Chocolate Smoothie Bowl

2.1.2021

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

chocolate smoothie bowl

Whether you need a chocolate fix, or a great dinner party dessert, this chocolate smoothie bowl is a winner. To really deliver on flavor, I partnered with my friends at Mountain Rose Herbs because their cacao powder is the BEST. Now, what’s the difference between cacao powder vs cocoa powder? Let’s find out!

chocolate smoothie bowl

Cacao vs Cocoa

Let me start by saying always read your labels. ALWAYS. The main difference between cacao and cocoa in the grocery store is often the additives added to cocoa powder (sugar, gums, etc). Cacao powder often looks like the healthier option, because companies market it as such. So no matter which one you buy, make sure it only has 1 ingredient in it. Now, there is a lot of debate on using the term cacao vs cocoa, and most of it comes from how cacao seeds are processed. Experts often refer to the pod of this seed as cacao, and then the powder left after the bean has been processed as cocoa. Companies aren’t consistent on this distinction, so that’s why reading labels is important. For this chocolate smoothie bowl, I use Mountain Rose Herbs Roasted Cacao Powder, because it is super clean and also produces the best taste.

How is cacao (or cocoa) powder made?

Cacao powder goes through a 7 day process of fermenting, drying, roasting, milling, pressing, and then conching seeds from Theobroma cacao trees. The quality of the powder comes from not only the quality of the seeds, but also from the science used during the process of extracting the cacao.

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

Is chocolate actually good for you?

The short answer is yes! Natural cacao powder without added ingredients contains phytonutrients with antioxidant, antiradical, and anticarcinogenic properties. Using this powder in its raw form provides the most health benefits, as well as overall cleaner ingredients; so don’t be afraid to add some to your next smoothie, or just indulge in this chocolate smoothie bowl!

cacao vs cocoa, is there a difference?

Types of cacao powder for a chocolate smoothie bowl

Cacao powder comes in a variety of forms: left raw, further processed, heated, or sometimes treated with alkaline. There are several types and grades of cocoa powder; below are the names you might see in your grocery store of choice:

Raw cacao– (the traditional process described above) made from cold pressing the un-roasted beans (or nibs) which removes the cacao butter.

Dutch-processed cocoa powder– darker in color and processed with an alkalinized solution to decrease acidity and produce a richer flavor. This process is done at high heat, which also most likely results in a loss of some 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 this chocolate smoothie bowl, any of the above kinds can be used. I personally reach for Mountain Rose Herbs Cacao Roasted Powder for this chocolate smoothie bowl and beyond. It is Certified Organic, Fair Trade for Life, Kosher, as well as very high quality. You can actually taste the difference.

ingredients for a cacao powder smoothie bowl

Chocolate smoothie bowl recipe

At Simple Green Smoothies we strive to eat mostly plants, and eat them inside healthy meals, yet balance is necessary. This chocolate smoothie bowl is loaded up with healthy fats, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals and tastes like chocolate mousse, yet probably doesn’t count as a healthy meal. Don’t let the fat content scare you, I promise the healthy fats from the coconut milk and avocado are not your average dessert kind of fats. 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.

Our friends at Mountain Rose Herbs sent us some of their Certified Organic Cacao Roasted Powder. It makes all the difference in this chocolate smoothie bowl. In addition to the avocado, coconut milk and cacao powder, I’ve added a little natural sweetener, vanilla, and a pinch of sea salt to round things out.

Make this smoothie bowl either 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 add a crunchy + nutty feel with a deep chocolate flavor (plus, they are my fav smoothie bowl topping!).

Cacao vs Cocoa in this chocolate smoothie bowl

Chocolate smoothie recipes

Now that you know just how to buy cacao powder, let’s put it to good use! I’ve got several chocolate-y smoothie recipes that can be used as dessert, a post workout protein boost, a fun date-night snack, you name it!

I may not be a choco-holic, yet even I need a chocolate fix every now and then. These smoothies are the perfect mash up of delicious and nutritious.

Plant based dessert recipes

Looking for more plant powered dessert recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth? I’ve got you covered!

Whether you make the below recipe for a crowd, or for a solo movie night, I’d love to know how it turned out for you! Your recipe ratings + reviews shape the content I create. So let me know if you scraped your chocolate smoothie bowl clean!

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Chocolate Coconut Dessert Smoothie Bowl


  • Author: Jen Hansard
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

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


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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)

Instructions

  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 scrape 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.

Notes

  • If needed, 2 medium bananas can be substituted for the avocado. Omit or decrease maple syrup as well.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Blending
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan Chocolate Coconut Mousse

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About Jen Hansard

Mom of 2, ran across the Grand Canyon and lover of smoothies, coffee & tacos. I transformed my family's health with a plant-based diet. I also found myself again along the way.

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Recipe rating

  1. Srikanth says:

    Wonderful recipe. Cacao nibs have many health benefits. Especially for diabetes control and do keep our heart healthy cacao nibs does a good job. I consume cacao nibs regularly as part my job. I work in Cocoa mantra, who is one of the Cacao nibs manufacturers in India. A request to the author and readers to visit us at https://www.CocoaMantra.com

    Thank you
    Srikanth
    Cocoa Mantra

  2. Kimberly Nelson says:

    I’m thrilled to see bananas as a replacement because sadly, I’m allergic to avocados. ๐Ÿ™

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      Oh no! So sorry to hear about that allergy Kimberly. No worries though. As you saw with this recipe there’s always a swap or sub to take the place of any no-go food.

  3. carol says:

    I’ve made this a couple of times and its like eating chocolate pudding and filling. Great recipe for chocolate addicts but healthier.

  4. Olivia says:

    This is SO delicious! I was hesitant about the avocado, yet I don’t even taste it. Making this for a fun Valentine’s Day dessert this year.

  5. Erin says:

    I’m making this recipe tonight! Can’t wait for a healthy AND delicious dessert ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 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!

  6. 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Ty says:

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

  8. SHEILA says:

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

  9. 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!!!

  10. 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Raquel says:

    This is a fantastic recipe!

  12. 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Chris Moran says:

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

  14. 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.

  15. Kayla says:

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

  16. Rene says:

    Yes, please. It looks delicious.

  17. Crystal says:

    This smoothie bowl looks really awesome and I canโ€™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 Iโ€™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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