With the colder weather fast approaching (even though we do seem to have been blessed with an Indian summer at the moment), it's going to be easy to want to treat yourself to lots of rich, soul-warming foods (I'll admit that I may have already done a bit of damage to a box of Celebrations this past week!). Unfortunately, too many bitesize Bounty bars aren't very good for the skin, the waistline or our overall well-being, so I have resorted to turning to this old friend to satisfy my chocolate craving sweet tooth- A clean and healthy chocolate milkshake.
You will need (serves 2):
- 3 super ripe, frozen bananas
- 2 TBSP cocoa powder (preferably unsweetened, 100% cacao- I picked up this one at Holland & Barrett).
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or any milk you prefer) to start with; you can add more if needed
- 3 medjool dates
- 1 TBSP almond/peanut butter (Meridian is my favourite- it has no added nasties!)
- Porridge oats
- Chocolate or vanilla protein powder
The key to this recipe (apart from the cocoa powder, of course) is a perfectly ripe banana. Don't be afraid of those rather sad-looking, brown bananas that have been left unloved in the fruit bowl for a little too long- those are the best ones. These will add the sweetness and creaminess to your milkshake, and you'll want to cut them up and freeze them prior to throwing them in the blender for a nice, cold drink- Don't add ice to this recipe as it will result in a runny, watery milkshake- Not the dream.
After blending the three main ingredients in a food processor, it's up to you to modify your milkshake to your preferred taste. If it is still a little too bitter for your liking, medjool dates are a fantastic, completely natural way to sweeten it up a little (alternatively, you could add another 1/2 banana). If you are an almond butter fanatic like myself, then throw a spoonful in for a nutty taste. Also, if you want to enjoy this chocolatey treat for breakfast, adding some porridge oats to the mix is a great way to make it a little heartier, add fibre and keep you going all morning!
Whilst this recipe isn't always going to be low calorie depending on what ingredients you add (so don't think you should go drowning yourself in chocolate milkshakes!), it is a sweet-tooth satisfying, decadent beverage that is completely natural with no added refined sugars (did I mention that bananas will give you energy and cacao is packed with anti-oxidants?). Treat yourself- Your body will thank you for it ;)
Let me know if you try it! :)