Spicy Dark Chocolate Coconut Smoothie

At the culinary retreat I attended last weekend, we all took part in a smoothie workshop led by the one of the founders of NibMor chocolates--an organic chocolate company that produces chocolate products without refined sugars. The demonstration featured a variety of easy smoothies made using the company's various drinking chocolate mixes which are all sweetened with coconut palm sugar instead of refined sugars or HFC.

The smoothies she made were delicious, but the one that jumped out at me the most was the one she made using their 6-Spice Organic Drinking Chocolate mix. Made with a blend of six different spices, this produced a sweet and spicy and totally addictive drink. I was hooked and knew that I would have to recreate something similar as soon as I got home.

For the demo, she used the already prepared mix, but I figured it would be easy enough to make something at home from scratch using ingredients I already had in my pantry. I played around with different quantities of spices and cocoa and finally came up with a recipe I really liked. I used coconut milk for my smoothie and I loved the thick, almost tropical flavor it added. Coconut and spice just work so well together. I also tested the recipe with whole milk (from a cow) and it was also fantastic, but I really do actually prefer the coconut milk with this since it adds that extra little touch of something special.

The final result is creamy, cool, with just the perfect amount of heat. I absolutely love that spicy kick and think it makes for a perfect morning drink to get you going on these hot summer days! (Or even on a hot summer night ;) The combination of spices, cocoa, and coconut milk are also packed with nutrients, antioxidants, and a whole host of nutritional benefits.

The recipe below includes the spices that I added and loved in my smoothie, but feel free to play around with them based on your likes or what you have in your pantry. For best results, use fresh spices, but if yours have been hanging around the pantry for a long time, you may want to increase the amount you use of each one. If you're nervous about a particular flavor, add just a bit and then increase it as you go. Or if there is something you don't like, just feel free to skip it. Remember, you can always add more, but taking some away is not so easy.

Delicious Tip! I love my smoothies really icy cold, so I actually freeze my coconut milk in ice cube trays the night before and then just blitz them up in my blender. Since coconut milk thickens at cold temperatures, it actually makes the smoothie even creamier. You can also refrigerate your coconut milk or even make the smoothie the night before and chill it in the fridge. It'll need a quick whisk or blitz in the blender before serving since the drink will separate a bit overnight.

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Spicy Dark Chocolate Coconut Smoothie
Makes about 2 8oz servings (or one big one--I totally go for the one big one)
Print this Recipe
2 cups cold coconut milk (can also substitute cow, almond, hemp, oat, or other non-dairy milk)
4 ice cubes
3 rounded (heaping!) tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons honey (can also use maple syrup, golden syrup, granulated sugar or your favorite sweetener)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (Saigon or Vietnamese cinnamon is recommended)
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (you can increase or decrease this depending on how much heat you like)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt OR Celtic sea salt

Combine all ingredients in blender and process until smooth and frothy (1-3 minutes, depending on your blender). Serve immediately or refrigerate in air-tight container for up to 3 days (whisk or run through blender again before serving if refrigerated).

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