Forget all of that shamrock nonsense at the local fast food joint. You can make your own minty indulgence that is fresher, healthier, and even adds some chocolate, because chocolate makes everything better, just like in my Chocolate Mint Smoothie.
Chocolate Mint Smoothie
I feel like a cheater. You see, pretty much every year I give up ice cream for Lent. It’s not a weight loss thing, or a healthier eating thing, which I know some people try to use Lent to kick start. I really have a psychological need for ice cream. It’s what I crave when I’m stressed or mad or tired or even super happy. And the half cup serving size they list on the container, I really don’t know who that is intended for, because I don’t care whether it’s nonfat frozen yogurt or super rich premium ice cream, a measly half cup serving just isn’t cutting it. That’s like a dessert appetizer.
Half a container – that’s more like it. Kidding. Sort of :-/
Buuuut, I know I shouldn’t eat ice cream every night, so instead I opt for banana “ice cream” or smoothies. Same cold, creamy goodness, less negative consequences for the waistline.
Well guess what, guys, I’m weak. I know I should be confessing this to a priest, but I’m going to confess it on the interwebs for the whole world to see – it’s Lent and I’m still having my nightly cold and creamy snack. Is that wrong? I mean, I’m not picking up a half gallon of ice cream or sending the hubby on a sundae run.
OK, you got me, I have two confessions – I had a Shamrock Shake last weekend. I know, I know, they’re filled with sugar and colors and chemicals and all kinds of stuff I probably should ingest. I allow myself one a year. It’s not gonna kill me, right? Well, unless lightning strikes me because, really, it’s just ice cream in semi-liquid form. Dear Lord, please forgive me. It’s not my fault that Shamrock Shake season coincides with Lent.
My second confession – instead of ice cream, I’m just drinking these, yup, both of them, but all in one glass, EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT…
This Chocolate Mint Smoothie is so frosty cool and satisfying. It totally feels like an indulgent dessert, but it’s good for you! As I’ve told you before, I opt for cottage cheese in my smoothies. It blends up into a perfectly creamy and silky smooth texture, without the tartness of Greek yogurt, so I think it lends itself better to certain flavor combinations. In this case, it mellows out the minty-ness. And you can make it as chocolaty as you like – I vary from one to two tablespoons of cocoa powder and alternate between regular and dark cocoa, depending on my mood.
I also like to add some texture. Totally optional, but I usually toss in some cacao nibs towards the end of blending it up. You can leave them out, or go with chocolate chips, but I like that it adds a little superfood goodness, and actually slows down my typically rapid slurping of my smoothies because I have to stop and chew.
I know, I’m weird.
There’s another secret ingredient, too. I have a totally wack-a-doodle stomach. And yes, that is a technical term. So in the evening, I may be hungry for a snack but still have a tummy that’s feeling cruddy. While you can definitely use mint or peppermint extract in this smoothie, lately I’ve been adding Peppermint Essential Oil.
It’s totally soothing to my tummy, and you only need a couple of drops. There are also studies that peppermint triggers feeling of satiety – maybe that’s why I don’t get the midnight munchies anymore when I stay up too late!
Not all essential oils are edible. Due to lack of purity, 98% of essential oils sold should NOT be ingested. An edible essential oil will be labeled “therapeutic-grade” and have a “Supplement Facts” box on the label showing the nutritional value – do NOT use just any brand of essential oil for cooking/flavoring foods. Be sure to use pure oils from reliable sources, not synthetic scents or flavorings.
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Chocolate Mint Smoothie
Satisfy your sweet tooth and chocolate cravings in a minty fresh and healthy way!
- One frozen banana, cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese or plain Greek yogurt
- 1-2 teaspoons honey, sugar, or equivalent sweetener of choice, to taste
- 1-2 Tablespoons regular or cocoa powder (I adjust this depending on my mood)
- About 2 drops Peppermint Essential Oil or 1/4 teaspoon mint extract
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk of choice (I love unsweetened Silk Cashewmilk or Almondmilk)
- Several ice cubes, to desired texture
- 1 Tablespoon cacao nibs or chocolate chips, optional
- Combine all ingredients except cacao nibs or chips in a blender and puree until smooth, adjusting to desired sweetness and texture with sugar or other sweetener and ice.
- Add cacao nibs of chocolate chips, if using, and blend for another few second to break up slightly.
Since you can always sub peppermint or mint extract with about a quarter the amount of essential oil, here are some more minty recipes…
- Mint Chocolate Chip Glazed Popcorn
- No Bake Chocolate and Peppermint Cheesecakes
- Shamrock Green Smoothie
And some from my friends…
- Gluten Free Mint Oreos from Petite Allergy Treats
- Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes from Chocolate Moosey
- No-Bake Mint Chip Lush from Crazy for Crust