Chocolate raspberry smoothie, is there anything more indulgent to start the day?
But what if I told you that not only is it delicious but it is also incredibly good for you?
That is right, you are about to make a sinful raw chocolate berry smoothie that is even healthier than it tastes, and trust me, it is glorious!
I love berries and chocolate and wanted to put together a smoothie that was not only yummy but also good for you, and I did that by avoiding any refined sugar and using raw chocolate powder instead of processed cocoa powder.
I hope you will love it!
About raspberries and raw cacao and their origin
Raspberries are an interesting fruit.
It is said that they were first found in Turkey and were spread across Europe by the Romans, who were in full expansion at the turn of the 1st century. In the 16th and 18th century, raspberries were planted in gardens in northern Europe and reserved for the rich.
When Europeans brought the berries to the US in the 18th century they realised that the natives were already eating them, mostly as dried fruits as they were nomadic and constantly on the road. So raspberries are thought to have originated both in Asian Minor and the US.
Did you know that the word chocolate comes from the Nahuatl “xocoatl”?
We owe today’s most famously sinful ingredient to the Central American pre-Columbian civilisations. Chocolate was enjoyed by the Olmec, the Aztecs and the Maya well before Europeans discovered America.
It was as sacred food that was used for offerings to the Gods and ceremonies and was enjoyed by the rich, the priests and those in power. Because raw cacao is quite bitter, the Maya already prepared a drink with it. For centuries, this now famously delicious food was enjoyed in a bitter liquid form, quite far from today’s presentation.
The Spanish discovered the drink when they arrived in Mexico and took it to Europe with them at the beginning of the 16th century. Because it was too bitter for the Spanish taste buds, honey and sugar were added, and the drink remained reserved for aristocrats, wealthy people and the Church.
From Spain, cacao beans soon found their way across the continent and evolved in shape and form to the candy, sweetened, milk and bar forms that fill supermarket shelves today by the hands of Cadbury or Nestle.
The benefits of raspberries, raw cacao and this recipe
Raspberries are one of the best fruits there is. They are not only delicious but they are also super nutritious and rich in vitamins and antioxidants, which makes them a prized fruit and justifies their high prices, and the possibility to for them to be flown across the world in refrigerated units to preserve their delicate nature.
While only the fruit is eaten today, the leaves were used in the past to make tea that helped treat illnesses and avoid morning sickness in pregnant women.
Raspberries are a great source of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants and they are quite low in sugar, especially for a fruit, so they can be enjoyed by diabetics (in fact, studies prove they can reduce the level of blood sugar).
The are fantastic for smoothies but are equally amazing in salads, as toppings, in dressings, to make jam, in juices and even just on their own, as snacks. Every bite is an explosion of flavor and just thinking about them makes me salivate.
But, when I say they are good for you, how good are they really?
For starters, the amount of raspberries used in this smoothie (1 cup) contains more than 50% of your daily Vitamin C needs, 8 gr of fiber (or a third of your daily needs or 20% of its weight) and are packed with antioxidants which are fantastic for bone health, to fight cancer and for radiant skin.
I said they are a great fruit for diabetics, and for those on a keto diet, because of their low sugar content of just 5 gr per cup, which is a quarter of the sugar in an apple. Needless to say, as all berries and most fruits, raspberries have practically no fat.
Now that you know why raspberries great, let’s look at the raw cacao powder, the other star ingredient in this healthy raw chocolate raspberry smoothie.
Raw cacao is one of the healthiest smoothie ingredients there are and is filled with goodness, so you can enjoy this knowing it is fantastic for you. Not everything that tastes great is bad!
The raw cacao I used in my smoothie is from Guatemala where cacao beans originally come from, and I bought it from a shop linked to a fair-trade cacao bean plantation in the country. Thankfully, a little goes a long way in terms of flavor and I have enough to keep me going for a while.
It is essential to understand raw cacao is not the same as cocoa. Cocoa powder is made from processing the beans and adding sugar whereas raw cacao powder comes directly from the beans and preserves all its glory without any of the nasties added in the processing, this is why it is quite bitter.
Cacao beans are one of the most important commodities in the world (traded in the stock exchange) but we usually eat the cocoa or processed chocolate which has lots of sugar and saturated fats added and can end up having less than 50% of cacao powder in them (some chocolate bars have barely 30% cacao in them).
A lot of the original benefits of raw cacao are lost in the processing and what you get is a product that is sweet and luscious but not so great for you. So make sure to get the right raw cacao powder for this recipe, an ingredient that is considered a Superfood.
In its raw form, cacao has very high magnesium, which will energise you, and contains a molecule that boost serotonin, or the feel-good chemical. To make it even better, raw cacao has good fats, the ones with plenty of Omega-3 which your body needs to function.
You should be able to find pure raw chocolate powder in a supermarket or health store near you, or order online if you can’t. Raw cacao is usually much more expensive, but you also need a smaller quantity. If you can, look out for a fair trade cacao option, the farmers that live from growing cacao in Latin America, Africa and Asia do not always benefit from the high prices we pay for high quality cacao.
