Frozen Banana & Cacao Smoothie Recipe

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ELIZABETH

I'm a Certified Health Coach, longtime blogger, and host of Elizabeth Eats on YouTube. In addition to writing recipes (I love to eat!), I'm a strong believer that life is too short to settle for anything less than living your best life.

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Chocolata banana smoothie

This banana & cacao smoothie recipe is one of my all-time favorites!

You’ll love the rich, creamy, earthy, naturally sweet flavor of this cacao smoothie. Plus, it’s super easy to make—just blend it all together and enjoy.

I wrote this recipe last year when I showed you the trick to never throw away a banana again and realized the recipe got a little buried in the post so I wanted to post it again to make sure you see it because it’s delicious!

What’s cacao you ask? No, I didn’t spell cocoa incorrectly, but they both come from the same plant.

Cacao is raw chocolate in its natural state

Cacao comes from the seed of an Amazonian fruit tree and is considered one of the highest–if not the highest–antioxidant foods on the planet.

It’s full of magnesium, iron, manganese, and chromium and is also extremely high in anandamide (aka the “bliss chemical”).

Cacao also contains plant-based protein, good fats & healthy carbs, can improve cardiovascular health, builds strong bones, is a natural aphrodisiac, and can elevate your mood. What’s not to love about a cacao smoothie?!

When both cacao and cocoa are produced, the fat (i.e. cacao/cocoa butter) is separated from the bean. The difference is that to make cocoa, the bean is first roasted. Cacao is left raw and never roasted, leaving its enzymes and many other nutrients intact. The end product is not mixed with anything else.

On the other hand, with cocoa powder you’ll notice it’s typically listed as a percentage, such as 70% or 80%, usually meaning is 70/80% cocoa powder mixed with milk and/or sugar to produce a sweeter taste.

Raw cacao isn’t nearly anywhere as sweet as most conventional cocoa powders, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not delicious. Plus, since it’s so high in antioxidants, you’re doing yourself a favor by consuming its raw chocolatey goodness. 

bananas and cacao powder

Why is it called Cacao and not Cocoa?

Legend has it that the spelling of cacao comes from way back in the early trade days of people simply misspelling cocoa (or vice versa) and eventually the raw state came to be known as cacao. Who knows if that’s true, but it’s a fun story and seems to make sense. Regardless, when prepared correctly cacao tastes divine and will definitely satisfy your “chocolate tooth” — without the added sugar and dairy that usually comes with chocolate.

You can find raw cacao powder at most natural grocery stores or on Amazon to make your cacao smoothie. Keep it in the fridge for an even longer shelf life.

Frozen Banana & Cacao Smoothie Recipe

Serves 1

  • 1 cup purified water
  • 1 small frozen banana (2 small frozen halves; always peel your bananas before freezing)
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao (raw cocoa powder)
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • dash of cinnamon
  • handful of ice
  • optional: add 1 serving of high-quality, organic chocolate or vanilla protein powder if drinking post-workout

Method: Blend all ingredients until smooth; serve cold.

Tip for your bananas: When bananas start to over-ripen, peel them, 1/2 them, then freeze them. Add them to your daily smoothies as needed for nutrients, fiber and extra creamy texture.

Another option would be 2-ingredient vegan banana ice cream, you can find that here.

More Healthy Smoothies

You can also check out even more ideas in my Healthy Smoothie Recipe index.

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Chocolata banana smoothie

Frozen Banana & Cacao Smoothie Recipe

  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup purified water
  • 1 small frozen banana (2 small frozen halves)
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao (raw cocoa powder)
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • dash of cinnamon
  • handful of ice
  • optional: add 1 serving of high-quality, organic chocolate or vanilla protein powder if drinking post workout

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth; serve cold.

Notes

Tip for your bananas: When bananas start to over-ripen, peel them, 1/2 them, then freeze them. Add them to your daily smoothies as needed for nutrients, fiber and an extra creamy texture. Another option would be 2-ingredient vegan banana ice cream, you can find that here.

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  1. Jess says:

    Thanks for this recipe! I almost always use smoothie recipes as a base for ideas, then get creative on my own.

    Added soy milk (original), an extra banana and subbed almond for peanut butter.

    It tasted great. Especially love the addition of cinnamon – I always add cinnamon into my coffee, why not a smoothie!

  2. Darrell says:

    Try subbing out the almond butter (or halving it) and adding in a half avocado for super creamy texture and a dose of super-good-for -you fat

  3. Danyelle Catchens-Smith says:

    Is the almond butter required? Will it affect the taste if I use natural peanut butter instead?

  4. Emslea saba says:

    What can I substitute for almond products?

  5. Sonia says:

    Thanks for this recipe! I used cacao paste and peanut butter instead and it tasted delicious! It definitely satisfied my sweet tooth and filled me up.

Hi, I'm Elizabeth

I'm a strong believer that life is too short to settle for anything less than living your best life. 

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