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.