Luscious Hot Chocolate Smoothie

I know I said I would be giving you guys a break with my smoothies…

But you see, this one isn’t really a smoothie…

It’s like a nice, warm, comforting cup of luscious and deliciously warm hot cocoa…

Although, that’s not really true…

For you see, it really is a smoothie.

Only it’s warm. And it tastes just like a cup of velvety, thick and decadent hot cocoa.

But really, it’s a smoothie.

And, truth be told, it’s healthy as can be!

But I won’t tell anyone if you don’t. ;)

Confused? I don’t blame you. I was too when I enjoyed this baby as a post work-out breakfast the other day. I just couldn’t believe how good it was. It was like, way too good to be true.

No word of a lie, this has got the be the best cup of hot chocolate I’ve had in my entire life. So rich, so thick and creamy, with such a deep dark chocolate flavor and a little kick from the cayenne pepper.

It was plain comfort in a bowl.

Now, when you look at the list of ingredients, you’ll probably go like “Ewww, but you’ve got pumpkin puree in there? Now, I don’t mind pumpkin puree in pumkin anything, but in a cup of hot cocoa? Won’t it just ruin the whole thing?”

The answer is no. Don’t worry about it. In fact, I think if you didn’t know that there was pumpkin puree in this, you wouldn’t even be able to tell that it’s there. It doesn’t do much for the taste. What it does do, however, is confer an unbelievably silky and velvety texture to this drink.

This, right here, has got to be the perfect winter smoothie. Imagine going out on a cold morning and coming home to one of these?

I mean really, isn’t that the bomb?

Now you CAN, when you come home from spending some time out in the harsh cold of winter, fix yourself a nice cup of hot chocolate and not feel the least guilty about it. In fact, you should feel super good, for this is a gorgeous post work-out meal. Halve that recipe and you got yourself an excellent snack.

Or better yet, share with a friend, husband, partner or kid. Oh, I’m sure even kids would go for this one, minus the cayenne, maybe…

And of course, if you like your hot chocolate to be a bit more on the sweet side, feel free to add a little bit of honey.

Hey, you could even start prepping this ahead of time if you wanted to, and heat it up when you get home.

But really, who said you absolutely had to go out and face the winter cold.

This will taste just as good if you didn’t…

And again, I won’t tell anyone, promise!

LUSCIOUS HOT COCOA SMOOTHIE

INGREDIENTS
(Serves 1)

  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup 1% fat cottage cheese
  • ¾ cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 heaping tbsp extra dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs (optional)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp four spice
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Splash pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup pasteurized egg whites
  • 2 tbsp vanilla flavored whey protein powder
  • More cacao nibs for garnish, if desired

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add all ingredients through vanilla to your mini blender and process until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring often, until very warm. Do not allow mixture to boil.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk egg whites in a large mixing bowl until slightly frothy. Add protein powder and whisk until well incorporated.
  4. Very slowly pour hot chocolate mixture over egg whites while constantly whisking. This will ensure tempering of the eggs and will prevent them from cooking.
  5. Transfer to drinking bowl or cup, garnish with cacao nibs and a very little sprinkle of cayenne pepper, if desired.

So rich and creamy!

Thick enough for you?

Can you tell that this girl was REALLY enjoying her cup of hot cocoa?

Taking away some of the magic… here’s the set-up for this one!

These lights? Best 200 bucks I ever spent!

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Comments

  1. says

    That smoothie looks good, but I’m super glad you showed your setup. I’ve been curious about your lighting for a long, long time. Thanks for taking part of the mystery away. :-)

    • says

      Thanks Mellissa! The lights are awesome! If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t be taking much pictures, let me tell you that. Even during the day, the light isn’t satisfactory anymore. Oh, I so can’t wait for summer already! I miss the light!!!

      • says

        Sonia I know what you mean about the light being unsatisfactory! I’m in South Carolina so it’s much better than in the north but still challenging as a blogger to plan recipes and photo shoots so that I can beat the too early sunset at this time of year! I want to invest in a light kit but it’s going to be a little while before I can justify the expense! Meanwhile I’ll keep chasing the daylight and thinking of you and your awesome setup when I’m cursing the darkness! :)

  2. Kinga says

    I am drinking this as I type. Sonia, you’re a genius!!! It tastes phenomenal and it’s so smooth and creamy! It is just what I needed today. Thank you so much! I had all ingredients at home, except for the four spice, which I quickly made on my own, I even found cacao nibs that a friend gave me as a present and which I never used before. So I am glad it didn’t go to waste in the cabinet. I only recently started buying and eating dark chocolate, and although I can tell how much more sophisticated it tastes compared to most milk chocolates, my taste buds do long a bit for a slightly sweeter taste. Do you think liquid Stevia would do the trick, or would it ruin this wonderful creation? I never used Stevia either but I have some at home. I can say, however, that with or without more sweetness, this healthy and easy to make hot chocolate smoothie is extremely good! Thanks for experimenting with this and all other recipes so that we can enjoy the end product; I so much appreciate your work! Have you considered a recipe book? You should… It would be so successful! I already shared your site with my relatives, all of my FB friends and the BodyRock community. (BodyRock is a website offering free 12-20 minute short interval, high intensity workout videos almost every day. They are very good. And they are also in Canada. This is no advert by any means, I am only mentioning it because I like to share good things with people, like I share your wonderful website with everyone I talk with about food.)

