The other Chocolate Milk

A protein-filled smoothie

So, I think I can safely say that most kids in fact do love chocolate, but not always beans. Right? But beans are packed with protein and even if you are not vegetarian it is a great & healthy protein boost for kids combined with extra fiber. Not always easy, I agree.

You might have seen some brownie recipes made with beans floating out there, but today we are talking about smoothies. So…. beans in a smoothie? Yep. I have been experimenting with some variations and I promise you won’t taste them at all and even your kids won’t notice what else you sneaked into their smoothie. Give it a try:

Black Bean Chocolate Smoothie [ makes 2-3 smoothies ]

1 cup black beans, cooked (I like Jyoti brand as they are organic and come in non-BPA lined bag)
3 cups milk (I used almond milk)
2 frozen bananas
3-4 tablespoons cacao powder
¼ cup nuts such as almonds, pecans or walnuts (chopped) or nut butter - more protein!
Sweetener of choice – I used 3 pitted dates and 1 tablespoon honey, but adjust to your liking
Vanilla and cinnamon, optional

Put all ingredients in high-speed blender until smooth. Adults might like to top it with some crunchy cacao nibs or bee pollen.

Good to know: 1 cup black beans are about 15g of protein. To compare 2 tablespoons peanut butter are 7g of protein. But beans are not just filled with protein; they are also a good source of fiber, folate, magnesium, vitamin B1, phosphorus, and iron. See below the protein needs for kids*.

*Livestrong.com (and other websites) states "Healthy toddlers between the ages of 1 and 3 need 0.55 grams of protein per pound of body weight. For a toddler weighing 30 pounds this translates to 16.5 grams of protein per day. As a child increases in age, protein needs decrease. Children between 4 and 6 need 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight and 7 – 14 year olds require 0.45 grams of protein per body weight."