How to make healthy choices every day

Raw Chocolate Milkshake Miracle

My dad believes that chocolate milkshakes fix just about any problem. Boy troubles? Chocolate milkshake. Bad day at work? Chocolate milkshake. I’ll never forget my disastrous 15th birthday party where he successfully pacified an entire room of disgruntled-drama-queen adolescent girls with chocolate milkshakes. God bless that patient man and his blender.
He makes them thick and rich with all the classic ingredients that I have long renounced, but I gotta say that I miss their undeniable consoling qualities now and again. They are just so good, and they somehow manage to put things in perspective every time.
Well dad, I’ve improved upon your classic, and it not only tastes like “a liquid brownie” (according to the hubby), but it’s totally raw, and boasts more antioxidants than a salad buffet. How can this be?! It’s all thanks to cacao.

What makes cacao a superfood?
Cacao has been given the illustrious label of “superfood” because it is an incredibly rich source of minerals and antioxidants. In fact, according to the ORAC scale (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) it contains more antioxidants per gram than goji berries, blueberries, prunes, raisins, red wine, and green tea. This rating system was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture to measure the effectiveness of antioxidants to absorb free radicals that cause cell and tissue damage. The higher the ORAC score, the higher the level of antioxidants present in the food. You can get a copy of the ORAC scale here.

So does that mean I can eat chocolate instead of fruit?
No. Eating a bowl of raw cacao nibs is not better for you than a basket of blueberries. Although cacao is very nutritious and incredibly yummy, like anything it should be consumed in moderation. Cacao contains two controversial elements; theobromine, a powerful stimulant which affects our nervous system and oxalic acid, which inhibits calcium absorption. Eating a couple of these milkshakes a week is certainly not going to do you any harm (in fact, for most of us it would be doing a world of good), but this should not be an everyday indulgence. Be a responsible health nut for crying out loud!

The difference between cacao and cocoa
Let’s get one thing straight people: cacao is not cocoa. They make look very similar, smell the same, feel the same, they are even spelled almost the same way, but they are worlds apart when it comes to nutrition. It all comes back to raw versus cooked foods, which I have talked about several times here on the site – when you heat any food above 40 °C (104 °F), you destroy many of the fragile enzymes and vitamins that are contained inside, thus rendering a once very nutrient-dense food, just a tasty one. It happens. That is not to say that cooked food isn’t good for you because it definitely has its place in the diet, but raw chocolate versus a Hershey bar? There’s simply no comparison.

If you’re in the market for some raw cacao (and you really should be on your way to the health food store immediately after reading this), please only purchase certified organic raw cacao to ensure that you are getting the most nutrition for you money. If you do not, well, you’ll also be chuggin’ down a whole lot of chemicals from irradiation and pesticides, which are standard practice in growing cacao beans.

Okay, without further ado, here is the Raw Chocolate Milkshake Miracle that has turned breakfast time into a ridiculous kitchen dance party delight. Food like this convinces me that God loves us and she wants us to be happy.

Raw Chocolate Milkshake Miracle
• ¼ cup hemp seeds (or use soaked almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds etc.)
• 2 heaping Tbsp. raw cacao powder
• 1 Avocado
• 1 very large frozen banana (or 2 small)
• 2 Tbsp. raw honey, agave, or maple syrup
• dash sea salt
• ¾ – 1 cup water
• 4 ice cubes

1. Blend all the ingredients together; add water to thin if desired. It’s a thick one, folks!
And although the urge to chug may take over, don’t forget to “chew” your milkshake for better digestion! Very important.

Dad, I know you love your ice cream, milk, and chocolate sauce combo, but when I come back to Canada, this is the first thing I am going to make for you. If my milkshakes don’t fix any problem we can come up with, nothing will. The only thing we’ll cry about is seeing the bottom of the glass.

Copyright 2012 My New Roots at

79 thoughts on “Raw Chocolate Milkshake Miracle”

  • Wow, this is so good! I’ve been making this once a week for a few months now, and it never fails to give me an insane amount of energy and happiness! Thanks again for your beautiful blog! <3

  • Your dad is right! Chocolate and Milkshake is a win-win combination. Made this one in my new blender and absolutely loved it. Thanks a lot 🙂

  • Im reposting this as I missed a step in my last post,

    Ok i dont wanna be a negative nelly, but this shake has waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much sugar and calories in it, granted less than actual milkshake, but why not go all the way =)

    avocado 2.4 grams sugar – 318 calories
    2 tbsp of honey 34.8 grams sugar – 128.8 calories
    large banana 16.6 grams sugar – 121 calories
    2 tbsp of cacao – 50 calories
    1/4 cup almonds – 216 calories

    Thats 53.8 grams total sugar. Its not a processed sugar but still not good for you if you can avoid.
    and total of 833.8 calories

    I make is chocolate shake that has 0 sugar and is about 80 calories and its is DELICIOUS.
    Either buy unsweetended almond milk, OR if you have a vitamix make your own. ( 1 cup raw unpasturiezed almonds to 3 cups filtered water, blend and run through cheese cloth and you have MORE healthy and better tasting almond milk than store bought.

