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Sunday recipe: Enjoy these chocolate-banana smoothies without guilt!

Chocoholics often feel that nothing beats a rich piece of chocolate, a sumptuous slice of chocolate cake or a creamy serving of chocolate ice cream. Chocolate contains four times the amount of catechins as tea, and it contains the same heart-healthy flavonoids as red wine. However, the way chocolate is prepared can affect its potential health benefits. For those who want a healthy, low-fat chocolate option that’s easier on the waistline, smoothies may be the way to go.

This recipe for “Guilt-Free Banana Chocolate Smoothie” from Ellen Brown’s Super Smoothies: 100 Recipes to Supercharge Your Immune System (Crestline) is one way to get a full dose of delicious chocolate (in two forms). This smoothie is chock-full of other ingredients, including a potassium-rich banana, that are part of a healthy, balanced diet. When the kids are indulging in ice cream, this smoothie offers parents the same texture and taste without all the guilt.

Guilt-Free Banana Chocolate Smoothie

Makes 4 1-cup servings

1½ cups chocolate soy milk
3 ounces chopped dark chocolate
3 tablespoons cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
2 tablespoons bee pollen
2 tablespoons flaxseed oil
2 cups sliced banana
1 cup chocolate frozen yogurt
2 tablespoons shaved chocolate for garnish (optional)

  1. Combine soy milk, chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, bee pollen, flaxseed oil, and banana in a blender or smoothie maker.
  2. Blend on high speed for 45 seconds or until mixture is puréed and smooth.
  3. Add frozen yogurt, and blend on high speed again until mixture is smooth.

Serve immediately, garnished with chocolate shavings, if desired.