I definitely have a sweet tooth. I always have a bit of a chocolate craving, especially in the afternoons & evenings and have been playing with ways to satisfy my cravings without consuming too much chocolate.
I came up with this delicious Cacao Banana Shake that is always exactly what I want when I’m craving a little something sweet.
But First, A Little On Cacao
When you read headlines and articles about the amazing benefits of chocolate, they aren’t talking about milk chocolate you find in the store, but they are talking about raw cacao. Lucky for us, it’s just as (if not more) delicious, but sometimes does take a little getting used to!
So what is raw cacao exactly? It is the powder that is made after un-roasted cacao beans are cold-pressed. Fat is removed (the butter) and living enzymes are kept intact.
Cocoa is also a powder and looks very similar, but, boy, is it different! We get cocoa from roasting raw cacao at high temperatures, which changes the molecular structure, ultimately making it less nutritionally beneficial for us to consume. In other words, it is the over-processed version of cacao.
There are many benefits to consuming cacao. Here are a few of them:
- Nervous system protection due to very potent antioxidants
- Reduces risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and high blood pressure
- Guards against toxins
- Mood booster!
- Rich in minerals (especially iron & magnesium)
So, what do you say? Let’s get to it!
Pro-tip: You might find that some brands (cough, Hershey’s, cough), has a product labeled as 100% Cacao on the front, but if you look at the ingredients, you’ll see that it lists Cocoa, which is not the same thing as Cacao, as noted above. Be careful with tricky marketing designed to pull you in!
- 1 (Over)Ripe Banana, Peeled
- 2 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder (or to taste)
- 1.5 Cups of Almond Milk (or milk of choice. Try to avoid dairy, as research has shown that dairy can inhibit the absorption of raw cacao’s nutrition.)
Pro-tip 2: I buy my Raw Cacao Powder (and Raw Cacao Nibs – see below) in bulk so I can get exactly the amount I need. And label them in pretty jars with fancy labels, of course.
- Cacao Nibs for a little extra crunch and texture
- Superfood Powder or Protein Powder for extra power in your shake! I really like Coco Mojo Energy Elixir by Essential Living Foods. I got mine on Thrive Market*.
Let’s Make it!
- Put all ingredients in blender (I put milk in first, then the cacao so it doesn’t stick or clump on the bottom)
- Blend for 20 seconds or until desired consistency
- Pour into a fancy glass and let out a big sigh – it’s delicious!
*Thrive Market is a neat online food marketplace whose mission is to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone. You can get a free membership for ~30 days and then it costs ~$50 for the year. In exchange for your membership fees, they provide a membership to a family in need. You’ll find great deals on organic, raw, and delicious food and there are many unique finds! Note that these words are mine and not sponsored by Thrive, however the link is an affiliate linked to my account.