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Healthy Dark Chocolate Banana Smoothie- one of my favorite pre-workout smoothies! I always workout a lot harder and feel less tired when I drink one of these before exercise.

Dark chocolate, peanut butter, and bananas make this smoothie a favorite. It’s indulgent without being unhealthy. The creamy, satisfying chocolate banana smoothie is a great way to get your sweet fix and works well for a quick pre-workout boost.

Dark chocolate is actually packed with nutrients that are beneficial to your health. The nutrients come directly from the cacao, but cacao by itself is bitter and chalky. Therefore ingredients such as milk and sugar are usually added to it, which are not as good for you. To get the best benefits of cacao, stick to dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cacao.

dark chocolate and banana

Good quality dark chocolate has a variety of powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants help to get rid of free radicals, thereby preventing cell damage and slowing signs of aging. Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant, also aid in lowering blood pressure. Theobromine, responsible for the bitter taste in cacao, acts as a weak caffeine. In addition to these, dark chocolate is also rich in manganese, fiber, iron, and magnesium.

pre-workout smoothie

The other main ingredient in the smoothie, bananas, is a better known source of healthy nutrients. They are widely hailed as a good supply of potassium, which keeps energy levels up and electrolytes replenished. The high level of vitamin B6 in bananas alone has numerous advantages in helping your body to function. This mighty vitamin aids in proper brain development and produces serotonin and dopamine, which are necessary for nerve communication and can affect mood. Bananas also add to your daily fiber requirement.

Peanut butter, besides rounding out the flavor, also gives a small boost of protein to the smoothie. However, if you have a peanut allergy, common substitutions could include almond butter or even sunflower seed butter (both of which are also good for you). Even with all of the health benefits listed, the main advantage of this smoothie is that it is a healthy dessert option! So go ahead and indulge with this naturally sweet chocolate banana smoothie.

Ingredients
2 frozen bananas
1-2 oz. dark chocolate
1/2 cup low fat milk
1 1/2 tbsp peanut butter
Dash of vanilla extract

Instructions
1. In a large cup (if using an immersion blender) or a blender, combine ingredients and blend until smooth. Add more milk if necessary to reach desired consistency. Add more chocolate if desired. Serve immediately.

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Rebecca Bohl

Rebecca Bohl is a recipe developer and food photographer based in Washington, D.C. She likes to share recipes that are based on natural, unprocessed foods. Rebecca loves to come up with new combinations to create healthy, tasty smoothies that can be enjoyed every day.

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