Cacao powder is amazing stuff. It looks and tastes pretty much just like cocoa powder, but it’s better. WAY better. Cacao is actually cold-pressed unroasted cacao beans (straight from the tree!) and its nutritional properties are still intact because it hasn’t been roasted at high temps like cocoa powder.
Cacao is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and zinc. There are other cool health benefits to choosing cacao over cocoa too, but as always, I encourage you to do your own research.
Smoothies are such an awesome way to pack a ton of nutritional punch into a tiny toddler approved package. What’s even more fun is when a smoothie is so thick and creamy and decadent that you can call it a shake, but it also happens to be extremely healthy. This Cacao-licious Hemp Shake does that. What else does it do? It satisfies even the most intense ice cream craving from an always hungry, breastfeeding mama (that’s saying something, am I right?!). I won’t lie – I have been known to take my blender into the laundry room after toddler bedtime so that I can whip this up without the fear of waking a little human.
When your next chocolate craving strikes or you just want to offer your kiddos a guilt-free, no refined sugar chocolatey treat, I hope you’ll try this shake – and if you do – tag me on Instagram so I can see (@ mamamakesfood and #mamamakesfood).
In the recipe below, I’ve provided Amazon links to products that I use in my kitchen on an almost daily basis. If you should purchase something by using the link(s) below, it won’t cost you anything extra, BUT it does give the mama behind Mama Makes Food a tiny commission (which might help justify staying up way past my bedtime to share recipes 😉 ).
Cacao-licious Hemp Shake
A creamy, decadent chocolatey treat that packs a nutritional and protein punch.
Credit: Mama Makes Food
- 1 3/4 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or use plain + 1 tsp. vanilla extract)
- 2 frozen bananas, cut into chunks
- 1 tbs. chia seeds
- 3 tbs. cacao powder (cocoa or carob will work in a pinch)
- 3 tbs. hemp seeds
- 2 tbs. sunflower seed butter (or preferred nut butter)
- 1-2 tbs. pure maple syrup, to taste
- small handful of spinach
- small handful of ice cubes
- Put all ingredients in the order listed into a high speed blender and blitz until smooth and creamy. Note: a regular blender may also be used, but it might not pulverize the hemp seeds entirely smooth like a high speed model will.