This Cocoa Banana Smoothie (chocolate banana smoothie) is a healthy chocolate banana smoothie recipe to pull together.  It’s made with frozen bananas, cocoa powder, pure vanilla extract, almond milk and a couple of dates for added sweetness.  And this frozen banana smoothie is rich and luscious and loaded with nutritional benefits.

glasses of chocolate banana smoothie

I love everything about this rich decadent frozen banana smoothie with cocoa powder!  It tastes like dessert, but it’s healthy enough to make for breakfast.  If you want to add a little protein to this chocolate shake, just add a tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter to the mix.  

glass of cocoa banana smoothie

This Cocoa Banana Smoothie is one of my favorite frozen banana smoothie recipes.  I keep a stash of frozen bananas in my freezer to add to all my smoothies because frozen bananas gives smoothies a creamier and more decadent texture than freshly peeled bananas (at room temperature). 

Chocolate Banana Smoothie Recipe

This healthy chocolate banana smoothie is made with just 5 ingredients.

  • Frozen bananas
  • Almond milk
  • Cocoa powder (or cacao powder).  Cocoa is rich in iron, calcium and magnesium. Once cacao is ingested, the body releases serotonin, a hormone that helps reduce stress and modulate your mood.
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Dates. This natural fruit is a good source of antioxidants, B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

Variations

  • Use cacao powder instead of cocoa powder
  • Add a heaping tablespoon of almond butter or peanut butter if you want to add a little more protein to this healthy Cocoa Banana Smoothie
  • Replace the almond milk with another nut milk or oat milk.

How to Make a Chocolate Smoothie

This Cocoa Banana Smoothie comes together in about 5 minutes.  Almond milk replaces dairy making this a healthy vegan smoothie. The banana and date provide sweetness so there’s no refined sugars added. Adding a little pure vanilla extract makes this chocolate smoothie taste like dessert! 

  1. Place frozen banana, almond milk, cocoa powder, pure vanilla extract and dates in a blender (or NutriBullet).
  2. Blend together until smooth and creamy.  Add more almond milk for a thinner smoothie or add a few ice cubes to the blender if you want a slushier smoothie.
  3. Pour in glass and enjoy!

What We Love About this Cocoa Banana Smoothie

  • Nutritious. This Cocoa Banana Smoothie is made with almond milk (giving you an assortment of vitamins and minerals), cocoa (which is rich with antioxidants) and frozen bananas (rich with potassium).
  • Delicious. It tastes like dessert but it makes a perfect wholesome breakfast or mid-afternoon snack. 
  • Easy to make. We use just 5 simple ingredients for this smoothie

sifter with cocoa powder

Benefits of Cocoa

  • Cocoa is one of the richest sources of polyphenols and flavanols which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  It’s always best to purchase non-alkalized cocoa powder and dark chocolate containing more than 70% cocoa to maximize nutritional benefits.
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • May help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.  (1) (2) (3)
  • Improves levels of nitric oxide in blood, which helps to relax and dilate arteries and blood vessels helping to improve blood flow (4)(5)
  • May help to  lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) (6)
  • Provides flavanols and conversion of tryptophan to serotonin which ay help improve mood. (7)(8)(9)

Cacao Powder vs Cocoa Powder

So what’s the difference between cacao powder and cocoa powder? 

  • The only real difference between Cacao powder and cocoa powder is that cocoa is processed at a much higher temperature losing some of its nutritional value, and it may often contain added sugar and dairy. 
  • Both cacao and cocoa come from cacao plant beans. 
  • Cacao powder is made from fermented beans that haven’t been roasted.  The beans are  processed at a lower temperature and then milled into powder  Cacao is a little more bitter tasting than cocoa and it is richer in nutritional properties than cocoa. 
  • Cocoa beans are fermented and roasted and processed at a high temperature losing some of the nutritional value. 
  • Cocoa typically has a less bitter taste than cacao.

More Healthy Smoothie Recipes

Here are a few of my favorite vegan smoothie recipes.

drinking glasses filled with chocolate banana smoothie
Yield: 2 Smoothies

Cocoa Banana Smoothie

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

This Cocoa Banana Smoothie (chocolate banana smoothie) is a healthy chocolate banana smoothie recipe to pull together.  It's made with frozen bananas, cocoa powder, pure vanilla extract, almond milk and a couple of dates for added sweetness.  And this frozen banana smoothie is rich and luscious and loaded with nutritional benefits.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups frozen bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 dates, pitted and chopped or 2 teaspoons honey

Instructions

  1. Place frozen banana, almond milk, cocoa powder, pure vanilla extract and dates in a blender (or NutriBullet).
  2. Blend together until smooth and creamy.  Add more almond milk for a thinner smoothie or add a few ice cubes to the blender if you want a slushier smoothie.
  3. Pour in glass and enjoy!

Notes

Variations

  • Use cacao powder instead of cocoa powder
  • Add a heaping tablespoon of almond butter or peanut butter if you want to add a little more protein to this healthy Cocoa Banana Smoothie
  • Replace the almond milk with another nut milk or oat milk.

How to Freeze Bananas

  • Peel the bananas: Peel  ripe organic bananas and discard the peel
  • Slice bananas:  Slice bananas into in 1/2 – 1-1/2 inch pieces (they don’t have to be perfectly sized)
  • Cookie sheet:  Lay the banana slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet (you can lay down a piece of parchment paper first if you want).
  • Freeze bananas:  Put the cookie sheet with the banana slices in the freezer for 2o minutes 
  • Loosen banana slices:  After 20 minutes lift the banana pieces up from the baking sheet with a spatula so they won’t stick during the remaining freeze time. Then pop them back in the freezer to freeze for about 2 hours
  • Transfer to freezer bag:  Use a spatula to loosen the frozen banana slices from the cookie sheet and transfer them to a plastic freezer bag