Chewing My Smoothies: Almond, Cocoa, Banana Blast

Last week I gave you the recipe for my new morning obsession: Almond, Chocolate Chip Oatmeal. This week, I want to share my newest breakfast love with you: Almond, Cocoa, Banana Blast. Are you seeing a pattern here? It’s no secret I love sweets and, well, I will sneak chocolate and almonds into anything I can so it should be no surprise that this recipe has a little cocoa powder in it.

Anyway…a few months ago I became fascinated with the concept of smoothies you can “chew”. Sounds funny, I know! But I was never all that satisfied using a smoothie as a meal or snack because, well, I like to chew! I find the process of chewing very satisfying and the thought of simply sipping my meal just feels a little dull to me. That is, until I discovered the concept of chewing my smoothie. In the raw food world, chewing your smoothie or green drinks supposedly aids in digestion. This is because the act of chewing produces saliva. Saliva contains enzymes that are an essential part of good digestion. By sipping your smoothie, you aren’t adding any saliva to the mix, so you’re not effectively digesting your smoothie.

After learning about this concept I started making my smoothies a little chunkier and using a larger straw. I add mix-ins like whole nuts and rolled oats to make the smoothie more “chewable” and then I blend all of the ingredients (minus what I want to be chunkier) to a smooth consistency. I add the oats or nuts at the end and simply pulse the mixture until its broken down slightly, leaving a perfectly chewable and delicious smoothie. It’s super satisfying.

Do you chew your green drinks or smoothies? if so, what’s your go-to recipe?

Almond, Cocoa, Banana Blast

Makes 1 smoothie


1/2 cup plain or vanilla almond milk, soy, non-fat cows milk or water

1/2 cup non-fat greek yogurt

1 banana

1/2 cup ice

*optional -2 teaspoons honey or agave

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

1 tablespoon whole almonds


1. In a blender combine almond milk, yogurt, banana, ice, honey and cocoa powder. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Add in almonds and pulse 20-30 times or until they break down a bit. Serve immediately.

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Rachael Ray