Certain flavour combinations seem like they were designed to be because they seem so perfect together: apple and cinnamon, orange and chocolate and, well, mint and chocolate.
Chocolate mint is one of my favourite; a match made in heaven. Mint chocolate chip ice cream anybody? Yum. In fact, my love for this pairing is one of the many things people don’t know about me.
This smoothie is lower in calories and more importantly, sugar because it calls for unsweetened almond beverage; that way you can adjust the sweetness to your personal preference.
What a delicious way to get good quality nutrition at any time of the day. Smoothies aren’t just for breakfast.
Cacao, cocoa or chocolate. Any way you slice it, it’s all good. I’ve written about the tasty health benefits of cacao and cocoa before and there are plenty.
It’s true that so-called raw cacao products, like cacao nibs and cacao powders, have a high polyphenol content because they’re not roasted, the difference isn’t great enough to worry about if you’re using cocoa powder.
Cocoa products come from beans that have been roasted or treated with an alkali product but it’s not as if they’re devoid of nutrients or their awesome flavanols. I personally use raw cacao nibs and powders to make smoothies, protein shakes or even a homemade like this favourite of mine Maca Hot Chocolate.
Want a great way to thicken a smoothie or protein shake while making it taste super creamy? Add avocado!
It’s a great way to sneak in some extra nutrition as well. One-half of a medium avocado has:
- 15 g fat
- 500 mg potassium (more than a banana)
- 6.5 g fiber
- 2 g net carbs
- 25% Daily Value of vitamin B6
- 33% Daily Value of vitamin C
Egg white nutrition
Egg whites are a great protein source to either increase the volume of an omelette or scrambled eggs or in this case, to add protein to a smoothie.
Unlike raw eggs, where there is a small risk for salmonella, egg whites in a carton are pasteurized so they’re safe. They’re a great addition to other protein sources you might use like protein powders or powdered milk.
One cup of egg whites has:
- 26 g protein
- 2 g carbohydrate
- 400 mg potassium
This smoothie is loaded with protein, potassium and has a decent amount of artery-loving cacao polyphenols; powerful compounds that also help to lower blood pressure by increasing the production of nitric oxide which helps blood vessels to relax and dilate.
It also has a decent amount of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and lutein to boot. Why not give this smooth and creamy protein shake a try?
Chocolate Mint Smoothie
- 2 cups of unsweetened chocolate almond beverage or your milk of choice
- 1/3 cup pasteurized egg whites
- 2 Tablespoons of raw cacao cocoa powder
- 1 Tablespoon of sugar
- 2 scoops natural chocolate protein powder whey or vegan
- 1/2 small avocado to thicken [pit & skin removed]
- 1/2 cup fresh mint or 1 drop of mint extract
- Vanilla extract optional
- Water to thin as desired
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until desired texture.
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.