“Chocolate” Monkey Smoothie

No more chocolate for me. It’s one of my favourite things and I recently realized that I have a food sensitivity to it.  Sigh.

Food insensitivities can cause digestive upset, sinus irritation, post-nasal drip, eczema, inflammation and even infertility. Inflammation caused by a food intolerance can present itself anywhere in the body. There are some usual suspects, such as the joints, skin and sinuses, but apparently the reproductive system can also be a culprit. Many of us have food intolerances that we don’t even know about – I’m a prime example of this. It may be worth getting checked if you suspect you may have them, especially if you are planning to start a family.

So back to chocolate. Since it’s best for my body to stay away from it, I needed to find a substitute. Enter carob. I first heard about carob years ago, but never really had a need to use something other than cocoa powder or chocolate itself to get the fix I needed. This week I learned that carob is a pod that grows on the locust tree. The pod is what is used to make the powder and the seed is used to make locust bean gum. Now that you’ve heard those words, you’ll start to notice it on a lot of ingredient lists as it is often used as a thickening agent in processed foods. Carob powder has a sweet, chocolaty sort of flavour and is often used as a chocolate substitute.

chocolate

The other new thing I have been experimenting with this week is photography.  I think food is the hardest thing to shoot!  You wouldn’t think so, since food just sits there nice and still like a good subject, but I’m still struggling to get it right.  My finished product for this recipe was all dark and fuzzy so for this post it’s just the ingredients! Stay tuned for some better photos.

Here’s the recipe for my “Chocolate” Monkey Smoothie.  I bought some carob powder at the Bulk Barn and I believe many health food stores also carry it. I decided to try it first in a smoothie and it turned out very well, if I do say so myself.

“Chocolate” Monkey Smoothie (Serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond milk (or other milk of your choice)
  • 2 bananas
  • 4 Tbsp. hemp protein or hemp seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. carob powder
  • 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter (or use almond or cashew butter)
  • Crushed ice to desired thickness/coldness

Instructions:

  • Put it all in a blender, blend on high for a minute and serve.  Yum.
  • Note: if you’d like to just use the real stuff i.e. cocoa powder, feel free.  Cocoa powder does not have the natural sweetness that carob does so you may need to add a sweetener.  Try a teaspoon or two of maple syrup or honey, or a little stevia, depending on how sweet you like your food.

 

 



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