My family loves smoothies. We make raw kefir smoothies multiple times per week, although we typically enjoy them as a healthy dessert, I sometimes also make smoothies for breakfasts and snacks. This recipe is nutrient dense and packed with many of the super food ingredients we all try to sneak into our diets. I originally came up with this shake to try and help ease away from my ugly coffee habit, my hope was that instead of reaching for caffeine, maybe I would consider this creamy, rich chocolate maca smoothie instead. Maca root is a bit of a weird ingredient, it isn’t commonly known, but this Peruvian root vegetable is typically dried and used for its medicinal qualities. It is said to be energizing (without the coffee crash) and it’s also supposed encourage vitality, fertility, hormonal balance and even mental clarity. Sounds like a great way to start the day right?
I have tried Maca before and although I wanted to like it . . . I just didn’t. It tasted like a starchy, dry, dirty vitamin. I’ve tried quite a lot of smoothie boosters but I suppose my palate is just really picky when it comes to “healthy” concoctions. The key to using Maca is not using too much, (typically the recommended dosage is 1 tablespoon) and hiding it with something strong flavored like chocolate, banana or a nut butter. This smoothie has protein, fiber and nutrient dense sugars that help to sustain your energy for a slow burning fuel. It is the perfect breakfast, pre-workout fuel, or if you’re like me it’s a great, sweet, clean eats, indulgence that you don’t have to feel guilty about. Unlike many protein shakes this Maca smoothie-shake has only whole foods that provide plenty of natural protein and only organic minerals and vitamins. It is the perfect subtle buzz that helps to kick start the day and every ingredient works for you in an awesome way.
Chocolate & Maca Root Protein Shake with Fresh Almond Milk
All Natural- Vegan- Vegetarian – Grain Free
This smoothie uses a “fresh almond milk” instead of a store bought almond milk that contains added thickeners, artificial vitamins and sugar. I love using this method for a wide variety of smoothies because it is a really simple way to enjoy clean, homemade almond milk without the fuss of straining away the pulp or dirtying extra dishes.
Date Sweetened Almond Milk: Soak 2 to 24 hours in advance
Place almonds, dates and hot water into a jar or into your blender carafe. Cover and allow to soak 2-24 hours. (a pint or quart sized, regular mouth mason jar can be used so that you can blend your smoothie directly in the jar)
Chocolate and Maca Root Protein Shake
- Soaked Almond Milk Mixture
- 1 Banana, Frozen
- 1 Tablespoon Roasted Almond Butter (homemade if possible)
- 1 to 2 Teaspoons Maca Root Powder
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Cocoa Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Chia Seeds
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ceylon Cinnamon
- A Pinch of Celtic Sea Salt
- Cold water to cover (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup)
Add your frozen banana (broken into chunks), almond butter, maca root, cocoa powder, chia seeds, cinnamon, salt and a bit of cold water to the jar or blender. Blend until smooth and enjoy!
You can also add: A small hand full of spinach or a pinch of spirulina, bee pollen and/or raw honey (not vegan), 1 teaspoon coconut oil, goji berries, blueberries (or other dark berries) and even some pumpkin seeds!
Make Ahead: You can double, triple or even quadruple this recipe. Just prepare it as directed in your blender, then freeze individual portions. The portions can be thawed a few hours before needed, this is perfect for packing in your gym bag or or lunch box.