Cacao Dessert Smoothie Bowl |

Cacao Dessert Smoothie Bowl

PUBLISHED: 1.31.2018

Cacao adds rich chocolate flavor as well as a big boost of iron and other vitamins and minerals to this cacao smoothie bowl.


We’ve partnered with our friends at Mountain Rose Herbs to bring you this Cacao Dessert Smoothie Bowl recipe. Thank you for supporting our sponsors!

Chocolate smoothie bowl with cacao powder

At Simple Green Smoothies we try to eat healthy as often as possible, but we recognize that it’s important to not go overboard and be too strict. That’s when a healthy diet starts to feel more like a chore than a way of life. One of the best things is when you can have your dessert and it’s healthy too – and that’s the case with this Cacao Dessert Smoothie Bowl. It’s loaded up with healthy fats, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals and tastes like chocolate mousse!

Our friends at Mountain Rose Herbs sent us some of their Certified Organic Cacao Roasted Powder (click here to check it out). It was destined for a dessert smoothie. There are so many reasons to love cacao (or cocoa) and we have a few more reasons to add to the list.

Cacao vs Cocoa plus a Cacao Dessert Smoothie Bowl that will knock your socks off! |

All chocolate starts with the fruit of the cacao tree, Theobroma Cacao. These trees only grow in warm, tropical climates. The fruit the trees bear are called “pods.” The pods are about the size of a large sweet potato and filled with numerous beans that are covered in a thick, white, sticky substance – very different than what the final product looks like!

To get from the sticky, white beans to the rich, brown chocolate we know and love, they have to go through several processes including fermenting, drying, and grinding.

The whole cacao beans (pictured above) have been dried and the sticky part is now gone. Inside the papery skin are the nibs. The beans and nibs contain all of the fat, fiber, and nutrients. When the papery skins are removed and the nibs are ground, it yields a paste (also called a cocoa mass) that contains cacao butter, a buttery white fat, as well as the cacao solids. If the cacao butter is removed, what remains is the cacao powder. To make chocolate, sugar and flavorings are added to the cacao mass. It is further ground until creamy and smooth, then molded.

Cacao powder is either left raw or it is further processed, heated, and sometimes treated with alkaline to create cocoa powder. There are several types and grades of cocoa powder; extra dark, Dutch-processed, and natural are all names you’ll see on package labels.

Raw cacao is the powder described above made from cold pressing the unroasted beans (or nibs) which removes the cacao butter.

Dutch-processed cocoa powder is darker in color and is processed with an alkalinized solution which is supposed to decrease acidity and produce a richer flavor. This process is done at high heat which most likely results in a loss of antioxidants.

Natural cocoa powder is lighter in color and higher in acidity, but has still been roasted.

The different cacao and cocoa powders aren’t always interchangeable in baking, but for our purposes any of them can be used for smoothies, hot chocolate, etc. We like to reach for Mountain Rose Herbs Cacao Roasted Powder because it is Certified Organic, Fair Trade for Life, Kosher, and is very high quality. You can taste the difference.

Nutrients and Health Benefits of Cacao Powder

Cacao (and cocoa too) are rich in iron and magnesium as well as potassium, calcium, zinc, copper, and manganese. Cacao also contains caffeine, which can provide a natural energy boost. Consuming cacao provides positive effects from the antioxidants, including mood-boosting, preserving cognitive abilities, protecting the heart and lowering blood pressure, and help with blood sugar regulation.

What to Look for When Buying Cacao

When buying cacao, look for a brand that you can trust to be high quality, preferably Certified Fair Trade meaning that cacao farmers are paid a fair wage for their crop. Certified Organic cacao is also preferable.

The Importance of Healthy Fats in Your Diet

Before you gasp and click away because this dessert smoothie includes both full-fat coconut milk and avocado, let me put your mind at ease. Fat was the enemy for a long time, but not anymore! It turns out that a diet rich in healthy fats is essential for good health. Healthy unsaturated fats play a big role in helping your body better absorb and use certain vitamins like A, D, E, and K, as well as beta carotene and lycopene. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for nervous system, brain, and heart health and function.

Fat sends signals to our brain that we are satiated when we eat. If we are eating a diet rich in healthy fats, fiber, and whole foods rather than one filled with processed, chemical-laden foods full of sugar and trans fats, you’re giving your body what it needs.

Cacao dessert smoothie bowl ingredients

In addition to the avocado, coconut milk and cacao powder, we’ve added a little natural sweetener, vanilla, and a pinch of sea salt to round things out. We prefer natural sweeteners whenever possible. This recipe calls for pure maple syrup, but feel free to use another natural sweetener or even a natural zero calorie sweetener like stevia or monk fruit, depending on your diet, needs, and preference.

