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!)
- 1 cup water
- 4 to 5 Medjool dates , pitted
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds (or use chia seeds instead)
- 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
- 1 heaping tablespoon cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 1 large handful fresh spinach (optional)
- 5 to 7 large ice cubes
- 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?
Questions and Reviews
I made this soon after you posted it on Instagram today, and it is the best chocolate smoothie I’ve ever made! It really does taste like chocolate milk. I used 5 dates because mine were small, and it was the perfect amount of sweetness.
Wow, this is good!!
SO GOOD! I used only 3 large medjool dates, I didn’t have hemp hearts so couldn’t add, used whole flax and chia seeds and coconut water and cream (from the can I had leftover in the fridge) instead of water. Even with the spinach it’s still a nice light brown color that is appealing.
Thank you! I don’t feel like I’m missing out on a delicious dairy smoothie. It’s super filling too.
my 3 year old loved this! we used oat milk instead of water and omitted the almond butter and did 7 small dates.
Thank you for the recipe!
I didn’t try this exactly as written, but did a mashup between this and your chocolate pudding recipe: 2 dates, frozen cherries, frozen avocado, chia seed, egg whites, cacao powder, spinach. Such a treat in the morning and reminds me of a Wendy’s frosty!
Very good. I just didn’t add enough ice so nice glass of healthy chocolate milk.
I found this SUPER watery, though used date syrup vs. Dates, 1/4 Greek yogurt and 2/3 water.
how do you make this without the blender?
Thanks for sharing this post with all of us. Best ever chocolate smoothie recipes. Also sharing here another chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie recipe. Checkout the recipe here: https://www.fitnessattention.com/chocolate-peanut-butter-banana-smoothie/
I used almond milk In place of water. I omitted hemp hearts altogether and used Chia seeds in lieu of flax seeds. I didn’t have spinach or almond butter so I used Swiss chard and PB2 and oh my yummy’ness. This recipe is a keeper! Thank you…
Megan, This was delicious! Loved that there was no banana! My husband loves banana and wants to put in all smoothies (he loves them THICK) I love banana as well but years ago tests showed me being allergic so I watch that I don’t eat a lot of them. My husband was really surprised at the consistency and taste. (BTW, he LOVES all your recipes.) We only had frozen spinach so we added that. Tastes good!
I made this and it was great but spinach always ruins a chocolate smoothie for me, so I made a modified version omitting the spinach, hemp seeds and flax seeds. Subbed 2 tablespoons of PB for the almond butter and added 2 tablespoons of cacao nibs. Tasted like a Reese’s cup!
This is the best shake I have ever tasted! I absolutely love this shake!
Wow, love the idea. I hate eating dates but in this recipe they were perfect. thanks.
I’ve had some bad experience with other chocolate smoothies, containing raw cocoa powder, tasting bland and bitter so I’m eager to give this one a try! Can you omit the hemp hearts or replace them with something else? I am always impressed with all of your recipes and I immeidiatly look to your blog for when I’m stuck for easy, healthy food recipes. Thank you!
I’m recently having to eat by the low FODMAP diet plan. Could I use a little bit of maple syrup instead of dates in this smoothie? Or what would you suggest for replacement? Thanks!
Very interesting thank you
Love this! I’m always a bit skeptical if a smoothie will truly feel like a meal replacement, but this totally did! And it was delicious! Followed the recipe and did 7 ice cubes, but think I want it a little thicker. Will try more ice and almond butter next time. I love that all you have to clean is the blender and a tablespoon too! So simple 🙂
I’m new to smoothie making. how can I make this with lower carbs and calories
OMG… THIS WAS AMAZING! I didn’t have flaxseeds and substituted almond milk for water. This will definitely be my go to! Thanks for sharing.
I loved it! Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe.
Love it ! I used 2 large dates and no hemp hearts and it was delicious!
I’ve been seeing this posted several times on IG stories and I finally tried it. Great combo and I always have these ingredients on hand.
I have texture issues, which makes “seedy” smoothies a bit of a challenge. I also DESPISE banana, so any smoothies that call for banana as a thickening agent are a no-go. It doesn’t matter how small the inclusion is; I always taste it. In looking for tasty and healthy things to add to my diet, this came up and I tried it. It was actually really good. A little chunky, but I didn’t blend it enough so that was my fault. I’ll know better next time. Plus, I added the ice in with everything else so that probably didn’t help. But this is good.
This is delicious! I enjoyed it so much, I’ve made it three days in a row! As others suggested, I did swap water for oat milk. It’s so nice to have a chocolate smoothie recipe that doesn’t use banana. Thank you!
Delicious! Great for a quick meal, or I split with my 2 year old. She lives it too!
This is so delicious! My son thinks it’s a milkshake. He sucked it down. So did I 🙂 I think the nutritional info is maybe off. With a tablespoon of peanut butter, 4 medjool dates, and half-n-half water and oat milk, plus gelatin, I get 327kcal, 39g carbohydrates, 11g fat, and 15.5g protein. The stats on this page state 80g of carbs nearly 500 cal. Those are either some honkin’ huge dates or perhaps they doubled the recipe by mistake.
DELICIOUS! Thank you for the recipe idea! I have been looking for more ways to enjoy dates in my cooking, and I absolutely love chocolate. I even added a handful of a spinach in too and I couldnt even tell by taste! All I tasted was a rich chocolate flavor. 🙂 Most recipes include banana, and although I do enjoy banana in smoothies, I can always taste it a tiny bit in chocolate smoothies. This recipe is great chocolate flavor, no banana.
So good! We used date paste & pre-ground chia seeds with a large handful of either fresh or pre-steamed spinach pucks, delicious.
This is on repeat at my house – especially when curbing a chocolate craving!
This is very tasty. They only issue I have is the dates don’t completely blend. Maybe I should not keep them in the fridge or I need dates that are fresher. I may add a frozen banana to take my vitamins for more of a base but I wanted to try it alone and it tastes like a milkshake!
Very good this will be my favourite smoothie 👍thank you for the recipe
This smoothie is perfectly creamy and tastes like the most indulgent chocolate shake (even with only 3 dates because that’s how we like it). One of Megan’s smoothies is always on rotation in our house for breakfast, and right now it’s this one!
Lovely recipe. Thanks for sharing.
I have a smoothie every morning and this is the best one I’ve ever tasted