Plant-Based Chocolate Mint Shake with Coconut

Plant-Based Chocolate Mint Shake with Coconut by Produce with Amy“Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.” ― Joanne Harris, “Chocolat”

July marks my seventh anniversary of reaching Lifetime status with Weight Watchers and August is also my seventh anniversary of becoming a Weight Watchers leader. When I look back and reflect on my journey, I realize that one of the healthiest changes that I made to my lifestyle is eradicating refined sugar from my meal plan. When I drink coffee or tea, I drink it black and candy, sweets, chocolate, juice, cereal, and ice-cream does not find its way into my shopping cart. I will on a rare occasion, when at a gathering, indulge in a regular soda (I try not to consume artificial sweeteners) and when I want something sweet I reach for a piece of fruit.

Every once in a while I will have a craving for something sweet – especially in the summer when ice-cream beckons – so I have come up with healthy ways to indulge a sweet tooth. Today I thought that I would share one of my favorites from the past couple years.

When I first started making plant-based shakes, or ice-cream, I would buy a carton of almond or coconut milk. But after reading the long list of ingredients, I decided that it would be healthier to make my own nut milks. Not to mention that I found myself tossing the processed cartons of plant-based milk away since I did not use it often and with the price of groceries, I despise throwing out food. For my dessert recipes that call for homemade plant-based milk, I use raw nuts and coconut water (or plain water). If I know beforehand that I am going to make a shake, I soak the nuts overnight (or for a few hours) but if I am being spontaneous – I add them straight to my Vitamix blender .

This recipe calls for fresh mint which I have available all summer in my garden. If you do not have access to fresh mint – a mint extract will do the trick. (I have found wonderful almond, mint, and vanilla extracts available in the spice aisle at Target.)

Cocoa Powder, Raw Nuts, & Mint

CHOCOLATE MINT SHAKE WITH COCONUT

  • 1 and a 1/2 frozen bananas (mine were medium in size. I allow my bananas to get fully ripe and then I peel and toss in a freezer bag or bowl for smoothies and ice-cream/shakes)
  • 1/2  cup to 1 cup of coconut water (depending on how thick or thin you want your shake. I used 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup of raw nuts (I used a mix that I find at Target)
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder to taste (I used 2 heaping Tablespoons)
  • Handful of ice cubes
  • Few sprigs of mint (or 1+ teaspoons of extract)

Blend well and garnish with cocoa nibs (or chocolate chips – many varieties are plant-based) and coconut flakes. Serve and enjoy!

*Notes –
Possible healthy additions to this shake include:

  • Avocado (it adds healthy fat and makes the shake creamy…surprisingly, it does not dramatically impact the taste)
  • Vanilla extract
  • A dash of cinnamon or nutmeg
  • Spinach (it is naturally sweet and it will change the color of the smoothie but like the avocado will not dramatically change the taste)
  • When I make curry I do buy canned coconut milk and I freeze the leftover. When I have it on hand I will use it in my plant-based shakes to make them extra creamy.

Printable Recipe: CHOCOLATE MINT SHAKE WITH COCONUT by Produce with Amy

 

Chocolate Mint Shake by Produce with AmyChocolate Mint Shake with Coconut by Produce with AmyMake sure you check out my Healthy Indulges tab for other plant-based dessert shakes. I always love to hear what people think after trying one of my recipes and I enjoy hearing about the changes that are made to fit personal tastes.

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Have a beautiful week and I hope that you enjoy the Chocolate Mint Shake! I raise my glass to you – cheers to thriving together!

Chocolate & Mint Shake with Coconut by Produce with Amy

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Chocolate Raspberry Mousse-Shake

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse-Shake with Avocado by Produce with Amy

“Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again…”
~Mary
Oliver

After a relaxing weekend Monday arrived with a blustery surprise. I thought that my husband Mike was joking when he woke me up and told me that I had a snow day off of work today. However, he was not kidding. Outside our window stretched a fresh landscape of white. I think that this makes #10 for the year ~ but who can keep track? 

Homemade bread toasted and spread with sun-dried hummus and topped with broccoli sprouts and capers. A side of quinoa tabbouleh, tomatoes, and Chicago style hot peppers.

Homemade bread toasted and spread with sun-dried hummus and topped with broccoli sprouts and capers. A side of quinoa tabbouleh, tomatoes, and Chicago style hot peppers.

