This plant-based smoothie has a secret ingredient that enhances the chocolate taste and provides natural sweetness–California prunes! It’s my go-to smoothie to satisfy my chocolate craving and provide energy for a workout.
You may not know it, but prunes and chocolate are a match made in heaven. This recipe combines California prunes with cocoa powder for a rich and sweet smoothie without all the added sugar.
Prunes have a slightly sweet and tart flavor that brings out the robust flavor of the chocolate. And they don’t contain any added sugar. That’s why they are one of my go-to ingredients for smoothies.
With just prunes, cocoa powder, almond milk, frozen cherries and a dash of (optional) maple syrup, this recipe is plant-based, incredibly simple, yummy and low in sugar. And it checks all the boxes for a pre-workout smoothie– carbs, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.
Are prunes good for you?
Let’s start with a brief introduction to prunes. California prunes are made from the Petit d’Agen plum. The plums are dried in climate-controlled tunnels, and they eventually become prunes. California grows 99% of the total prunes in the United States and 40% of the world’s supply.
Prunes are a nutrient powerhouse. Just four prunes have:
24 grams of carbohydrates (great for workouts)
3 grams fiber (11% Daily Value)
1 gram protein
No added sugar, cholesterol, sodium
280 mg potassium (6% Daily Value)
23 mcg of vitamin K (20% Daily Value)
Other minerals, like copper, and boron, which may have bone protective qualities
Not to mention that they are affordable and versatile, so using prunes is a win-win-win!
Beyond the nutrition profile of prunes, ample research links these dried fruits to several health benefits, including:
Prunes are rich in antioxidants. They contain a natural plant compound, called polyphenols. These antioxidants have been shown to decrease inflammation, protect DNA and possibly even protect against cancer.
Prunes control blood sugar. Prunes have 3 grams of fiber and are a low glycemic food, so they won’t spike your blood sugar. Half the fiber is insoluble, which contributes to healthy digestion. The other half is soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Prunes promote bone health. They contain boron, potassium, and Vitamin K–nutrients that are found in bone. A clinical trial with post-menopausal women found that eating prunes may help prevent bone loss and preserve bone structure, reducing the risk of osteoporotic fracture.
Prunes may lower cholesterol. A study at University of California, Davis showed that men with moderately elevated cholesterol had a reduction in total and LDL cholesterol after eating 100 grams (10–12) prunes daily.
Prunes aid in digestion. A serving of prunes has 3 grams of fiber.
How many prunes should you eat in a day?
All you need is just 4 to 5 prunes per day to reap the benefits. As a matter of fact, most of the research on prunes shows that eating 4 to 5 is extremely beneficial.
What do you put in a chocolate smoothie?
There are many ways to make a chocolate smoothie, but my personal favorites includes California Prunes. This smoothie blends together unsweetened cocoa powder, prunes, almond milk and frozen dark cherries.
I also include a teaspoon of maple syrup or honey. But since the prunes have natural sweetness, the maple syrup is optional. If you prefer a slightly sweeter taste, go ahead and add it, but it’s not necessary for a delicious smoothie.
Almond milk blends well and has a neutral flavor. And the frozen cherries add an extra dash of sweetness to your smoothie. Don’t forget the handful of ice cubes to keep things frosty!
Other ways to use prunes
There are so many ways to use prunes! If you’re not already using them in your cooking, you’re are missing out. Some of my favorite things to do with prunes are:
Make a California Prune Puree. Believe it or not, a simple prune puree can be subed into recipes for some of the eggs, fat, and/or sugar. Read more about how use prune puree in baking here.
Add whole or chopped prunes to oatmeal, salads or sauces.
Pair prunes with anything that has warm spices, chocolate or caramel!
Plant-Based Chocolate Smoothie
This plant-based chocolate smoothie is sweetened with prunes, making it full of fiber & antioxidants with no added sugar.
1/3 cup California prunes
⅓ cup frozen cherries
8 ounces almond milk
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon maple syrup optional
handful of ice cubes
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Plant-Based Chocolate Smoothie
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 242 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Vitamin A 482IU10%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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