A few months ago, I was at one of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles, Wild Living Foods, with my friend Liz. They have an insanely tempting menu of dessert smoothies, so we decided to try one called Cacao Ceremony. It. Changed. My. Life. Thick and creamy, and the perfect blend of coconut, cacao, almond butter, and adaptogens. I knew immediately that I needed to create a paleo, sweetener-free, low-carb copycat that was a bit thicker so that it could be made into a smoothie bowl. And I needed to add veggies into it.
I’ve tried this a few different ways, and I finally nailed the measurements! This is definitely NOT your average chocolate smoothie. It can be made into a regular smoothie or a smoothie bowl – you just have to adjust the liquid to make it thicker or thinner. If I use less liquid and choose something thicker, like coconut milk, it comes out like chocolate soft serve. If I want more of a smoothie rather than a smoothie bowl, I’ll use a tad more liquid and/or choose something like almond milk. Both types of nut milk will work – the key to the delicious FLAVOR is the other ingredients. They’re a bit unique, but they really do make this smoothie a cacao DREAM!
What mainly gives this smoothie its unique flavor is the use of MUSHROOM POWDER! Mushrooms are very trendy in health and wellness nowadays, and for good reason – they have a ton of incredibly healing properties. Cordyceps, reishi, and lion’s mane are popular ones you might have heard of. Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in eastern cultures for their health benefits, and all mushrooms have different properties. Mushrooms act as powerful antioxidants, help with energy and stamina, support the immune system, support longevity, improve memory and focus, and much more.
When I was at the GOODFEST a few months ago, I received Om Beauty Powder in my goodie bag, and I’ve been looking for fun ways to incorporate it into my diet. The OM Beauty powder contains a blend of king trumpet, turkey tail, cordyceps, reishi, lion’s mane, and a few other mushrooms. This specific powder is meant to promote lustrous hair, glowing skin, and strong nails thanks to the antioxidants and beta glucans from the mushrooms. I’ve also made this smoothie with the Four Sigmatic 10 Mushroom Blend that contains Lion’s Mane, Resihi, Cordyceps, Chaga, and a few other mushrooms, and it tastes delicious using that as well!
Mushroom powders don’t taste like mushrooms. They have a unique flavor that’s hard to describe. It’s sort of an earthy taste. While they’re all slightly different, I do think there is a general “mushroom powder taste,” and I personally think that mushroom blends taste the best. I love them all, though. When mushroom powders are paired with sweet flavors like cacao and vanilla, they transform into something magical. Even though I used the Om Beauty powder and Four Sigmatic blend for this smoothie, you could definitely sub it with another mushroom powder of your choice. I think reishi or chaga would taste amazing – but use whatever you have on hand if you already have one. If you don’t already have a mushroom powder, check out the Four Sigmatic and Om options, or leave it out altogether. It will still taste amazing! But I won’t lie – the mushroom powder is what really makes it special!
The other unique flavor enhancer in this smoothie is maca. I put maca in a lot of my smoothies for its health benefits, and because it has a vanilla-esque taste. Maca is high in antioxidants and nutrients like vitamin C, copper, and iron, but it’s best known for balancing hormones. It’s referred to as an “endocrine adaptogen,” which means it naturally supports normal hormone production without containing any added hormones. People have reported maca helping them with fertility (although it should not be taken DURING pregnancy), libido, PMS, and menopause. Others use it to help balance out their stress hormones, and to improve memory and focus. Personally, maca gives me a nice burst in energy – I try to only consume it in the morning for that reason.
Between the mushroom powder and maca, this smoothie is pretty “extra.” Plus, I added in Vital Proteins Vanilla Coconut Collagen Peptides for the delicious vanilla-coconut taste and all of collagen’s hair, skin, nail, gut health, and joint health benefits. With all of that together, this smoothie is packed with adaptogens, antioxidants, immune-boosters, and hormone-balancers, PLUS a serving of veggies and plenty of healthy fats.
Oh, and obviously it tastes like heaven. Chocolate, vanilla, coconut heaven. Have it for breakfast or dessert – the choice is yours. I’m not lying when I tell you that this might be the best smoothie I’ve ever made – it is incredibly addicting. Shoutout to Wild Living Foods for the flavor inspo – I owe you one. This smoothie is paleo, vegan if you use vanilla protein instead of collagen, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, and sugar-free. It’s also fruit-free, low-carb, and ket0-friendly. ENJOY!
Cacao Dream Smoothie Bowl (Paleo / Low-Carb)
- 2 tbsp raw cacao
- 1-2 tbsp raw almond butter
- 1/2 cup frozen coconut meat
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp mushroom powder (I’ve used Om Organic Mushroom Supplement, Beauty and Four Sigmatic 10 Mushroom Blend. However, you could sub for any other mushroom powder you might have – reishi, cordyceps, chaga, etc.)
- 1 tsp maca powder
- 1 scoop Vital Proteins Vanilla Coconut Collagen Peptides (or vanilla protein)
- dash of Himalayan pink salt
- 1.5 cups frozen cauliflower
- 1/2 – 1 cup of almond milk or coconut milk (less liquid will make it thicker, and coconut milk will also make it thicker)
- Optional: spinach for extra greens
- Toppings: almond butter, coconut butter, cacao nibs, coconut flakes, etc.
- Add all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend until combined.
- Pour into a bowl and top with toppings of your choice!