This smoothie combines the best of breakfast: something delicious to wake up to AND coffee. Based off of Kelly LeVeque’s Fab Four Smoothie Formula, this recipe contains all essential nutrients designed to satisfy your sweet tooth, balance your blood sugar, and keep you full for 3-4 hours.
The bitter, aromatic qualities of coffee are balanced perfectly with the sweetness of chocolate. In addition to being delicious, this smoothie recipe contains protein, fat, fiber, and greens – a balanced, satiating meal with a kick of caffeine, supported by brain-boosting adaptogen Lion’s Mane.
How often are you checking food labels? Here are some recommendations for things to look for the next time you’re buying ingredients, as well as some tips on how to store, and save. For nutrition information, you can refer to the bottom of the recipe.Jump to Recipe
LIQUID: Unsweetened, Dairy-free Nut Milk
When purchasing nut milks, I look for brands that use minimal ingredients. Watch out for added sugars, processed fillers, and industrial seed oils. After transitioning out of almond milk to lower my consumption, I’ve been loving Milkadamia’s Unsweetened Macadamia Milk. Macadamia nuts have a higher fat content, which is another bonus for me. I will usually stock up when there’s a sale at Whole Foods, or order bulk from Thrive Market so I always have some at hand.
PROTEIN: Chocolate Protein Powder
The key to a delicious smoothie is a tasty protein powder. Personally, I tend to avoid dairy when possible, so a collagen protein powder (vs. whey) works well for me. I’ve used the Primal Kitchen’s Chocolate Coconut Collagen Peptide Protein Powder for years because it’s delicious. It’s a staple I often recommend to others.
Plant-based or vegan friends: Truvani makes a clean protein with only 6 ingredients (it’s organic too).
TIP: If you’re like me and don’t have much of a sweet tooth (well, at the moment) feel free to use half chocolate protein and half unflavored protein. I’m currently blending the Primal Kitchen’s Chocolate Coconut Collagen with Be Well by Kelly LeVeque’s unflavored grass-fed beef protein powder.
FAT: nut BUTTER
Similar to nut milks, I also look for minimal ingredients when buying nut butters. I avoid added sugars, industrial seed oils, and fillers when possible. I love the squeezable pouches from Thrive Market because 1) less dishes 2) convenience. No more stirring (what feels like) a tub of cement!
FIBER: FLAXSEED MEAL (ground flaxseed)
Flaxseeds are my choice for thinner smoothies, compared to chia seeds which are more viscous. If you prefer a thicker, more gelatinous texture, chia seeds would be a good choice for you!
TIP: If you are using ground flaxseeds or ground chia seeds, it’s best to store them in the fridge. When seeds are split, the oils are more prone to oxidation. Storing in the fridge will prevent the oils from spoiling. Flax or chia seeds in their full seed are less of a risk and don’t necessarily need to be stored in the fridge, because the outer layer acts as a barrier between the oil and air. If you’re short on fridge space, a cool, dark, dry spot is fine too. Just take note of the expiration date.
GREENS: cauliflower rice, frozen
Cauliflower, though not green in color has great benefits. It’s a cruciferous vegetable, a family of vegetables high in two groups of antioxidants (glucosinolates and isothiocyanates) that have been shown to slow the growth of cancer cells1. It has a mild taste in smoothies, which is why I always have a bag of cauliflower rice in the freezer.
If you’re using whole cauliflower, try to break the florets into smaller pieces by giving them a quick chop, otherwise you may have lumps in your smoothie. With frozen cauliflower rice, there is a chance you might also have lumps too, so check as your blending to ensure you’ve gotten all the pieces. If you’re not using cauliflower rice, feel free to add any greens you veggies at hand, like kale, zucchini, or spinach.
BONUS superfoods: adaptogens
Did you know that coffee is America’s number one source of antioxidants (based on a study by University of Scranton in 2005)? In addition to the antioxidant benefits from coffee, Four Sigmatic’s Instant Mushroom Coffee with Lion’s Mane can help keep caffeine levels under control and support you with clean, focused energy.
BONUS SUPERFOODS: CACAO NIBS
Cacao nibs are rich in iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, phosphorous as well as flavonoid antioxidants. They’re linked to having anti-inflammatory properties, may boost immunity, and improve heart health. When adding superfoods to your smoothie, aim to add up to 1 tbsp. I like adding cacao nibs toward the end of my blend, so I get more of a crunchy texture in my smoothie.
Mocha Crunch Smoothie (Vegan, Paleo, Whole30)
- 1.5 c Milkadamia Macadamia Milk, unsweetened or unsweetened, dairy-free milk of choice
- 22 g Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel Chocolate Coconut Protein Powder (2 scoops) or chocolate protein powder of choice
- 2 tbps Thrive Market Almond Butter, unsweetened or nut butter of choice
- 2 tbsp flax seed meal or fiber of choice
- ½ cup cauliflower rice, frozen
- ½ tsp Four Sigmatic's Instant Coffee with Lion's Mane or instant coffee of choice
- 1 tbsp cacao nibs
- Add 1.5 cups of your unsweetened liquid of choice to the blender.
- Add remaining ingredients to blender, except for cacao nibs. Blend for around 20 seconds.
- At 1 tbsp of cacao nibs and blend for another 10 seconds, or until desired consistency.
- Unsweetened, Dairy-free Nut Milk – When purchasing nut milk, I look for minimal ingredients. Watch out for added sugars, processed fillers, and industrial seed oils.
- Chocolate Protein Powder
- Plant-based or Vegan friends: Truvani makes a clean protein with only 6 ingredients (it’s organic too).
- TIP: If you don’t have as much of a sweet tooth (like me), feel free to use half chocolate protein and half unflavored.
- Almond Butter – Similar to nut milks, I search for minimal ingredients when buying nut butters. I avoid added sugars, industrial seed oils, and fillers as much as possible.
- Flaxseed Meal – Flaxseeds are my choice in smoothies compared to chia seeds. If you’re looking for a thicker, more gelatinous texture, chia seeds would be a good choice!
- Frozen Cauliflower Rice – With frozen cauliflower rice, there is a chance you might also have lumps, so check as your blending to ensure you’ve gotten all the pieces as you go. If you’re using whole cauliflower florets, give them a quick chop into smaller pieces to prevent lumps. If not cauliflower rice, feel free to add any greens you veggies at hand, like kale, zucchini, or spinach.
- Instant Coffee – Feel free to adjust to taste. Note that with more instant coffee powder, the more it will blunt the flavor of the protein powder. I recommend starting with 1/2 tsp and going from there.
- Cacao Nibs – Add up to 1 tbsp. I like adding cacao nibs toward the end of my blend, so I get more of a crunchy texture in my smoothie.
- Abdull Razis, Ahmad Faizal, and Noramaliza Mohd Noor. “Cruciferous vegetables: dietary phytochemicals for cancer prevention.” Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention : APJCP vol. 14,3 (2013): 1565-70. doi:10.7314/apjcp.2013.14.3.1565 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23679237/