It’s tasty, full of protein. and packed with nutritious greens like spinach, arugula, and cucumber! Yes, you read that right. It tastes good and it has lots of vegetables in it too. And yet it doesn’t taste like a “green smoothie”. In fact, I find it eerily similar to the refined sugar mint chocolate chip smoothies of my past. And yet this is sugar-free (assuming you don't swap the cacao nibs for chocolate chips).
A smoothie that tastes like a milkshake? Yes, please!
This mint chocolate chip smoothie gets its color from all the fresh crisp greens packed inside. Thankfully, there’s no need for any artificial colors or flavorings whatsoever. The banana gives it just the right creaminess and the cacao nibs give it just the right texture.
This is one of my two go-to smoothies for when I’m in a rush and need something quick for breakfast, or as my post-workout re-energizing snack. And occasionally when I’m feeling like dessert but I’d like to squeeze in an extra serving of greens for the day. Since it’s loaded with veggies, you can’t go wrong with when or how often you choose to devour it!
Ingredients & Substitutions for Healthy Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie
The refreshing flavor of mint is what really makes this smoothie. If you don’t have any; however, you could substitute peppermint extract or even a high quality essential oil. I especially love it with just a drop or two of EO for a twist.
I listed the banana as optional in this smoothie; however, if I'm being honest, you need it if you want it to taste like a milkshake. The only reason I leave it out myself is because it's plenty sweet enough without it. And I eat SO MANY bananas as it is.
Protein is so essential for building muscle. And since I’m breastfeeding, I make an even bigger point to get enough in each day so sweet baby boy Beckett has all the building blocks he needs to grow properly.
It’s crucial you use a protein powder you love. If you end up with one that’s grainy or you don’t like the flavor in the first place, it’s unlikely you’ll love any smoothie it’s in. Truvani is my personal favorite brand currently. It’s on the sweet side, doesn't have a grainy texture, and doesn’t have the weird after taste that some do. And its made with healthy real ingredients I trust.
This is the key to giving your mint chocolate chip smoothie its creaminess. You could swap it out for almond butter but know that it won’t have quite the taste or texture I intended with this recipe. If you try another nut butter, let me know how it turns out!
I love spinach in my smoothies! Why? Because I swear you can’t taste it. Spinach has such a neutral taste and when it’s pulverized, the other flavors overpower it, so you never know it’s there. Even when it’s not called for smoothie recipe, I almost always add it.
It’s particularly convenient that spinach is green, a color that lends itself well in this recipe.
I surprised myself when I tried this one day and… it worked. I think the other flavors are so rich and decadent, arugula doesn’t stand a chance in standing out. Even so, I limit it to 1/2 cup loosely packed to keep it that way.
Like spinach, cucumber also has a very neutral flavor. The skin can lead towards the bitter side so I call for it peeled in this recipe. Having said that, I personally don’t peel it myself since I don’t mind the ever-so-slight slight flavor change. If you don’t think you’ll notice it, save yourself this step and toss it in, skin and all.
Cacao Nibs are entirely unsweetened and are processed only minimally which makes them the perfect addition to add the chocolaty crunch that really makes this smoothie. Note again that these are completely unsweetened, so careful not to add too much so the smoothie doesn’t become bitter.
And yes, you could totally swap these out for regular old chocolate chips and it would still be a very healthy smoothie! But if you do want to try cacao nibs, these are the ones we use.
If you have nut milk such as almond or oat milk, or even coconut milk, I’m sure it would work. Since there’s already cashew butter in this, when the water gets blended with it, it essentially becomes cashew milk.
When baby Beckett gets old enough, I plan on turning these into popsicles so he’ll have something sweet to enjoy while also getting the protein and greens his body needs.
If you try this smoothie recipe for yourself or your kiddos, let me know!