Couple the antioxidant properties of both raspberries and raw cacao, the magnesium, the low sugar, the good fats and the many vitamins and this smoothie is one of the best ways to start the day. Now you know why I told you this is an extremely healthy raw chocolate raspberry smoothie recipe.
What I love about this chocolate raspberry recipe
The health benefits of this smoothie are enough to make you want to eat it but, truthfully, the reason why I devoured this smoothie in no time is because there is no better treat that a frozen berry-choco combo and this one ticks all the boxes.
The coconut cacao powder is sweet and creamy and balances the sourish raspberries to perfection making this smoothie divine.
But remember, I can’t stress enough how important it is to use raw cacao and not the sweetened processed powders used to mix with milk for hot chocolate because those are nowhere as good for you and are packed with less than ideal ingredients like saturated fat, palm oil and sugar.
Trust me on this, even if raw cocoa is a bit bitter, the coconut cream will offset this and give it the perfect level sweetness.
Recipe: Healthy chocolate raspberry smoothie recipe
Although raspberries are super delicate and are not a year-round berry, I love this smoothie bowl because it can be enjoyed anytime with some variations.
If you are lucky enough to live in a place where they are grown, you might have the chance to buy what you pick at dedicated farms. If you don’t and the price of fresh raspberries is beyond your budget, you can look at frozen raspberries which are more affordable. If both options are not possible, they also sell raspberry powder which is particularly good for smoothie bowls and can be mixed in with milk, ice and frozen banana.
Quick and easy to prepare and available all year round, this delicious raspberry chocolate smoothie bowl (prettier served in a tall glass) is a burst of summer and the energy and vitamin boost you need for a jam-packed day.
This recipe is vegan and gluten-free but can also be made using animal milk.
- 100gr Frozen raspberries
- 10 Blueberries
- 25ml Coconut cream
- 100ml Coconut yogurt
- 15gr Mixed seeds
- 10gr Raw chocolate powder
- Pinch of orange zest
- 100ml Coconut milk
- 20ml Lemon juice
- 10 Dried goji berries
- MIX: Start by mixing the coconut cream, yogurt and chocolate powder in a small bowl until it is smooth.
- GRATE: Grate a bit of orange zest.
- BLEND: Place the frozen raspberries in the blender with 100ml of coconut milk and the lemon juice and blend at low speed until smooth. Once blended, pour into a serving glass.
- ASSEMBLE: Top the raspberry smoothie with the coconut chocolate mix, top with the blueberries, the seeds and the orange zest and serve.
This is a very easy recipe that can be ready in minutes which is why it makes for such a great breakfast bowl. The use of frozen fruit also means that it can be made year-round. If raspberries are in season or available, you can used fresh fruits, and add a couple of ice cubes while reducing the amount of milk to achieve the smoothie consistency.
Sorbet-like consistency: If you like the smoothie to have a sorbet-like consistency, consider placing the glass in the freezer for 10min before serving or after pouring it in the glass as fruit melts very quickly.
Dairy alternatives: You can use any kind of milk and cream for this recipe, even replace the cream with low fat yogurt. It will lose a bit in creaminess and will taste equally amazing.
Seeds and nuts: You can top the smoothie with any dried fruits, seeds or nuts you have available. Crush the nuts before adding to maintain a crunchiness.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 68mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 11gSugar: 15gProtein: 9g
Values may vary depending on ingredients and brands used.
Have you tried this recipe at home? We would LOVE to see your yum creations!
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Possible variations to this chocolate raspberry smoothie
This chocolate raspberry smoothie is just perfect and there is little that you can change without changing the dish completely. After all, there are only three ingredients on this. However, as always, I want to give you some creative options, so here are a few ideas to try:
- Cacao nibs: Top this smoothie with cacao nibs instead of dry fruits and nuts for even more health benefits and a crunch.
- Double cream: Coconut cream is my weakness and I can add it to anything. However, try regular cow double cream for a more neutral flavor.
- Strawberries: Any berry can be used to make the base for this chocolate raspberry smoothie, although raspberries are one of the best in terms of nutritional value, but you can also try strawberries or even blackberries, for a change, the flavor will be quite similar.
- Jam: Add a little bit of berry jam (any) to the top of this smoothie for an added sweet treat.
- Yogurt: To make the chocolate parfait part a bit lighter, use low fat or Greek yogurt to mix with the chocolate.
Make this recipe with <250 kcal
This is a rather low calorie smoothie because of the use of raw cacao and not cocoa or other processed chocolate powder, so it is almost 250 Kcal already as is. To drop those last 20 Kcal you can:
- Avoid the nut toppings.
- Replace half the coconut cream with low fat and low sugar yogurt.
- Blend the smoothie with water instead of coconut milk.
Any of the above three will shave off what you need to stay at 250 Kcal.