Recipe: Chocolate coffee smoothie

No, this is not a cooking blog, but I’ve been cooking all the time lately.  For instance, today I made the Beef curry wraps here.  (They were very good, I replaced the peas with frozen edamame and ate the filling on the flatbread like a pizza!)  I think I will occasionally share a recipe here.

I have never been a big fan of breakfast.  I’m not a morning person, and I don’t want to socialize early in the day (and trust me, no one wants to socialize with me then either!)  I also don’t like many breakfast foods – bacon, sausage etc, they aren’t foods I really eat.  I do eat waffles and eggs, but I like to eat them for dinner (at least once a week!) because they make me sick in the morning.

Having said that, I’m trying to eat more often, which is really making me feel better (I am prone to blood sugar swings.)  Breakfast was a challenge though.  Here is what I try to do: I get up, have my coffee, and then I do my workout.  After that, I’m awake enough to have a little something, which these days is usually a smoothie or some kind of energy bar if I’m leaving for the day.  I buy various energy/food bars at Whole Foods, so what I eat there varies (I don’t like the raw ones though, like Larabars, which everyone seems to love… they all taste like dates to me, yuck!)

On the days I’m working at home, and on weekends, I have a smoothie.  I was never into them, but I’ve discovered a few tricks that makes them much easier at home, so I thought I might share one of my recipes!  I’ve had this one three days in a row, which I’m pretty sure makes it my favorite.  I even made it for my husband today, and he loved it!

Ingredients (Makes one 16 oz or two 8 oz smoothies)

1.5 cups of unsweetened Almond Milk (you can use any milk you like, but I like the texture of almond milk in smoothies)

1 frozen banana (these go in almost all my smoothies – I peel, cut and freeze them when they start to get too ripe.  Be sure to pre cut them unless you have a better blender than I do!)

1 Tbs dark chocolate peanut butter (Peanut Butter & Co Brand. Whole Foods and my local Kroger both carry it..  It is pretty much the best thing ever.  The white chocolate is also great!)

1/2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder (Raise this to a full tablespoon if you aren’t using protein powder)

1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I like the Designer Whey brand.  It isn’t gritty and tastes great in smoothies.  You can also use vanilla, just add extra cocoa powder.  I like to add this because I am mostly vegetarian, and in the course of tracking my nutrients I realized that I don’t eat enough protein.  I try to eat more now, but I also like to supplement.  I notice a difference if my protein levels are really low!  You can, of course, leave this part out.)

1-2 scoops coffee beans, finely ground

1/2 tsp Xanthan gum (more below on this!)

Ice Cubes (start with 2, but you may need more)

Optional: 2 cups fresh spinach (I promise you will not taste it!  I was out, so none for me today, but I usually add some for the extra servings of veggies.)


You will want your coffee beans ground extremely fine – either buy them this way at the store, or use a burr coffee grinder set to really fine (that’s what I do.)

Add all ingredients to the blender except the xanthan gum

I usually pulse a few times to break up the ice, then use the mix setting until I don’t hear any more chunks.  At this point you will add xanthan gum.  This is optional, but I find that it makes a huge difference in the texture of smoothies.  Ever wonder why yours turn out watery?  Many restaurants use this ingredient (which is natural, not scary and chemically like it sounds!)  It’s in lots of other products (salad dressing, toothpaste etc.)  You can buy it at any health food store (I use Bob’s Red Mill brand, which I got in the natural section of my local supermarket.)  It thickens and holds the mixture together.  However, you don’t want to use too much!  I start with 1/8 of a tsp, blend on liquify a few seconds and then check, adding more until I get the texture I want (this is generally around 1/2 tsp for me.)  You may need to add more ice.    That’s all – then it’s ready to drink!

Doesn’t everyone drink their smoothies out of a chalice?