This dessert smoothie can be made in a blender or food processor. Because it is so thick and creamy, it can be a little harder to scrape it out of a blender jar. If you use cold coconut milk and frozen avocados, the texture ends up being like soft serve ice cream…and what could be wrong about that?

To add some extra texture and natural sweetness, serve with fresh berries. I like to garnish with cacao nibs. They are crunchy and nutty with a deep chocolate flavor and one of my favorite smoothie bowl toppings.

Cheers to your good health!

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Cacao Dessert Smoothie Bowl |

Chocolate Coconut Dessert Smoothie Bowl

  • Author: Jen Hansard
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Blending
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


Cacao adds rich chocolate flavor as well as a big boost of iron and other vitamins and minerals coupled with healthy fats.



  • 14 ounce can full-fat coconut milk or cream (divided)
  • 1 large avocado (quartered and frozen)
  • 1/4 cup Certified Organic Cacao Powder
  • 24 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or sweetener of choice, to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt
  • sliced strawberries, raspberries, cacao nibs (for serving)


  1. Shake the coconut milk well.
  2. Remove and set aside 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk to use for the topping.
  3. Place remainder in blender or food processor with frozen avocado, cacao powder, maple syrup (or sweetener of choice), vanilla, and pinch sea salt.
  4. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrap down sides, as needed. (Depending on the blender, you may need to tamp down the ingredients as well.) The texture will be like something between ice cream and pudding.
  5. Divide the smoothie into two bowls and top with berries.
  6. Drizzle with reserved coconut milk.
  7. Sprinkle with cacao nibs.
  8. Serve immediately.


  • If needed, 2 medium bananas can be substituted for the avocado. Omit or decrease maple syrup as well.

Keywords: Vegan Chocolate Coconut Mousse

Cacao vs Cocoa plus a Cacao Dessert Smoothie Bowl that will knock your socks off! |

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  1. Erin says:

    I’m making this recipe tonight! Can’t wait for a healthy AND delicious dessert 🙂

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Erin, how was it? I love that chocolate desserts can be good for you! It’s so funny, I was actually looking at this recipe this morning thinking I needed to add it to the menu this week!

  2. Jessica says:

    Can I make this with something other than coconut milk? I’ve never grown accustomed to the taste of coconut, which makes me sad because I know how good it is for you

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Sure, Jessica. You can use any other plant-based milk. I think maybe oat milk would be good with this recipe. 🙂

  3. Ty says:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. Hopefully it will be the cure to my sweet tooth

  4. SHEILA says:

    Delicious! This is for sure one of my very favorites. Must try for all chocolate lovers…. Thank you so much!

  5. Jen Hansard says:

    I made the recipe for a party with a bunch of physicians and they were obsessed with it! It’s decadent yet leaves you feeling really good afterwards too. You should TOTALLY try it!!!

  6. SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

    Hi Aqui,

    YAY!! I love your excitement for this recipe. We’re probably going to be snowed in here tonight, so I’m already planning on blending this up as an evening treat. Make sure + reach back out. I’d love to hear what you think! 🙂

  7. Raquel says:

    This is a fantastic recipe!

  8. Kathy says:

    This sounds wonderful! I wonder if there is something I can replace the Coconut Milk or the Cream with. I’ve been told to avoid them. Would Chia or Hemp seeds work? By the way, I too love the shopping lists. I’ve looked around at other “smoothie” sites but keep coming back to this one. “SIMPLE” is the operative word, here.

    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

      Hi Kathy,

      Can’t do the coconut milk? Swap in another plant-based milk you love! You may notice that the smoothie isn’t as thick. To make up for that adding avocado or soaked chia seeds can help thicken it up! 🙂

  9. Chris Moran says:

    I live in Canada and it’s COLD here in the winter! Any hot, smoothie drinks to share??

  10. christyvb says:

    Can’t wait to try this on Valentine’s Day! Love the idea of a chocolate smoothie option and the smoothie bowl in the 7 day reset challenge was my favorite smoothie recipe. It was my first smoothie bowl ever! Thanks.

  11. Kayla says:

    Yum! Smoothie bowls sound amazing! I want more 30 day challenges as well because I loved having a grocery list to follow!

  12. Rene says:

    Yes, please. It looks delicious.

  13. Crystal says:

    This smoothie bowl looks really awesome and I can’t wait to try it. I would like to see more receipes like this because I get bored with the same thing all the time. I find myself getting something that I’m not suppose to have, like a bowl of ice cream with the fixings. Please share more of the smoothie bowls. Awesome job

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