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.


Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes + Hot Cocoa {Fair Trade giveaway!}

How about a little Monday morning pick-me-up and a sweet giveaway?

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall
Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall
Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall
Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall

Starting with a handful of my very favorite ingredients.

vanilla beans.




Besides being downright delicious, especially when combined together, these ingredients are all very easy to find Fair Trade certified. What is Fair Trade exactly? I’m so glad you asked.

“Fair Trade USA enables sustainable development and community empowerment by cultivating a more equitable global trade model that benefits farmers, workers, consumers, industry and the earth. We achieve our mission by certifying and promoting Fair Trade products.” –

October just so happens to be Fair Trade month and the team at Fair Trade USA asked if I would like to join them in helping spread the word about what they do. I’ve been a Fair Trade follower for years now and have so much belief in their mission and values, so I was more than thrilled to participate.

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall
Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall

Part of their mission this October is talking about specific farmers and communities and how they’re being changed by the Fair Trade organization. I was connected with a coffee and cocoa farmer from Peru who is part of CEPICAFE [Central Piurana de Cafetaleros], which is made up of 90 small-scale cooperatives who farm and sell coffee. After becoming Fair Trade certified in 1996, this association has been able to sell their coffee for fair prices, earning wages they can live and grown on.

From JuanFrancisco Calle, age 64: "We are currently doing very well here. It was tough before, but we have come a long way since we became organized. Everyday there are more of us who join the co-op. When a community unites it always moves forward."

It’s pretty amazing at what Fair Trade USA has been able to do for so many communities, farmers, workers, families, and the environment.

Did you know Fair Trade certified foods are also always Non-GMO!?

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall
Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall

For this recipe I wanted to highlight the two goods that Juan farms: coffee + cocoa

But I also wanted to incorporate as many other Fair Trade ingredients as possible. Some were generously sent to me from Fair Trade USA and some were purchased on my own, like the vanilla beans and sugar.

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall
Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall

It seemed only natural to incorporate these ingredients into a cozy fall drink. I’m not typically one to sweeten my coffee, but the occasional lightly sweetened latte is a nice treat.

I made a simple syrup—which really is so simple to make!—infused with vanilla beans and cinnamon. I toned down the sweetness slightly from the typical 1:1 ratio to a 4:3 ratio of water : sugar. If you want the vanilla to come through more than you may want to leave the cinnamon out. It’s not overpowering but does cover up a bit of the vanilla flavor. And don’t skimp on the beans! You definitely want to use two whole vanilla beans.

And that foam on top? All you need is a whisk and a small pot. No fancy frother needed!

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall
Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall

Do you see the vanilla bean flecks?? Of course you do.

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall
Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall

And those cookies on the side? They’re Gluten-free Mandel Bread which I’ve been eating breaks of every dang time I walk into the kitchen. Dip them in this latte and…ugh…too good.

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall
Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall

Hello there homemade latte that cost about 25 cents to make at home with no artificial ingredients lingering inside. You are so lovely.

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall
Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall

And for the non-coffee lovers out there, I made you vanilla bean cinnamon infused hot cocoa!

I basically guzzled this entire mug even on our unseasonable 75° day. So dang good.

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Hot Cocoa | #befair #vegan #fall
Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Hot Cocoa | #befair #vegan #fall

Print this!

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes + Hot Cocoa

gluten-free, vegan

*denotes Fair Trade ingredients

vanilla bean cinnamon simple syrup:appx. 8oz/1cup simple syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup pure cane sugar*
  • 2 vanilla beans*, scraped of seeds [~1/4tsp] keep pods
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon*

Place water, sugar, scraped vanilla beans, and both vanilla bean pods in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a low boil, stirring frequently with a whisk. Once boiling, immediately lower the heat to a slight simmer while constantly stirring for about 5 minutes. All of the sugar should be dissolved.

Move to a cool burner and let sit for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and place in a jar. Add the cinnamon and whisk to combine. Place the vanilla beans in the jar and let cool to room temperature before sealing with a lid and placing in the fridge.

Keep in the fridge for about 3 weeks. Use in coffee, hot cocoa, drizzled on plain yogurt, etc.

vanilla bean cinnamon lattes:yields 2 servings

  • 2 cups/16oz strongly brewed coffee*, or 2-3 shots espresso
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk, soymilk or whole milk
  • simple syrup to taste

While coffee is brewing, place milk in a small pot over medium heat. Stir frequently until it starts to simmer then reduce heat to med-low, add in desired amount of simple syrup [start with 1 tablespoon], and briskly whisk to create foam. Pour the coffee into mugs, pour in the vanilla sweetened milk, and then spoon the froth on top. Finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon if desired.

*Espresso is traditionally used in lattes but it’s something I don’t typically have on hand. I brewed the coffee a bit stronger and used 8oz in each mug. Worked perfectly.

vanilla bean cinnamon hot cocoa:yields 2 servings

  • 3 cups unsweetened almond milk, soymilk or whole milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder*
  • simple syrup to taste

Heat milk in a small pot over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder [I used a scant 2 tablespoons] and whisk to combine. Add in desired amount of simple syrup [start with 1 tablespoon] and continue to whisk until hot. Taste and add more cocoa/syrup if desired. Pour into mugs and top with chocolate shavings or cinnamon if desired.

Fair Trade Giveaway | #befair #fairtradeusa
Fair Trade Giveaway | #befair #fairtradeusa

This giveaway is hosted by Fair Trade USA who generously sent me the exact package of goods you see above as a thank-you for helping spread the word about Fair Trade. But really, I feel like I should be the one thanking them for the impact they’ve had across the globe. Truly remarkable.

For the giveaway:

  • 1 winner [open to US only!] will receive a package with all of the goodies you see above. *Teafu + teapot not included. This is a seriously amazing package with some of my favorite products and ingredients ever.

To enter:

  • Leave a comment below telling me your favorite Fair Trade ingredient or product, or why you like supporting Fair Trade. If you’re new to Fair Trade, tell me something you are excited to have learned on their site or in this post.

Giveaway ends:

  • October 10th, 5pm EST

Trust me, you do not want to miss this giveaway!