Do you ever have one of those days where you just really, really need a chocolate fix? And nothing else will do?
I thought so.
Enter the chocolate cherry zucchini shake!
This scrumptious shake started off as a smoothie—a choco-cherry-chia-spinach smoothie I’d been having for breakfast, to be exact. Then, at the suggestion of one of my favorite bloggers, Heather at Gluten-Free Cat, I decided to add some zucchini to my smoothie. (I’m adventurous, what can I say?)
Zucchini in your shake? You bet!
Luckily, it was delicious! Raw zucchini, as it turns out, is custom-made for smoothies and shakes. It adds a silky texture and awesome vegetable nutrition, and has a mellow flavor that blends with most anything—especially chocolate. (Exhibit A: Rich chocolate zucchini truffles.)
So I jettisoned the spinach in favor of zucchini—I figured one vegetable in a smoothie was enough—and downed a couple of test smoothies. (Purely in the interest of science!) They turned out well, so I tried one out on my husband Jeff, who pretty much drank the whole thing all at once.
I took that as a good sign.
Not one to stop at a single taste test, though, I called in my mom, who also switched to a plant-powered diet when I made my transition. While she’s wildly supportive of my blog, she isn’t afraid to tell me straight if something isn’t up to par.
Luckily, she liked it—whew!—but thought it could be better. (Hrm…)
So, in a decadent move (we are such rebels!), we swapped the chia seeds out for almond butter. Then we blended, toasted, and tasted.
After a moment of sheer delight, we both came to the exact same conclusion—our “smoothie” tasted just like a chocolate milkshake! And not the cheapo, fast-food kind, either, but the kind that comes from a real ice cream parlor, where they whiz up fresh milk and ice cream and chocolate syrup in an icy, dripping, stainless steel cup and everything comes out all dreamy and perfect.
That kind of milkshake.
A few more tweaks—freezing some of the almond milk to get the texture perfectly milk-shakey (do not skip this step!), adjusting the sweetness—and the chocolate cherry zucchini shake was born.
A better-for-you indulgence
What’s more, unlike most chocolate goodies (brownies à la mode, anyone?), this shake is totally vegan and boasts over a full serving of fruits and vegetables, along with fiber and vitamin C. All without any refined sugar! (Although for those of you with a hardcore sweet tooth, you may want to add an extra date.) Honestly, that’s healthier than most peoples’ breakfasts. So I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve enjoyed this chocolate shake for breakfast—more than once!
Ready to try it for yourself? Check out the recipe on my Yummly.com guest post, Chocolate Cherry Zucchini Shake. (If you aren’t familiar with it, Yummly is a site where you can search for recipes by type (e.g. vegan) and screen them for ingredients you don’t like or can’t tolerate—great for people like me with food sensitivities.) Enjoy!
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