This Banana Orange Smoothie with Cacao Nibs is a healthy and flavorful way to add vitamins B and C into your diet.
This cold season has been rough. Actually, that’s an understatement– it’s been ridiculous, and staying healthy has become priority number one. Normally, throughout cold and flu season, I load up on those little vitamin C ‘immune-booster’ powder packets, and drink one every day. Do I really think they work? Not necessarily, but it made me feel like my immune system was protected with a lovely little layer of immune-boosting vitamins. Plus, they’re tasty. Recently, however, I looked up the ingredients list for my normal vitamin packets,* and was a little alarmed to see ‘fructose,’ ‘dried cane syrup,’ AND ‘corn syrup solids’ on the list. I checked out a few other brands, and was just as startled. With ingredients like that, how could those possibly help me to stay healthy?
Determined to boost my vitamin intake, I decided, radically, to get my vitamins from food. (Are you shocked at my extremism?) An orange might not technically have as much vitamin C as the immune-booster packets, and a banana has less vitamin B than you’d get from a supplement, but the vitamins are more potent and better absorbed when they come from real food. This vitamin B and C packed Banana Orange Smoothie is a delicious, fast, and easy way to add a few extra vitamins to your diet.
Smoothies: Meal Replacements or Meal Supplements?
Some smoothies are designed to replace a meal. They have protein, and will keep you full. This smoothie, on the other hand, was designed to boost my vitamin intake without necessarily replacing any meals. If you want to make this smoothie your entire breakfast, you could add some nuts or protein powder. This smoothie is also small and deliciously thick (I usually eat it with a spoon)– but if you prefer a larger and thinner smoothie, you could add milk (or a milk replacement), juice, or coconut water.
Making a Banana Orange Smoothie with Cacao Nibs
To make this smoothie, all you need are three ingredients and a blender. Instead of adding ice cubes, this smoothie uses frozen banana slices. Simply slice up ripe (or overripe) bananas ahead of time, and stick them in an airtight container in the freezer. Next, grab an orange, peel it, and stick it straight into the blender. (You shouldn’t even need to pry the slices apart.) My favorite orange for this smoothie is a blood orange– a dark red, deliciously sweet orange– but any orange will work! Put the frozen banana slices and orange in your blender. Finally, because chocolate and orange are amazing together– add a tablespoon of cacao nibs** in with the fruit, and blend it all up.
Personally, I don’t add any sweetener to this smoothie. However, since some fruit will naturally be sweeter than others, it’s possible that you’ll grab an orange that isn’t as sweet as you want it to be! If you need to, add a little honey, sugar, or agave to your smoothie. Enjoy, and stay healthy!
*Note: Previously, my normal vitamin-c powder of choice, and the one with an ingredient list I found alarming, was ‘Emergen-C.’ It’s not the only ‘immune boosting’ powder out there. Airborne, another major ‘immune-booster,’ has a lower sugar content, but adds the artificial sweetener sucralose (Splenda) to their powders.
***A Note on Cacao: If you’ve never tried using cacao nibs, they’re similar to tiny, unsweetened chocolate chips. Cacao is similar to cocoa, but is less processed, and supposedly higher in antioxidants. You can substitute mini chocolate chips if you prefer, but the sugar content will be higher.
Banana Orange Smoothie with Cacao Nibs
- 1 orange, peeled (*see recipe notes)
- 1 banana, peeled and frozen
- 1 TB cacao nibs
- Optional: honey, sugar, or agave syrup
Blend all ingredients. Sweeten to taste if desired. Drink while still cold.
*Blood oranges and cara cara oranges are excellent in this smoothie.
*Calorie information was calculated per serving using My Fitness Pal, and does not include optional sweetener.