Let’s just get really honest here…I’m a chocoholic. I like to eat chocolate on a daily basis and if no one would know, and calories wouldn’t count, I would totally eat chocolate morning, noon, and night – and all the times in between.
So when I walked into the gym the last week of August and saw a big sign offering prizes for members who could complete a challenge, I signed up immediately to participate in a “Sugar-free September.” I thought, “Sugar-free? For a whole month? Well, this is easy, as I don’t even eat sugar.”
Oh, naïve little me.
Oh sure, I don’t eat sugar. I can pass up doughnuts, pies, cakes, muffins, sweetened coffee beverages, soda – you name it – all of those things I can live without.
But here’s what I found out in the first week of this challenge…
Hershey Kisses do indeed have sugar in them.
Those handful of chocolate chips that somehow made it into my mouth around 4pm on a quiet Wednesday afternoon when it’s just me and the bag…ah, sugar.
Chocolate wafer cookies, a slice of chocolate tart, chocolate mousse, even just a plain ol’ chocolate bar – they all have added sugar.
What’s a poor chocolate addict to do?
Well, at first I panicked. Just a little. The thought of being without my daily kick of anything chocolate was a bit unnerving. But then I started playing around with ways that I could still get my chocolate fix but without the added sugar and here’s what I came up with:
A chocolate smoothie that tastes very similar to a chocolate milkshake but with no added sugar.
No joke, this is so good that it’s going to be on my menu long after Sugar-free September has left the building. Rich unsweetened cocoa powder is blended together with coconut milk, creamy almond butter, naturally sweetened dates, and tangy bananas and the result is frozen chocolately goodness – all with no added sugar.
You will love it! You will rejoice at the thought of it!! You will want to go sugar-free in September too!!! Or maybe not. But at least you won’t feel guilty for feeding your inner chocolate monster with this smoothie.
chocolate coconut and date smoothie
makes one smoothie (double as needed)
1 cup coconut milk (or your favorite milk or nut milk)
1 date, pitted and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon almond butter (or your favorite nut butter)
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 frozen banana, peeled
1 cup of ice
In a blender, mix together the coconut milk and dates until the dates are pureed. Add the almond butter, cocoa powder, frozen banana and ice and blend together until combined. Pour into a glass and enjoy.
my notes: I make this smoothie with a frozen banana because it gives the smoothie the shake-like texture that I love. But you can make this smoothie with a room temperature banana with no issue – you just might want to add some extra ice to get it to the “shake” texture.