This high-protein pick-me-up boasts the rich and robust flavors of coffee and dark chocolate, perfectly balanced by the creaminess of natural peanut butter. I like to make it part of my pre- or post-workout meal for those early-morning workouts, but it’s great any time of the day or night that you need a little added boost of energy. It’s an easy and healthy recipe you can whip up in the blender and enjoy as part of a leisurely breakfast ritual or throw in a to-go cup for rushed meals on-the-run.
Are you a morning person? Yes? Well then, let me make your mornings even better with an injection of dark chocolate (not just for dessert!) and peanut butter (not just a spread for toast or sandwiches!). No? Hey, me neither (even though I spent years trying to convince myself and others otherwise – with all of my early morning swim team practices, I think I even had people believing it. Not that I’m a night owl either, although lately blogging, reading and researching seems to be keeping me up past my preferred 9-10pm bedtime). In that case, you get the chocolate and peanut butter too, but the bonus for you is the added energy from the caffeine in the coffee (if you don’t want or need caffeine, you can always substitute decaf).
There is just something about the smell of freshly ground coffee percolating in the morning that gets to me and takes me to a happy place, even though I am not a regular coffee drinker. I can only imagine the kind of caffeine nirvana this produces in people who actually do need a coffee before they can even think about lacing their shoes (Dad, here’s looking at you!). Maybe it’s even just the childhood association of smelling fresh coffee every morning when I woke up. At any rate, coffee sometimes gets a bad rap nutritionally, but I figured if it makes so many people happy, then there must be something good about it. And of course, there is (you probably knew that already). Skip the dairy cream (although even animal-based saturated fats seem to be getting a second opinion these days) and refined sugar (vilified more and more often as “poisonous“) in your daily cup(s) of joe, and black coffee is touted for its health benefits including being rich in antioxidants and the plant-based compounds called flavonoids, as well as supplying chromium, potassium, niacin, vitamin E and magnesium. And nobody will dispute its energizing effects – coffee does indeed “improve cognitive function,” meaning it’s a better choice than Red Bull to “give you wings.” Next time you brew a pot, set some aside to cool for this recipe and you can even freeze some coffee in a regular ice cube tray for coffee ice cubes (great for a “reverse” iced coffee – add these to a tall, cold glass of milk or milky beverage).
While we’re talking about health benefits, let’s talk about dark chocolate. Compared to milk chocolate, dark chocolate is nutritionally superior, as it contains less refined sugar, less sodium and nearly double the level of many micronutrients (essential vitamins and minerals). And the chocolate flavour in this smoothie actually comes from unsweetened cocoa powder, which is means that it imparts that wonderful intense dark chocolate flavour but with a fraction of the calories, fat and carbohydrates yet still delivers iron, manganese, magnesium and zinc as well as the antioxidants that are part of dark chocolate’s “healthy” reputation (learn all about cocoa here).
And finally, peanut butter. Of course it’s a flavour we all know and love, and the smooth, creamy mouth-feel (umami) makes it infinitely spoon-able. But besides being a source of healthy plant-based monounsaturated fat, peanut butter also brings fiber, vitamins E and B6 (important for healthy skin and hair and energy levels and immune function), magnesium, and potassium to the recipe (more reasons why peanut butter rocks). If you have an allergy or are avoiding legumes like peanuts, you can substitute any other nut butter of your choice.
Put them all together? Well, that’s where the magic happens.
Peanut Butter Mocha Protein Smoothie
This high-protein pick-me-up boasts the rich and robust flavors of coffee and dark chocolate, perfectly balanced by the creaminess of natural peanut butter.
Author: The Golden Graham Girl
1 cup (250mL or 240g) cold brewed coffee (regular or decaf) + 6-8 large coffee ice cubes OR regular ice cubes (for a less intense coffee flavour)
1/2 cup (113g) plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1 scoop (33g) chocolate protein powder of choice – I used Now Sports Whey Isolate Dutch Chocolate Protein Powder*
1 tbsp (5g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp (16g) natural creamy peanut butter OR nut butter of choice
Optional 1/4 tsp (1g) xanthan gum* to thicken smoothie (creates more of a milkshake texture)
Optional 5-10 drops flavoured liquid stevia for sweetness – I used Now Foods English Toffee Drops*
1. Add all ingredients in the order listed above to a regular or high-speed blender (like a Vitamix).
2. Blend at high speed until the ice is completely crushed. If using xanthan gum, you may notice the blending sound gets lower in pitch as more air is whipped into the mixture.
3. Serve and enjoy immediately.
Calories: 300 Fat: 9.0g Carbohydrates: 14.5g Sugar: 4.5g Fiber: 6.5g Protein: 42.2g
Enjoy immediately and let this smoothie give you wings.
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Some process shots:
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