A rich and creamy healthy chocolate smoothie loaded with protein thanks to a secret ingredient that you totally can’t taste – beans! Naturally sweetened with just banana and dates, and vegan thanks to plant-based milk, this is a smoothie the whole family will love.
I’ve been thinking lately about how my food philosophy has changed over the last decade. I used to eat pretty much any old thing so long as it was vegetarian without much consideration about what it actually was. Over the years the way I eat has shifted to a much more whole foods focused approach.
As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t particularly worry about getting protein into my diet because there is protein, at least in small amounts, in practically everything. I do sometimes like a blast of protein, though, so I’m always looking for ways to incorporate it into my diet. Although I know there are some good ones out there, protein powders are a bit out of my comfort zone and don’t really qualify as “real food” in my books. So, I’ve been experimenting with ways to get extra protein into my smoothies without using any protein powder.
What’s the answer? Beans!
Beans in a smoothie?! Yup! We’ve made brownies from beans, so why not a smoothie? This healthy chocolate smoothie uses black beans for a boost of protein and healthy fiber, plus they contribute to an amazing creamy texture! Trust me, you won’t taste them!
Hemp seeds add another boost of protein, and sweetened with just a frozen banana and a couple of medjool dates (one is perfect for me, but you can add two if you prefer things to be on the sweeter side), this healthy chocolate smoothie is vegan, naturally sweetened, naturally protein-rich, and gluten free. It’s great for practically everyone!
I used almond milk when I first started making this smoothie, but these days my plant-based milk of choice is oat milk, so that’s what I use more often than not. Any plant-based milk that you’re into will do just fine. I also snuck some frozen cauliflower into this updated-and-improved version of my super popular healthy chocolate smoothie, as it adds bulk, dietary fiber, and makes it icy cold and refreshing. Like the beans, you can’t taste the cauliflower at all!
Try this healthy chocolate smoothie out and let me know what you think! And tell me, what else do you like to sneak beans into?
Hey Nutrition Lady, what’s the deal with black beans?
Black beans are a good source of folate, dietary fiber, protein, phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and vitamin K. The protein-plus-fiber combination in black beans is one of the things that makes them special. A one cup serving contains 15g of fiber (over half of the daily recommended intake), and 15g of protein. Much of the fiber is indigestible, which supports digestive health, particularly in the lower part of our digestive tract.
The protein-fiber combination is also key in stabilizing blood sugar levels, as both protein and fiber move through our digestive systems at a moderate pace. Black beans are also rich in soluble fiber, which is helpful for lowering blood cholesterol levels and supporting cardiovascular health.
chocolate black bean brownie smoothie
A rich and creamy healthy chocolate smoothie loaded with protein thanks to a secret ingredient that you totally can't taste - beans!
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup frozen cauliflower
- 1/2 cup black beans
- 1-2 medjool dates pitted
- 1 cup almond milk or milk of choice
- 1 Tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth.
Pour into a glass and sprinkle cocoa nibs over the top if desired. Serve immediately.
- Using 2 dates makes this smoothie very sweet. I prefer just one, but if you're accustomed to a sweeter drink or your banana isn't very sweet, you can go for two.
- You can't taste the frozen cauliflower at all! It adds thickness and a good amount of dietary fiber to the smoothie.
- You can't taste the black beans, I promise!
- This makes one LARGE smoothie for a hungry person, or two smaller snack-sized smoothies.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only!