    1. Pour almond milk into ice cube trays ( I have some from amazon that are silicone and make 6 large cubes )

    2. 2 frozen cubes if you have the LARGE 6 cube trays OR maybe 5 or 6 regular size cubes.

    3. 1/4 cup almond milk to help blend

    4. 1 tbsp of raw organic cacao powder

    5. 2 to 3 drops of liquid stevia

    add ingredients to high speed blender till fully mixed and Ill bet this LOW calorie ZERO sugar shake tastes like an actual milkshake.

    You can also add a banana if you like to make it thicker ( youll be adding some sugar and calories ), I like to add a handful of spinach also, gotta sneak some greens in there and the flavor will be masked anyway.

    All of this is coming from a guy that HATES almond milk, BUT its awesome. I drink one every day.

    So its 833.8 calories and 53.8 grams of sugar
    about 80 calories w/zero grams of sugar. Trust me this is a good shake you can drink these all day, lol

    * note one reason my recipe is not as high in calories is the almonds used are used to make almond milk and the actual pulp ( that has most of the calories ) is not used in the shake. its strained almond milk through a cheescloth

    • but if you drink an 80 calorie no sugar chocolate almond milk drink, you’re going to be hungry five minutes later. And you’re barely getting any nutritional diversity, unlike Sarah’s recipe.

      I made Sarah’s recipe for breakfast the past two mornings, and I have to say I really noticed a huge difference in my energy levels. I didn’t feel tired all morning, I didn’t feel the need to eat cookies in the office, and I didn’t even feel that hungry at lunchtime.

      Sarah, thank you for sharing this incredible, delicious, filling, nutritious milkshake recipe!

  • I searched for a raw vegan milkshake online and this is the first one I clicked on. This was so yummy! I will be making this again. Thanks for sharing delicious recipes.

  • This looks delicious! I’ll definitely try it next week. Your dad is right. Chocolate indeed fixes a lot of problems and as a matter of fact it even helps fix husband-wife misunderstandings 😛

  • Great article I love chocolate and milkshakes even more so the two combined is a winning combination for me. Interesting info about the difference between cacao and cocoa I never knew that!
    Thanks 🙂

  • I definitely agree with this, chocolate milkshake is also my comfort food when I’m having a bad day, if I’m stressed with work and etc. It’s such a sweet gesture that you would prepare this for your dad. 🙂

  • It was worth searching hemp hearts online for a couple of months. Even tough I only used banana since I was too lazy to go buy avocado.

  • Wow, who knew it could be so easy to make chocolate ice cream?!! Thank you for this waaay healthy alternative. I substituted cherries for the banana, yummy 🙂 I’ve been looking at your site for weeks, afraid to make some of these recipes for fear of wanting to draw the curtains and bury my face in something too good to stop eating. I just made this in a one-serving size and was satisfied. As much as I would love to make the chocolate buckwheat granola, I know it would not be safe 🙂 So I will just enjoy the photos and all the great knowledge you are sharing about foods and how to properly eat them. Thank you!

  • Hey Sarah,
    this smoothie tastes absolutly delicious!
    i wanted to know which raw cocao powder you buy and where?
    thanks 🙂

  • I wanted to love this, it’s looks so delicious! However, it just tasted like banana with chocolate in it. I can’t stand the taste of banana (unless it’s fresh out of the peel). My husband, who does love bananas in everything, didn’t care for this either:(

  • Oh my god I just made an adapted version of this recipe as I didn’t have all the ingredients (I used peanut butter, avocado, banana, maple syrup, oat milk and of course the raw cacao). Was my first raw cacao milkshake. It put a smile on my lips almost immediately and I had a funny tingling of joy in my chest! Absolutely delicious and made me happy (on a not so great day). I am impressed! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  • Hi Sarah- thanks for all the wonderful ideas. I’ve had a question for awhile for you: what kind of raw chocolate do you buy? I’ve noticed that some raw chocolate powders are remarkably tasteless and I have no idea where they come from. With all the choices and range of subtleties in chocolate from different regions I’ve been surprised that the choices if raw cocoa seem very limited. Please advise!

  • Thank you so much for the recipe! I love this shake! I never had organic raw cacao before this. I love that it’s so good for me and it tastes awesome.

    Thank you for your blog. It brings joy. 🙂

  • I just tried making this Sarah and it is absolutely meeting my chocolate soul food craving! I changed a few things – I used just half an avocado (all I had on hand) and added 2 tsp of almond butter, and 1-2 tbls coconut flakes, along with a little vanilla. So dang good, thank you for the idea!

