Raw Chocolate Heaven Smoothie

If I had to pick a turning point in my opinion of vegan food it would have been shortly after I turned 27 when I was living in LA. Through a series of events that only make sense when you’re a struggling actress who really should have gone home months ago scenario, I found myself meeting a friend of an acupuncturist I had been to back in Dublin. Stella had lived in LA for over twenty years and was a raw vegan. At the time it was like another world I had no clue about. I could barely even imagine what her day-to-day diet might have looked like. She suggested we meet in Cafe Gratitude which is a famous West Coast Vegan restaurant. If you haven’t seen it the documentary ‘May I Be Frank’ is excellent and centres around one of their eateries. 

I perused the menu not really sure what to order when a raw chocolate smoothie caught my eye. It arrived I took one sip and something very, very strange and unexpected happened. It tasted rich, creamy, thick, chocolatey and like a total indulgence. Were we not in a place so virtuous I would have assumed it was ‘bad’ for me. It tasted like heaven and I returned for it several times. 
This smoothie piqued my interest in vegan cuisine in a way I have never been able to turn back from. This was my moment where I felt that maybe things could be delicious as well as healthy and essentially that started the domino effect. 
I’ve made my own version of it now and I think you’ll agree, it’s gorgeous!

My Raw Chocolate Heaven Smoothie. 

1/2 Avocado
1 banana
2 tablespoon of raw cacao
5 Medjool dates - pitted
350 ml plant milk
1/2 cup of ice
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence or fresh vanilla. 
1 tablespoon of lucuma powder (optional but it makes it taste like caramel)
4 ice cubes. (Omit if using frozen avocado or banana) 

1) Blitz all ingredients and top with fresh mint if available.
I now really like the bitterness of raw cacao and it’s full of Iron so I usually add a dusting of it to the top of a smoothie but if you prefer a sweeter flavour a little drizzle of maple or agave over the top looks and tastes gorgeous. 
If you are using frozen avocado or banana take the out of the freezer and allow them to thaw for a few minutes while you prep your other ingredients.