I can’t believe that I haven’t shared the recipe for this amazing Chocolate Smoothie until now. I’ve been drinking some variation of it for the last 5 years!
How to Make the Best Chocolate Smoothie
The reason this is my favorite smoothie is that it tastes like a chocolate milkshake. It doesn’t taste like a “healthy” smoothie with a hint of banana in the background– it has more of a chocolate milk flavor to it.
The key to getting a neutral sweetness in a smoothie is to use dates as the sweetener, instead of banana. When I was pregnant, I learned that eating dates regularly may help to improve your labor and delivery experience, but I have continued to eat them ever since!
Here’s what I love about dates:
- They are a source of plant-based iron and potassium.
- They are high in fiber, and this study suggests that eating roughly 7 dates a day may help to lower the risk of colon cancer.
- Dates are high in antioxidants, and may help to lower inflammation and lower the risk for several diseases, including diabetes and certain cancers. (source)
- They may help to improve brain health. (source)
- This study in mice suggests that eating dates may help to improve memory and lower anxiety levels.
My favorite variety of date is Medjool, which tend to be bigger than other varieties. Look for dates that are squishy and moist-looking for the best results. Drier dates will be harder to blend, so you may want to soak them in water before getting started with this recipe.
Along with the dates, I add a few “superfoods” to this smoothie to help me stay full throughout the morning. It’s one of my favorite meal replacement shakes!
Here’s what I like to add in:
- Hemp Hearts. These hulled hemp seeds are a complete source of plant-based protein, and are also a source of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids. Did you know that the gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) found in hemp hearts may help to decrease PMS symptoms? (source)
- Ground Flax Seed. Flax helps to thicken the shake (just like it thickens in a flax egg) and is also a great source of filling fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming 3 tablespoons of ground flax a day may be helpful in lowering cholesterol levels. (source) So feel free to add more flax to this shake, if you want to, just keep in mind that the flavor will be more noticeable if you do.
- Almond Butter. Almond butter has more iron, calcium, and vitamin E than peanut butter, and it adds a nice creaminess to this smoothie without an overpowering flavor. You can use peanut butter if you would prefer, but then this smoothie will taste like a peanut butter chocolate smoothie. I use homemade almond butter, which has no added oil.
- Cacao Powder. Cacao is rich in antioxidants, which may help to lower inflammation, and it’s also a source of magnesium. I tend to use raw cacao powder most often, as it’s less processed than Dutch-processed cocoa powder, but flavor-wise you can use them interchangeably for this recipe.
- Spinach. I typically add a huge handful of fresh spinach to this recipe (though I didn’t in these photos, because the hue turns sort of a murky green-brown color) and it does not affect the flavor at all. I love getting the extra nutrients hidden in there!
Make It Ahead: Smoothie Bags
You can make this smoothie ahead of time by placing all of the ingredients, except for the liquid and ice, in a sandwich bag. (I use these reusable silicone bags.)
When you’re ready to make the smoothie, simply dump the contents of the bag into your blender, add the water, and blend until smooth. Then add the ice and blend again to give it a more ice-cream-like texture!
More Smoothie Recipes to Try
Don’t have the exact ingredients on hand to make this smoothie? Try one of these other popular recipes instead!
- Chocolate Avocado Smoothie
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
- Cherry Chocolate Smoothie
- Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
- Coffee Smoothie
Best Chocolate Smoothie (No Banana!)
- In a high-speed blender, combine the water, 4 dates (use 5 if they are on the small-side), ground flax, hemp hearts, cacao powder, almond butter, and spinach, if using. Blend until very smooth, stopping to scrape down the blender, if needed.
- Taste the smoothie and make sure the taste is to your liking. Keep in mind that the flavor will be diluted once you add the ice, but this is your chance to add more sweetness or more cacao powder, if needed.
- Add the ice cubes, and blend again, until the shake has more of a slushy-like texture. Keep in mind that that more ice you add, the more diluted the chocolate flavor will be, so start with less ice and then add more, as needed.
- Serve right away for the best taste and texture.
Nutrition info above is for the whole batch, which I use as a meal-replacement smoothie. You can split it for a snack or dessert!
- You can use almond milk, hemp milk, or oat milk instead of water in this recipe. In that case, you can omit the almond butter.
- The add-ins here are to make the smoothie more filling, so if you don’t have the hemp hearts or ground flax seed on hand, you can usually leave out one of these ingredients without sacrificing the taste or texture. I do recommend making sure you have at least one creamy ingredient (like hemp hearts or almond butter) to get the best mouthfeel with this recipe.
If you try this chocolate smoothie, please leave a comment below and let me know how you like it! And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too. We can all benefit from your experience.
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite smoothie combination?