This raw chocolate banana smoothie is so sweet, creamy and rich, it’s almost hard to believe it’s good for you.

raw chocolate smoothie | healthy green kitchen

Before I get to the smoothie recipe, though, I want to tell you about my Garden of Life Giveaway!

The great people at Garden of Life are going to give one bottle of their awesome organic coconut oil and one bottle of their delicious Hawaiian raw honey to one of my lucky readers. All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment below, and I’d love it if you tell me about your favorite smoothie recipe.

If you want an extra entry into the giveaway, mention this post on twitter or facebook and then leave me another comment telling me you did so…

You can enter the giveaway between now and midnight of February 15th. I’ll pick a winner at random on the 16th. Make sure I have your email address so I can notify you if you win! Good luck!

Back to the smoothie…

This one is very different from the green smoothie recipe I posted the other day- both are very nourishing, but in completely different ways.

This is a higher protein smoothie. It makes a great breakfast; I also like it as a pre/post-workout snack, and I sometimes make a version of this for dessert, as well.

I’m not generally a fan of protein powders, but I did add some Garden of Life Raw Protein Powder to this smoothie. I received a jar of this as a complementary gift from the company (I told you they were great people!) and I’m very impressed with it.

Raw Protein is derived from raw organic sprouts. It’s vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free. It does not contain any artificial ingredients and it doesn’t change the flavor of the smoothie. I give it a definite “thumbs up”. If you can’t find this product or a very similar one, though, I’d probably skip the protein powder: I find most of them to be very processed and I don’t really trust what’s in them to be good for you.

If you’re not using the protein powder, though, you can still load this smoothie up with healthy protein by adding raw milk or organic plain yogurt or kefir and/or 1-2 raw eggs; if you use fresh, local, organic free-range eggs, there is very, very little risk of salmonella. I’ve been adding raw eggs to my smoothies for years and I’ve never had a problem.

This smoothie also contains organic coconut oil, a healthy fat that I love (more about organic coconut oil)…

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…as well as raw cacao (aka raw chocolate) powder.

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I can not say enough good things about raw cacao/chocolate powder. It’s high in magnesium, iron, fiber, and anti-oxidants and I absolutely love it. I used Divine Organics Sacred Cacao this time, which I found at my local natural foods store (unfortunately I don’t it see available online). I’ve also used and love Navitas Naturals Dark Chocolate Powder/Organic Cacao Power, which might be easier to find (more about healthy chocolate).

Healthy Chocolate Smoothie Recipe

Healthy Chocolate Smoothie Recipe
Adapted from the Garden of Life Mochacchino Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

*1 cup organic plain yogurt or Greek yogurt (or 1/2 cup yogurt and 1/2 cup organic coconut milk or 1 cup coconut milk for a dairy-free smoothie)
*1 cup filtered water (or use more liquid(s) above)
*1 1/2 organic bananas, previously peeled, cut into chunks, and frozen
*1-2 Tb. Garden of Life or similar organic raw protein powder
*1-2 organic, free-range eggs- optional
*1-2 Tb. organic raw cacao powder (use the larger amount if you really like chocolate)
*1-2 tsp. organic freeze-dried coffee (regular or decaf; I use Mount Hagen brand)- optional, for a mocha flavor
*1 Tb. organic coconut oil
*1 Tb. organic flax oil or ground flax seeds- optional
*1 Tb. raw honey or stevia to taste- optional
*pinch of Himalayan or sea salt- optional

Directions:

Blend all ingredients well, adding ice or additional water to produce desired consistency. Serves 1.

This post is linked to the February 5th edition of Fight Back Friday. Head over to Food Renegade to see all the other Real Food submissions this week!

p.s. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who linked to my healthy breakfast recipe carnival to help Haiti. I think I was just short of a combined 50 links/comments, but I’ll round up and send $50 to Haiti. I am also donating my January ad revenue to Haiti. If you are interested in doing the same in the coming months, contact Marc Matsumoto of No Recipes at Blog Away Hunger/Help Haiti.

Blog Away Hunger

When my friend Holly Shelowitz posted her favorite healthy green smoothie recipe on Facebook, I wanted to try it immediately. I did…and I loved it.

Holly is a holistic nutritionist. We only just met a few months ago, but we have so much in common that it feels like I’ve known her much longer. She and I share a love for high quality nutrient dense food, and I’ve been wanting her to do a guest post for a while. So without further ado, here’s Holly and her green smoothie recipe!

Green smoothie from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

I eat greens every day, both cooked and in salads, but I was craving something more. The color green is associated with refreshing, vital energy and nutritionally, dark leafy greens are high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus and zinc. One cup of most dark, leafy green vegetables supplies the daily requirement of beta carotene, as well as vitamins C, E and K. Dark leafy greens are also high in fiber, folic acid, and dozens of trace minerals and nutrients.

For the nutrients to be most available for our bodies, greens should to be enjoyed with good quality fat like avocado, coconut oil, olive oil or ghee. Good fats help to transport the minerals into our bodies in a way that can be easily absorbed; a lack of good fats is one of the reasons low fat diets can be harmful!