What else is there to do but make the most of the morning and take advantage of extra down time. I enjoyed a breakfast with leftovers from my weekend food prep. If you have been following my blog you know that during the school year I utilize my weekends to make jarred salads, soup, homemade bread, and even make and freeze breakfast for my husband.

Normally, I have a green smoothie for breakfast but today since I had fresh hummus and tabbouleh in the refrigerator I decided to let that dictate my

Israeli Feast Jar Salads

Israeli Feast Jar Salads

breakfast. The hummus and tabbouleh was leftover from my Israeli Feast Jarred Salads. Here is a link to my Mason Jar Salads if you interested in my different combinations.

The jar salads have really transformed our meals. I take one to work each day for lunch and my husband eats one for dinner. I pour his out on a plate and rotate each night a different kind of protein on top. Add a cup of soup and you have a quick and convenient meal. Plus, the glass jars and metal lids help the salads stay fresh all week.  They eliminate throwing out costly produce and since a one quart jar holds over four cups, it is a great way to get more vegetables into your diet.

Mike's Jar Salads

Mike’s Jar Salad

I think that the time that I invest in food prep is a worthy investment. The last thing that I feel like doing when I get home from work is chopping up ingredients for a salad. I promise you that it is time well spent. Many of my Weight Watchers members make the salads and have found that they really help them stay on program and make healthier food choices.
Mason Jar Salad Prep

My weekend produce purchase which helps guarantee a healthy week.

My weekend produce purchase which helps guarantee a healthy week.

Today’s recipe that I am sharing is one that shows how wistful for spring I am. In the past few weeks I have shared a few Dessert Smoothie/Shake recipes. With summer approaching I wanted to share some dairy-free ice cream substitutes that will help satisfy a sweet tooth but still remain healthy. Over the past few years I have virtually eliminated refined sugar from my diet and find that the natural sugars in fruit helps me manage my hunger and I feel better.

This recipe tastes decadent but is packed with nutrients. It gets its luscious and creamy texture from avocado and its sweetness from a frozen banana. I know what many people may say. Avocado and chocolate? Yes, and please trust me. Avocado is technically a fruit and it contains healthy fat and an assortment of nutrients. It takes on the taste of both sweet and savory ingredients and I love to add them to my green smoothies. They make are a fantastic dairy-free alternate to add body to creamy desserts and even salad dressing. I often say that I could probably eat cardboard if it was smeared with avocado. 😉

I called this dessert a mousse-shake because it has the texture of a mousse. In fact, I ate half of this shake with a spoon and I think it would be elegant enough to serve at a dinner party. My version is only slightly sweet so if you prefer it to be sweeter you could add your sweetener of choice (maple syrup, agave, organic raw sugar, or even raw honey).

Plant-Based Chocolate Raspberry Shake with Avocado by Produce with Amy
CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY MOUSSE SHAKE

  • 1/2-3/4 cup of cold coconut water
  •  1/8 of a cup of raw almonds (I like to make my own almond milk to avoid the additives found in store bought varieties)
  • (I soaked them overnight which increases their nutrients, helps make them softer, and makes them easier to digest)
  • 1 small, ripe avocado 
  • 1 small frozen banana (you may add more banana if you like it sweeter)
  • 6 ounces of raspberries (I bought fresh raspberries and frozen them for 30 minutes before blending so they would be cold. You could also add a few ice cubes)
  • 1 Tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder (add as little or as much as you like)
  • Garnish with Cacao Nibs (I purchase in the bulk section of our local food coop)

Printable recipe: CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY MOUSSE SHAKE

Pin it HERE.

Chocolate Raspberry Dessert by Produce with AmyI hope that you enjoy this recipe and that you are finding, or will find, my posts helpful. Cooking and coming up with healthy recipes is my passion and I love being able to share this obsession with others. Please make sure you stop by my Facebook page, sign up for email updates of my posts, and follow me on Pinterest.

