Cacao Smoothies – 3 super healthy ways

  • Raw Cacao Smoothie Recipes by Trinity Bourne

I’ve got excellent news. Cacao is actually GOOD for you and it’s here to stay!

Cacao is chock-full (and I mean CHOCK-FULL) of antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that protect the cells of the human body to prevent premature aging and disease.

Cacao is particularly rich in polyphenols, known for their beneficial influence on cardiovascular health. In fact, it has been said that out of all known foods, cocoa has the highest antioxidant polyphenol content and hence, provides the best cardio protection by far. Cacao is also apparently known to reduce cholesterol in the blood, improve artery and vein function and can also lower blood pressure.

 

Cacao to elevate your mood – yes please!

I must admit that I am a bit partial to cacao when I am feeling a bit low. Just following my intuition, although when we delve deeper, we find that there are actually scientifically given reasons why it makes you feel so good. Cacao contains natural mood-elevating, endorphin-stimulating and anti-depressant compounds – most notably serotonin, dopamine, phenethylamine and tryptophan.

Raw Cacao Smoothie by Trinity Bourne

 

What is the difference between raw cacao and cocoa?

Essentially, ‘cacao’ is raw and ‘cocoa’ is roasted. The raw seeds obtained from the Theobroma cacao tree are known as cacao. When these seeds are processed (usually by roasting) the name becomes cocoa. Apart from the slight difference in spelling, it’s commonly believed that raw cacao has a more potent and active blend of nutrients (speculation suggests that is because these nutrients haven’t been destroyed by the roasting process). However, I am not totally sure where these facts originated, because there doesn’t appear to be any scientific research to back it up. I do often go for the raw stuff, although I also equally use pure cocao powder (as long as it is organic, fairly traded and doesn’t contain any additives). Personally I feel there is massive benefit in both raw and non-raw cacao/cocoa.

Science has documented the impressive benefits of cocoa for centuries. That tells me there is certainly benefit from both raw and non-raw forms. The important thing (whether raw cacao or cocoa) is to get it from a supplier that has good ethics, offering it in its pure (pure as in, nothing else added, i.e. 100% cocoa powder), organic form (see my favourite brands below the recipes).

Cacao Smoothie Recipes – 3 delicious and healthy ways

In the following recipe you can use either raw cacao or pure cocoa powder. They work in a glass for sipping or in a bowl to enjoy with a spoon and garnishes.

Tropical Raw Cacao Smoothie
 
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A delicious tropical raw cacao & pineapple smoothie using tahini, cacao and plant-based milk
Author:
Recipe type: Smoothie, breakfast
Cuisine: Vegan, dairy-free, no refined sugar
Serves: 1 glass
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (130g) frozen pineapple
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 heaped tablespoon cashew butter (or tahini)
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 100ml rice milk (or homemade hemp milk)
Optional garnish
  • Cacao nibs
  • Coconut chips
  • Crushed nuts
Instructions
  1. Allow pineapple to thaw for a few minutes (if you don't have a high powered blender).
  2. You can use a jug blender, hand blender or even food processor for this.
  3. Add pineapple, banana, cashew butter, cacao powder and plant-based milk to smoothie jug.
  4. Blend until creamy smooth.
  5. Either pour into a glass and sip or pour into a bowl or mug and garnish with coconut, cacao nibs or broken nuts.
  6. Enjoy immediately.

 
Cacao Smoothies - mango hempster (banana free)
 
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A super healthy banana-free, cacao smoothie, using shelled hemp seeds, mango and dates.
Author:
Recipe type: Smoothie, breakfast
Cuisine: Vegan, dairy-free
Serves: 1 - 2 glasses
Ingredients
  • 1 large mango frozen (or 2 cups)
  • Small handful of frozen pineapple
  • 3 tablespoons shelled hemp seeds
  • 1 cup (250ml) hemp milk (or any plant-based milk)
  • 4 soft dates (pitted)
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Optional garnish
  • Fresh mango
  • Mulberries
  • Cacao nibs
  • Coconut chips
Instructions
  1. You can use a jug blender, hand blender or even food processor for this.
  2. You can use fresh or frozen Frozen mango here. Bear in mind that fresh mango will require less hemp milk.
  3. Chop your dates into small pieces (unless you have a really high powered blender, in which case, no need to chop).
  4. Add mango, frozen pineapple, shelled hemp seeds, chopped dates, cacao powder and plant-based milk and cinnamon powder to smoothie jug.
  5. Blend until creamy smooth.
  6. Either pour into a glass and sip or pour into a bowl or mug and garnish with coconut, mulberries, fresh mango, cacao nibs or broken nuts.
  7. Enjoy immediately.

Cacao Smoothie - easy banana style
 
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Cacao smoothie using bananas and tahini. Full of natural, superfood goodness and health benefits.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast, smoothie, snack
Cuisine: Vegan, dairy-free
Serves: 1 glass
Ingredients
  • 1 large frozen banana
  • 1 large fresh banana
  • ⅓ cup (100ml) hemp milk (or any plant-based milk)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon tahini (or almond butter)
  • 1 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. You can use a jug blender, hand blender or even food processor for this.
  2. Add frozen banana, fresh banana, hemp milk, tahini, cacao powder and vanilla extract to smoothie jug.
  3. Blend until creamy smooth.
  4. Either pour into a glass and sip or pour into a bowl or mug and garnish with coconut, cacao nibs or broken nuts.
  5. Enjoy immediately.

 

Where to get good quality cocoa or cacao powder?

UK & Europe: This is my favourite one in the UK by Sevenhills Wholefoods – a company with great ethics.

UK: Organic Cacao/Cocoa Powder

North America: This is my favourite one in North America. I use this when I am visiting.

USA: Raw Organic Cacao Powder

Anyway, that’s all for today. I trust that you’ll find something you like and enjoy.
with love
Trinity
x

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Raw Cacao Smoothie Recipes by Trinity Bourne

2 Comments

  1. Phoebe July 25, 2017 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    These look delicious! 1 question, why does the “Banana free” option list a banana in both the Ingredients and the Instructions?

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