    Thanks again for keeping me healthy and excited about food and the kitchen! I am in the kitchen every single day and I love being there and I don’t mind chopping and washing up. It’s unbelievable this happened to me, all of my friends are in disbelieve that I actually stepped my foot through the kitchen threshold.:-) Thanks Sonja, and warm hugs.

    • says

      Kinga, you are awesomer than awesome! I can’t believe you already whipped this up! I just posted the recipe a few hours ago! :) Real happy you like it. Now, I couldn’t tell you about adding stevia, as I’ve never used the stuff. I like my chocolate really dark, in fact, when I feel like a treat sometimes at night while watching tv, I’ll fix myself a cup of hot cocoa, which basically consists of 2tbsp of extra dark cocoa powder, a pinch of cinnamon, a pinch of cayenne and boiling water. I won’t add any sugar whatsoever and I happen to truly like it that way. Oh, sometimes, I’ll throw in a drop or two of almond extract. It adds a little something to it. All this to say that you can all all the stevia you want so that it suits your preferred level of sweetness.

      Thank you so much for your suggesting that I should do a recipe book. I must admit that a few people have told me that I should do that. Who knows, maybe I will, someday! I would like that very much, as you can probably very well imagine!

      And thanks a million for sharing, you have no idea just how much I appreciate that. I didn’t know that BodyRock was Canadian. I know of that community and have spent quite a few hours browsing their fantastic site.

      Hope I keep insipiring you for months and years to come. And I hope that you keep telling me that I do! And warm hugs to you to! You simply rock!!!

      • Kinga says

        Yes, recipe book, recipe book!!! :-) I’m sure others would be very happy as well if you had one, and in it you could really combine and showcase your talents that are so obvious: cooking, photography, writing and creativity of course. A perfect combination for a clean cook/recipe book. It will come, I am sure, just keep this up please. I am definitely hooked and I am sure you will continue to inspire me and thousands of others who want to eat clean, healthy, smart and tasty of course! I get your recipes via e-mail and check them out immediately on my smart phone wherever I am and with the help of the phone I do the shopping and the cooking as well, as I don’t like printing and wasting paper. You are incredible for posting a new recipe every day! That is hard work… Oh, I also shared your site via Pinterest. What a great website for spreading the good word on good people! I chose to add the pine cone picture as the pinned image for it really is beautiful and draws attention immediately. Those spreads are on my list to try out! Thanks, Sonia, and have a lovely afternoon.

      • says

        Oh, don’t get me started on Pinterest. I am completely and totally addicted! I have to refrain from going on the site, because there is no way I can pay it just “a little visit”. I always get hooked and before I know it, a half hour has passed and I’ve been happily pinning away all that time. Hey, I sure would love to follow you there, how would I find you?

        Thanks again for your great support! It makes me so happy to know that I am such a great source of inspiration to someone. To inspire “healthy eating” is, after all, the main purpose of this site. So you, give it a “raison d’être”.

  3. says

    I can totally agree, pumpkin may sound weird but it’s really good in drinks and smoothies like these. I can only imagine how yummy it is with chocolate! Love your mugs too! They look very similar to ones I got recently, but I they didn’t have such nice colors! I liked seeing your set-up! It’s been hard to capture some natural light lately, the lights must be so helpful!

    • says

      Funny, I thought about my own mugs when I saw that chili in yours. Those mugs had been stored in the cupboard stacked exactly like they appear in the photo, and every time I looked at them, I knew that one day, I would be putting something good in them and shooting them just as they stood! We got them years ago with a very specific purpose in mind: Xmas morning’s kicked up coffee! Too bad I don’t do that anymore… now it might be a Xmas morning hot chocolate smoothie… or maybe eggnog, why not? ;)

      The lights are a life saver! I don’t know what I would do without them. Like I said, I don’t even have enough light in the middle of the day and have to use them for each and every single shoot that I do now. Oh, I so can’t wait for summer. I hate working with artificial lights. But hey, at least, I get to work, whereas if I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t even be able to take decent pictures…

      • Kinga says

        I hear you on Pinterest, Sonja, I only recently became aware of it and I am also hooked. But because I am completely new to it, I haven’t done a proper profile and haven’t pinned much at all. I am registered as Dalida, but as I said you will not find anything exciting on my boards. Yet. :-)

        Regarding your newest recipe, which btw, looks amazing, I was reading it on a tram and was salivating already :-), the only reason I didn’t make the pecan butter today is because neither of the three stores had it where I have been shopping today, not even a super bio shop. How annoying! So that is my hunt for tomorrow and will make it finally, I can’t wait!! I thought of making the spreadable trail mix in the meantime as I have all ingredients, but as I only have a small food processor, where you have to continuously hold the on button, I fear I won’t be able to do the coconut butter. I shall see if I will give it a try or chicken out. May I ask you what food processor are you using and if you are perfectly happy with it? Thanks, dearest Sonja, and have a lovely afternoon. And of course, thanks for the new recipe! :-)

      • says

        Oof, not sure I would attempt making coconut butter with a small food processor. I think it requires a heavy duty model. I use a Kitchenaid
        and am EXTREMELY happy with it. It has to be the kitchen tool that I use the most, in fact, I think it spends more time in the dishwasher than it does in the cupboards (well, at least the bowl and blade do!). They are a little pricey, but VERY well worth it.

