Whether you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to make 2019 your healthiest year ever or just want to enjoy your keto diet to the max, this decadent smoothie is definitely for you! With only 5 ingredients, it delivers an ample amount of nutrients and a rich, chocolaty taste that will brighten up your day. What’s not to like?
Tips for making the Chocolate Almond Keto Smoothie
To make the perfect keto smoothie, you need to start by choosing the best ingredients. C’mon, you have only one body: why not nurture it with the best possible food you can get? That means opting for organic, natural, nutrient-dense, unprocessed food.
So, let’s talk about how to choose the best possible ingredients for this simple smoothie.
You can use store-bought unsweetened almond butter without any added stuff (like vegetable seed oils), but the best-tasting and freshest almond butter you’ll get is the one you prepare yourself — and it’s also far more affordable than (over-priced!) commercial almond butter.
For the best texture and digestibility, be sure to soak the almonds overnight before making the almond butter. This will deprive them of their phytic acid content. Here’s why this is important: Phytic acid impairs the absorption of minerals such as zinc, iron, and calcium. If you eat meat, mineral deficiencies probably won’t be a problem for you, but if you go plant-based and eat unsoaked nuts and seeds with every meal, you might need to watch out for this.
Also, the enzyme activity in almonds sort of “wakes up” during soaking, helping your body to digest them and to utilize the nutrients in them. The point is, it indeed does good to soak your almonds and other nuts and seeds for 8-12 hours before using them. Don’t forget to rinse them well both before and after soaking.
You don’t necessarily need to add oil when you make almond butter, but I usually add some light olive oil or melted coconut oil to facilitate processing in a blender. Here’s one batch made with light olive oil (coconut oil would have been healthier…)
And here’s the ready almond butter. I use a Blendtec blender and Twister Jar to achieve a smooth butter—and it takes a mere minute. Sweet!
Okay. So now you’ve got your almond butter. Let’s tackle the almond milk next. As with almond butter, the best milk, in terms of both nutrition and taste, is homemade almond milk, made from — you guessed it — soaked almonds. However, it’s quite a time-consuming and laborious process, so occasionally you might want to cheat by using commercial almond milk. That’s fine, as long as it doesn’t contain any sweeteners or additives.
I’ve added a scoop of high-quality protein to this smoothie. If you tolerate dairy, choose high-grade grass-fed vanilla-flavored whey protein that has no added sugar. If you don’t tolerate dairy, rice protein is your best friend. Made with sprouted brown rice, it is also a complete protein (containing all essential amino acids, that is), just like whey protein.
As for cacao powder, always choose a raw one so you’re sure to get the benefit of cacao’s antioxidants and nutrients. Raw cacao powder is also a cleaner option than regular dark cacao powder, due to the simple fact that it’s unprocessed.
There’s really no need to use sweeteners in your smoothie, especially if you use stevia-sweetened protein powder. However, I love to add a couple of tablespoons of powdered erythritol to mine. My tummy has no problem with erythritol and it doesn’t raise blood sugar, so there’s no reason not to use it. But if it doesn’t agree with you or if you just prefer a less-sweet taste, go ahead and skip it.
Now we’ll see how to prepare this smoothie—not that there’s much to it! It’s very easy: just add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. I just love to take photos: that’s why I’ve added here so many! I couldn’t help myself…
Take all the ingredients and get out your high-speed blender. (A high-speed blender is capable of whizzing the almond butter until smooth. Cheaper, lower-quality blenders might leave the mixture gritty.)
Add the almond milk…
…and the sweetener, if using.
Here we go.
Close the lid and blend until smooth.
I have a particular smoothie program in my blender.
Pour the ready smoothie into a glass.
Sprinkle some grated dark chocolate, if you like.
My Chocolate Almond Keto Smoothie experiments
As long as can I remember, I’ve loved chocolaty smoothies and shakes. I used to gulp down way too many chocolate milkshakes in McDonalds (or their Finnish equivalents).
But when I went keto, I naturally gave up all sugary (and processed) stuff, and also changed the way I made my chocolaty smoothies. I dropped the sugar and replaced the milk with water plus a dash of heavy cream, or used unsweetened almond milk. I also started adding vanilla-flavored whey protein—and, lately, rice protein—to my smoothies. Over the past few years I’ve fine-tuned my chocolaty keto smoothies, and created lots of variations on that theme, too.
For this recipe here, I wanted to use almond milk as a base. I wanted to give it a strong almond flavor, so almond milk and almond butter would do the job perfectly. For a moment, I thought about adding almond flavoring, too, but decided to drop it because I wanted a pure, natural taste.
And since I also wanted my almond smoothie to be chocolaty, I thought raw cacao powder would be the ideal option. It is rich in minerals (especially magnesium) and antioxidants, and my body desperately needs both!
Then there was protein. I wanted to add protein powder so that this would be the perfect breakfast smoothie, with enough fat, protein and calories to carry you until lunch and beyond. I really love this grass-fed vanilla-flavored whey protein. It has a strong but very pleasant vanilla flavor. Also, my son loves it—added to milk or in these cookies. So it was the natural choice for this smoothie.
Because I like sweet things—and can indulge in sweet stuff these days, thanks to natural sweeteners like erythritol—I also wanted to add some powdered erythritol to this smoothie.
After a few experiments I got the amounts right, and was rewarded with an amazing Chocolate Almond Keto Smoothie! It’s a delicious combination of chocolate, almond, and vanilla flavors, and it’s on the thick side, thanks to the almond butter and protein powder. In summer I might add crushed ice to make it even thicker and extra-refreshing.
Here’s the recipe:
|Nutrition Information if whey protein used||In Total (recipe makes 1 serving)|
|Net carbs||6.9 g|
Tips for variation
For extra richness and more healthy fat, you can replace the almond milk with 1 cup (240 ml) water and 2 tablespoons heavy cream.
Instead of powdered erythritol, you can use liquid or powdered stevia. You can also use flavored stevias, like chocolate raspberry, vanilla, cinnamon, orange, dark chocolate, or even pumpkin spice stevia.
If you want an even stronger almond flavor, you can add 1 teaspoon natural almond extract.
For an exciting, exotic touch, add a dash of rose water or orange blossom water together with the other ingredients before blending.
For the ultimate PB & C experience, you can replace the almond butter with peanut butter. Just remember that the carb count is higher in PB than in AB (that is, almond butter).
If you want to add more chocolate flavor to your smoothie, replace the vanilla-flavored protein powder with a chocolate-flavored one.