This smoothie makes a change from the traditional fruit based ones. Its flavours are reminiscent of cookies and cream (as with a famous ice-cream brand), but this recipe is healthy, sugar-free and dairy-free! You have butterscotch flavours of maca, chocolatey notes from cacao nibs, nuttiness from your nuts of choice and natural caramel sweetness from sweet gooey dates and fresh sweet apple.
This smoothie is a super energy booster and with the addition of protein powder and coconut water, it is a great choice for fitness folk especially post-work-out; the protein powder helps in muscle repair and recovery and the coconut water helps in rehydration and replenishing electrolyte levels.
Maca is a great supplement for boosting energy levels, balancing mood and hormones and is rich in antioxidants. Cacao nibs are rich in phytonutrients with high antioxidant activity (more so than in blueberries and goji berries!). Chia seed or ground flaxseed also add to the nutritional profile (omega-3s, fibre and protein to name but a few) making this a super nutrient-dense superfood smoothie.
Preparation time: 5 mins to up to 10 mins (of the dates need soaking)
- 10g walnuts/ hazelnuts or pecans
- 2 large Medjool dates (if not Medjool and the dates are a bit hard, pre-soak to soften them in 50ml water or coconut water for about 5 mins)
- ½ red apple
- ½ tsp maca powder
- 1 ½ tbsp protein powder (pea, soya bean or whey)
- 60ml milk of choice (almond and cashew milk work well)
- 60ml coconut water
- 3 ice cubes (ice cubes made from coconut water or milk if possible, otherwise regular water-based ice cubes)
- 1/2/3 tbsp cacao nibs
- 1 tbsp chia seed or ground flaxseed
- To garnish: sprinkle of cacao nibs
Optional extra: 1-2 tbsp nut butter of choice (cashew or almond butter work well for this; imparting a mild flavour)
Add all ingredients into a blender or food processor of choice. Whizz to a smooth consistency. Pour into a glass and decorate with a sprinkle of cacao nibs.
- Optional ingredients that can be used in place of protein powder, to help thicken your smoothie: 1 banana (especially if sliced and frozen beforehand), tofu (25g), or soaked cashews (10g soaked in water),
- Love some heat? Add half a red chilli!
- Add some cacao powder, hemp seeds or bee pollen (if non-vegan), for an extra nutrient boost.
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