  4. Brandi says

    Hi Sonia, what is four spice? I am from central Indiana and haven’t heard of that before. Is there any substitutions you could recommend if I can’t find it? I cannot wait to make this! I know what I am making for breakfast on Saturday morning!

    • says

      Four spice is a mix of ginger, clove, nutmeg and black (or white) pepper. Not much to it, so you could easily make your own mix. Use 1 tbsp pepper, ¼ tsp cloves, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp nutmeg. And if you can’t find any or some of these, feel free to leave them out. It won’t ruin your smoothie! ;)

    • says

      Awww, thanks for your vote of confidence, Lauren. Not sure I’ll ever make it to the “profesh” level, but I am trying my darn best to make my food look as good on the screen as it does in my mind. If it doesn’t look good, surely people won’t be interested in trying it out, now, will they? Speaking of which, if you do try that smoothie, let me know how it worked for you! :D

  5. Lovefood says

    Hi Sonia. I really love your recipes and how you ‘healthify’ them! I have a question about cottage cheese. I know that it’s quite high in protein and I used to eat it all the time. But then I realized how much sodium is in a serving (quite a bit). There are some brands that offer a low-sodium variety, but I haven’t seen them yet here in western Canada. What substitution would you recommend for the cottage cheese that I can use until I find a low sodium brand? Thanks!

    • says

      I think that, in most cases, you can safely replace cottage cheese with plain greek yogurt. In this case, though, I don’t know how well the yogurt would react. It tends to curdle when cooked. Might be worth a shot, though! If you do try it, please let me know how it turned out! :)

  6. says

    This sounds delicious! But I don’t know how I feel about including egg whites in my smoothie. Do you think this would be good without it?

  7. Joann says

    Of course I had to make this for breakfast since I had pumpkin puree leftover from the soup last night. Another winner!

  8. says

    I just started blogging and I was wondering where you bought your lighting equipment. I live in Montreal and was looking for something similar but found prices very high. Could use your help? Was it a kit or purchased separately. Thanks.

    • says

      Hey Joanna! There is a link right above the last picture that’ll take you right to the exact equipment. I got them from amazon. Like I said, best 200 bucks I ever spent. I don’ think that this place would’ve been much alive at all this past winter had it not been for these lights. They were a true life saver!

      So you’re from Montreal? How cool is that! Good to meet a fellow Montrealer (although technically, I don’t live IN Montreal, but spend half my life there, so sort of consider myself a Montrealer…)

      Off to check out your blog! :)

      • Joanna says

        Hey Sonia,
        Thank you for your replay and the information. I looked at photography stores here in Montreal, They all have those lights but they are so so expensive and when you said you paid $ 200 I couldn’t believe it. Now I know and I will order them this month. Having short summers and working full time does not give me a lot of opportunities to take pictures and those lights will definitely make a difference.
        Yes, I live in Montreal, I moved here 5 years ago from Alberta. I love it here specially in the summer, jazz festival etc. So much to do.

        What do you think about my blog ? Any tips?
        I absolutely LOVE LOVE your blog. Food and pictures are beautiful. You post a lot in a week. How do you find time with your full time job?? Just curious.

        Take care and once again thank you so much for the info.

        Joanna

      • says

        Not a problem at all, Joanna!

        I did check out your blog and I think it’s off to a great start! Your pictures are GREAT and your recipes very yummy!

        If I can give you any tips at this point they would be:
        Blog more often!
        Get rid of that “just another WordPress site” thingie. Personalize this. Make this YOUR space. Add your tag line, or title… Sell your stuff!
        Get on social media! Let us find you and follow you in all kinds of places. Be on Pinterest, Facebook (create a professional page for your site) Twitter, and the like…
        Start submitting to the food blog “directories” of this world. Be SEEN! Maybe consider joining FoodBuzz?
        And, well, again… can’t say that one enough… blog often. If you want constant visitors, you need constant contents!

        As for me posting often in a week… how do I do it, you ask? I don’t have a life anymore! I hardly even sleep! My life is this place, right here! ;)
        Seriously, I dedicate pretty much all my free time to this place. It IS my passion, it IS my life and there is nothing else that I’d rather be doing, MOST of the time!

        You take care, and thanks for visiting. A blog, no matter how great, isn’t really much of anything without their visitors. :D

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  1. […] Healthy Foodie, because a few key aspects of this recipe were definitely inspired by her amazing hot chocolate smoothie that I made for breakfast the other day. I learned a few tricks from her with that smoothie, so […]

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