Coffee will always hold an esteemed seat at my Latin American family’s table. With family roots in Guatemala- a country that produces some of the best coffee beans in the world- my parents were raised with coffee as one of their basic food groups. Y’all can rest assured, that in my family’s home, there is always coffee after every meal.
My love of coffee evolved from a sweet, morning ritual I shared with my dad during my childhood. Every morning before heading off to work and school, my family had breakfast together. Being conscientious parents and fearing that they would stunt my growth, my mom and dad did not let me drink coffee except during family breakfast. My dad would always let me have 3 tiny sips from his coffee cup to start off the morning. He would tell me that it was the family’s secret to keeping healthy and happy. It stuck with me- 3 sips of coffee in the morning are the key to happiness- at least for some of us!
I’m not advising that you give your children coffee except for the occasional sip. I am just saying that if you truly love coffee and it adds a simple pleasure to your daily hustle, you should happily enjoy it without worrying that you’re being unhealthy. I love healthy living, and I also love coffee!
This delicious chocolate coffee smoothie makes it possible for me to enjoy nourishment and coffee together in one cup! When you take a sip of this smoothie, you’ll be immediately transported back to the memories of your favorite childhood chocolate milkshake. You’ll delight in its creaminess and earthiness!
How will this recipe empower you to be happy and mindful? How will this smoothie nurture a healthy and blissful body and mind?
Unlike most regular milkshakes or frapuccinos, the Cacao Cafe smoothie contains no artificial sweeteners or processed sugar. I decided to make a healthy Foodieland swap, and instead of using sugar, I used bananas to highlight the sweet notes of the coffee and chocolate. Because it contains no added sugar and it is only slightly sweetened with bananas, this smoothie is an excellent choice for those who are pre-diabetic or diabetic. If you wish to create a smoothie that is lower in saturated fat for heart health, feel free to use low fat coconut milk or your favorite plant-based milk (almond, soy, etc).
If you are sensitive to caffeine as it interferes with your sleep pattern, make sure not to drink this smoothie after 5 PM. Also, if you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, GERD, or gastritis, I advise you to be mindful of your caffeine consumption to prevent triggering your symptoms. But don’t worry, there are some healthy Foodieland Swaps that you can make that will allow you to enjoy this delicious smoothie even if you have specialized nutritional needs. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you can always make this smoothie using decaffeinated coffee. For those with inflammatory gastric issues, swap regular coffee for decaf or a low acidity coffee. Here’s a link to my favorite brand of decaf coffee and low acidity coffee. http://www.tiemans.com/
This delightfully rich and nurturing smoothie makes for a great breakfast or mindful dessert!
Some additional health benefits of the ingredients used in the Cacao Cafe smoothie:
- Coffee: For complete insight into the antioxidant health benefits of coffee, checkout our foodieland article: Is Coffee Bad for You? The Health Benefits of Coffee.
- Dark Cacao and cocoa powder (non-alkalized): Chocolate (cocoa or cacao) has been shown to help reduce serum insulin (sugar in your bloodstream) and combat insulin resistance (the body’s inability to use insulin properly to process sugar). Chocolate has also been shown to improve blood pressure, LDL (bad cholesterol), HDL, and overall cholesterol levels (1).
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon has been shown to significantly reduce fasting glucose plasma levels (sugar levels in the blood stream). In addition, it has been shown to promote heart health by aiding the body to increase HDL (good cholesterol) and reduce LDL and overall cholesterol (2).
- Bananas: Bananas are excellent sources of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6 (essential for protein metabolism and enzymatic function), and manganese (needed for bone, blood and hormonal health) (3,4).
- Coconut: For a more in-depth exploration of the health benefits of coconut, stay tuned for our foodieland article: Thai Superfoods
Without further ado, here’s the recipe for the silkiest and most comforting Cacao Cafe smoothie.
Remember to drop me a comment with questions and feedback. I’m here for you and love hearing your take on Foodieland recipes and how you feel after eating mindful, plant-centered foods. Share pictures of your recipe recreation on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtags #aliceinfoodieland #plantcentered
Happy Eating + Mindful Living!
- Hooper, L., Kay, C., Abdelhamid, A., Kroon, P. A., Cohn, J. S., Rimm, E. B., & Cassidy, A. (2012). Effects of chocolate, cocoa, and flavan-3-ols on cardiovascular health: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials. Retrieved from http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/95/3/740.full.pdf+html
- Allen, R. W., Schwartzman, E., Baker, W. L., Coleman, C. I., & Phung, O. J. (2013). Cinnamon Use in Type 2 Diabetes: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. The Annals of Family Medicine,11(5), 452-459. doi:10.1370/afm.1517
- Office of Dietary Supplements – Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin B6. (2016, February 11). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-HealthProfessional/
- Ehrlich, S. D. (2013, May 31). Manganese. Retrieved from http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/manganese