I was a hard-core vanilla girl growing up. It wasn't until a few years ago that I finally got why so many people are crazy about chocolate. It was like someone flipped a switch, but even now my cravings are sporadic. Sometimes I can go for periods with no chocolate at all, and then there are times like the last couple of weeks when I crave it almost daily. My solution? Cacao Powder. This extraordinary superfood is "the nutritional and flavorful source of all chocolate and cocoa products". It's also high in magnesium and iron and a rich source of antioxidants.
1) Choco-Peanut Butter Smoothie:
- 1 cup vanilla almond milk (or fresh young Thai coconut water for a low calorie version)
- 1 banana
- 2 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 tbsp flax seeds
- 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
- 1 cup spinach, loosely packed
- 1 cup of ice
- 1 tbsp of agave or natural sweetener of your choice (optional, especially if you use sweetened almond milk)
Put all the ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy for breakfast, lunch or an after dinner treat!
2) Too-Good-To-Be-True Avocado Pudding
I tried this recipe after it was featured on MindBodyGreen and it really is too good to be true! Though this recipe calls for raw honey or other natural sweetener it still requires that you use 1/4 cup of it, which is a decent amount of sugar (natural or not). So it's probably a good idea to exercise moderation when indulging in this one.
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled + quartered
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- 1/4 cup raw honey (NOTE: If you choose not to eat honey, substitute with your favorite natural vegan sweetener. I used maple syrup.)
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Berries and mint for garnish
Put all the ingredients in blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer the pudding to individual ramekins, top with fresh fruit and/or a sprig of mint, serve and enjoy!