It was just a couple of days ago that “Chocolate Day” was celebrated (there seems to be a day for everything nowadays!), so I thought that rather than go for a classic chocolate recipe like a fondant, cake, mousse or brownies… I’d introduce you to one of my favourite smoothie recipes… “The Super Choco-Berry Smoothie”, packed with highly nutritious berries & a little dark chocolate (preferably raw if possible). This smoothie is packed with antioxidants, vitamins & other micronutrients that will help your immune system stay strong to prevent any cold/flu getting a grip over you, helps your mind stay sharp, your eyesight clear, your mood positive & energy levels high to keep you performing at your peak throughout the autumn/winter season -what’s not to like? So without further ado…
-mixed berries of your choice (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries, loganberries, cranberries -juice/dried, açai berries -or powder, goji berries -dried…)
-purple/red fruits of your choice (e.g. pomegranate, purple/red grapes, black/red currants, plums, cherries…-optional)
-a sweet juice (e.g. apple, pineapple, mango…)
-lemon juice or 1/2 a lemon (no skin)
-1/2 a banana &/or 1-2 dates (optional)
-1 or 2tsp cocoa powder or a few good pinches (2-3) of cacao nibs. You can also use 2-3 small squares of dark chocolate instead.
-1tsp Bioglan Superberry powder or similar (optional -see “Tips” below)
-2tbsp ground flaxseeds/linseeds (or 1tbsp ground chia seeds). These are both two of the richest sources of the omega-3 essential fatty acids (meaning you can only obtain them through diet & many of us are deficient in. They’re particularly important for brain, heart & skin health).
-Water (optional -it depends on the consistency you’re after & whether or not you’re using other liquids as well, so use your own judgement for this one!).
Place the mix of ingredients you like or have available in a blender & whizz until smooth (usually there will be a change in the sound when it’s ready!). Drink & enjoy!
-You can use frozen fruits (berries/currants/bananas…) instead of fresh; keeping some of these in the freezer at all times means you can make this anytime!
-Buy some superfood powders to keep in your larder as they’re v.handy & have a great flavour & nutritional punch. I like Bioglan products as they contain multiple ingredients, or Naturya powders (available at most health food stores, some supermarkets & online) e.g. açai berry powder, wheatgrass or barley grass powders (great for when you’re making a green smoothie/juice).
-Buy some dried fruits (e.g. blueberries, cherries, cranberries, goji berries, apricots, dates…). They are great in smoothies. If you don’t have a particularly powerful blender add them into the blender 1st with a little water (enough to cover them) & leave to soak for 5-10mins before adding the rest of the ingredients & then blend away!
-Other optional ingredients include dairy-free milks (e.g. rice/soya/coconut/almond/hazelnut/oat…); a small handful of seeds or nuts (e.g. sunflower/sesame/poppy seeds/hemp/pumpkin seeds or cashews, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts…); 1tsp of coconut oil (a v.healthy oil with medium-chain fatty acids), this will add another layer of (subtle coconutty) flavour (especially if using coconut milk as well) & you’ll get an extra shine to your smoothie too!
-Always add some citrus juice (e.g lemon or lime) as it always enhances the overall flavour of any smoothie & provides an extra hit of vitamin C!
-Always do your best to avoid adding sugar to sweeten it -a little banana or a couple of dates will usually do the trick & these also provide a creamier texture to your smoothie as well as extra healthy nutrients. If you must sweeten it with something else choose honey, maple syrup, “sweet freedom”, agave syrup, stevia or xylitol over regular sugar. But with that said, sugar is a better option than artificial sweeteners like saccharin or aspartame.
Lastly this is just one recipe, but you can see how easily you can pick & choose different ingredients & create a variety of different choco-berry smoothies, so go for it, experiment & create your own concoction with your own favourite flavours! Enjoy in joy 🙂