Ever since discovering the RAW Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie, I have been somewhat addicted to this wonderful substance known as cacao. But, I will say this. As with any food, moderation is key. I have recently cut back my cacao intake after hearing of some negative side effects of the tasty powder. However, I’m not totally convinced that the positive benefits don’t outweigh the negative.
This recipe is really simple and only requires three ingredients. It takes almost no time to make, other than the time to dehydrate.
1 Cup of Cashews
1/2 TBSP of Agave*
1 TBSP of Cacao Power
*In the batch I made I actually used 1 TBSP of agave, but felt like it was too much.
So, start by placing one cup of nuts in a mixing bowl, then pour in the agave and mix thoroughly. Once the nuts are well coated with agave (add more agave if needed) pour in the cacao powder and mix until well coated. Next, place them on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate for 24 hours. After 12 hours remove the nuts from the sheet and place on the mesh tray.
Alternatively you could use your oven set at a low temperature as well. Since the nuts are not roasting it is okay if you use a lower temperature, just make sure you keep it under 116 degrees in order for it to remain raw. This tasty little snack will provide you with healthy fats, carbohydrates, antioxidants, and protein. This is also a good “energy” snack because of the carbs from the agave and stimulant like properties in the cacao (called theobromine). But I would avoid consuming too many of them before physical activity because nuts are generally harder to digest than raw fruits and veggies.
The nectarine ranks amount my favorite fruits, I love the explosion of flavors! Sort of makes me wonder why I don't buy these more often.
This smoothie now ranks among my favorite. I still seem to be on this chocolate kick too, maybe it’s the two 16oz bags of cacao I recently purchased. But, this one turned out to be pretty amazing I think. Next time I will probably try it without the cacao, because I think it will be equally as delicious.
1 ripe peach (pitted, leaving the skin on)
2.5 oz of frozen peaches (1/4 of a 10 oz bag)
2.5 -3 oz of frozen mangoes (or about 1/4 of a fresh one)
2 TBSP of raw honey (or agave for 100% vegan)
2 TBSP of cacao powder
Combine all ingredients into a blender and whiz until smooth!
A random though just popped into my head… I should create a page listing out my favorite smoothie recipes. So, look for that in the hopefully near future.
And, on a side note. I might be running the Dallas Rock and Roll Half Marathon in two weeks. I will be sure to post if that happens. It will be hard to work in another long run before then though since I will be out climbing in Arkansas this weekend, but seeing how I just did 13.1 last weekend I think I will be okay getting in an 8 mile run sometime next week.
This is another one of my accidental creations that came out pretty good. I’ve also been on a chocolate kick lately as well. I may start using cacao even more now that I found out it contains theobromine, which is an alkaloid that has compounds similar to caffeine. It is known for releasing a serotonin that produces a euphoric sense of well being. I found this about after a friend of mine made the raw peanut butter cup smoothie and told me the caffeine in the cacao gave him a buzz. I knew cacao didn’t have caffeine, so I had to find out what it was giving him the euphoric feeling.
Cacao also stimulates the heart more than the nervous system as with caffeine. This could be part of why my raw shot bloks were successful, but I’m not scientist. I may find myself consuming even more cacao now in the mornings so that I’m less tempted to stop at Starbucks and pick up a coffee. Anyway, enough of my healthy hippie rants about super foods….
1 huge hand-full of spinach
2 TBSP of raw honey or agave nectar
2 TBSP of cacao powder
1 cup of rice milk (or your choice of nut milk)
Directions: Blend and enjoy
If you have never used cacao before and are interested in purchasing some there are a number of places you can buy it online. The best place I have found is Lucky Vitamin. It had to be back ordered, but for the price I paid, it was well worth it. Navitas Naturals is the brand I have found I like the best, and I have tried about three different brands.
I previously posted my mixed berry and almond butter smoothie recipe – one of my all-time favorites. As I continue to blog, I have realized it’s going to be hard to come up with something for Smoothie Tuesday every week, as you might have noticed, so I decided to take this old recipe and just spice it up a bit.
I had recently seen people tweeting about using raw cacao powder in their smoothies with berries. For some reason I had always though that those combination of flavors wouldn’t taste very good, but I was wrong. After seeing fellow raw foodies tweet about it I decided to try it for myself. I simply took the smoothie recipe mentioned above and added two tablespoons of raw cacao powder.
