Ok, I know that some of you are reading the title of this recipe and thinking “Dave has lost it completely.” But stay with me for a minute. At least, if you like chocolate. And if you have access to zucchini.
I’m always on the lookout for new ways to use vegetables. And with summer here, that usually means lots of squash. I freeze the summer squash for use later in soups, quick breads and casseroles. But squash is so productive, it’s sometimes hard to use all that you harvest. But not any more! I found out recently that zucchini make a great addition to smoothies, adding body and nutrition, without adding any real taste.
I usually cut my zucchini into 1/4 inch slices, then blanch for 3 minutes in boiling water. After cooling and draining, I like to lay the zucchini out in a single layer on a pizza pan or cookie sheet lined with wax paper, then put it in the freezer until frozen solid. That way I can usually separate the pieces before putting in a freezer bag. You can also use shredded or cubed squash in this recipe, as long as it’s frozen solid (I don’t blanch the shredded squash before freezing). I have to mention that our Vitamix blender does a super job of blending the frozen ingredients in this smoothie. To look at it the finished product, there is no hint that it has zucchini in it, which could be a plus if you have picky eaters around.
Almond milk and cocoa powder combine with frozen banana and zucchini for this great tasting smoothie treat. Even though the recipe calls for frozen zucchini, you can use frozen yellow squash too, without any change in taste or texture. The cocoa powder adds a lot of flavor and nutrition, without contributing a lot of calories. I use either a raw cocoa powder or a Dutch-processed one. They’re both good in this recipe. Fans of dark chocolate may want to try a dark cocoa powder (King Arthur’s Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa comes to mind). We use stevia powder to sweeten.
That Navitas cacao powder is really good, I use it all the time. I’m not sure about a zucchini smoothie, but I’ll give it a try when my squash is ready. Have you ever made your own almond milk? I’ve been making it for a couple years now and love it. I use my vitamix, a nut milk bag, soaked whole almonds, dash of vanilla and salt and stevia.
I would never think to do this – but must admit that smoothie DOES look good! If it is half as tasty as you say, then this would indeed be a great way to use up that zucchini surplus we all deal with each summer.
I’ve seen variations on this, but I haven’t seen them done with frozen zucchini. I still haven’t tried it though. Maybe I’ll try your version if I get a lot of zucchini this year – which isn’t looking good as I found a SVB inside my row cover yesterday. And a whole bunch of others beating on it trying to get in.
I think I’m going to have to try this very soon! I hope my KitchenAid blender will be up to the task – I know the Vitamix blenders are great and you definitely pay for what you get 🙂
Just wanted to let you know that I made this over the weekend and it was quite good. I had to use quite a bit more almond milk to get it to blend decently in my non-Vitamix blender but it was a tasty treat that used a squash. Thanks for sharing!
Glad to hear you enjoyed it!
I am so happy I found this blog as it is very difficult to get my husband to walk out the door with a meal in hand. I have made him smoothies in the morning and he isn’t very satisfied with them, he really doesn’t care for his vegetables in a smoothie. Well your great tasting smoothie has him thinking a bit differently about having vegetables for breakfast. Have you ever tried it with spinach? I know it would probably change the color but I could sneak some more veggies in on him that way.
I’ve not tried the chocolate zucchini one with spinach, but I love spinach in a green smoothie. Chocolate makes everything better though!
Used dark cocoa and my frozen zucchini from last summer. I have a ninja and it made the drink very smooth. Loved this recipe and I will be using it a lot for my breakfast smoothie. Thanks for such a great blog. I enjoy reading it.
Shirley, I am so glad you liked it! Thanks for letting us all know. I love the dark cocoa in a lot of things, including this smoothie.
Just made this recipe for my 3 boys (6, 4, and almost 2). It was thoroughly enjoyed by them and me. Thanks for sharing it! I will definitely make this again. It is a great way to use some of the shredded zucchini I have stored in my freezer.
Beth, I am so glad everyone enjoyed it!
Absolutely Scrumdiddleumptious! I am now freezing my zucchini in 2 cup portions!