This is my recovery smoothie. I was sick right before the wedding, just a head cold, I think… but I kept telling myself it was allergies, really bad allergies. I’m still pretty stuffy, my head feels like a balloon, and my ears are plugged, which is really annoying. This chocolate almond smoothie bowl is packed full of antioxidants and healthy goodness which I feel is helping me on my road to recovery, at least that’s what I keep telling myself…
This chocolate almond smoothie bowl is more like a milkshake. It’s like having dessert for breakfast. In fact, I tried to get Kris to eat these smoothie bowls for dessert one night but he refused…and then I made cookies. Small batch cookies, a single serving cookie recipe from Chelsea’s Messy Apron, except they are giant chocolate chips cookies; I’m talking bakery style, cookies as big as your head. And they are amazingly addictive. You have been warned! But my chocolate almond smoothies are addictive too…. Okay, so these smoothie bowls aren’t the same as chocolate chip cookies, but I can almost convince myself they are a dessert.
Every once in a while I get on a smoothie kick. It comes from the summer I worked at a Jamba Juice. The main thing that keeps me from having smoothies every day is the amount of sugar in them. If you’re using a lot of fruit in your smoothies it’s going to cause a huge blood sugar spike, which is not what you want. You want to keep your blood sugars as stable as possible throughout the day. When fruit is all blended up into a smoothie, your body is going to digest it faster (because you don’t have to chew it), and it’s going to cause a faster, higher blood sugar rise and then a crash. You’re probably thinking, I don’t have diabetes so why does it matter if my blood sugars spike? Well, your body can only use so much sugar from the fruit at once. Part of the sugar, also known as glucose, will go straight to your cells for energy, but your body can only use so much of that glucose at once. The rest of the glucose will get stored as fat. The other part of the fruit sugar, fructose, is processed through the liver, similar to how your body processes alcohol. Excess fructose also gets packaged up as fats. So just be careful about what you put in your smoothies. I don’t like to start my mornings with a blood sugar spike. (And in case you’re thinking, “But you just told me you ate cookies! Yes, true, I have dessert about once a week, and I was trying to go for more of a healthy dessert but the husband demanded cookies…see how I put the blame on him, haha). For more information on how the body processes sugar, check out Ken Sikaris on YouTube.
For this smoothie bowl, I used plain almond milk to help keep the calories, carbs, and sugar low. I also used plain, full fat Greek yogurt for some healthy fats and protein. And I used almond butter for even more almond flavor, healthy fat, and protein. Cacao powder and cocoa nibs contribute to the chocolate portion of the smoothie and finally, chia seeds help thicken the smoothie and the frozen bananas are for volume and sweetness. I topped the smoothie bowl with blueberries, more cocoa nibs, chopped almonds, and some bee pollen (beeecause it’s pretty). The only sugar in this smoothie comes from the banana. The fat and protein from the Greek yogurt and almond butter will help to buffer the sugar and keep blood sugars low. Chia seeds also contribute some fiber to help slow digestion and keep blood sugars stable. This smoothie bowl is so good, and bonus that it’s low in sugar. It honestly does taste like a milkshake! I love the combination of chocolate and almonds; it’s one of my favorites.
Hope you enjoy this smoothie as much as I do! What’s your favorite smoothie flavor combo?
- 2 frozen bananas
- ½ cup plain almond milk
- 2 Tbsp almond butter
- 2 Tbsp cocoa nibs
- 1tsp cacao powder
- ½ cup plain, full fat Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- ¼ tsp vanilla
- Toppings (optional): blueberries, cocoa nibs, chopped almonds, bee pollen.
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, stirring when necessary.
- Divide into two bowls.
- Top with blueberries, cocoa nibs, chopped almonds, bee pollen.