Eating dark, leafy greens can benefit your body in a number of ways:

• chlorophyll helps to purify and build the blood
• improved immune system function
• promotion of healthy intestinal flora and better digestion
• improved liver and kidney function
• the clearing of congestion, especially in the lungs and intestines

So while you can buy all those green powders, there’s just nothing like live greens. You can really feel the vitality as you drink it. Green smoothies are truly nourishing and uplifting; they can improve your energy levels, lift your spirits and help you fight depression too.

greensmoothieingredients

The key here is to taste the smoothie after you blend but before you pour it so you can adjust the ingredients, if necessary. Greens can be strong, especially if you are not used to having them in a smoothie. So taste and fuss with the levels of the ginger/apple/lemon accordingly. I suggest not going overboard with the lemon, but increasing the apple, in particular, makes this sweeter and more palatable for just about anyone.

Holly's Green Smoothie Recipe

Yield: Serves 1

Prep Time: 5 minutes

I recommend using organic ingredients whenever possible.

Ingredients:

*1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
*1/4 lemon, skin and all
*1-2 cored apples
*5 stalks kale (stems removed)
*flesh from 1 avocado
*pinch of celtic sea salt
*dash of water

Directions:

Using a high speed blender (I love my Blendtec), blend until super smooth. Eat with a spoon.

Check out Holly’s Website and blog for more information about her nutritional counseling practice, her cooking classes, and her recipes. She also makes her own line of Nourishing Wisdom Skincare Products, so be sure to check those out, too!

This post is linked to this week’s edition of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday!


It’s been a week of some serious treats at my house. It all started last Saturday with this birthday cake for my daughter.

Then, there was the Daring Baker’s challenge.

Next, these killer chocolate chocolate chip cupcakes for a Food52 contest…

And finally…this lemon cream tart. A tart so delicious, I can’t seem to find the words to do it proper justice.

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For the last few weeks, I’ve been unable to stop buying bags of Meyer lemons every time I’m at the store.

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I’ve been using them in lots of different ways including this healthy Meyer Lemon Pudding that I shared last week. But because they probably won’t be available here for too much longer, I decided to use my remaining Meyer lemons to make Dorie Greenspan’s Lemon Cream Tart.

This recipe comes from the book Baking: From My Home to Yours. The recipe is also available here, on Serious Eats.

Lemon cream is very much like lemon curd, only the butter is added/emulsified in at the end. Dorie gives credit for this technique/recipe to French pastry chef Pierre Herme.

Like lemon curd, lemon cream can be used on toast, muffins, scones, or pancakes. It’s also fabulous in between cake layers or, of course, as the filling for this tart.

lemoncreamandgabbie

Because I had leftover gluten-free graham crackers from the Daring Baker’s Challenge, I used these to make a graham cracker crust.

grahamcrust

The crunchy sweet base filled with the cool lemon cream…

fillinglemontart

was perfect.

You can make a graham cracker crust with traditional store-bought graham crackers, if you like, or go ahead and use your favorite fully baked 9 inch tart shell. You can make the lemon cream ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator or freezer, but make sure to assemble the tart right before you plan to eat it.

Lemon Cream Tart

adapted from the recipe for Pierre Herme's Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart in Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan; note that I omitted the lemon zest and decreased the butter...
*You will need a candy thermometer, a double boiler, and a blender for this recipe; the tart will serve 8

Ingredients:

*1 cup sugar, preferably organic
*4 large eggs, preferably organic and free range
*3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 4 to 5 lemons, preferably Meyer lemons)
*1 stick plus 5 tablespoons organic unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces (note that Dorie's recipe calls for one more whole stick of butter)
*1 fully-baked graham cracker crust (gluten-free or traditional) or a 9-inch tart shell

Directions:

1. Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan. In a small pot that will fit in the saucepan, whisk in the eggs with the sugar and then the lemon juice.

2. Fit the bowl into the pan and cook, stirring with a whisk or a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens. Use a candy thermometer to determine the temperature as you're cooking the cream. You want it to reach 180°F.
This can take a long time, and while Dorie instructs to keep whisking, I did not stir the whole while.

3. I found that in the double boiler, curdling the egg really wasn't a concern. I left and got a whole bunch of laundry folded and nothing bad happened. Do make sure to keep water in the bottom of your double boiler, though, because it will evaporate more than once while your lemon cream is cooking.

4. As it heats up and as you keep whisking the the cream, Dorie says "it will go from light and foamy, then the bubbles will get bigger, and then, as the cream is getting closer to 180°F, it will start to thicken and the whisk will leave tracks. Heads up at this point—the tracks mean the cream is almost ready". Keep whisking, but know that it really can take a little while longer to reach 180°F.

5. When the temperature reaches 180°F, take it off the heat and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes.

6. In a blender, process the cream on high and, with the machine going, add about 5 pieces of butter at a time. Continue to blend until all the butter has been added and the cream is perfectly smooth.

7. Pour the cream into a container and chill for a few hours or overnight. When you are ready to construct the tart, just whisk the cream to loosen it and spoon it into the tart shell.

8. The tart should be served cold, and it is fantastic with a dollop of crème fraîche or Greek yogurt.

lemoncreamtart2

This tart is best the day it is made, but I’ve been eating the leftovers out of the freezer and it’s pretty darn delicious this way too!

A Little More Meyer Lemon Love:
Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Meyer Lemon Curd Nanaimo Bars
Kelsey the Naptime Chef’s Meyer Lemon Rice Pudding
Local Lemons’ Local Meyer Limoncello
And for even more lovely lemon recipes, check out the Lemon LoveFest Library over at Wine Imbiber!
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