Everyone loves chocolate – right? I know I do and over the years, my taste buds have gone from loving anything off the shelf at a grocery store (Snickers, Hershey’s Chocolate) to more of the dark chocolate obsession. Anything 70% Dark Cacao or higher and I’m in LOVE! Ever wonder why we love chocolate so much?
According to a recent study by psychologist David Lewis, letting chocolate dissolve slowly in your mouth produces as big an increase in brain activity and heart rate as a passionate kiss—but the effects of the chocolate last four times longer! Trust science to tell us things we already know! Don’t get me wrong, I adore kissing my guy but chocolate?!?
Actually, scientists have been trying to understand the chemistry of chocolate for years. Although there are several hundred different chemicals in your typical slab, a handful of them seem to be more important than others in making chocolate taste so good. Among the most important are stimulants including theobromine, phenylethylamine, and caffeine (in very small amounts). Researchers at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego, California say chocolate also contains a feel-good chemical called anandamide, which is found naturally in the brain, and is similar to another one called anandamide THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) found in marijuana. WHAT?? Normally anandamide is broken down quite quickly after it is produced, but the San Diego chemists think the anandamide in chocolate makes the natural anandamide in our brain persist for longer—in other words, giving us a longer-lasting “chocolate high.” So while chocolate does not contain the same active chemicals as marijuana, there is some similarity in the effect that both substances have on our brains.
Enough about science and research – we ALL love chocoloate so I was thrilled when I found this smoothie recipe that not only is good for you, but the chocolate flavor is WOW! It’s like having dessert for breakfast!
CRAZY DELICIOUS CHOCOLATE SMOOTHIE
- 1 C full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 frozen avocado
- 2T of your favorite nut butter (I use homemade almond butter)
- 1T chia seeds
- 2tsp raw, organic cacao powder
- 1T coconut oil
- ice – optional, but I used it because my avocado wasn’t frozen
- sprinkle of cinnamon on top and/or cacao nibs
Add everything into a blender and blend until blended completely.
The health benefits of this smoothie are abundant; chock full of antioxidants, magnesium, polyphenols, vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B5, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin B6 and more (and this is just from the avocado!) Coconut oil; 3 healthy fatty acids – caprylic, lauric and capric acids…science is starting to uncover all the health benefits for coconut oil and much, much more!
If you love this recipe, please share my blog with everyone you know, I’d love to hear what you think. Would you change any of the ingredients? If so, what? Let’s learn from each other.