On mornings when there is a smidgen of coffee left in the pot, I add it to my chocolate protein smoothie for the extra flavour and caffeine.
Recently, while out shopping and partaking in a sip of my friend’s beloved mocha-caramel iced coffee, I was inspired to fine-tune my coffee smoothie along those lines while maintaining its healthy nature. This recipe is the result.
It is a versatile drink as the ice can be blended for more of a smoothie or iced coffee texture. The banana generally does the trick for sweetening the cocoa. And even if it is topped with a dollop of whipped cream, shake of cinnamon, and splash of caramel sauce, it is not going to go to the waistline unless more than one a day is consumed!
Mocha-Caramel Coffee-Lovers’ Smoothie
50 ml (1/4 cup) coffee, room temperature
25 ml (2 tbsp) sugar-free caramel syrup*
5 ml (1 tsp) pure vanilla extract
15 ml (1 tbsp) unsweetened cocoa or chocolate drink mix
250 ml (1 cup) unsweetened almond or soy milk, or low-fat milk
1 banana, small or medium
Few sprinkles of cinnamon powder
Protein powder (your choice) **
Stevia powder or sugar to taste (optional)
8-15 ice cubes
Lite whipped cream topping (optional)
Sugar-free caramel sauce (optional)
Step 1: In a blender, blend the first eight ingredients.
Step 2: Taste, and if it needs to be sweeter add a small amount of stevia or sugar.
Step 3: Add about 8 ice cubes and mix or blend until it is the consistency of a smoothie or iced coffee. Add more ice if needed.
Step 4: Drink as is or top with whipped cream, cinnamon, and caramel sauce. Enjoy!
* Torani offers sugar-free caramel-flavoured syrup and is available in gourmet or grocery stores, or online at http://shop.torani.com/
**The protein powder will have a substantial impact on taste. Use one you have tried before and like, and which goes with the recipe, such as a neutral vanilla or a cookies and cream-based powder.
Variation: Blend in 5 ml (1 tsp) diced walnuts for added richness and protein.
Did You Know? According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, coffee and cacao beans (the basis of chocolate) are among the 60 plants that naturally contain caffeine. Eighty percent of Americans drink 200 mg (10 oz) of caffeinated products daily, which is the recommended limit for caffeine.
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