What’s better than chocolate? Cacao nibs mixed with kale! Well, to be honest, this combination is not really better than chocolate. But it is good and it’s definitely good for you. If you like the extra burst of energy that you get from eating chocolate, you should definitely try cacao nibs.
They’re not as sweet as chocolate, since they don’t contain sugar, but they do have a chocolately and slightly nutty taste and they’re quite good for you. Cacao nibs are basically cacao beans that have been roasted and separated from their husks. They’re packed with magnesium, dietary fiber, iron and antioxidants. And they make a great addition to green smoothies.
You can buy organic cacao nibs at health food stores and many groceries. You can also order them online. I ordered mine from Amazon. A bag lasts a long time; I’ve probably been using the same bag of cacao nibs for six months.
This smoothie is one that I enjoy for breakfast because the addition of cacao nibs gives me a little jolt of energy. The nibs contain a substance called theobromine, which is a central nervous system stimulant similar to caffeine. They also contain tryptophan, which is said to help produce serotonin and enhance your mood. That’s not a bad way to start the day, right?
Of course, you can’t have a green smoothie without the greens. And you can use either spinach or kale in this smoothie. Spinach has a milder taste, but kale is also a good choice. Kale has been called one of the world’s healthiest foods, or the “queen of the greens.” It belongs to the Brassica family that includes cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Just one cup of this powerhouse green provides more than your daily nutritional value of vitamins A, C and K. And it does all of this with very few calories, which is another plus in my book. Of course, you can’t go wrong with spinach, either. So use whichever you have on hand.
1 TBSP cacao nibs
1 banana (frozen or fresh)
1 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
2 handfuls spinach or kale
1 TSP honey
2 cups water
Roughly chop the carrot. If it’s organic, you don’t have to peel it, just wash it well. Add the carrot, spinach or kale, cacao nibs, blueberries, banana, honey and water to a high speed blender. You can also add a cup of ice if your fruits are fresh or if you like your smoothies on the thicker side. Mix for 30 seconds or until you reach the consistency you desire.
This smoothie is a beautiful purple color because of the blueberries and nibs. The carrot, banana and honey tend to mask any slight bitterness of the cacao nibs, but if you like your smoothies sweeter, just add a little more honey.