Chocolate & Kale Detox Smoothie

Smoothie, Vegan, Vegetarian | January 4, 2017 | By

chocolate kale smoothie

I am easing into 2017.  You have to admit, 2016 was a bit of a doozy…  If you’re like me (a child of the 70s & 80s), the loss of David Bowie, Prince, George Michael and Princess Leia were mighty blows!  (& these were just a few of the many revered popular and significant figures that left us…)  So, not to get dark on you, but… OUCH.  I won’t even get into the political drama that ensued this year.  2016–COME ON!  The online/TV end-of-year recap was unlike any I remember with a middle digit montage on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and the final hoorah:  Mariah Carey’s Times Square New Year’s Eve performance.  Girl, we feel ya– 2016 was rough…  

☆2017 just seems like something that needs to be gently approached☆ 

Each year, I’ll tell you I don’t make resolutions as I’m drafting my list.  Despite my hesitance, I’m pretty good at sticking to them though.  This year, as I started contemplating my list, I took note of a new trend: setting intentions.  Ok, ummm yeah…  I like it.  It’s very 2017.  Like “hey, things have been rough…we made it though….let’s just slide into this next thing a bit…”  In the spirit of smooth transitions, I have set my intentions for 2017.  High on the list is a much stronger focus on CLEANER EATING.  I say CLEANER instead of CLEAN because there is a good chance on my business trip to California next week, I’m going to end up with an In-N-Out burger (animal style, duh…) in my face.  

I’m starting somewhere, though.  Intentions, right?  Set myself up for success, you know…  Because this isn’t about a diet, this is about diet.  This is about me knowing there is a direct connection between what we eat and how we move through life.  While I eat fairly healthy, my off button and filters don’t always work so well.  So, last night, an hour after I ate my dinner (a big ‘ole fluffy kale salad), I tossed back a frozen pizza with reckless abandon.  My weakness is frozen pizza (I know…  seriously…  what…).  There are three in the freezer right at this very moment…

So, I’m going to kick things into gear with a 21-day detox program right after my business trip.  More to follow on that.  But, I feel like something NEEDS to BE done NOW!!!  I really feel like I need to do a control-alt-delete on myself, but hey…  easy does it.  So, in the spirit of easing out of the craziness of 2016 and into the reset that I know needs to happen in 2017:  I’m starting with this Chocolate & Kale Detox Smoothie.  

Oh wait, wait, wait!  Don’t close out of the page after reading the words chocolate and kale in the same sentence.  You don’t taste the kale at all.  Meantime, it’s working it’s leafy super green magic on your guts.  The chocolate~~  well, that’s a sneaky little bit as well.  The chocolate in this smoothie comes from two superfood ingredients:  cacao powder and cacao nibs.  And who doesn’t love the words “superfood” and “chocolate” used together…  Toss in some frozen bananas, almond milk, and a couple drops of liquid Stevia (and it doesn’t even really need this tiny boost of sweetness, but hey…  we said ‘easing in’ right), and you have a creamy, chocolatey, decadent smoothie–that you, my dear, do not need to feel the least bit guilty about.  

I want to talk about a few of the ingredients real quick before we get into the blender action, because then things move real quick!

KALE.  I love it.  I didn’t always love it.  But, I’m about two clicks away from being one of those “Oh Kale Yeah” t-shirt-wearing-gals.  It adds texture to salad, it bakes into dishes really well, it sautés beautifully in olive oil with a splash of apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and fresh grated ginger.  And just take a moment to admire the stunning pop of green that shows up in your sauté pan…   And, if we’re not on the same (kale) page yet, this is the recipe for you…   because, like I said, you aren’t going to taste it.  So, let me offer up one more bit on kale.  If you’ve been grabbing the bag of pre-cut kale (with the big chunks of stem cut up in there too), I want to ask you to try something new.  I want you to grab the big, loose leaf (or bundled) organic kale.  I want you to gently slide the leaf off the main stem, grab the leaves up in a bunch, and thinly slice the leaves into little kale ribbons.  Then, while on the cutting board or in a bowl.  I want you to give that kale a nice little massage, maybe just a minute or two.  Tell it you love it, and then say hello to your new favorite Brassica oleracea.  Massaged kale softens up a bit, which makes it easier to digest– and just watch how the color brightens! 

CACAO NIBS.  I grabbed all my grocery list items and thought, “what the heck, lemme see if <mainstream grocery store> carries cacao nibs.” … Me: “Sir {to grocery store manager walking by}, do you y’all carry cacao nibs?” … Store manager guy: “Oh yes, let me grab that for you.” … Me (never-ending conversation with self inside head):  “Score!” … Store manager guy: “Here you go.”  Handing me a bag of chocolate chips.  Me {in my most polite and slightly ridiculous tone}: “No, nibs not chips.” … Store manager guy:  “What’s a nib?”  Touché, Sir.  Touché…  

Cacao nibs are cacao beans that have been roasted, separated from their husks, and crushed into smaller pieces.  It’s basically chocolate in its raw, pure form.  And who doesn’t love things in their raw, pure forms?…  So, think “less sweet, slightly nutty” flavor.  Kinda like me with the grocery store manager.  Look, the short version is:  cacao nibs are chocolate before all the bullshit additives come into the picture.  Yes, I know, I like them too… but when you’re trying to detox a bit you gotta find the opportunities.  Plus, you get antioxidants, fiber, iron and magnesium–  and what’s not to love about that…?

FROZEN BANANAS.  This will be short.  Go buy a bunch of bananas.  Then, when you’re like, “Oh hey, these bananas look perfectly ripe…oh crap, if I don’t eat all 8 bananas in two days I will have a brown pile of goo on the counter!”  That’s when I want you to peel them, cut them in half, put them in a ziploc bag and toss them in the freezer.  Because always having frozen bananas on hand for smoothies is one of life’s simple pleasures…

Ok, now take a quick glance at the ingredients.  You’re going to toss them in the blender, give them a big, looooong whirl.  Done.  Kick back, take a sip.  Feels kinda indulgent, huh?…  You did it, you made it through some rough bits this year; treat yourself and know that this one is totally GOOD for you!  

☆Cheers to all that is ahead of us, 2017!☆


chocolate kale smoothie

chocolate kale smoothie

chocolate kale smoothie

chocolate kale smoothie

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair.

So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”

~Jack Layton

chocolate kale smoothie


Chocolate & Kale Detox Smoothie
Serves 2
No need to feel guilty about this chocolate shake. Cacao nibs, cacao powder and kale combine in a velvety, rich smoothie.
Write a review
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
153 calories
32 g
0 g
3 g
4 g
0 g
469 g
28 g
14 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 153
Calories from Fat 6
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 28mg
Total Carbohydrates 32g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 14g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 1/2 cups chopped, packed organic kale
  2. 3 tablespoons cacao nibs
  3. 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  4. 1 1/2 cups original, unsweetened almond milk
  5. 2 drops Stevia liquid sweetener
  6. 2 frozen bananas
  7. 1 cup ice
  1. Add all ingredients to smoothie blender and process until smooth.
  2. Enjoy immediately!
Adapted from Superfood Smoothies by Julie Morris
Adapted from Superfood Smoothies by Julie Morris
TraveLynn Eats

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  1. Leave a Reply

    Jennifer Q.
    February 20, 2017

    vibrant kale pics! I can’t wait to try this recipe

  2. Leave a Reply

    February 20, 2017

    you’ll love it….really delicious & healthy. thanks for stopping by, Jennifer!

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