Next week I’ll talk about some of the changes I’ve made to my diet during pregnancy (besides the obvious… like avoiding alcohol, raw fish, runny eggs, and certain seafood). One of these has been the emergence of the #dailysmoothie! I’ve always been a big fan of smoothies, but since becoming pregnant I’ve made it a goal to get one in consistently every day.
Why? One – it’s a nice way to add some extra (healthy) calories and make sure I’m eating often throughout the day. And, two – I pack a ton of good stuff into my smoothies and can feel good knowing I’m giving my baby a ton of easily-digestible nutrients in one go.
For those of you who struggle with eating healthy during the upcoming holiday season, or who will be entering their busy seasons at work – you might think about starting your own #dailysmoothie challenge. Not only are smoothies super quick to make, and easily transportable – think of them as ‘nutrient insurance’. Even if you indulge in a few too many desserts, or eat nothing else healthy that day – you can have peace of mind knowing you’ve covered a ton of your nutritional bases (fruits, veggies, and healthy fats) in one mealtime.
I’ve been making smoothie bowls recently for Ryan and I as a way to mix things up, and also to make our smoothies into more substantial snacks. As a lover of all things mint and chocolate, this recipe has been one of my personal favorites. If the avocado in the ingredients list scares you, don’t let it! I promise you won’t even taste it, but it adds a great thick and creamy texture (and lots of healthy fats). This recipe is kid and picky-eater friendly!Print
Lovers of mint and chocolate – rejoice! This smoothie bowl tastes like a healthy mint chocolate chip milkshake, and is packed with super nourishing ingredients like bananas, avocado, dates, and hemp seeds. It will fill you up and make you glow from the inside out!
- 2 frozen bananas*
- 2 Medjool dates, pitted**
- ½ a medium to large ripe avocado
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 2 teaspoons matcha (optional – adds extra antioxidants, and a nice, bright green color!)
- ¾ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- Dash of peppermint extract***
- ¼ cup ice
- 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chunks
- Cacao nibs, for topping
- Extra banana (optional), for slicing on top
- Pour almond milk and peppermint extract into a high-speed blender. (Adding the liquids first will help the smoothie to blend more efficiently.)
- Add frozen bananas, dates, avocado, hemp seeds, matcha (if using), and ice.
- Blend, starting at a very high speed and gradually working lower. Either use a tamper, or stop to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed, to help keep things moving. Your smoothie should (purposefully) be very thick.
- Once well-blended, add in the dark chocolate chunks and pulse for 10-20 seconds. I like to leave a little texture to my chunks, but if you prefer a smoother smoothie, you can blend longer.
- Use a spatula to transfer your smoothie into a bowl. Sprinkle with cacao nibs and top with sliced banana (optional).
* I recommend freezing your bananas in small slices or chunks for easiest blending.
** You may want to soften your dates slightly beforehand to make them easier to blend. To do this, place your dates in a shallow bowl, fill with hot water, and let sit for 10 minutes.
*** You’ll only need the tiniest dash of peppermint extract. Peppermint is super potent, unlike other milder extracts (like vanilla or almond), and it’s a very fine line between a nice mint-chocolate taste and making your smoothie bowl taste like mouthwash!