based diet, does that mean waving goodbye to chocolate? Not at all! Satisfy your sweet-tooth with our healthy chocolate smoothie.
Prep Time 5'PT5M
Total Time 5'PT5M
No refined sugar
Anatomy of a smoothieSmoothies sometimes seem like a food group all their own. And there's good reason for that! There are few easier ways to add lots of healthy fruit and veg to your diet. What's more, they are easy to make and easy to drink. The possible combinations of fruits, vegetables, juices, and powders are endless. Bananas are the standard base for smoothies. Certainly, fresh or frozen, they add body and fibre. In addition, their flavour is so subtle that it doesn't compete with whatever else you might like to add to your smoothie. Here, we've added a slightly more unusual partner for the banana: pumpkin. Mellow, warm, and cosseting, pumpkin is such a wonderful flavour but often forgotten, due to the additional step of having to cook it. We recommend saving a bit back the next time you cook pumpkin for a soup or stew; its potential is limitless, as this recipe demonstrates! A world of pumpkin-spice lattes and pumpkin pies might give one the idea that pumpkin only works when married with plenty of sugar. Happily, that's not the case; the light richness of coconut milk, plus the familiar autumnal spices of star anise, cinnamon, and cardamom work a treat. Add a spoonful of raw cacao and you're well on your way to smoothie heaven.
Aronia berryOne glass of this chocolate smoothie contains a plenitude of wonderfully nutrient-packed ingredients. Firstly, we've used our Organic Aronia Juice, which is made from whole aronia berries and nothing else. The deep purple aronia, also known as chokecherry, is packed full of phenols. These are cleansing to your body. Among other things, phenols can be detoxifying and soothe inflammation inside you. Just what you want in a smoothie.(1)(2)
Razzle-dazzle raspberries...The beautiful, vibrant magenta colour of raspberries comes from the anthocyanins they (and aronia berries) contain. Anthocyanins are pigments, but they also have powerful health benefits. So powerful, in fact, that they are sought out for pharmaceutical use. Moreover, they can help protect against disease and have anti-microbial properties, meaning that they can kill harmful microorganisms.(3)
... and the power of pumpkinCertainly. this humble squash is an incredible source for the essential minerals potassium and beta-carotene. Moreover, our bodies are packed with potassium, a mineral and electrolyte. You may be familiar with electrolytes from sports drinks such as Gatorade, which claim to replenish your body. Potassium is an active ingredient in such drinks. After all, electrolytes dissolve inside your body into either positive or negative ions, creating a small electric current. This is useful for prompting all kinds of automatic processes within the body. Potassium also helps lower high blood pressure. When you take in potassium, your blood vessel walls relax and more sodium leaves your body in your urine.
Raw plant-based chocolateIf you enjoyed this chocolate smoothie and love all things chocolate, try making this simple raw chocolate bar at home. All you need are three wholesome, plant-based ingredients: raw cacao butter, a bit of honey or maple syrup, and raw cacao. This chocolate recipe is not only indulgent, but also packed with essential minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants. We love getting creative with the toppings, too. In this dark chocolate recipe, we used our signature organic gluten-free tigernut granola, coconut flakes and raw pumpkin seeds. You can also experiment with other seeds and edible flowers, such as rose petals, lavender or marigold. The combination of dark chocolate and roasted almonds or hazelnuts is just divine. We are especially fond of pumpkin seeds. They are so nutritious. Did you know that pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, as well as iron and zinc? In addition, pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes better sleep and emotional wellbeing. Tryptophan is the precursor for serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for a number of functions in the body, and is also involved in regulating your mood. Other sources of tryptophan include chia, sesame and sunflower seeds. Dark chocolate is also a source tryptophan itself. This partially explains why moderate amounts of chocolate may be beneficial in improving our moods. Another good reason to enjoy a bit of chocolate are flavonoids. These are a powerful group of antioxidants. In other words, flavonoids help your body to fight the free radical damage. All good reasons (as if we needed any) to include dark chocolate in your diet!