  • I recently found out about your blog………God Bless You!!! I have suffered from food allergies and have searched high and low for delicious recipes. Thank you for taking the time to blog and share with the rest of us. You have given me hope!!!

  • Hi! I was wondering if, when substituting the hemp seeds with sunflower, those would have to be soaked? Thanks!

  • I recently found this site and have been searching through your recipes and found this delight! I finally decided to make it and WOW! I can’t wait to try more yummies like this. Keep ’em coming (:

  • after making several trips to different stores, i finally got all the ingredients ready for this & am happily “munching” it away right now. mine looks more like a banana milkshake with chocolate flecks, rather than your beautiful chocolatey-looking goodness though. could it be because i ground my own cacao and the powder wasn’t fine enough? also used soaked almonds instead of hemp seeds. hope u are enjoying kauai!

  • omg i’ve been baking your life-changing bread every couple of days for the past week, still have hygge banana bread in my fridge, AB&J cookies fresh from the oven and lucuma powder on the way from Amazon..either I need to settle for grinding my own cacao powder from cacao nibs or I have to order that too! how many iterations does it take you to finalize these recipes?

  • Curious – did you get to make it for your Dad, and if so, did he like it?

    This has been on my “to make” list for a good 6 months now…. one day I’ll get there and I’m sure I’ll be thanking you!

  • this is amazing!!! I’m completely sold!
    the only thing is.. I had cacao nibs and used 2tbsp, but the shame was still greenish, so I had to add some natiral cocoa powder for the choco colour.. I assume I had to grind the nibs and it would solve the problem, am I right?

  • Sarah,

    I cannot thank you enough for this recipe! I am an absolute chocoholic, as is the rest of my family and I have been looking for as many healthy cacao recipes as I can find. This one is at the top of my list! I make it all the time!

    One addition I put in after making your delicious haute chocolate, is maca powder. Gives me a boost of energy, like you said it would, and makes the whole mixture even creamier! I just can’t get enough of this blog of yours! 🙂

    All my best,

  • Ohmygosh! I made something just like this! And my friend thought I was crazy for putting avocado, honey, and salt in it! I was trying to come up with a healthy version of a Wendy’s Frosty. 🙂

  • Hi Sarah, I’m a big fan of your blog and don’t mean to criticize but I found this information online and thought it might interest you (source:

    Cocoa powder and cacao powder is the same.
    What is considered “raw” cacao is suppose to be a cocoa powder that has been in a process that never exceeded 110 degrees Fahrenheit…which is already an almost impossible scenario, since cocoa beans are grown in the Equator, and you may exceed that temperature while drying in the patio under the sun covered with black linens (to heat it up and allow the fermentation of the bean)….and yes, you need to dry them, otherwise they will rotten in a few days, and the shell will be too difficult to peel off.

    Back to cocoa powder….
    ALL cocoa powder comes from the cocoa bean, which without the shell is called cocoa nib (a.k.a. cacao nib). The first step is grinding of the nib (which again, when you grind something to such small particle size you will create a lot of friction with -that’s right – heat!). That will give you the cocoa/cacao paste (a.k.a. cacao mass or liquor), which has about 50 to 56% fat (cocoa butter) in it…and ALL cocoa powders have to go through that stage.

    Next stage is to take some of that butter away, which the raw community claims can be done through “cold pressing”. For any that don’t understand that term, cold pressing is done with oils like olive oil to preserve the oil almost intact by cooling the press plates while applying pressure (pressure generates heat, therefore it needs to be cooled). But here is a reminder, olive oil is liquid in room temperature, cocoa butter is SOLID, and it STARTS melting at about 100 degrees Fahrenheit … so, you cannot control and cool it to a point where it will be still in a solid phase, because it cannot be pressed and “flow” out.

    Last operation is to grind the solids left in the press, again – heat…and there is your cocoa powder or cacao powder… you tell me if you call it “raw”, a term not defined by the FDA for cocoa, and that can be used by anyone just to sell the cocoa to a much higher price. Maybe that is why bigger, more serious companies don’t have this product, since they do not want to be liable for false advertising…

    Regarding “Raw” cocoa nibs or cocoa beans…yes, that is possible, and the only concern is the high bacteriological plate count… but how much you want to train your immune system is up to each individual. And yes, the less manipulated the cocoa, the more polyphenols and healthy chemicals you will obtain from it.

    There is also a difference between alkalized or ducthed powders, and the natural ones (which do not contain any potassium carbonate), being the second ones the ones containing more of the healthy properties (antioxidants). But that is totally different than claiming a “raw” cocoa powder.

