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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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

Peach & Raspberry Cobbler Shake ~ Plant-Based & Guilt Free

Guilt-Free Peach & Raspberry Cobbler Shake by Produce with Amy“Freedom from obsession is not about something you do; it’s about knowing who you are. It’s about recognizing what sustains you and what exhausts you. What you love and what you think you love because you believe you can’t have it.” 
― Geneen Roth

Over the past couple months I have received several requests for plant-based desserts. Unfortunately, I am not much of a baker and in recent years my sweet tooth has been replaced by a love for salty and savory food. It may be due to the fact that I eat a lot of fruit and that my body and taste buds have adjusted to not consuming refined sugar very often. When I do get a sugary urge for something, other than a piece of fruit, I assemble healthy ingredients in my Vitamix blender and mix up a smoothie.

Since I have had recent requests for desserts, I decided that I would share some of my non-green smoothie recipes. The combination that I am sharing today tastes more like a milk shake than a smoothie. It tastes creamy, indulgent, but because it is made with frozen fruit and coconut water, it still has a refreshing edge to it.

When I first started experimenting with a plant-based diet, I started buying coconut and almond milk as a dairy substitute. I have noticed that these products have gained popularity, and not just for those who are lactose intolerant or those who follow a plant-based diet. I know that many of my Weight Watchers members gravitate toward it because the unsweetened varieties are lower in Points Plus than cow’s milk. However, if you are concerned about the nutritional value of food and trying to eat as cleanly as possible, I recommend that you look at the ingredient list on the packaged version of these dairy substitutes. Unfortunately, many of the products carry a long list of ingredients (most of which we do not recognize as real food). I do not imagine that almond milk contains many almonds because if it did they would have to charge much more for it (you know this if you have purchased almonds lately since they carry a relatively high price tag).

Peach & Raspberry ShakeWhat I have been trying to do is to make my own nut based milks with raw nuts and my Vitamix. I have bought dairy substitutes on occasion for convenience. The couple times that I did purchase almond milk, most went down the drain since I do not use it often.

For Weight Watchers members who are concerned about the PP value of this smoothie, I find that smoothies or shakes that I make with raw nuts (instead of dairy substitutes) tend to be much more filling. Nuts do have healthy fats and supply protein as well. So not only is this shake a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth but it is also strong nutritionally speaking. It is well worth the PP since it is real food.

For this shake I decided to use plain coconut water and raw nuts as the base. I used a mix of nuts (walnuts, cashews, almonds, macadamia, and pistachio) and I soaked them overnight (but they can be soaked a couple of hours in advance). Soaking raw nuts helps increase their enzymes and nutritional value, makes them easy to digest, and will make them softer and have a less gritty texture in recipes.

Ingredients for Peach & Raspberry Cobbler Shake by Produce with AmyPEACH & RASPBERRY COBBLER SHAKE

  • 1 cup frozen peaches
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 of a frozen banana (I added this after a quick taste of the shake because it needed to be a touch sweeter for my taste. If you want the shake sweeter add more banana)
  • 1/4 of raw, soaked nuts
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon to taste (I added approximately 1/2 a teaspoon and sprinkled more on the top before blending)
  • 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. This shake is versatile and you add your choice of fruit, but I recommend freezing the fruit first so the shake is thick.

Printable Recipe: Peach & Raspberry Cobbler Shake

Pin it HERE.
10Peach & Raspberry Dairy-Free ShakeRaspberry & Peach Cobbler ShakeFinding healthy ways to satisfy our cravings is simple if you use the right ingredients. I love to experiment with different combinations and enjoy being able to share my findings with you. If you like this shake you might want to try my Guilt Free Chocolate Pumpkin Shake and my Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie.

If you enjoy my blog please stop by my Facebook page and give it a like and join the conversation. I love hearing from those who try my recipes and the tweaks made so they fit one’s personal taste and lifestyle. Healthy and delicious food is one of my passions and I am so thankful for the opportunity to share and learn together. I look forward to hearing from you. Cheers to our health!

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