Chocolate is always an indulgent treat, which means you may think it’s off limits if you’re watching your calories. However, with the help of unsweetened cocoa powder, you can create a delicious treat without sacrificing your diet. This easy healthy chocolate smoothie recipe is packed with decadent flavor without the added calories.
What Do I Need to Make a Healthy Chocolate Smoothie?
Just because you’re watching what you eat doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some chocolate! Simply combine cocoa powder with a variety of healthy ingredients to create a delicious smoothie without the guilt. To make a healthy chocolate smoothie, you will need:
- Baby spinach leaves
- Ripe banana
- Cottage cheese
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Peanut butter
- Chia seeds
- Unsweetened whole milk or plant-based milk
- Ice cubes
- Chopped chocolate
Looking for more delicious smoothie recipes? Give these reader favorites a try:
How Do I Make a Healthy Chocolate Smoothie?
Once you have your healthy ingredients gathered, it’s time to start blending. Follow these simple steps to make your own delicious chocolate smoothie:
Step One: Blend the Ingredients
Start by adding the spinach leaves, banana, cottage cheese, unsweetened cocoa powder, peanut butter, chia seeds, honey, vanilla, and milk to the pitcher of your blender. Process the ingredients until smooth.
Step Two: Add the Ice
When the ingredients are thoroughly blended, add some ice to the pitcher to thicken the smoothie. First, pulse the blender until the ice is broken up, then blend until the smoothie is thick and smooth.
Step Three: Garnish and Enjoy
Pour the smoothie into a glass and garnish with a small amount of chopped chocolate, then add a straw and enjoy your healthy smoothie.
Chocolate Smoothie Substitutions
This simple recipe is an amazing sweet treat that you can enjoy without feeling guilty. Since the recipe is so easy to make, you can adjust it to suit your tastes. Try these recipe substitutions the next time you’re ready to blend up your own healthy smoothie:
- Use frozen bananas: One simple way to thicken your smoothie without the need for ice is to use frozen bananas. Slice the banana and place it in the freezer until the pieces are solid, then add them to the blender. Blend the banana pieces first, then add in the rest of the smoothie ingredients for a creamy smoothie without ice.
- Add some yogurt: Give your smoothie a thick, creamy texture by mixing in your favorite yogurt. Unsweetened Greek or traditional yogurt is a simple way to thicken your smoothie without adding ice to the mix.
- Mix in flax seed: Add more health benefits to your yogurt by adding in a teaspoon of flax seeds to increase the fiber and protein in your smoothie without altering the flavor of the drink.
- Increase the sweetness: Although this recipe includes honey to sweeten the smoothie, you may see that your drink needs some added sweetness. You can mix in additional honey or add your favorite no-calorie sweetener to increase the sweetness of the smoothie without adding calories.
What are the Healthiest Things to Put in a Smoothie?
This healthy chocolate smoothie with cocoa powder features a variety of amazing ingredients. But if you’re wondering which ingredients are the healthiest options to put in your smoothie, try mixing in some of these beneficial ingredients:
- Fresh or frozen fruit, like bananas, strawberries, blueberries, mangoes, pineapples, cherries, and peaches
- Vegetables, like spinach, kale, and carrots
- Protein, like yogurt, cottage cheese, peanut butter, protein powder, or egg white protein
- Healthy fats, like nut butters, chia seeds, flax seeds, and avocados
- Liquid, such as milk, non-dairy milk, coconut water, coffee, tea, or juice
- Whole grains, like oats
- Flavorful ingredients, such as unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger, unsweetened matcha powder, and turmeric
What Can You Not Put in a Healthy Smoothie?
Although there are a variety of amazing healthy ingredients you can mix into your smoothie, there are a few ingredients you should stay away from. Avoid adding these items to your smoothie if you want to keep it healthy:
- Ice cream and frozen yogurt: While these two ingredients would make a great milkshake, they include too much added sugar to be considered a healthy addition to your smoothie.
- Sugar: Adding fruit and honey to your smoothie is the best way to increase the sweetness.
- Flavored yogurt:Stick to plain, nonfat yogurt varieties to avoid adding unneeded sugar to your drink.
- Dried fruit: While fresh and frozen fruit are a great option for a healthy smoothie, dried fruit isn’t a good idea because they’re typically packed with added sugar.
What is the Healthiest Milk for Smoothies?
In addition to considering the ingredients you add to your smoothie, you also need to think about the type of milk you’re blending into your drink. These milk varieties are the healthiest options for making a chocolate smoothie:
- Whole milk adds fat and flavor without drastically increasing the carbs and sugar
- Unsweetened almond milk gives you added protein without added carbs
- Unsweetened coconut milk provides some added flavor and healthy fat
Healthy Chocolate Smoothie Recipe
- 1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
- 1 medium ripe banana peeled
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup unsweetened whole milk or plant-based milk of choice
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped chocolate for garnish (optional)
- Add the spinach leaves, banana, cottage cheese, unsweetened cocoa powder, peanut butter, chia seeds, honey, vanilla, and milk to a blender and process until smooth.
- Add the ice cubes and pulse a couple times to break them up, and then process until smooth.
- Pour into a glass, top with the chocolate, and serve immediately.