Happy Monkey Smoothie (DF, GF, VG)

With winter arriving early in Toronto, it’s so important to find ways to prevent the winter blues. This mood-boosting smoothie is a healthy and tasty option that’s loaded with what I like to call “pick-me-up ingredients.”  

Pick-me-up ingredients in this smoothie include…

Bananas: rich in vitamins and minerals, bananas contain an amino acid called tryptophan.  When absorbed by the brain, tryptophan works with Vitamin B6 to be converted into the mood-boosting hormone serotonin.[i]

Raw Cacao: a pure form of chocolate, raw cacao is a rich antioxidant known for its release of endorphins (the bliss feeling).  Studies have shown chocolate to interact with neurotransmitter systems such as dopamine and serotonin that contribute to appetite, reward and mood regulation.[ii]

Rolled Oats/Oat Milk: packed with blood stabilizing nutrients and minerals, whole oats (like rolled oats) contain the mood-boosting mineral selenium. Selenium supports proper thyroid function, playing an important role in mood and behavior. As a result, people with selenium deficiency may have an increased risk of depression. [iii] 

Why I Love this smoothie recipe?

  • It’s mood boosting ingredients
  • It’s easy to make
  • It’s super smooth and creamy
  • It’s just sweet enough
  • It’s banana-chocolate combo flavour

What makes this smoothie a healthy option?

  • It uses clean and simple mood-boosting ingredients
  • It’s naturally sweetened
  • It’s a great source of good fats
  • It’s a good source of protein
  • It’s very adaptable to suit various dietary needs/allergies
  • It’s allergen friendly; dairy, gluten, nut, soy, and egg free
  • It’s rich in vitamins and minerals

Steps to making this smoothie recipe:

  • STEP 1 – Make the oat milk.
  • STEP 2 – Add all other ingredients, blend, and enjoy right away!

A few tips for making this recipe…

  • Making the oat milk only takes a minute. I don’t strain it for this recipe as I use it all right away. If I was making double and storing half in the fridge, I may consider straining out the oat fibre.
  • You could use a cashew or brazil nut milk if you are avoiding grains.
  • I prefer using room temperature bananas and avocados for this recipe.
  • You can use any natural sweetener– Canadian maple syrup, coconut nectar, or raw honey are my favourite.
  • If you reduce the oat milk portion to 1 cup and use a food processor instead of a blender, you’ll have yourself one heck of a tasty chocolaty banana pudding!

Happy Monkey Smoothie Recipe


Happy Monkey Smoothie

A creamy and chocolaty dairy free smoothie packed with mood boosting ingredients.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2
Author Fay

Equipment

  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • High Speed Blender

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups unsweetened gluten free oat milk or any dairy free milk*
  • 1 small banana**
  • 1 small avocado
  • 3 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp raw organic cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp organic Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp real maple syrup or 4 small medjool dates

Optional but recommend:

  • 1 tbsp unflavored organic grass fed collagen powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Cacao nibs for topping

Instructions

  • Make oat milk. Add 2.5 cups filtered water and 1/3 cup gluten free rolled oats to a high speed blender. Blend on high for 1 minute.
  • To the oat milk, add all other ingredients. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes. The smoothie will be rich and creamy when ready. If you prefer it less creamy, add 1/4 cup more dairy free milk.
  • Pour and top with optional cacao nibs and/or sliced banana.

Notes

  • *Oat milk gives this smoothie an extra creamy consistency. If avoiding grains, a cashew milk will also do the trick! You can make the cashew milk the same way as the oat milk; 2.5 cups water to 1/3 cup raw cashews.
  • **I find using a room temperature banana works best for this recipe. If using a frozen banana, add ¼ cup more dairy free milk to prevent the smoothie from being too thick.

Helping you put Wellness 1st,

Fay


[i] Gordon, Karen. “What to Eat When You’re in a Bad Mood.” Netdoctor, Netdoctor, 19 Feb. 2019,       octor.co.uk/healthy-eating/a25845/11-mood-boosting-foods/.

[ii] Nehlig, Astrid. “The Neuroprotective Effects of Cocoa Flavanol and Its Influence on Cognitive Performance.” British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Mar. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3575938/

[iii] Herring, Kelley. “A Mood-Boosting Mineral.” Early To Rise, Early to Rise, 25 Mar. 2013, com/benefits-of-selenium-mood/.

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