Chocolate Banana Nut Milk
I'm not going to lie, sometimes I get a mad craving for something chocolatey and sweet. Cravings are clues that our body needs something. When I crave chocolate, it's generally a sign that my body needs some healthy fat and likely magnesium. This is a nice way to satisfy the craving, as well as, supplying healthy fat and magnesium. Some people crave chocolate when they're stressed. Because dopamine is released into your brain when eating chocolate, it's often associated with a feeling of comfort, and can reduce feelings of stress. Chocolate also increases levels of the calming neurotransmitter serotonin. Bananas also help regulate and stimulate dopamine levels and are a good source of magnesium and potassium. The healthy fat and magnesium supplied by the milk, and nuts can also provide support for stressful situations, as well as, helping with fatigue and insomnia. While this drink can help with insomnia, chocolate provides a stimulant, so I suggest not consuming during 3 hours prior to bedtime. While this is a healthy alternative to other chocolate treats, I believe all things should be consumed in moderation. If you're an athlete, or someone in need of more calories, you may wish to consume this more frequently; however, please gage your consumption according to your personal needs and body type.
Chocolate Banana Nut Milk
1 cup raw milk *see notes
2 Tbsp. raw nut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
3 Tbsp. raw cacao
1. Blend until smooth.
2. Store in fridge.
Coconut milk can be substituted for raw milk.
Two heaping tablespoons of raw nuts can be substituted for the nut butter. Make sure to process for a bit longer for a smooth texture.
If you have trouble digesting nuts, or nut butter, or have a gut health issue such as IBS, I suggest soaking and dehydrating nuts, then processing into a nut butter. Seed butters are another alternative, if nut butters are problematic for you.
Avocado and/or coconut oil may be added for additional healthy fat, if desired. Healthy saturated fat is critical for brain, heart, skin and tissue health, decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, energy, and nerve function. It's also essential for absorption of vitamins and nutrients, as well as, hormonal regulation. When you crave carbohydrates and sugar, it's often a sign of fat deficiency. When we don't consume enough fat, our body will produce it using refined sugar and carbohydrates. So need I say, eat some more healthy fat today?! Read more here on healthy fat under the heading Fats.
You can also change it up by adding avocado in place of the bananas.
Greens can be added as well. Place milk and greens in blender and puree until smooth before adding other ingredients.
Add some left-over oatmeal for additional fiber and nutrition.
You can decrease the amount of sweetener, if desired. I tend to make things sweet enough to appeal to my kids. When you're competing with all the junk food out there, sometimes that's what you have to do!