Raw cacao is basically raw coco, or raw powdered chocolate. Cacao contains a wide array of unique properties and minerals, including high levels of sulfur and magnesium. It may increase your focus and alertness and contains nutrients to keep you happy (as stated on rawcaco.com.) Best of all though, it tastes great.
For the recipe, follow the instructions for the mixed berry and almond butter smoothie and just add two tablespoons of raw cacao powder (or more if you prefer).
Even though this recipe calls for almond butter you don’t need it for this smoothie to be tasty. You can always add more agave nectar or raw honey to give it a smoother flavor.
This is one of my all-time favorite smoothie recipes. It was one that I made countless times when I first started eating raw foods. This simple green smoothie is brightly colored and is sweet and tasty to boot. All you need is spinach, bananas and water. It’s that simple! Alternatively you can use almond or hemp seed milk to add to the flavor and provide additional nutrients.
2 hand fulls of spinach
6 ice cubes (or omit if your bananas are frozen)
1 cup of water or your favorite “milk”
2 TBSP of hemp seed protein (totally optional)
Directions: Throw it all in a blender and WHIRRRRR
If you want to spice it up even more use a chocolate greens powder such as Amazing Grass, or just use cacao powder. One of my favorite things about this drink is how much it freaks people out when they say it. Their reaction is always, “eww, your going to drink that”. But I promise, what looks like it flowed right out of a nuclear waste dump is one of the most delicious smoothies you will ever taste.
After a run last week I found I only had a half bag of mixed berries left in the freezer and needed them for my breakfast in the morning, so I decided to get creative with my recovery smoothie for that day. What I came up with was really more of a delicious chocolate pudding, and let me tell you, it puts Jello brand chocolate pudding to shame! The ingredients really sound like an odd combination, and they are! But, I really surprised myself with this recipe, I honestly didn’t think it would taste that great, the results are amazing though.
2 tbsp of honey
4 tbs of cacao powder
2 tbsp of raw tahini
4 tbsp of hemp seed protein
1.5 cups of almond milk
Combine all ingredients in a Vita-Mix blender and process until you have a nice thick, creamy consistency. The result should be a nice thick pudding like mixture that can be eaten as a pudding or drank like a smoothie. I’m not much for sitting around eating lots of pudding, so I just treat it like a nice thick smoothie and chug away.
Also, remember if you are interested in purchasing a Vita-Mix you can get free shipping by going through the links on my site.
For the first Smoothie Tuesday I thought I would share with you my favorite smoothie. I discovered this smoothie one day after giving in to a craving for a peanut butter cup from a co-worker. I thought surely there is a raw version of a peanut butter cup out there, after all I have had some delicious vegan peanut butter cups. After a quick Google search I turned up a blog post by Rawdog Rory. Granted I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for, this liquid peanut butter cup is truly awesome and in my opinion.
Most non-raw foodies likely won’t have some of these ingredients, but they can be easily acquired at a place such as Whole Foods. But rest assured I will be providing plenty of recipes that anybody can make.
2 cups water
4 TBSP of Tahini
1/3 tsp of Vanilla Extract
4 TBSP of Raw Cacao Powder (do not use Carob Powder as a substitute, it does not work, I tried)
4 TBS of Raw Honey (or Agave Nectar if you want it Vegan)
1 – 1.5 Frozen Bananas
6 Cubes of ice (I think Rawdog suggests 8, so start with less and add more if you need them)
Combine all the above ingredients in a high speed blender until there are no longer any chunks of frozen banana and you are done! Pour your drink and enjoy. I find this usually makes about 32oz of more, so either be hungry or be ready to share with friends.
Captain Oats, guardian of the Raw Peanut Butter Cup smoothie. Hands off, he is very protective of his smoothie.
You can even easily make this into a green smoothie and add a hand full of spinach and it will hardly affect the flavor of the smoothie.
For those of you out there that are visual learners you can watch Rawdog Rory make the smoothie himself. The end of the video is amusing when he blends the smoothie in his bedroom.
The health benefits of this smoothie are tremendous, it’s especially a good source of protein. Both the tahini and cacao are excellent sources of protein. Not only that, but the cacao has more antioxidant flavonoids than any food tested so far according to Live Superfoods. Be sure to check out the web site to see more benefits. If you are interested in purchasing raw cacao, the best place I have found online is Amazon.com. I am fortunate enough to be able to get a better price locally and avoid shipping fees.