This mayan chocolate smoothie, topped with homemade chai chocolate granola, is a chocolate protein-rich breakfast with a spicy kick that is easy to make, energizes for hours and allows you to have a chocolate dessert for breakfast!
Mayan Chocolate Smoothie & Chai Chocolate Granola Recipe
Consider this: Which is a better way to start your day: a breakfast cup with chocolate? Or a breakfast cup with spicy Mayan chocolate smoothie? I thought so.
This chocolate mayan smoothie is basically chocolate cashew cream with cayenne pepper. You want to be eating this chocolate cream. Do you know why? Because this spicy chocolate boosts your mood, stimulates digestion, supports your heart, helps with weight control, stimulating your metabolism, and more. Ok, ok, I will back this up with facts and scientific studies.
First, what is Mayan chocolate? Let's answer that question.
What is Mayan Chocolate?
Here is a bit of history regarding Mayan chocolate.
The Ancient Mayans of Central America (900 AD.) were thought to be the first to discover chocolate, and they worshipped it. (A peoples after my own heart!). They drank it as a bitter tonic however. No sweetener in sight for them.
They mixed up crushed cocoa beans, water and chili peppers and poured it from cup to cup to create a froth. The word "chocolate" is said to descend from the Mayan word "xocolatl" which means bitter water.
Modern society has since altered their recipe to use sweetened dark chocolate (around 70% cacao) and to spice by adding a pinch or more of ground cayenne pepper. The spicy bite makes the chocolate seem so much more chocolate-y.
How Healthy is this Mayan Chocolate?
Dark chocolate has flavanols that are components that lower blood pressure and cholesterol, improve cognition, lower the risk of heart disease, stabilize blood sugar, control appetite, reduce cravings and more. Harvard University scientists studied it here. And Healthline has a helpful rundown here.
Add in cayenne pepper, and you include that spice's benefits which include vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, potassium, manganese, and more.
These work to help the heart and circulatory system work more efficiently.
Hello! Wake up time! See why this recipe is perfect for the morning?
Cayenne pepper is also known for being effective at reducing inflammation (the condition that triggers disease) and accelerates metabolism, perfect for weight control. Need convincing? Listen to the NIH.
This particular Mayan chocolate smoothie pictured is actually built with a black cocoa, a mysterious chocolate powder that makes recipes dark and chocolate-y.
If you do go for the black cocoa, realize one thing: while fun for drama, it is alkali-processed or "dutched" so it actually has only half the healthy phytonutrients of raw cacao powder.
How to Make Homemade Chai Chocolate Granola
And don't forget the awesome granola recipe - homemade granola is truly a gift from the gods.
All you have to do is toss into a bowl all ingredients except for cacao powder and coconut oil. Mix it all up. Spread it on a cookie sheet and bake it up for 350 F for about 15 minutes. You want it to smell toasty. Remove from oven, and toss the hot mixture with melted coconut oil, and then cacao powder.
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Mayan Chocolate Smoothie & Chai Chocolate Granola
Mayan Chocolate Smoothie
Make Mayan Chocolate Smoothie
- Set raw cashews in water and soak for at least 4 hours or overnight to render them creamy and more digestible.When they are ready, blend up all smoothie ingredients and taste test. If need be, add a bit more syrup to make it sweeter, and a bit more cayenne pepper to make it hot to your taste.
- Mix up granola ingredients except for the cacao powder and liquid coconut oil in a bowl. Pour on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and toast at 350 F for 15 minutes or until crunchy. Do not burn. Add the toasted granola back into the mixing bowl. Add the melted coconut oil and toss until coated. Then add the cacao powder and toss until coated.
- Store in a cool, dry place in an air-tight container for a week for optimum nutrition.
Mayan Chocolate Breakfast Jar
- Serve your smoothie the way you want. Here, I made an extra batch of cashew cream without the cocoa, and layered both the vanilla version and the chocolate version, before topping with fruit and chai chocolate granola.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients and another immunity-boosting smoothie shot book, 4-Ingredient Smoothies + Juices , due out in January 2021. On this blog you'll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in sciences and journalism, editor at The Feedfeed and a nutritional expert at WikiHow. More about Dee Dine here.