I once used to live for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. True story. During my undergrad years, I would even open one for “breakfast” when in a rush on my way to work at the university library. But as any cheap chocolate connoisseur would attest; they’re usually sold in packages of 3, and I would usually always arrive at work with an empty wrapper. Very simple math. To add insult to injury, I would chase them down with a cup of sugary coffee and I was ready to start my day (as sad as that sounds).
Two years after I started my quest for better overall health- I simply cannot have them. Not because I don’t want to, or wouldn’t allow myself the occasional indulgence… It so happens I lost my penchant for them. A person’s palate can and will change if introduced to a steady change in diet. After not having refined sugars for so long, my once beloved chocolate tastes excessively sweet and salty (the salt and sugar were drowning each other up, almost competing!)- and there was no joy in having it, none at all. Not only have I stopped myself from craving white, refined sugars. As far as my taste buds are concerned, processed chocolate and peanut butter cups have lost their once deeply-entrenched appeal.
But let’s divert and talk real food… whole, delicious, unprocessed flavors. Chocolate and peanut butter are, in many ways, the perfect marriage. They are the Yin to my Yang and whoever decided to pair them up together was genius, sheer indelible genius! There’s times when I want some fruit in my smoothies, and there’s others where… well, I just want a smoothie that tastes like dessert. And when you can accomplish that in a drink, and it’s packed with nutrients and ingredients that you can pronounce, it’s a true eureka moment. The joy of this healthy treat is indescribable. I can only hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
(This makes 2 small smoothies or 1 large one)
2 very ripe (spotty) frozen bananas sliced
2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup unsweetened almond milk *Carrageenan Free
1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter (creamy for smoothness)
1/4 cup of old-fashioned rolled oats
1 tablespoon of agave nectar OR 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup OR 2-3 pitted Medjool dates (your choice, all three natural sweetener alternatives work wonderfully well!)
A handful of ice
1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil or flax seeds
Blend on high for 25-30 seconds, until a smooth consistency is visible. if you feel it’s too thick or dense (which may happen depending on the type of cacao powder you use, add more almond milk or water). Enjoy every sip!!
*Carrageenan has been identified as a carcinogen (cancer causing agent) by some preliminary studies. I always ensure my almond milk is carrageenan free.