I love hearing from those who try my recipes and I appreciate your feedback and support. It keeps me inspired when I know that others are enjoying the food combinations that I create. Stay tuned, I am anxious for summer to get here so I can shop our local farmers markets! Have a wonderful day and thank you for joining me on the journey to eat more fruit and vegetables.
RaspberriesHealthy Chocolate Raspberry Dessert

 

 

Cherry Almond Coconut Shake ~ Plant-Based Healthy Indulgence

Guilt-Free Cherry Almond Coconut Shake by Produce with Amy “Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.”
― Langston Hughes

I woke up this morning with thankfulness. This is an intentional routine that I try to practice each day. I believe that we shape our own energy. Life can be fraught with stress (a majority that we manufacture ourselves). Therefore, it is important to stop and think about what is really important. Start each morning with a smile. (Smile right now…it made you feel lighter…did it not?) 😀

It is easy for me to type these things as I sit on the sofa enjoying a cup of peppermint tea and bask in the morning glow of my spring holiday. With each breath in and out ~ I am reminding myself to slow down and make the most of this time. Enjoy. Savor. Appreciate.

Today I will be mindful of the relaxation that my mind and body both need but I will also make a few preparations for next week. I acknowledge that going back to work will be a shock to my body (and the 160+ teenagers that share a classroom with me each day). I want to finish the last couple months of school with positive energy, commitment, and all the passion that led me to a career in education. Today I will prepare for the whirlwind that I will encounter next week by accomplishing some household chores and by getting a jump on my weekend cooking.

Along with a positive attitude, I believe that the food that we consume also plays on our mood and attitude. I find that when I am not consuming refined sugar and caffeine that I feel more balanced and able to manage stress and my emotions. The same goes with creating meals that are assembled with whole non-processed food. I am not saying that a bag of chips, soda, chocolate bar, or processed food item never ends up in my shopping cart, but it is a rarity.

A couple of posts ago, when I shared my recipe for a Peach & Raspberry Cobbler Shake, I explained how I made the shift away from store-bought dairy substitutes because of the long list of ingredients on the carton. It seemed like a natural change since I did invest in a Vitamix blender a few years ago and I always have raw nuts on hand. Why not make my own?

In anticipation of summer and warmer weather, today I am sharing another recipe for a Bowl of Cherrieshealthy dessert that tastes indulgent but is full of nutrients and will help you fuel your day. It is inspired by my favorite summer treat ~ cherries. I spend a bundle of money on fresh cherries each summer. In part, I believe, because they remind me of my childhood. My mom always had plenty of cherries (watermelon, grapes, and nectarines too) in the cooler when we spent long summer

Target carries my new obsession ~ real vanilla, almond, and peppermint extract.

Target carries my new obsession ~ real vanilla, almond, and peppermint extract.

days on the shore of Fortune Lake in my hometown of Crystal Falls, Michigan.

Since cherries are not in season in April, I had to settle for frozen cherries for this shake (I am calling it a shake instead of smoothie because it is thick and rich and tastes like a perfect dairy-free substitute for a traditional milk shake). The raw almonds help make it thick and give the drink a filling boost of protein. My advice is that you do not leave out the almond extract ~ I have made it without, and trust me, it does not taste the same.

Cherry Almond Coconut ShakeCHERRY ALMOND COCONUT SHAKE

  • 1 cup frozen cherries (If you are lucky enough to be using fresh cherries, make sure to freeze them first)Vitamix
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/4 of raw, soaked almonds (soak overnight or for a few hours prior to making the shake)
  • 1 teaspoon real almond extract (I added a bit more)
  • Ice cubes (I added a few)
  • 3/4-1 cup of plain coconut water (I made sure it was cold and added 1/2 cup at first and added more until it was the consistency that I wanted. My shake was very thick and resembled a milk shake in texture)
  • Optional ~ 1 Tablespoon organic coconut flakes for garnish

Blend well. A great addition to this shake would also be a touch of vanilla extract and a dash of cinnamon.

Printable recipe: CHERRY ALMOND COCONUT SHAKE

Pin it HERE.

Cherry Almond Coconut Shake by Produce with Amy

Cherry Almond Coconut Smoothie

 

Cherry Almond Coconut Plant-Based Shake

If you are interested in other nutritious desserts, check out my Healthy Indulgences tab.

Thank you for stopping by my blog and please follow my posts via email, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr and make sure to find me on Facebook. I love the reciprocal nature of social networks. Together we can create a community of health minded individuals that are concerned about the fuel that put into our bodies. I look forward to sharing more recipes with you and please post your comments and feedback. Have a marvelous day and remember to stop to breathe, appreciate, and savor the world and all the gifts that are all around us.

Appreciation