This chocolate berry smoothie has fast become a staple in our household. The choco-raspberry punch is divine, the slushie factor is bliss on a hot day and it’s an easy afternoon treat the kids can make themselves.
A chocolate berry smoothie so good you’d think it was bad!
When I pick my kiddies up from school on a particularly hot day, just about without fail their first words will be “can we have an ice cream”? Sometimes, of course, we do! But if it’s a “no” day I tell my kids I’ll make them this smoothie and they are just as happy. For a long time we used to have a similar choc-banana smoothie, but without the frozen factor. But this recipe is much closer to ice cream for them. It’s a real treat!
It’s the slushiness that makes this smoothie A-MA-ZING!
Is a berry smoothie healthy?
Of course whether something is healthy or not is all down to the ingredients and what you do with them. Smoothies can quickly become too sugar heavy, but when you’re using fruit you can get a lot of natural sweetness. And unlike juices, you’re keeping a lot of that good fiber in there too.
Bananas are a fairly common base for all smoothies, not just fruit smoothies. And they are a healthy source of fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and various antioxidants and phytonutrients. They have a low GI and are easy to buy all-year round.
Berries have a multitude of good things packed into them. If you’re interested in reading more about this check out Everyday Health’s “9 Amazing Health Benefits of Berries”. They are a little hard to get your hands on out of season, so frozen berries are the perfect solution. And according to the article above, “when it comes to berries, raspberries are one of the best options because they are packed with fiber.”
Let’s talk about money.
I recently wrote another post about the the value of money, when to splash out and when to save your pennies (and why you should be making your Eggs Benedict at home!). This smoothie falls into the category of saving your pennies. If you’re out in town, feeling a little parched or enjoying a lazy afternoon with your girlfriends at a cafe, then by all means, grab yourself a smoothie! Enjoy 🙂
But if you have the family in tow, four parched throats are suddenly costing you $30+. And that’s before anything to eat. Cos they get hungry too. All the time. Or is it just the minute you leave the house?
Choco berry smoothies on a budget
So if you’re on a budget, frozen berries (at least where I am) are a little expensive. They are probably the most pricey thing in the recipe. So I shop at our local Frozen Direct. They have cheaper frozen products, and I can get a bag twice the size for the same price as the supermarket. They might be a little more crushed up, not perfect looking raspberries, but we’re going to blend them anyway. I can also get a bag of frozen sliced bananas, which is awesome if you are like me and forget to keep the freezer stocked with sliced bananas.
By the time I get the vanilla yogurt, it might all add up to $15-20. BUT… these ingredients will last me 4 or 5 times making the smoothie for four people. Which is a massive saving! You still get to indulge in the yummy smoothie, without the $150 price tag! Plus it’s super easy to make. Why wouldn’t you make it at home?
It’s healthier than ice cream.
It’s better on the environment saving all those disposable cups…
You get the idea 😉
How to make a chocolate berry smoothie at home
Don’t be thrown off by this misleading photo… I use a lot more cocoa powder than this.
Let’s step through the flavours and textures. The cocoa powder and Natvia team up to make the chocolatey flavour. The raspberries give it that extra touch of decadence. The banana has three jobs. It adds a little sweetness, it thickens the smoothie and it contributes to the slushy effect (if you’ve had the forethought to get it sliced up in the freezer). If you haven’t, no worries. Just add more ice! You’ll also find that if the banana is super ripe, you won’t need as much sweetener.
The yoghurt is adding some creaminess and the vanilla flavour of it adds another layer of complexity to the choc-berry combo. The ice is controlling the slushy factor – add more if you want your straw to stand straight up. And of course the milk is providing the liquid to make this more than just essentially ice cream (hmmm… there’s a thought…).
It’s so easy to make, you are literally just throwing everything into the blender and giving it a blitz. The first five or so times we made this, my kids and I would taste test it first to see if the balance was right. So this is a very much tried and tested recipe!
Don’t want to add the banana? milk? yoghurt?
Look, not every food agrees with every person. Is there something in this recipe that you either don’t want to or can’t eat? Let’s look at some alternatives.
Alternative ingredients for a chocolate berry smoothie
Banana make this smoothie creamy, and if you’re using frozen bananas it’s helping to get that slushy consistency. If you don’t want to use bananas, try a protein powder or some avocado to add some thickness without changing the flavour too much. And thrown in a few extra ice cubes so that it’s still slushy.
Milk. Love it or hate it right? My preference is raw cow’s milk but I absolutely know that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Other milks work just as well, for example oat milk or almond, but will be a little thinner. Beef up your bananas and berries, and again you can add a little protein powder if you need to get it to the right consistency.
Yoghurt is adding a little creaminess and a dash of vanilla. If you want to ditch this, add in a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a little extra banana.
Cocoa powder is pretty key for the rich chocolate-y flavour and if it’s the processing of the cocoa powder you can definitely use organic cacao powder (which I believe is closer to it’s original form). And if you don’t want the caffeine content, you could try carob powder.
And lastly, sweetener? I know some of the alternative sweeteners out there can be a bit disruptive on some people’s digestive system. Just stick to whatever you would usually use. It’s there to sweeten up the cocoa to give it a more chocolate-y taste.
Chocolate berry smoothie
- 650 ml milk
- 1 banana, frozen
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 1 cup ice
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp vanilla yoghurt
- 1 tbsp Natvia sugar (or any sweetener of your choice)
- Put all of the ingredients in the blender and blend till well mixed and the smoothie has a slushy consistency.
- Pour into tall glasses and enjoy!