Chocolate Cinnamon Breakfast Shake—Mexican Hot Chocolate Inspired

chocolate cinnamon breakfast shake

Oftentimes I go to bed dreaming of what I’m going to eat the next morning for breakfast.  The flavors of peanut butter and cinnamon on toast, berry-filled smoothies, or zucchini oats occupy my mind.  It might be a problem how much I think about food but if it’s wrong then I don’t want to be right!  Especially when it comes to breakfast—the best meal of the day!

Sweet breakfasts are my usual but chocolate, surprisingly, does not make a daily appearance in my breakfast or snacks.  Simply because it is one of those flavors that you crave the more you eat it, or, conversely, crave less if you don’t eat it.  I remember the days of being a chocoholic and it wasn’t pretty.  Now, I can go weeks without tasting chocolate in any form, and I’m quite fine, but once I taste some chocolate muffins or homemade chocolate peanut butter cups I find I’m craving it daily!  Not that I’m complaining.  Thankfully, my chocolate interests are much tamer these days and I channel my sweet tooth in what I’d say is a nutritious manner.

Exhibit A: Chocolate Cinnamon Breakfast Shake.

chocolate cinnamon breakfast shake

Truly, this combination came about when I accidentally threw cinnamon into my chocolate smoothie.  I spice up my breakfasts with cinnamon—AKA the wonder spice!—almost every day.  It adds a warm, comforting feel but also enhances the sweetness in foods.  Though, cinnamon with cherries, frozen cauliflower, spinach, and chocolate protein powder isn’t a pairing I was prepared to make.  Fortunately for me, cinnamon can do no wrong.

The smoothie turned out to be reminiscent of Mexican Hot Chocolate.  If you wanted to tap into that flavor profile a bit more, then a dash (or approximately 1/8 tsp) of chili powder would add some heat.  Though, the cinnamon is enough—especially if you want to keep your smoothie strictly sweet 😉

Let me know if you give this a try!

chocolate cinnamon breakfast shake

UPDATE:

I’ve updated the recipe below to include an option for how to achieve the same Mexican Hot Chocolate flavor if using a protein powder other than ALOHATone it Up chocolate plant-based protein or Nuzest chocolate protein would both work.

Chocolate Cinnamon Breakfast Shake
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Recipe type: Breakfast, Smoothie
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Serves: 1
Cinnamon accompanies cherries, cauliflower, spinach, and chocolate protein powder to create a flavorful smoothie reminiscent of Mexican hot chocolate.
Ingredients
  • 1½ c cauliflower, frozen
  • ¾ cup frozen spinach
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • A serving of chocolate plant-based protein powder (I used ALOHA)
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tbsp almond butter
  • ⅛ tsp chili powder (optional, but recommended for Mexican chocolate flavor)
  • 1½ tbsp cacao powder*
  • ½ tsp sugar in the raw or coconut sugar*
  • a pinch of Himalayan pink sea salt*
  • ¾ cup coconut water + ¼ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or plain water + almond milk)
Instructions
  1. Blend up the coconut water and spinach so no spinach bits remain. Then, add in the chocolate protein powder, cauliflower, and cherries. Blend, pushing down on the sides of the blender with a spoon to help the mixture along.
  2. When mostly combined, add in the cinnamon, chili powder, almond butter, and almond milk. If using a protein powder other than ALOHA, add cacao powder, raw sugar, and sea salt.
  3. It will be a very thick mixture, but that's how I like my breakfast shakes. Add in a bit more almond milk or water, if desired.
Notes
I like to blend up the ingredients in steps to make it easier on my blender. If you have a strong blender, feel free to toss all of the ingredients in at once.

*The original recipe was tested with ALOHA chocolate plant-based protein powder. It has a stronger chocolate flavor and slightly sweeter taste. You can use another chocolate protein powder, like Tone it Up plant-based powder, but, to compensate for flavor differences, add the starred ingredients: cacao powder, raw sugar, and sea salt. They're all necessary to bring out the hot chocolate flavors!

 

Banana Tahini Shake – My current FAVE

Alright, alright, alright!  How is everyone doing today?  It is Tuesday and it’s time to break out the tahini! Can that be a thing?  Move over tacos, it’s Tahini Tuesday! 😆

Banana Tahini Shake

It’s no secret that smoothies are my favorite thing ever and if I can sneak some vegetables in them, that’s even better.  Too much fruit in a smoothie can spike my blood sugar and leave me crashing with hanger mid-morning.  That doesn’t mean fruit is a no-go, it just means I need to include a little something extra to stabilize my energy and keep hunger at bay.  A recent discovery that I’ve made in regards to my smoothies is the power of HEALTHY FATS.

