This is my all time favourite chocolate smoothie. Don’t let “plant based” fool you. Every ingredient in this smoothie, by The Greenhouse Juice Co., is packed with flavour and just the right amount of sweetness.
A few summers back when I put my self on a strict-ish diet and workout regime to get my body into shape and have glowing skin for my wedding, I visited The Greenhouse Juice Co on Macpherson Avenue in Toronto about 3 times a week, once the summer had started. During one of my visits, I noticed a new menu on the counter for smoothies. I decided to give the Rococoa a go since the ingredients were the most appealing to me. I really wasn’t expecting it to taste much like a milky, chocolate smoothie, but more like a cold pressed juice.
Was I ever wrong…BIG time! Upon first sip, my taste buds were pleasantly surprised and it was as if a chocolate bomb of goodness had gone off in my mouth – I was instantly hooked. The rest of that week I treated myself to a Rococoa smoothie each morning. After about three weeks, and having seen how this new found smoothie love of mine was affecting my bank account, I had to have a little more self control. At $15 a smoothie after factoring taxes (worth every penny by the way) each day, for 3 weeks, you can see why I had to cut back. I decided that I would treat myself to a Rococoa on Fridays. The only problem with this new “rule” of mine, was that once a week just wasn’t enough. I honestly felt like I was going through withdrawal. So, I decided to try and recreate it based on the ingredients listed on the menu. I wouldn’t say I failed. I also never really got it the recipe quite right, but it was good enough for me. All the more reason to look forward to my end-of-the-work-week treat.
Fast forward to Tom, Evan, and I moving from Toronto to Hamilton. When I realized that I would be a long way from any Greenhouse Juice Co location, I was a bit sad that I would no longer be able to treat myself to a Rococa smoothie on any given day that I craved it. Or so I thought!
While scrolling through my Instagram feed one afternoon, a post from Greenhouse came up about a blog post for the Rococa smoothie recipe. I immediately saved it on Pinterest for safe keeping. Unfortunately, when this happened, I was very pregnant and had zero energy in the morning to whip up a smoothie, and it didn’t get any easier to do so after Evan arrived. Now, an entire year after getting my hands on one of my most coveted recipes, I have finally made the time to treat myself to what I consider to be the best chocolate smoothie, ever. The best parts about this smoothie, other than the yumminess, is that it doesn’t have any refined sugar, no added salt, and all the ingredients are plant based.
Makes about 2 cups: 1 large or 2 small smoothies.
- 1 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
- 1 frozen banana cut into chunks
- 1 to 2 pitted Medjool dates
- 1 tbs raw cacao powder
- 1 tsp ground maca (optional)
- ½ tsp coconut oil
- 1 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise, seeds scraped out and reserved, or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (I reduced this to 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
- 1 tbs natural almond butter
- 7 ice cubes
- Pour the milk into a blender first, then add the banana, dates, cacao, maca (if using), coconut oil, vanilla seeds or extract, and almond butter.
- Blend for 30 seconds, or until well combined (you don’t want to hear any chunks of ice bumping around).
- Pour and enjoy!
More about maca powder
Why I love cacao
Photo | The Greenhouse Juice Blog