Berry Chocolate Protein Smoothie – Gluten Free and Vegan, nut free option

Super creamy, thick and berry chocolatey, (get it?!?, yes, I know. Not very funny) this is my favorite smoothie yet! It has about 15 grams of protein per serving, and it tastes like a chocolate covered berry! Chia seeds act as the thickener in this smoothie, because they have tons of protein and other beneficial stuff! Most vegan smoothies use a thickener such as avocado or banana. I didn’t want this smoothie to taste like banana OR avocado! I use Nutiva’s Superfood 30 Chocolate Protein Powder because it is super high protein, soy free, vegan, and tastes pretty good. Kite Hill makes my absolute favorite dairy free yogurt because it tastes exactly like normal yogurt! I have also tried coconut milk yogurt and it tasted like liquidy parmesan cheese (disgusting!). Soy yogurt simply tasted like… soy and sugar (couldn’t find an unsweetened version ☹)

So this smoothie… Fresh, it tastes like a chocolate berry shake, refrigerated, it tastes like pudding, and slightly frozen, it tastes like ice cream! I bet you could sub a whole can of full fat coconut milk for the almond yogurt and churn it in an ice cream maker for homemade healthy soft serve! Plus, it is only sweetened with fruit sugars!! I know I am a bit over zealous about this recipe, but I created it less than one week ago, and I have now made it four times, all exactly the same way! If you do not have a high-speed blender, I would substitute more strawberries for the blueberries and possibly reduce the chia seeds, because it may taste a bit too chia-y if they can’t get smooth. Another way to make this smoothie is: toss everything into the blender and blend a lot, but I prefer the method described below because it requires less scraping down, and is simply easier to get smooth. I also find it stays thicker, because over-blending destroys the thickness of the yogurt. Okay, now that I have blabbered for ever and ever, please enjoy this fab smoothie. P.S, I love to top it with blueberries and chocolate chips.

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Serves: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

3-4 tablespoons Chia Seeds
3 tablespoons Water (you can use almond milk too)
2 cups Strawberries (I defrost frozen strawberries, but fresh should work as well)
2 tablespoons Cocoa powder
3 tablespoons Protein powder (I like Nutiva’s because it is soy, dairy, and sweetener free)
2/3 cup Frozen blueberries, plus extra for topping (I’ll bet you can use fresh as well 😊)
1 5.3 ounce container Kite hill almond milk yogurt (for nut free, soy or coconut should work, I have used canned coconut milk and it works very well, though you only need about 3 ounces)
1/3-2/3 cups Kale or spinach (optional, for extra nutrition) (note: I have not tested this, but it should work)
1 tablespoon Chocolate chips, for topping (see post on Vegan Chocolate Chips)

Directions:

Step 1:    Place the chia and water in a blender (preferably high speed, for optimal smoothness) and blend lightly; just so the chia doesn’t clump.
Step 2:    Add the strawberries, cocoa, and protein powder. Blend on a high speed until very smooth.Step 3:    Blend in the ‘yogurt’ and blueberries until thick and creamy.
Step 4:    Refrigerate for four hours or overnight to thicken, or enjoy immediately.
Step 5: Right before enjoying, I like to top with frozen blueberries and chocolate chips and eat it with a spoon.

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