I used to be so scared of using oil or eating peanut butter and avocados (not necessarily together), but now I know that a moderate amount of fat is A-okay!  I eat mostly plant-based so when I include healthy fats, I add a satiating element to my meals, too.

Banana Tahini Shake

So, back to the Banana Tahini Shake!  Technically it could fall under the “smoothie” category but it is so rich and comforting that it feels like a shake to me.  Shakes are usually loaded up with ice cream, dairy milk, and sugar but mine is sweetened with banana.  It’s more than healthy enough for breakfast for sure!  Plus, the addition of tahini really helps round out the smoothie/shake.  It is…

Uniquely satisfying,

Subtly sweet,

And perfectly thick.

I have been digging this for weeks now and I’m very excited to share it!  Let me know if you try it out 🙂

Banana Tahini Shake Header

 

Banana Tahini Shake
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Recipe type: Breakfast
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Serves: 1
Zucchini adds fiber, tahini adds satiating fats, and banana brings home the sweetness in this simple Banana Tahini Shake.
Ingredients
  • ¼ large frozen zucchini (about ½ cup chopped)
  • 1 med frozen banana
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • a dash of black pepper
  • ½ inch knob of fresh ginger, frozen (I like the zestiness of it but you can sub ground)
  • 1-2 tbsp of tahini,
  • 1 serving of plant-based protein powder, optional
  • ¾ cup - 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Barbaras Bakery Puffins or other cereal, optional
Instructions
  1. Add zucchini, banana, and ginger to a blender or food processor and ¾ cup of almond milk. Blend away! Then add the spices, tahini, and protein powder. Add more milk, if needed.
  2. Serve the smoothie in a glass with some low-sugar cereal of choice, if desired. Best enjoyed with a spoon and straw.

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie Bowl

On cold days, on rainy days, on sunny days, or cloudy days, I will always be in the mood for a smoothie.  In fact, the jury is still out on whether I consume more smoothies in winter months or summertime.

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie Bowl

On a slightly related side note:

there was a lot of mud from the previous night’s rain when I made this smoothie bowl.  I didn’t let that stop me from marching outside in my boots to snap a picture. 🙂 The lighting is much better outdoors!  Plus, my neighbors would probably wonder where I’m at if they didn’t see me go outside to take a picture of my breakfast.  You know, ‘cause that’s the usual these days.

Anyway, this photo is from a while back but I’ve had this for breakfast a number of times since.  I rarely make the same smoothie twice but there is something particularly crave-worthy about blueberries that makes me want to have them in a smoothie several days in a row.  This simple smoothie is the best way to make that happen.

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie
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Recipe type: Breakfast, Smoothie
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Serves: 1 smoothie
Creamy coconut milk combines with frozen banana and blueberries to make a delicious rich and tropical smoothie.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium to large banana, frozen
  • ¾ cup of blueberries, frozen
  • ¼ cup of canned coconut milk
  • 1 serving of protein powder (optional)
  • Toppings: granola, blueberries, ground flax, coconut flakes
Instructions
  1. If using protein powder, add that to the blender first, followed by the coconut milk and frozen fruit.
  2. The smoothie might be tough to blend but it's perfectly thick with a small amount of liquid. Add a tablespoon of additional milk to the blender if the mixture is not budging.
  3. Scoop the smoothie contents into a bowl and add the recommended toppings, or, simply some coconut flakes to jazz up the tropical factor.
Notes
Prep time does not include freezing the fruit. A very necessary step for the ultimate creamy smoothie!

Simple Coffee Protein Smoothie

I’d like to say that my love for smoothies knows no season but I found myself slipping away from them during the wintertime.  I felt cravings for fresh fruit and creamy flavors but opted for breakfasts of oatmeal most days, instead.  If the weather seemed mild, I’d make a cup of hot tea and drink my smoothie underneath a blanket on my couch.  The hot and cold drinks allowed me to sip on my beloved smoothie without turning my insides into ice cubes.

Now that the worst of the cold days are behind us, I am sharing one of my favorite smoothies that I was sipping in the winter and into spring.  It is also the perfect pick-me-up any time of year.  Coffee is special like that 🙂

Simple Coffee Protein Smoothie

I usually opt to drink decaf most of the time because the caffeine from coffee is almost impossible for me to tolerate.  Call me a wimp but I just feel jittery and unstable after a mere half cup.  You can totally use regular coffee but make sure it is cooled first because, otherwise, it might melt the ice cubes and reduce the frostiness of the smoothie.  Oh, and do not pass up on the ice cubes! They really make all the difference in this frosty smoothie.

