For all of you chocolate lovers, here is a healthy, mouth-watering smoothie bowl with berries, bananas, greens and of course – chocolate.
One of the many amazing recipes from my book 175 Best Superfood Blender Recipes Using Your NutriBullet.
This recipe has a lot of great ingredients such as fresh spinach, banana, blackberries, cacao powder, chicory root and nutritional powerhouse garnishes like chia seeds, goji berries, cacao nibs, and almonds.
It’s loaded with nutrients that will benefit you from head to toe; nourishing the brain, cardiovascular system, and digestive tract while pleasing your taste buds as well; in a word d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s!
Dark green vegetables are an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin which protect your eyes against macular degeneration and preserve cognitive function.
Leafy vegetables are also a unique source of a special carbohydrate called sulfoquinovose which feeds a beneficial strain of E coli in your digestive tract.
Getting more leafy greens like spinach is a great way to boost your health for very few calories.
One cup of raw spinach has:
- 7 calories
- 1 g carb
- 1 g fiber
- 1688 mcg beta-carotene
- The equivalent of 2800 IU of vitamin A (from beta carotene)
- 145 mcg vitamin K1
- 60 mcg folate
- 167 mg potassium
- 12 mg of lutein & 6.6 mg zeaxanthin
Bananas are tasty and they are nutritious, no need to avoid them because of their sugar but they do have sugar and starches, so if you’re metabolically challenged for want of a word (pre-diabetes, have diabetes or are hyper-insulinemic, a,k.a. Type 2 diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar.
One medium (118 g) banana has:
- 105 calories
- 27 g carbohydrate
- 3 g fiber
- 24 g net carbs
- 1.3 g protein
- 32 mg magnesium
- 422 mg potassium
Bananas are also a good source of prebiotic fibers which help to promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut.
Cacao nibs & cacao powder
Is it cacao or cocoa? Well, it’s kinda both. Cacao and cocoa have many health benefits due to their polyphenols. When chocolate has a high cocoa content, 72%, 85%, or 90% for example, the chocolate will be loaded with cocoa polyphenols.
Polyphenols have a slightly bitter taste which is why people who are used to eating milk chocolate find dark chocolate hard to adjust to at first.
When you go straight to the source of chocolate, cacao or cocoa, you get a ton of polyphenols. So much so, that it only takes a very small serving (like those in this recipe) to get 200 to 400 mg of cocoa polyphenols; translation? That’s a ton and more than enough to get the health-promoting properties.
Chocolate, Blackberry, & Banana Superfood Smoothie Bowl
- 1 cup 250 ml lightly packed spinach
- 1 frozen banana halved
- 2/3 cup 150 ml frozen blackberries
- 2 tbsp 15 ml chocolate whey protein powder
- 2 tsp 10 ml cacao powder (raw is best, add more for a more intense chocolate flavour)
- 2 tsp 10 ml roasted chicory root granules
- 2 tsp 10 ml granulated sugar or coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup 75 ml unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 fresh banana peeled
- 1/4 cup 50 ml fresh or canned pineapple chunks, drained
- 2 tbsp 30 ml cacao nibs
- 2 tbsp 30 ml slivered almonds
- 2 tbsp 30 ml unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 tbsp 15 ml goji berries
- 1 tbsp 15 ml chia seeds
Add spinach, frozen banana, blackberries, protein powder, cacao powder, chicory root and almond milk to the tall cup. Twist the extractor blade onto the cup to seal. Turn the cup upside down and press and turn cup into the power base for 30 seconds, or until thick and smooth. If smoothie is too thick, add additional almond milk in small amounts and blend until desired consistency.
Remove cup from base. Twist off the extractor blade. Using a silicone spatula, transfer the smoothie to a bowl.
Cut fresh banana into slices. Arrange bananas, pineapple, almonds, coconut flakes, goji berries and chia seeds on the top of the smoothie.
The base smoothie portion of a smoothie bowl is meant to be thick, almost pudding like, in order to support the toppings. You may need to remove the cup from the cup from the base and shake it or tap it to mix ingredients and then return the cup to the power base for more extraction time.
Smoothie bowls are meant to have a colorful and festive patterned top. So enjoy yourself arranging the topping to make any pretty or mouth-watering patter of your choosing.
175 Best Superfood Blender Recipes Using Your NutriBullet will be available in Chapters and Indigo in Canada, and Barnes & Noble in the US, and will be available in Costco Canada too. Of course, you can also order it on Amazon.ca or Amazon.com today!!
Doug Cook RDN is a Toronto based integrative and functional nutritionist and dietitian with a focus on digestive, gut, mental health. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.