Coffee and chocolate provide some of the highest levels of antioxidants found in plant foods, sort of. The type of coffee and chocolate matters greatly.
Antioxidants, polyphenols, and flavonoids are just a few of the thousands of disease-fighting compounds found in plant foods like coffee and chocolate, and help protect your body from the unstable molecules that can destroy cells and DNA, known as free radicals, you come in contact with every day.
To stay within the “healthy” boundaries for coffee and chocolate and benefit from their immune-boosting properties, always select fair-trade, organic coffee beans, which have been lightly roasted with moderate heat. When you brew at home, keep the brewing temperature below 200 degrees. The chocolate should be in the form of raw cacao.
Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. The low-heat process keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa while separating the cocoa butter from the bean. Cocoa powder, on the other hand, is made from raw cacao that has been roasted at high temperatures. The roasting and high-heat process reduces the enzyme content and antioxidants otherwise found in the raw bean.
It’s important to note that both coffee and cacao are stimulants, however in limited amounts, they can be part of your healthy “nice-to-have” list of honest, clean, minimally-processed foods. The recipe below for an iced banana mochaccino ticks all of those boxes:
- 6 ice cubes
- 1/2 cup coconut water
- 1 cup brewed and cooled coffee
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon raw cacao
- 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- 1 medium sliced frozen ripe banana
- pinch of sea salt
- Place all ingredients in a (frozen drink style) blender
- Let stand 5 minutes to allow chia seeds to soften
- Pulse on high until ice and ingredients are slightly mixed; blend on high for 30 to 40 seconds until smooth
- Serve cold
For more inspired smoothie ideas and recipes, grab my new eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Building Honest Smoothies, with 16 pages of smoothie making tips and recipe combinations to help you heal from the inside by harnessing the phytonutrients in specific super foods.
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