Green smoothies are everywhere and I have my personal favorites, and not-favorites-but-drink-it-anyway. This chocolate beauty is a wonderful switch-over for a healthy treat or dessert and the combination of chocolate, almonds and coconut makes this obviously named the Almond Joy Smoothie.
I found a version of this recipe over on Blendtec’s recipe site. Though similar, their version had more sugar grams than I wanted and the flavor was also more subtle on the coconut than I expected. Since this is a healthy “dessert” or treat smoothie, the serving size is only about eight ounces, but this is rich in a good way, so a one cup serving is plenty. As you can see, spinach is one of the key ingredients but unless you’re the person making the smoothie, you’d never know it was in there. That fact makes this a great one to feed the kids or anyone who has a problem with the whole ‘green drink thing’.
Almond Joy Smoothie finishes up nice and thick like a shake, smooth yet airy as you can see, thanks to the ice in the drink. The almonds add such a nutty richness, and the banana thickens everything just so. I thought I’d take it a step further and freeze the Almond Joy Smoothie… don’t try that. There isn’t enough fat to keep it from becoming solid and the flavors kind of mute after being in the freezer. So this is a treat best enjoyed right after you make it. Since it only takes a few minutes to create, you can satisfy your chocolate craving in a snap.
As for the health benefits, almonds are great sources of healthy fats, fiber, protein and Vitamin E. Spinach is a great source of minerals as well as fiber and protein, yet again. Cocoa powder (even better if you use cacao) is touted for many “possible” cardiovascular benefits and other minerals. The banana is high in fiber as well as potassium. But with all that, don’t forget this is a really quick tasty treat. We don’t sweeten ours at all (it didn’t need it!), but you can make it as decadently sweet as you like with added honey or whatever sweetener you choose.
Tasty with almond or coconut milk, but if you wish, use dairy milk. This is a great springboard kind of recipe. Make it as I have here for super healthy, vegan and Paleo-friendly, or change it up with ice cream, honey or sugar. Any way you want it, the combination of chocolate, coconut and almonds will not disappoint.
- 1½ cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
- ¼ cup raw almonds
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
- 1 cup spinach (a big handful will do)
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 frozen banana, cut in half
- 2 cups ice cubes
- Optional: 2 tablespoons honey, or sweeten to taste with your favorite sweetener
- Add ingredients to jar of blender in the order listed and secure lid.
- Blend for about 50 seconds on a medium speed until smooth.
- For Blendtec owners, select "Smoothie" cycle.
- Nutrition information per 8 ounce serving: Calories 130; Fat 6g; Sat. Fat 0.7g; Chol. 0mg; Sodium 70mg; Carb 20g; Fiber 5g; Sugar 4g (if sweetener not added); Protein 4g.