Coconut Chocolate Smoothie! Tastes like a Nutella milkshake- without the dairy! Vegan, gluten-free and naturally sweetened.
Jamaica! I’ve been sitting in this airport bar for the past two hours, waiting not so patiently for our connecting flight and trying to figure out how to describe our Christmas vacation.
Jamaica! —> that’s about as far as I’ve gotten. It’s always ironic to me that even though I am a food blogger, I am most definitely not a writer. Which becomes more and more apparent when my conversation drifts from food to life events.
Wow, what a whirlwind of sun, beach, food, drinks with fancy umbrellas in them, and more food. Besides the Outer Banks in North Carolina, Negril, Jamaica tops my list of places to bliss out. When I say we took a vacation, I mean that in the most literal sense of the word.
Vacation from TV, from phones, from emails, from constant to-do-lists. Not that those things bother me on a regular basis, they really don’t. I love being connected and I love the productivity that I feel while I am working. But every now and then, it’s completely blissful to leave it all behind. I put on my out-of-office email notification last Friday and have actively not responded to a single one. It’s humbling to realize that responding to emails a week later, especially over the holidays, is not the end of the world. I’m not as important as I pretend to be.
The highlight of my week, besides getting to spend 100% uninterrupted time with BL was doing absolutely nothing. Nothing. Besides teaching my morning classes (the main reason we were there), I spend hours on the beach, dipping in and out of the water, and catching up on all the books I planned on reading in 2014. I cried and laughed through each of these pages and I highly recommend them if you are looking for a good read: Wild, The Circle, The Storyteller, and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.
A lot of eating was done last week. A lot. But I was a terrible food blogger and recorded only 2% of it, a fact of which I am only sorry about now. It felt great to head to restaurants phone-free, even if that meant not documenting all of the fresh, beautiful Jamaican food we devoured.
I could not get enough tropical fruit! Even now I am dreaming of fresh coconut water, pineapple, and juicy, ripe mango. Tropical fruit is the perfect refreshment on a warm Caribbean day. Besides the endless fruit plates, I taste tested almost ever smoothie that was offered on the resort.
Whether it was a post-cycle class rejuvenator or for a mid-afternoon snack, smoothies became an obsession. While all the concoctions were great, this chocolate coconut flavor was the one I kept asking for over and over again. Like a giant glass of nutella and coconut milk!
I took a few liberties in recreating this one the day after we got back, mostly substituting coconut milk for fresh coconut meat. If you can get fresh coconut meat, then use it!
For the rest of us, coconut milk provides both flavor and liquid. I also used dates as a natural sweetener instead of the syrup in the original recipe. For an extra creamy mouthfeel, I also used 1/4 avocado. This helps give the smoothie body and bulk, like the coconut meat did in the original. Blend and enjoy!
Chocolate Hazelnut Coconut Smoothie! Tastes like a nutella milkshake! Vegan, gluten-free, and naturally sweetened.
- 1 cup coconut milk beverage
- ½ banana, frozen
- ¼ avocado
- 2 tbsp. chocolate hazelnut spread (Like Justin’s)
- 1 medjool date
- 1 tbsp. unsweetened chocolate powder
- 4-5 ice cubes
- Place all ingredients into a high powered blender like a Blend-Tec or Vita-Mix. Puree until smooth and creamy. Serves 1-2.