A sweet and salty granola smoothie, and flecked with mood-boosting chocolate and fresh nutty granola. This creamy drink is easy to make with ingredients you have on hand, and is refined-sugar-free, dairy-free and vegan.
Sweet & Salty Granola Smoothie
This granola smoothie reminds of milkshake days gone by, only this one is healthy and light!
The milkshakes in my life have always meant sweet creamy decadence that is not necessarily nutritional, and very high in calories and sugar. As a child, I remember loving a vanilla dairy shake from a local ice cream shop near my home.
But now in my clean eating stage in life, I wanted one that would make me feel great, not loggy and sugar-saturated.
So I set about making this one, adding in my favorite ingredients to build a healthy granola smoothie that is just like a delicious vanilla milkshake that is so full of conflicting flavors.
How Does This Granola Smoothie Taste?
This granola smoothie tastes just like granola - both salty and sweet, buttery and cookies-and-cream-ish..is that a word? WordPress spell-check doesn't think so, haha.
I love this creamy dreamy drink and it is nutritious enough for an energy-boosting breakfast as well, of course, as a wonderful snack at any time of day. It is on the sweet-side depending on how sweet your granola is. So be sure to taste test to adjust to your liking.
The shake is also fairly light, as well as refined-sugar-free, dairy-free and vegan. The first time I made it, I added cashew butter, but I don't anymore because it tends to overpower the flavor.
How Healthy is This Granola Smoothie?
The nutrition comes from every ingredient, including the granola, milk, cauliflower, apple, and dark chocolate chips.
The milk provides the creaminess as well as protein.
Cauliflower is an important ingredient in this recipe because it adds creaminess as well as incredible nutrition.
The vanilla in this smoothie supports the flavor. I sometimes use vanilla paste because it is much stronger in flavor than vanilla extract, but you can use vanilla extract. Taste-test and add more if you want a stronger vanilla flavor in your shake.
The chocolate chips are dark chocolate mini chips. Or you can use cacao nibs, little crunchy bits of cacao. Cacao is the form of chocolate that is considered a super food. It contributes mood-boosting magnesium, immune-boosting antioxidants, and energy-boosting caffeine.
Cacao nibs are bitter chocolate and provide a delicious juxtaposition with the sweet nut butter and milk. But dairy-free mini chips like the ones linked are healthy too!
What is the Best Granola for This Granola Smoothie?
I used an unusual granola, the maple sea salt flavor by Bob's Red Mill, a lovely sweet-and-salty mix that really injects a very unusual flavor, as well as an interesting crunch.
Of course however feel free to use your favorite granola or whatever you have on hand. Just be sure to taste-test to adjust sweet and salty flavors.
How to Make this Granola Smoothie?
Start by freezing your favorite milk or yogurt. I used cashew milk but you can use your favorite. And I didn't freeze the milk solid, but poured it into ice cube trays and froze it for a few hours.
This allows you to make the shake frothy without added fat. If you are in a rush, no worries, just use chilled milk.
Steam Cauliflower to Add to a Smoothie
I also steamed the cauliflower to ensure a creamy texture, but you can keep it raw if you don't mind a bit of texture to the drink. If you do steam it, let it cool completely before blending in this recipe. In fact, refrigerating it to chill it is even better.
Add the ice cubes to a blender, along with all the other ingredients.
Blend until creamy, foamy and speckly. Taste-test and adjust if need be by adding more of what you want.
Drink right away!
Tips to Make This Smoothie Delicious
1. The milk is best frozen in ice cubes to a slushy texture, but highly chilled is fine as well.
2. The cauliflower is important for substance, but you can also used the same amount of peeled, steamed zucchini.
3. Be sure to cool the cauliflower if you steam it. I steam it the night before and refrigerate it overnight.
4. Try to use a quality vanilla. I recommend paste but powder or a fresh vanilla bean is perfect as well.
The cacao nibs add incredible super food chocolate nutrition, however, you can of course use chocolate chips instead.
5. The best granola is a sweet-salty one like Bob's Red Mill's maple sea salt flavor, but you can also use your own favorite brand.
6. Drink this shake right away, it does not store well, with textures separating.
Interested in sharing on pinterest? Perhaps use this image...
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Sweet & Salty Granola Smoothie
- ½ cup granola
- ½ cup nut milk (or other plant milk such as oat or hemp to make it nut free) (ice this the night before or not)
- ½ cup ice
- ½ cup cauliflower (steamed and cooled. Or use pre-made cauliflower rice, again steamed and cooled)
- ½ cup apple (not peeled, chopped or use more cauliflower to reduce sweeteness of smoothie)
- 2 tbsp mini chocolate chips
- ⅛ tsp vanilla
- Use milk frozen in ice cube trays. If you use the trays I linked above, 12 cubes equal one cup.
- Steam cauliflower, and refrigerate until cool.
Blend the Milkshake
- If using frozen milk, blend up the milk cubes until slushy. Not too long; you don't want them fully melted.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients. Again, pulse, but do not pulverize thoroughly the chocolate chips and granola. You want it creamy but speckly for bursts of flavor from the chocolate chips and granola.
- Enjoy within the day!
Thank you Bob's Red Mill for sponsoring this post.
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.