Chocolate Orange Protein Smoothie

by spiceaholic on May 31, 2016

chocolate orange smoothie 1

Ahhh, it’s been getting warmer and warmer lately, which means it’s smoothie season! They really are such an easy way to get in some much-needed fruits and veggies, that I should do them year-round.

More importantly, with a newly-mobile 9 month-old who loves crawling everywhere and hates sitting still, I need a fast option for a breakfast or snack that will provide me with energy to keep up with him.

Usually when I make my smoothies I just do almond milk, baby spinach or kale, berries and any other fruits that look good.  I used to occasionally add protein powder, but when I was pregnant and then later nursing I skipped the protein powder because I was never quite sure that they were okay to use.  I’ve experimented with various whey protein powders and even plant-based ones, but some of those just had that chalky taste to them.

I think I’ve finally found a plant-based protein powder that I actually like!

I was introduced to Healthy Skoop plant-based protein powder through the Stonyfield Organic Clean Plate Club. With an impressive blend of plant-based protein, probiotics, antioxidants, omega-3s, vitamins, and minerals, Healthy Skoop truly is a nutritional powerhouse, perfect for those crazy on-the-go days. When I opened the container, instead of that musty old plant smell from the plant-based protein powders, instead I got a whiff of chocolate and cinnamon, almost like cake mix! Very promising. I also liked that Healthy Skoop donates a portion of its profits to help provide fresh fruits and vegetables to school lunch programs around the country.

Obviously I chose the chocolate-flavored Healthy Skoop, and though it’s pretty good on its own with some almond milk, I wanted to play around with it.  Rather than my usual greens + berries combo, I thought back to this amazing chocolate-orange milkshake I had on my birthday and decided that’d be a fun way to change up my smoothie. I found frozen mandarin orange segments and used those, but you can use fresh orange or clementine segments instead. You definitely need fresh orange zest though to get that orange flavor in the smoothie. Play around with the proportions of milk to yogurt, especially if you’re using plain versions of either.

*Disclosure: Stonyfield Organic provided me with coupons for their yogurt and compensated me for this post as part of their Clean Plate Club. Healthy Skoop provided me with a sample of their chocolate-flavored Super Skoop All-in-One nutritional shake as part of this month’s campaign. All opinions are my own.

Chocolate Orange smoothie 2

Chocolate Orange Protein Smoothie

Ingredients

6 oz. milk of your choice – I used unsweetened chocolate almond milk

2 oz.  Greek yogurt – I used Stonyfield Organic plain non-fat Greek yogurt

2 scoops Healthy Skoop chocolate protein powder, or protein powder of your choice

1 handful baby spinach

1 cup frozen mandarin orange slices – I used Dole

1 tsp. fresh orange zest

 

Preparation

Combine ingredients in a blender in the order listed. Blend on smoothie setting until smooth.

Add some more fresh orange zest as garnish if desired.

Drink and enjoy!

{ 2 comments }

Dk. Choc. Oatmeal Squares Yogurt Berry Glaze - 2

So let’s talk about these oatmeal squares.

After I had Baby N last August, I was all about wanting to try making lactation cookies so that I could theoretically boost my milk supply. I tried a mix I bought of Amazon, and it was disgusting. I tried making some energy bites and they were meh. I did find a couple cookie recipes that were pretty good, but they took way too much effort for the limited free time I had. And then I found some no-bake type recipes that looked promising and that were easily tweaked to be more “lactation-friendly.”

(Oh and by the way, lactation cookies do NOT contain breast milk in them. Gross.  No, they contain ingredients called galactologues that supposedly help you produce more breast milk.  Examples of these ingredients include oatmeal, ground flaxseed, and brewers’ yeast.  I say supposedly because I don’t know how much they help, but I wasn’t about to turn down an excuse to eat cookies!)

Anyway, so the original iteration of these oatmeal squares contained just rolled oats, honey, and peanut butter.  I usually add ground flaxseed and then dump in some chocolate chips for fun.  I’ve also tried them with dried cranberries. They’re pretty versatile and forgiving.  I like these because I can make a batch on Sunday and then have enough to last a little over a week. I just grab one of these in the morning to snack on after the baby wakes up and I’m good to go.

But you know, you can just be normal and make these as a nice alternative to granola bars instead! Omit the ground flaxseed or keep it in — these bars contain natural ingredients and are fairly healthy unless you go crazy with the fun add-ins.

For this month’s Stonyfield Clean Plate Club challenge, we got to pair Stonyfield Organic yogurt with Divine Chocolate for a Valentine’s Day inspired recipe.  (I love the story behind Divine Chocolate, which you can read here.)  Usually for Valentine’s Day I make chocolate-covered strawberries for Mr. Spice and me, but this year I thought that I would dress up my plain Jane oatmeal squares into something a little more special for Valentine’s Day, incorporating the taste of dark chocolate and berries. Instead of using peanut butter, I used almond butter, added some dark cocoa powder, chopped up a bar of Divine Chocolate 70% dark chocolate with raspberries and made a glaze using Greek yogurt, confectioner’s sugar and berry jam. Fancy!

I liked the balance between the almond butter, dark chocolate, and the glaze.  Almond butter to me isn’t very sweet, and dark chocolate has a nice bitterness to it, so the berry yogurt glaze gives the oatmeal squares that little boost of sweetness that you need without it being too overpowering.

Divine Chocolate

*Disclosure: Stonyfield Organic provided me with coupons for their yogurt and compensated me for this post as part of their Clean Plate Club. Divine Chocolate provided me with coupons for their chocolate as part of this month’s campaign. All opinions are my own.

Easy Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Squares with Yogurt Berry Glaze

Ingredients

Oatmeal Squares:

1/2 cup nut butter (I used almond butter)

1/2 cup honey

1 tbsp. ground flaxseed, optional

2 tbsp. dark cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned/rolled oats

1/4-1/2 cup coarsely chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (I used Divine Chocolate 70% dark chocolate with raspberries)

Glaze:

2 tbsp. plain nonfat Greek yogurt (I used Stonyfield Organic)

approximately 3 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar – adjust to your taste

berry jam to taste

 

Preparation

Heat nut butter in a large mixing bowl in microwave for approximately 30 seconds, to soften.  Add honey, ground flaxseed if using, and cocoa powder and stir to combine.

Add rolled oats and chopped chocolate, mixing all ingredients thoroughly.

Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper, then carefully spread mixture evenly in pan.  Cover with plastic cling wrap and refrigerate until slightly firm.

In a bowl, combine the Greek yogurt and confectioner’s sugar until the sugar is incorporated into the yogurt. Add berry jam as desired to your taste.  Drizzle or spread the glaze over the oatmeal squares and refrigerate until firm.

Carefully cut into 9 squares.  Store in fridge.

Enjoy!

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