Notice the keyword: frosty.  I can’t stand thin, watery smoothies.  Super thick and creamy is how I like ‘em usually.  The exception is this smoothie.  It isn’t quite as thick or richly creamy, but it is frosty! It is a very refreshing choice and way healthier than a frappuccino, just saying.

As always, leave me a comment if you try it out.  I’d like to know what smoothies you’re drinking on these spring days.

Simple Coffee Protein Smoothie

Simple Coffee Protein Smoothie
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Recipe type: Breakfast, Snacks
Cuisine: American, Vegetarian, Vegan
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 smoothie
Adapted from a Tone it Up recipe, this Coffee Smoothie is easy to make and full of frosty deliciousness!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of decaf/coffee ice cubes, about 5 cubes*
  • ½ large banana, frozen
  • ½ cup of decaf or regular coffee, cooled
  • ½ cup of cashew milk**
  • 2 scoops of Chocolate Protein Powder***
Instructions
  1. If you have a strong blender, then toss all of the ingredients in and blend away!
  2. If not, I’d recommend blitzing the ice cubes with the coffee and banana first. Then, add in the cashew milk and protein powder. Once it looks like it is all combined and starting to get a little frothy, you are done. Drink up!
Notes
Prep time does not include freezing the ice cubes or brewing coffee
*Simply, pour brewed coffee into an ice cube try and let freeze overnight.
**Can sub other milk but I like the creaminess of cashew milk
***I used Nuzest USA’s plant-based Chocolate Protein Powder. Not all protein powders get frothy when blended. For example, I don’t recommend ALOHA in this smoothie. You can sub other plant-based powders like Perfect Fit but there may be slight variations in thickness.

Live Nomva Smoothie Packs Review

Recently, I got the opportunity to sample several of Live Nomva’s probiotic smoothie packs.  These little packs are pure health pureed into a drinkable form.  I find them perfect for on-the-go and also an easy way to squeeze (literally!) some healthy fruits and veggies into my day.

Live Nomva Smoothie Packs
Photo from Live Nomva’s website

I tried out the following smoothie pack flavors:

KALE YEAH

STRAWNANA

TROPICARROT

APPLESTACK

EVERBERRY

At the time I tried these out, they had not yet release their ISLANDTIME flavor.   Nonetheless, I really liked the flavors I did try!  They’re basically like applesauce in texture but better! The packs are made with awesome ingredients ranging from banana to kale to apples to quinoa.

To begin with, the TROPICARROT flavor was probably my favorite.  It is made of pineapple, carrot, mango, and pear.  Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of how I used that pack because I literally guzzled that baby down in a minute because it was that good!  For all of the other flavors (that I could exercise a bit more restraint with) I managed to take some pictures:

STRAWNANA Live Nomva Smoothie Pack Chia Pudding Parfait

The STRAWNANA flavor went excellently in a coconut chia pudding, granola, and strawberries parfait that I put together.

EVERBERRY Live Nomva Smoothie Pack Chia Pudding Parfait

I also used their EVERBERRY flavor as a layer in yet another chia pudding parfait.  I mixed in some Puffins cereal, strawberries, and kiwi this time.  Super yum!

Admittedly, you could make your own smoothie and use that in a parfait but it’s hard to make just a small amount of smoothie.  So, these packs are the perfect size!!  I love adding the Nomva smoothie packs to parfaits and other concoctions but they are so delicious on their own.  Plus, they are free from dairy, tree nuts, preservatives, or anything funky.  Pure organic fruit and vegetables + vegan friendly probiotics!

Let’s talk about the probiotics for a sec.  As a mostly plant-based eater, I do not consume yogurt regularly.  That used to be my main source of probiotics.  Sometimes I drink kombucha or eat sauerkraut but these Live Nomva smoothies are totally easy and safe to consume daily because they are made with wholesome, organic produce.  Now, I can get behind that.

Live Nomva KALE YEAH: Productivity Fuel

Twice, I tried the KALE YEAH flavor on an occasion when I felt like I needed a pick-me-up but my stomach was feeling a bit off.  All of the nutritious ingredients and probiotics definitely helped me feel reenergized!

Check out the Live Nomva website to see more about their smoothie pack flavors and find out where you can buy them locally.  I believe you can even get a $1 off coupon to try out their product when you visit their website.

Have you guys tried the Nomva smoothie packs?  If so, what did you think?  As always, I’d love to hear your opinions.

Xoxo,

Melanie

 

DISCLAIMER: The Live Nomva smoothie packs were sent to me as a giveaway prize package.  I am not under any obligation to promote or endorse this product.  I truly enjoyed them so I just want to share my review.