It's been a while right? Sorry about that. Those of you who follow me on Instagram (thank you btw) will know I have been vacationing in the delightfully hot & sunny lands of America. Honestly, no matter how hard I try to be 'good' when away, I find it so difficult to say no to a cocktail before dinner and a scoop of ice cream from Spinkles whilst out and about. I know it's not the worst way to fall off the wagon but I inevitably return feeling bloated, heavier and with the onset of a rheumatoid flare up.
Needless to say returning home was bitter sweet. Bitter, since it's never nice when your holiday comes to an end but sweet as I was reunited with my beloved Vitamix. Yay!
Since my vacation indulgences have led to most of my clothes feeling oh so much tighter, I have been back 100% on the Paleo path. Working out most days and avoiding certain carby foods, bananas in smoothies for example. This is fine until you want to make a thick & creamy smoothie bowl. Which leads me nicely into the surprise ingredient in my Chocolate Surprise Smoothie Bowl recipe.
Sliced & frozen courgette. I honestly didn't think it would work but it really does. Seriously, it thickens smoothies up just like frozen bananas do. You can't taste it since courgettes are so mild. There are hardly any calories, carbs or fats in a courgette, zero sugars, just lots of fibre and nutrients. Really what is not to love? Once you add some flavoured protein powder and/or cacao powder to the mix you have yourself one very delicious, healthy & tasty smoothie bowl or smoothie if you add a little extra liquid.
If I make this or any of my smoothies as a post work out refuel meal I may add half of a frozen banana so don't worry if you have a load left lying around in your freezer, they wont go to waste.
Try it, honestly it will change your smoothie bases going forward.
100g sliced & frozen courgette
One scoop of chocolate protein powder*
1/4 of a large ripe avocado
50g frozen spinach leaves
One large scoop of cacao powder
One tsp of chocolate extract or extra cacao powder
Half to one cup of chilled filtered water or dairy free milk for a creamier version
Sweetener of choice if not using protein powder or if protein powder is unsweetened
*Add extra cacao powder if not using protein powder
Toppings of choice, fresh berries, cacao nibs, chocolate shavings, coconut cream etc.
Place all ingredients (apart from the toppings) into a high powered blender and blend, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Add extra water gradually if needed & continue to blend until smooth.
Pour into a bowl and top with toppings of choice if desired.