I added 2 sweet n low packets, but they probably aren’t necessary.    The coffee grounds add an interesting texture (similar to oreos in a shake) and aren’t bothersome at all.  You could use decaf if you are concerned about caffeine, but I am pretty much on a caffeine drip all day (between coffee, black tea, and my sad Coke Zero addiction) so I barely notice.

My blender is a really nice KitchenAid, but I still lust after a Vitamix.  I was at Whole Foods last week and they were doing a demo, and it was totally amazing!  I have to tell you, I will be giving some consideration to buying a refurbished one down the line if I keep making so many smoothies and shakes!

Nutritional Info:






29 thoughts on “Recipe: Chocolate coffee smoothie

  1. We used to have a blender like yours, but replaced it with a VitaMix. We hunted on the internet for a 5200 at a good price. We’ve had it almost 3 years and really love it. There are occasional pictures of it on my blog. My favorite smoothie is an apple pie smoothie. I say Go For It!

  2. I lust after the VitaMix blenders, too. Someday I’ll have one!

    The recipe sounds really good! If you’re looking to add a little health boost and you don’t mind a little more texture, you can thicken your smoothies with a tablespoon of ground flax seeds as well. It’s a lot less expensive than Xanthan Gum, and works almost as well, just a tiny bit slower perhaps. The fiber is excellent for you and flax has great healthy omega threes. It tastes pretty neutral – almost nutty

  3. Nice recipe. After starting a smoothie regime at the end of last year, I vowed to buy a Vitamix after my blender died. However, I didn’t think it would be three weeks into the new year. QVC sells Vitamix and will often have them on a payment plan. I was able to order mine last week for 5 payments of 80-ish dollars. Just another option, rather than buying refurbished. 🙂

  4. Shakes sound great to me, too. Like you, I am not a morning person. Though, occasionally I do like a “hearty” breakfast but only occasionally. I know, when I know there is going to be breakfast served, I can’t stomach the thought of eggs. If it is “real” early (like dawn) then it’ll have to be something like coffee or black tea and some toast then wait a few hours for my stomach to wake up! 🙂

  5. Love the recipe! I’m not into sweets so much, but this sounds great! Love the addition of the spinach. I have a VitaMix — I don’t use it as much as I should, but I still feel it is totally worth every penny.

  6. Since you don’t mind a refurbished one, check Craigslist and Ebay. Some people buy them for a diet or other reason, never use it, and it sits waiting to be re-sold. I love mine. Bought it a Costco about 4 years ago, and it’s worth every penny! Thanks for sharing the recipe! One of the reasons I love your blog – you’re so thoughtful to share!!!

    1. Thanks – I just bookmarked a Craigslist search! Since they had the roadshow here this past weekend, I bet we can expect some to turn up there in the coming months. I’m glad to hear you like yours – everyone I know who has one says they are worth it, but I’m reluctant to spend that on an appliance (working on convincing my husband that since I don’t want a fancy KitchenAid mixer I should get this instead… it’s not working so well!)

  7. I do love my Vitamix. It is absolutely amazing and worth the cost. I bought mine when I broken my other blender. I make a smoothie for breakfast almost exactly like this. Have you tried Justin’s peanut butter? They have a fantastic chocolate one.

  8. I like the smoothie recipe in response to the non polite comment-er. Don’t let that stuff get to you. Some people are nice, just ignore the ones that aren’t.

    I can’t wait to try this. I love coffee, choc, peanut butter and healthy stuff. I’ll even add a bit of spinach.


  9. I’ve been searching for a good coffee smoothie recipe and found using your ground beans unique. I will try it soon. But seriously, please research and consider a Blendtec blender. They are awesome, very powerful, easy to clean and much cheaper than the Vitamix. Most reviews also considered Vitamix but were happy they went with the Blendtec.

  10. Just enjoyed this for dessert with my husband – fantastic! What a beautiful mix of flavors – who would’ve thought to add coffee and peanut butter to a green monster! Mine so was beautiful and thick; no need for xanthum gum. Thanks!

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