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Chocolate Raspberry Vegan Smoothie

Good news! There really is a scientific reason why chocolate makes us happy. Chocolate, in its most raw form comes from cacao. Cacao beans contain hundreds of compounds that boost endorphins and serotonin, better known as the happy chemicals. Cacao is also high in magnesium, a mineral that can help with issues like migraines, trouble sleeping and even PMS.

So, next time you are feeling down, consider making this healthy smoothie with a spoonful of cacao powder. Cacao is not to be confused with cocoa. Cacao powder is unadulterated and contains many more nutrients than traditional cocoa powder, which usually contains added sugar. In my smoothies and recipes, I usually use Dagoba organic cacao powder.

At just under 300 calories, you could share this smoothie with a friend as a snack, or use it as a small meal. It's so delicious, that it could be used as a healthy dessert too. In fact, by reducing the amount of liquid, I have made it into a vegan mousse and served it in a chilled martini glass for extra "wow" factor.

Pin it, Tweet it and Like it — or even print it to put it up on your fridge for inspiration!


Jenn's Chocolate Raspberry Vegan Smoothie

If you'd like to view the protein, carbs and fat content, you can view the smoothie recipe in LIVESTRONG's calorie tracker MyPlate, which makes it quick and easy for you to track it.

Serves: 1
Calories: 281
Protein: 12 grams
Carbs: 39 grams
Fat: 13 grams

Ingredients
1/2 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 banana
1/2 scoop Vega protein powder (or use any protein powder you have handy. If you want to keep the shake vegan, choose brown rice protein powder or pea protein powder. If you are not concerned with keeping the shake vegan, you can choose whey protein.)
1 tbsp cacao powder (no added sugar)
1 tbsp almond butter
3 ice cubes
1/2 cup water

Directions:
1. Add all of the ingredients into your blender, and blend until smooth
2. Enjoy!

–Jenn

Jennifer Cassetta is a third degree black belt, clinical nutritionist and personal trainer. She loves kale, chocolate and wine. She loves to punch, kick, lift weights, meditate, and dress up in stilettos. She empowers people to be strong, safe and sexy through nutrition, fitness and self-defense, and you can read more at www.jennifercassetta.com.

Find more from Jennifer on FacebookTwitter and Google+.

>> Read more of Jennifer Cassetta's articles here! <<

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