    So, that is my explanation, and again, I respect anyone’s opinion on what they want to eat or how they want to consume it. I just disagree with misleading the general public just to make juicy profits.

  • Wow, this is genius and incredibly delicious! It gives a whole new meaning to the saying, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. As each ingredient is quality in itself but when combined in this way, it is truly is magic! And even though we are being blanketed by the third day of snowfall as I write, I couldn’t resist making this. Thank you again Sara for another inspiring recipe.

  • I have been waiting to try this for awhile. I never had all the ingredients, but I finally bought some hemp seeds. This was de-li-cious! I shared it with my kids and hubby and they all thought is was great! Thanks for a great tasting healthy sweet treat:)

  • I finally made this Sarah and it was delicious!! Next time, I think I might add some maca! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful drink.. it was way better than the raw chocolate milkshake from Live (in Toronto)!

  • I made this this morning and I ate some of it, butthen I just couldn’t eat anymore. I used the hemp seeds and I used cacao nibs instead of powder. I made it in my vitamix and I don’t know if it was because of the nibs, but I had to blend it for a while….and it was really thick, even after adding more and more water. Because I blended it so long, it started to get warm (cuz the vitamix does that). So I added more ice, but it just didnt taste that great. I’ll have to try it again and tweak it a little. I really want to like this! 🙂

  • tried this for breakfast, so YUM! Is an awful lot though, I didn’t use a whole avocado and also only had a small banana, but it was very stuffing.

    so nice as well to read that through this post you got to know Luise and David – and you’re apparently just meeting them these days!! Can’t wait to hear about that encounter.

  • I can’t wait to try this! When I need a treat I make your banana “ice cream” with nuts and a bit of cacao (like you suggested), it’s PHENOMINAL! With the weather being the way it is, though, I think it’s time for a milkshake!! =D You will be happy to hear, after all these months of eating whole foods and sharing them with my family, I have converted my brother, my mom, and my sister has been slowing introducing some whole food practices into her family’s menu. Thank you so much, Sarah!

    ~~ Priscilla B. (peabrito)

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  • Ok, so I finally got around to making this. . . WOW!! it is sooooo good!! Thanks for the inspiration! Milkshakes for health – that’s my kind of food 🙂

  • Fantastic. This has quickly become a hit with my fiancée and me. I’ve been using pureed toasted walnuts in place of the hemp seeds, which works great. The other day I dolloped in some homemade yogurt on a whim, and that was excellent as well. My Dietitian’s two thumbs up!



  • Hi Catherine!

    So great you couldn’t wait until morning! HA!
    However, storing the milkshake is not so easy. Because it comes together so fast, I would recommend drinking it as soon as it’s made. If you really need to keep it in the fridge, cover it with plastic wrap (right down to the milkshake) so the air doesn’t touch any part of it. Then thin with some water in the morning if it’s thickened up too much.
    Hope it works for ya!

    🙂 Sarah B

  • i had to order my cacao powder online (all three of my local health stores were out of it at the same time – must have the same distributer!). anyways, it finally got to my house while i was at work last night so even though i didn’t get home until about 9:30pm, i HAD to make it (i had been salivating for about two weeks in anticipation). i couldn’t eat the whole serving before bed so i just kept it in the fridge overnight.

    any recommendations on storing this stuff? or how long it will stay good?


    btw soo excited about meatless mondays. congrats!

  • Tried this the other day and it was UNBELIEVABLE. It totally surprised me! I would take it over a regular milkshake any day…and THAT’s saying something: I loooove chocolate milkshakes.

    Thanks so so SOOoo much!

  • I just found your blog and I love it. You’re going in my reader.
    I also love this recipe. I’d love to drink it right now but I need to find some cacao first.
    Congratulations on getting married!

  • oh my gosh. i love your blog. i just found it looking up leeks and pesto. we just made the best pesto. with lamb’s quarter, arugula, basil, leeks, garlic, and walnuts and parmesan. anyhoo. i am so glad i found your blog. it is going into my cooking folder now!! yay. chai rhubarb muffins are looking good. i have some rhubarb still singin out to me these days to use it up while i can….

  • Your blog is fantastic and I love this recipe! I made it for my boyfriend and he is crazy about it as well, but bananas make his throat itch a bit. What would you recommend as a substitute? The texture of a banana is unique, so I’m having trouble coming up with something…

  • After a hot and humid day i made this for dinner! It filled me up for the whole night! I could only find organic cacao in the form of little nibs so i put them in the coffee grinder until it was really fine. I’d recommend getting the powder if you can but it was still really smooth and tasty! Warning: if you overdo the nuts and seeds it feels like drinking peanut butter. Go easy!

  • So good! I’ve been making one with pretty much the same ingredients, but cooked stewed apple instead of avocado (it seems to be a bad avocado time of year the past few weeks).

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