Smoothies are a great way to take a breakfast or snack when you’re traveling. They’re filling and quench your thirst all in one go!
If you’ve following the ketogenic diet and want a quick, satisfying meal that you can easily take on the road, this smoothie is for you. It combines creamy coconut milk with almonds and cocoa for a delicious meal or snack.
The sad truth is, most smoothies are loaded with sugars and carbs. A medium sized smoothie at a popular chain restaurant can set you back a whopping 61g of carbs and 58g of sugar.
Unlike other smoothies, this keto-friendly smoothie substitutes sugary fruits for low carb vegetables without sacrificing flavor. This recipe is vegan, low-carb, grain free, dairy free, and free of many common allergens. The combination of ingredients ensures that this smoothie is not only tasty but nutritious as well.
Coconut milk provides a rich, satisfying base for this delectable drink. If you’re new to the keto diet, you’ll love the flavor that coconut adds to this smoothie and it may inspire you to try it in other dishes as well. In addition to coconut milk, this smoothie features cocoa and almonds, both of which are nutritional powerhouses.
This smoothie also provides nutrients that your body needs to thrive. In fact, the health benefits of cocoa and almonds combined together have even been studied plenty.
According to one research study, when dark chocolate was consumed with almonds, the possible health benefits included the reduction of the risk of coronary heart disease.
Although most chocolate beverages are loaded with sugar and carbs, cocoa itself is actually very healthy! Cocoa contains flavonoids which are antioxidants that have numerous benefits to your body’s health and vitality.
The added ingredients, like corn syrup and sugar, are what make most chocolate drinks and smoothies a no-go for the ketogenic diet. Luckily, this smoothie combines all of the flavor and quality nutrition that cocoa has to offer while excluding all of the the sugar.
Cocoa, long favored for its health benefits, truly stands out when it comes to its positive effects in relation to cardiovascular health. Some of the positive effects that cocoa can have include:
- Decreased blood pressure
- Improved vascular health
- Reduced “bad” cholesterol levels
- Increased “good” cholesterol levels
- Prevention of heart disease
- Reduced risk for diabetes
- Improved cognitive performance
- Reduced risk for blood clots
Another great benefit to consuming cocoa is that it helps regulate blood sugars. Not only that, but cocoa has vitamins and minerals, and just 2 tbsp of cocoa powder has 3.6g of fiber.
Each sip of this smoothie and its rich chocolate flavor will leave your tastebuds and conscience satisfied. If you’ve started the keto diet, this smoothie is a sure way to satisfy your chocolate cravings.
Almonds are an excellent addition to this smoothie recipe. They have a wide range of nutrition benefits – and they pair perfectly with chocolate. Like cocoa, almonds have a long list of benefits while aligning with your ketogenic goals.
Almonds have healthy fats that help fight inflammation, play a role in helping reduce cholesterol levels, provide protein to satisfy your hunger, improve digestive system regularity, and provide antioxidants that help prevent cancer. They also have several important nutrients.
Some of the vitamins and minerals and their associated benefits found within almonds include:
- Copper which boosts red blood cell function
- Vitamin E to combat cell damage and improve skin
- Manganese which is important to bone and tissue formation
- Magnesium which helps regulate blood sugar
- Phosphorous which helps kidney function
This is a single smoothie recipe, so feel free to adjust accordingly if you have friends and family who want to share in the smoothie fun!
When you follow the recipe below, you will have a rich and delicious smoothie that will quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger. It’s naturally gluten-free, vegan, and full of nutrients.
If you like variety, feel free to make substitutions. You can easily substitute the almond butter for any plain nut butter that’s keto-friendly. You can also substitute the spinach for another mild-flavored vegetable that’s suitable for the ketogenic diet. The options are endless!
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2-3 drops liquid stevia (to taste)
2 tbsp plain almond butter (you can substitute any nut butter that doesn’t have added sugars)
1 tbsp flax meal
1 cup baby spinach
½ cup crushed ice
Combine the coconut milk, ice, and stevia in a blender. Blend until smooth. Use less stevia to begin with – you can always add more later to make it sweeter if you’d like!
Add the cocoa powder and flax meal to the liquid in the blender and stir in. (Stirring in before blending will prevent the cocoa from dusting up into the air).
Add the spinach and almond butter to the blender. Blend until smooth.
Take a sip! Feel free to add more of any ingredient to adjust the taste or texture, and experiment with it to make it your own.
Don’t forget that you can easily make substitutions to allow for a different taste and different nutritional profile each time.
This chocolate smoothie is a great example of how flexible and satisfying the ketogenic diet can be, and how you don’t need to compromise flavor and tastiness for health!
 Lee, Yujin et al. “Effects of Dark Chocolate and Almonds on Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Individuals: A Randomized Controlled‐Feeding Trial.” Journal of the American Heart Association: Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease 6.12 (2017): e005162. PMC. Web. 12 Apr. 2018.
 Galleano, Monica, Patricia I. Oteiza, and Cesar G. Fraga. “Cocoa, Chocolate and Cardiovascular Disease.” Journal of cardiovascular pharmacology 54.6 (2009): 483–490. PMC. Web. 12 Apr. 2018.
 Kamil A, Chen CY. Health benefits of almonds beyond cholesterol reduction. J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Jul 11;60(27):6694-702. doi: 10.1021/jf2044795. Epub 2012 Feb 17.