If you’re craving the flavor mint chocolate chip but want a healthier version (that’s both vegan and gluten-free), here’s a creamy and just-as-tasty smoothie option for you that you can enjoy any time of the year!
In the Kitchen 101 Series
With every recipe I create, I love to share some behind-the-scenes cooking and nutritional info with the hope of getting you excited and informed about cooking and your health! Today’s takeaways:
The benefits of blackstrap molasses and recipe ideas
My favorite alternatives to refined sugar
Blackstrap molasses is my January ingredient of the month, and I have been enjoying adding a spoonful to my toasts, waffles, oatmeal, and yes-smoothies. You can even try adding it in a glass of warm milk as a tea or coffee substitute, or use as a marinade or in a salad dressing. It has a strong and almost bitter flavor to it, so a lot goes a long way. My favorite reason for adding it in to my recipes is for its high amount of iron. In fact, just one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses provides over 19% of your daily recommended iron intake! Read my post for more information on its nutritional properties, uses, and my favorite recipes.
Now the smoothie itself is good, but when you add the sauce to it – that’s when the real magic happens. To make the chocolate sauce, I used maple syrup, black strap molasses, and raw cacao powder. The maple syrup gives it just enough sweetness to balance out the blackstrap molasses. I always prefer using maple syrup (or raw honey) to refined sugar. Other favorite alternative sweeteners include dates, applesauce, brown rice syrup, and stevia, though 90% of the time I stick to maple syrup. Maple syrup has a lower glycemic index score to sugar, meaning less impact to blood sugar levels. Unlike refined sugar, which is devoid of any nutrients, maple syrup contains antioxidants and the minerals zinc and manganese. When a recipe calls for granulated sugar, you can substitute in 2/3 cup maple syrup to 1 cup sugar.
Mint chocolate chip smoothie with blackstrap molasses chocolate sauce
1 scoop collagen peptides (optional)*
3-4 fresh mint leaves
2 small handfuls of spinach (or baby kale)
1 banana (frozen or unfrozen)
1/2 cup milk of choice (I like almond)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon black strap molasses
2 teaspoons raw cacao powder
Blend the smoothie ingredients on high for at least one minute, or until smooth and creamy. Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl, then pour over the bowl and add toppings, such as cacao nibs, sliced almonds, coconut flakes, raw pumpkin seeds, and fresh mint.
*I use Further Food collagen peptides. Use code MARYPARDOUX10 for 10% off your order.