I could basically call this a milkshake, but I won’t be dramatic like that.
I love chocolate. Who doesn’t? (Besides those poor unfortunate souls who are allergic to chocolate, God bless.) So any time I can fit chocolate into my diet, I do. I also love smoothies, but I am more selective on these. I don’t love smoothies with protein powder and I don’t want a banana in my smoothie unless it is a tropical smoothie. Don’t give me a chocolate banana smoothie. I know this makes me an anomaly across almost everyone (my husband included) but at least I know what I like. So basically this smoothie is very chocolaty with no banana or protein powder. You with me so far?
This smoothie is decadent but also Whole30, Paleo, and Vegan. It is naturally sweetened with coconut water (read your labels) and dates. For the dates, soak them in hot water for at least two hours. This softens the dates for easy blending. I typically put my dates in a cup that keeps heat really well (Yeti, S’well, and Tervis Tumbler are just a few brands that I use and think work well). If you don’t have a cup like this, put the dates in a coffee mug with a lid. Then, pour enough hot/boiling water so that it just covers all the dates. Let sit for two hours or more. (I have let them sit as long as overnight if I plan this smoothie out ahead of time–which is rare.) Then, all that is left is for you to remove the dates from the water and throw them in the blender with the rest of the ingredients.
In addition to the “date soaking” (what an interesting phrase if taken out of context), there is one more prep step you want to take when making this smoothie. I use canned pumpkin in this recipe to thicken it and add some nutritional value, and I recommend you freeze it before you make the smoothie. In my pumpkin spice smoothie, I make this step optional (depending on how thick and frozen you like your smoothies), but for this death by chocolate smoothie I do think it is necessary. The easiest way to do this is while you are soaking the dates, open your can of pumpkin and spoon 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin puree at a time onto little piles on a plate. Freeze for at least an hour and then add these frozen pumpkin tablespoons to your smoothie. If you struggle to remove them from the plate, just flip the plate upside down and run the bottom under hot water for 30 seconds to thaw enough to remove from the plate.
Make sure you have a good blender for this. We don’t have anything super fancy, but this is the one we have and we love it. I recommend making this in batches and storing in mason jars or other sealable jars/cups, but totally up to you!
- ¼ cup almond butter or cashew butter (you can also do peanut butter if you are not Whole30 or Paleo)
- 1 cup almond milk
- ¼ cup coconut water
- 6 medjool pitted dates soaked in hot water for at least 2 hours
- 7 TBSP pureed pumpkin
- 3 TBSP 100% cacao powder
- 1 TBSP vanilla extract
- Put 6 dates in a cup and cover with hot water, let sit at least two hours.
- Spoon 7 TBSP of canned pumpkin onto a plate and freeze for at least an hour. Make sure you do separate spoonfuls so your blender can easier blend these frozen pieces.
- After the dates have soaked for at least two hours and the pumpkin has been in the freezer for at least an hour, add almond milk, almond or cashew butter, coconut water, cacao powder, pumpkin, vanilla, and dates into a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour into cup(s) as desired and top with a pinch of cacao powder and a drizzle of nut butter (optional)
- Serve and enjoy!
- This recipe makes 24 ounces of smoothie (or two 12 ounce servings).
- Noting that while this is Whole30 compliant, please make sure you are not using this as a treat to feed your “sugar dragon.” This smoothie can easily become a SWYPO situation, so if you feel that having this smoothie while you are on your Whole30 journey is not helping you change your relationship with food, please wait until after your Whole30 to enjoy!
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