This vegan chocolate protein smoothie has hemp hearts, healthy nutella and hidden veggies, including zucchini, but no banana.
Vegan Chocolate Protein Smoothie with Zucchini
This vegan chocolate protein smoothie is super easy to make, with simple ingredients, and hidden zucchini. It’s one of the most chocolate-y, energy-boosting smoothies I have ever made! A patchwork of chocolate protein, cinnamon-dusted cashew cream, and healthy homemade dark fudge hazelnut sauce.
Topped with any chocolate bar or any of my healthy simple chocolate treats. Here are some glorious possibilities at hand:
4. Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake (what, no! not a cake, haha)
If not these recipes, plop in your favorite chocolate something-or-other and you have the perfect chocolate-y dessert for breakfast or a replenishing post-workout snack. A reader once told me she got superpowers after drinking this!😍
One ingredient behind the nutrition in this vegan chocolate protein smoothie recipe is the zucchini.
Why Add Zucchini to a Smoothie?
Well, one reason is to thicken it! Other smoothie thickeners of course are bananas (which also sweeten), tofu, yogurt and thick fruits such as mango and banana (also sweeteners). But sometimes you want a thickener that doesn’t add its flavor and that is zucchini! Perfect when you are going for chocolate or more delicate flavors such as passion-fruit and lavender and more.
Zucchini, also known as “courgette”, also contributes nutrition, including fiber, vitamins B6, riboflavin, folate, C, and K, potassium and manganese. To this smoothie, we add the zucchini raw and frozen, but steaming it first and freezing is fine too. The interesting characteristic of zucchini is the nutrition level does not drop much after cookies.
One aspect of zucchini is it is on the “dirty” list with the ewg.org which means it typically the skin absorbs too much insecticide to be healthy when grown NOT organic. So you either peel a non-organic zucchini, or you buy an organic zucchini and keep the skin on.
Whew! Enough about zucchini. Don’t forget the goodness of the chocolate in this smoothie – healthy raw cacao powder adds incredible levels of magnesium which boosts our mood, fiber and more. The cashews and hemp hearts of course add protein, and the chocolate hazelnut butter adds lots of nutrition but who cares because chocolate hazelnut butter!!😍 You can buy a vegan brand, Justins, or you can make my short-cut hazelnut butter from scratch, so easy!
I hope you love this simple protein smoothie.
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Chocolate Protein Smoothie (vegan, zucchini, dairy-free, banana-free)
Cinnamon Cashew Cream
- 1 cup cashews (raw, soaked overnight in water, rinsed)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or 1 soaked pitted date
- 1/2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- 2 tsps cinnamon
Dark Fudge Hazelnut Sauce
- Put cashews in a measuring cup, fill the cup with clean water and refrigerate overnight. Next day, rinse cashews, and they are ready to use.Put coffee, preferably concentrated or strong, in ice cube tray, and freeze for 1-2 hours. If you freeze overnight, let them sit out the next day to thaw until slushy for the recipe. You don't need them to be brick-hard.Peel zucchini, chop in chunks and freeze overnight.
ORDon't peel the zucchini to retain the fiber and nutrients that come in the peel, and chop and freeze. HOWEVER, if you keep the peel, you must buy organic because zucchini is considered to absorb high level of pesticides when not grown organic as per EWG.org dirty and clean produce lists. Also, keeping the peel might mean you'll have green flecks in your chocolate smoothie, but so what, right?
Make Marble Smoothie
- Blend in a blender or processor the chocolate smoothie ingredients until smooth. Taste test for sweetness, adding more maple syrup if needed.
- Blend in a blender or processor the cinnamon cashew cream ingredients until smooth.
- Stir up chocolate sauce ingredients with a spoon in a bowl. Spread in patches on sides of jar.
- Then pour cashew cream - or just use your favorite yogurt - into one side of jar, and the chocolate smoothie into the other.
- Add chunks of your favorite bar - either a protein bar or a straight chocolate bar, sprinkle with cacao powder and cinnamon, let spill over 😍,and enjoy!
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients . 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. More about Dee Dine here.