Red velvet cake has always been one of my favorite desserts but it's definitely not a healthy choice.
It’s actually chocolate cake that is dyed with large amounts of red food coloring – I used to make it often when I was vegetarian but after becoming vegan I started looking for healthier ways to get my red velvet fix. So I turned to nature’s coloring box.
Strawberries and beets give this smoothie its deep red color and also add nutrients and antioxidants. Beets also lower blood pressure and fight inflammation. But my favorite ingredient is the raw cacao, pronounced kuh-COW. Note, this is different from cocoa which is processed. It is a superfood beyond compare. Not only is it the “good” part of the chocolate (before manufacturers cook it, destroy it’s healthy nutritional properties, and add milk and sugar), it is the single highest food source of magnesium, something many of us over the age of 40 lack. Magnesium provides a world of healthy benefits for our bodies. Low magnesium levels have been linked to osteoporosis and high blood pressure. Cacao has also been associated with lowering diabetes by regulating insulin levels.
Cacao supports the adrenal function and can give you a healthy energy boost. I put it in my smoothies before I take my morning run and it makes me feel great. I don’t drink coffee so this give me a natural, non-jittery energy. I also use agave nectar because it does not spike blood sugar, which is also important for our insulin levels and weight loss. I like using the cacao nibs for their added crunch and texture, but you can use powdered cacao.
You can also make your own whipped topping by simply putting a can of full fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Upon opening the can, scoop out only the coconut part and do not use the water. Mix it in a high speed mixer with 1 T. of agave nectar until peaks form. You’ll have delicious “whipped cream”. Or if you’re in a hurry, just use So Delicious Brand Coco Whip, which you’ll find in your frozen food section.
Total Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: n/a
Prep Time: 5 minutes
- 3 c. frozen strawberries
- 1 c. frozen beets
- 1 T. vegan protein powder
- 4. T. agave nectar
- 4 T. raw cacao nibs (plus extra for garnish), recommended brand Ojio
- 2 c. water
- 1 c. vegan coconut whipped topping (optional) (Recommended brand So Delicious Coco Whip)
- Combine all ingredients except topping in high speed blender until smooth. Top with whipped topping and extra cacao nibs)