A frothy energizing aquafaba chocolate protein drink with a dreamy cloud-like quality from the aquafaba, nutrition from the white beans and avocado, no added sugars. And it's a banana-free smoothie!
Aquafaba Chocolate Protein Drink
Did you know you can make aquafaba from white navy bean liquid as well as that from chickpeas?
And my experience was it was easier to get the liquid from navy beans whipped up, although everyone knows whipping aquafaba peaks is quite unpredictable.
Well, once I had lovely peaks, I wondered what to do with them.
I hadn't yet had breakfast, so I was a bit hungry and we all know hunger drives creativity (does it really?). It was my day off from work, so I had some time. Then, with the can of white beans sitting expectantly on the table, it came to me.
I would first make a chocolate aquafaba mousse and then use that as a base for the most decadent, velvety protein shake or smoothie I have ever had! The beauty of this is that the mousse can be eaten on its own as a dessert later on, or saved and used for other recipes.
So, here's the plan. You with me? Once the mousse is made, we can quickly put together the shake, and it is so full of nutrition, you'll be singing and dancing all around your house.
Also I made mine without any sugar - just depended on the sweetness of the 70% cacao chocolate bar. Although, I do offer a sweetener as an option in the recipe.
Specifically, this shake has chocolate, full of mood-boosting magnesium and antioxidants; white beans, rich in protein, fiber, folate, iron, magnesium; avocado, a hugely nutrient dense food with heart-healthy fats; and aquafaba.
But let's stop here a minute and quickly review exactly what Aquafaba is!
What is White Bean Aquafaba?
Just like aquafaba from a chickpea can, aquafaba from a white bean can is the water in the can that the beans are floating in. If you were to cook your own beans (not use canned but cook up dry beans), the aquafaba would be the cooking water in your pan.
Just like the chickpea version, the white bean liquid is made of carbs that have an emulsifying and foaming effect when whipped!
How Healthy is Aquafaba?
Not very. It has some nutrition, a sprinkle of antioxidants and b vitamins. The appeal with aquafaba is it behaves like egg whites, and adds a frothy airy texture. This is similar to how gas bubbles add the effervescent quality to sparkling water.
And this frothy quality is a wonderful addition to any smoothie or shake. It's like drinking a cloud! However, it takes a bit of diligence to get to the cloud-state. For one, be patient. Whip with a hand-mixer or stand-mixer at least 7 minutes. If you stop too soon, you'll have a bowl of milky white liquid. Anywhere between 7 and 10 minutes, you'll have a stiff, whipped mixture that stays in the bowl when you turn it upside down. That's the trick to knowing it's done.
Once the mousse is ready, making it chocolate flavored is a snap! Chop up your quality chocolate - and I mean quality! No additives or flavors in the bars, just straight quality 70% cacao or higher dark chocolate.
Melt it up before you make your whipped aquafaba, because you need the chocolate to cool - not harden though, just cool enough to remain stirable but not disturb the aquafaba texture with unwanted heat.
Armed with chocolate aquafaba, and the other smoothie ingredients, you are a few blends away from the chocolate smoothie of your dreams.
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Aquafaba Chocolate Protein Drink
makes about 1 cup chocolate aquafaba mousse
- 1 can (15oz/425gms) white beans (use liquid only) (navy beans, organic & precooked - I have used Eden and Whole Foods 365 brand)
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- 2 bars dark chocolate bar (7 oz/200 gms), chopped
- ¼ cup vegan powdered sugar vegan means no bone char; this ingredient is optional if you use 70% cacao chocolate which in my opinion is sweet enough
makes a 1 cup shake
- ¼ can (15oz/425gms) white beans (use beans only) (navy beans, organic & precooked - I have used Eden and Whole Foods 365 brand)
- ½ cup chocolate aquafaba mousse (recipe on this page)
- 1 half small avocado
- ½ cup almond milk
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
Make the Chocolate Aquafaba Mousse
- Melt the dark chocolate either in a microwave or in a water bath. Allow it to cool while you whip up the aquafaba into peaks.
- Drain off the liquid from a can of white navy beans.Set the beans aside, and blend up the bean liquid, lemon juice, (and sugar if you are using it) with a handmixer for 5-7 minutes until white peaks of aquafaba form. Some people report it can take as long as 15 minutes with a handmixer, faster with a standmixer. Also, adding in the sugar AFTER you create peaks can ruin your texture, so I recommend starting with the sugar added if you plan to add sugar.
- Once you have created stiff peaks, check to see that your melted chocolate has cooled to room temperature. Very important! Do not add warm chocolate to the peaks. Once cooled to room temperature, fold the melted chocolate gently into the bowl of aquafaba peaks.
- Spoon into your container that you plan on storing it in - this is your chocolate aquafaba mousse! It's delicious on its own - you can add cinnamon or top with cacao nibs and serve in ¼ cup servings as a dessert!
- For now, however, I want you to refrigerate ½ cups of it, and save the remaining ½ cup for the recipe of the day, the protein shake.
Make the Dark Fudge White Bean Aquafaba Protein Shake
- In a high speed blender, add the aquafaba mousse, milk, ¼ cup of the beans, avocado and cinnamon. Blend until smooth. Add more or less milk depending on how thick you want your shake. Top with nuts, chocolate and drink chilled!
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.