Mexican Chocolate & Banana Smoothie

June 20th, 2013 at 6:06 am

One of my all time favorite movies is Chocolat. (Can you believe it’s been out for over 10 years? Gosh I feel old!)

I watch it about once a year, usually in the early spring. I’d watch it more often, but truth be told I’ve been known to over-do my favorite movies from time to time. Once they’ve been overplayed then I can’t stand the sight of them for years. But I cherish Chocolat. So much so that I restrain myself and only enjoy it once (okay, maybe twice) each spring.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I completely spaced on my annual Chocolat viewing this year and forgot about it. (The horror!) Last week, when it dawned on me that I hadn’t watched it yet, I immediately sped over to the movie store to pick up a copy to watch right away.

And like always, it didn’t disappoint.

Every time it’s over, I want to do two things: 1) Eat or drink chocolate in any way, shape, or form; and 2) Spend a few months living in a tiny French village.

Since I don’t think that the second one will be happening any time soon, I threw my heart and soul into #1. The morning after watching Chocolat, I awoke with a craving for you know what. So I gathered up some tasty ingredients, threw them all in the blender, and voila. Chocolate craving crusher in a glass.

I call this a “Mexican chocolate” smoothie because I branched out a little and added some spice to go with my raw cacao. In Chocolat, Vianne comes up with the most unusual and magical chocolate pairings for the loyal chocolate-loving townspeople. I didn’t go nuts with creativity here, but I’d never put cayenne pepper in my smoothie before—let alone with chocolate—so it’s something fun and different for me.

Traditional Mexican chocolate is a rich indulgence enhanced with a variety of aromatic and heat-generating spices. I chose to stick with cinnamon and cayenne pepper, since those are two that most of us commonly stock in our kitchens. If you want to play with adding ginger or different chili peppers to this, feel free!

To balance the richness of the chocolate and the subtle heat of the spices, a banana lends sweetness and creaminess at the same time. I like to blend my shake until almost smooth, leaving just a few flecks of cacao nibs for texture. Use raw cacao powder if you can. The flavor is so superior. (But if you must, you can use unsweetened cocoa powder for the same effect.)

A smoothie like this makes waking up on a regular old weekday morning downright delightful. Blend it all up and in no time you’ll be starting your day by sipping on pure chocolate bliss.

I like to think that Vianne would approve.

Mexican Chocolate & Banana Smoothie

Yield: Serves 1

This chocolate smoothie is full of cinnamon, spice, and everything nice! Cayenne pepper adds a little kick, while a ripe frozen banana provides plenty of sweetness.


1 frozen banana (the riper the better!)

1 tablespoon raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon raw cacao nibs

1 tablespoon unsweetened almond butter

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of cayenne pepper

2/3 cup unsweetened nondairy milk (I use homemade almond milk)


Combine all of the ingredients in a blender (I use a Vita Mix) and blend on high until mostly smooth, with just a few flecks of cacao nibs adding texture. Serve and enjoy!



  1. Mmmmm…just whipped this up! Love the slight burn of the cayenne in my throat, the crunch of the nibs and the sweetness from the banana. Delish! (And I’m so with you on Chocolat…LOVE that movie!)

  2. Yum! I’m on a Mexican chocolate kick lately Hallie, will definitely enjoy this smoothie this week.

  3. Hallie this is adventurous :) I want to try yours first! I’m not sure I could do the spice, but I’d LOVE to try. I’ve been adding nibs to my smoothies and puddings. Yum!
    I remember watching that movie and falling in love. Such a good flick, thanks for reminding me!

  4. I love the movie chocolat! This looks so refreshing. Perfect for a hot summer day!

  5. I can’t really say how this exact recipe turned out b/c of the changes I made. However, with the exception of coconut milk in place of almond milk, the changes I made were only additions. I added fat free, Greek yogurt; spinach; toasted, coconut flakes (were toasted on a previous occasion); and flax seed for added nutrition and texture. It is very yummy (I’m drinking it now!).

  6. Christine said on June 23, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Okay glad to know I’m not the only one that loves that movie! I should adopt your viewing schedule of once per spring..
    love love heat with my chocolate. I make a raw hot chocolate that sometimes has cayenne, always cinnamon, sometimes both :) thanks for the post, that may be my breakfast tomorrow!
    Oh and hemp milk for me. Sadly allergic to almonds.

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