Mocha Protein Smoothie

Hello, hello! I'm back in Colorado after a few weeks of cross-country travel. If this space has felt a little quieter than usual the traveling is why. I was able to get ahead and post some while away but not quite at my usual capacity.

The travel was a mix of work + play, starting with California for ExpoWest, a trip to Crested Butte with Chris, and then visiting my family in Ohio. There always seems to be a busy season with travel and I've just about wrapped it up. It definitely feels good to be home.

Vegan Mocha Protein Smoothie |

While you may see a few day gap between posts over here, you can always check out my Craftsy page to see what I'm cooking up over there. Posts go up about once a week and are a mix of new recipes and recipes I've posted here but tweaked for even more tastiness. 

This mocha protein smoothie was a recent favorite, and I just had to share over here as well.

This smoothie is flavored with instant coffee grounds (this fair trade company is my favorite for instant coffee) and cocoa powder, with a few other additions like dates, banana, and a drizzle of maple syrup. The banana flavor barely comes through, if you're not too keen on banana smoothies. It's used more for creaminess here.

Vegan Mocha Protein Smoothie |

While I do use protein powder from time to time I also enjoy trying to make smoothies, oatmeal, chia pudding, etc. with protein-packed pantry staples instead of store-bought powders.

The protein sources I chose for this smoothie were:

  • hemp seeds
  • chia seeds
  • cashews
  • soy milk
Vegan Mocha Protein Smoothie |

This smoothie is small but mighty. Each 12oz serving packs in approximately 440 cals - 17g protein - 11g fiber and a hefty amount of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. 

And the mocha flavor is spot on. It's lightly sweetened and a definite pick me up in the morning. You can eat breakfast and drink your daily cup of coffee all in one!

For more photos + recipe details visit my recipe on Craftsy:

---> Mocha-Flavored Vegan Protein Smoothie <---

Vegan Mocha Protein Smoothie |

You can also check out my other Craftsy recipes by visiting my personal blog page, HERE.

Also! The winner of The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook giveaway is: Emma! Her cooking disaster sounded like a doozy!

"I've started making homemade kefir and mine bubbled up and over the jar when I was gone, and I came home to find four cups of kefir that had spilled all over the counter, onto the floor, and into the heat/AC every time the heat comes on I smell tangy fermented milk. I could use this book for inspiration for "put-together" recipes, instead of my usual "fly by the seat of your pants and toss together whatever I have" recipes."

Thanks to all who entered and congrats to Emma! I'll be emailing you soon.


Cake Batter Chia Pudding

Did you see yesterday’s giveaway with all of my favorite snacks? If not, you had better check it out. And if you’re in need of a Friday smile to get you through the day, read the comments. I didn’t anticipate how uplifting it would feel to read hundreds of comments from all of you about the things you love. Oh my goodness. Instant pick me up.

I also learned we have a ton in common! You all really love your pets, boyfriends, husbands, fiancés, family, and friends. And SO many of you love food + cooking! Yay! And there were a few of you who said they just realized they were in love with their best friend but haven’t had the nerve to to tell them yet!!! So adorable! My advice…tell them!!!

So much love on those pages. Thank you all for the comments and if you haven’t entered yet you still have until 2:30pm EST!

Cake Batter Chia Pudding | #vegan
Cake Batter Chia Pudding | #vegan

So, this chia pudding.

Am I joking about the cake batter thing? Absolutely not.

I wouldn’t do that to you!!! Especially on a Friday!!

I mean, don’t go expecting boxed funfetti cake batter, but expect something pretty dang similar chock-full of nutrient dense ingredients.

Cake Batter Chia Pudding | #vegan
Cake Batter Chia Pudding | #vegan

I will admit I had a hard time naming this recipe. It tastes like a mix between cookie dough and cake batter, but slightly more like cake batter, hence the final title. The hint of chocolate from the ground cacao nibs is where it turns slightly cookie. But leave them out and it’s more cake-like.

So how exactly do you make chia seeds, dates, almond butter, oats, and milk taste like cake batter?

1: vanilla extract

2: almond extract <--- mandatory!

You can eat this all on its own, but I say the coconut whipped cream topping is a necessity. And with all of those healthy fats from the coconut milk, chia seeds, and almond butter, this little breakfast will hold you over for the entire morning.

Cake Batter Chia Pudding | #vegan
Cake Batter Chia Pudding | #vegan

I like my chia pudding blended. If you’ve been on the fence with chia pudding the blended variety may be more your speed. I just cannot deal with those little gelled seeds floating in milk.

It must be blended.

Cake Batter Chia Pudding | #vegan
Cake Batter Chia Pudding | #vegan

Print Recipe!

Cake Batter Chia Pudding with Coconut Whipped Cream

gluten-free, vegan // yields 2-3 servings

  • 6 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (plus more for blending)
  • 6-8 medjool dates, pitted+ well-chopped
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cacao nibs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

for the topping:

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 2-4 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Stir chia seeds with the milk in a bowl and add the dates, almond butter, and oats. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours (3-4hrs preferred, or overnight).

Scoop the mixture in your blender with the cacao nibs, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. Add a splash of milk and blend until fully smooth and creamy. Add more milk as needed (slowly) to keep the pudding as thick as possible.

Taste and add 1/2 teaspoon more vanilla extract if desired and few more small drops of almond extract (a little goes a long way!). For more sweetness blend in more chopped dates (soaked for easier blending). Refrigerate in a sealed container until chilled. Mixture will thicken a bit more as it sits.

While chilling, open the can of coconut milk and scrape off the solid white layer (about 1/2 way into the can). Avoid scooping any of the liquid. Place in a metal mixing bowl and beat with 2 teaspoons maple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract until fluffy. Add more maple + vanilla if desired. Chill until ready to use and whisk before serving.

Serve the pudding with coconut whipped cream on top and sprinkling of cacao beans.

Keep extra sealed in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Notes: If you have a high-powered blender you probably won’t need to chop the dates. I don’t recommend sweetening the chia pudding with maple syrup or honey because it takes over the “cakey” flavor. I prefer medjool dates but any sticky and plump dates should work here. If you don’t have cacao nibs, simply leave them out or add 1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder, or 1 1/2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips. Be sure to use full-fat coconut milk. Sometimes the solid part doesn’t rise to the top, which is why I always have 2 cans in the fridge just in case!

Cake Batter Chia Pudding | #vegan
Cake Batter Chia Pudding | #vegan

I realize the pudding looks really chocolaty but I promise it tastes like vanilla cake batter with just a hint of cocoa flavor.

This has been my “I’m haaangry” snack all week long.

Happy (long! if you have off Prez day!) weekend!!



Don’t miss yesterday’s giveaway ending soon!!

And the winner of last week’s giveaway for Kelly’s book, Superfoods at Every Meal is: Jessie!

She answered:

I have been focusing on eating what's in season - joined a CSA this fall & this winter has been full of kale, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, beets and so many more delicious veggies. It's been good to try and cook with new ingredients.

Right now I'm obsessed with quinoa bowls filled with veggies and topped with a crispy fried egg. Amazing. Oh, and I bought heirloom dried beans online (rancho gordo) and the flavors are incredible. Lots of beans in my quinoa bowls!

Congrats, Jessie! I will be emailing your shortly!