Zero Belly Smoothies: Lose up to 16 Pounds in 14 Days and Sip Your Way to A Lean & Healthy You - David Zinczenko (2016)

Chapter 7. Nutty & Chocolaty Smoothies

Dark Chocolate Banana Nut

Almond Joy

Cherry Chocolate Tart

The Peanut Butter Cup

Valentine’s Day

Chocolate Decadence

Choco-Colada

Peachy Keen

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chocolate Chia

Flaxing & Relaxing

Ca-Cao Pow!

It’s a Date

Vanilla Chai

Velvety Elvis

Chocolate Bean

Peanut Butter Sandwich

Avocado Blues

Cantaloupe Kick

Keep It Simple

Cherry Bomb

Spice Things Up

“Hot” Chocolate

Apple and Peanut Butter

Chai of the Tiger

Ab of Steel

Have you ever heard of the “health halo”? It’s a term nutrition experts use to describe foods that use a healthy-sounding word like natural on their labels, or add ingredients that people think of as good for you (“Now with chia!”), but which are really junk at heart.

This chapter is the reverse of that theory. These drinks are tremendously nutritious—packed with as much, or more, fiber, protein, and healthy fats as any other drinks in the whole book. But they seem like they’re bad for you. How can drinks that seem like they came right from the ice cream shop flatten your belly so effectively?

These are the drinks you’ll whip up on a night when you want something to satisfy your ice cream jones. They’re the recipes you’ll lean on when your kids are complaining that they want something sweet for dessert. And they’re the drinks you’ll use to reward yourself after a hard day at work or in the gym. Deep, comforting, and delicious, these filling smoothies taste more like dessert than what they really are—powerful weight-loss weapons.

All recipes make one serving.


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

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DARK CHOCOLATE BANANA NUT

Four words that combine to sound like a jam session at Ben & Jerry’s house. The density of the banana will have you convinced you’re drinking a milkshake, while the omega-3s in the walnuts will keep your mind sharp and your belly lean.

½ banana

1 teaspoon dark chocolate morsels (dairy free)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

⅛ cup chopped walnuts

6 ice cubes

⅓ cup chocolate plant-based protein powder

Water to blend (optional)

229 calories
11 g fat
26 g carbs
7 g fiber
10 g sugar
28 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

ALMOND JOY

Mixing fruit and chocolate together is a trick that turbocharges your fat-melting mechanism. Fruit is fermented at the bottom of your digestive system, where it releases the appetite anti-inflammatory compound butyrate; cocoa helps accelerate that process.

¼ cup blueberries

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons shredded coconut

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

¼ cup black beans

6 ice cubes

¼ cup chocolate plant-based protein powder

Water to blend (optional)

294 calories
11 g fat
24 g carbs
10 g fiber
7 g sugar
25 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

CHERRY CHOCOLATE TART

Cherries and banana don’t spend nearly as much time together as they ought to, and you’ll agree after you taste this. Using an entire banana gives you an extra hit of resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that resists digestion.

½ cup cherries, pitted

½ banana

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

½ cup unsweetened almond milk

Dash of nutmeg

¼ cup black beans

6 ice cubes

¼ cup chocolate plant-based protein powder

Water to blend (optional)

294 calories
2 g fat
41 g carbs
11 g fiber
14 g sugar
25 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

THE PEANUT BUTTER CUP

Like a Reese’s, but without the bad carbs! A classic from the original Zero Belly Diet.

½ frozen banana

½ tablespoon peanut butter

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

½ cup unsweetened almond milk

1 scoop chocolate plant-based protein powder

258 calories
6 g fat
20 g carbs
5 g fiber
14 g sugar
30 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

VALENTINE’S DAY

Strawberries can get overwhelmed by peanut butter, but the more delicate flavor of cashews helps them stand out in this recipe. And cashews are particularly rich in proanthocyanidins, a class of flavanols that help boost the immune system. You won’t even notice the black beans.

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 tablespoon cashew butter

⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk

¼ cup black beans

¼ cup chocolate plant-based protein powder

2 ice cubes

gea

Blend all ingredients until smooth, and then shave a square of dark chocolate on top for presentation.

300 calories
9 g fat
30 g carbs
9 g fiber
9 g sugar
26 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

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CHOCOLATE DECADENCE

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This recipe is adapted from one of our favorites from Zero Belly Cookbook. We loved it so much we had to include it here as well. For 150-plus recipes that melt belly fat first—featuring foods you love—check out the cookbook today.

½ banana

¼ ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and quartered

¼ cup black beans

½ cup unsweetened almond milk

¼ cup chocolate plant-based protein powder

6 ice cubes

Water to blend (optional)

300 calories
9 g fat
34 g carbs
11 g fiber
9 g sugar
25 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

CHOCO-COLADA

Coconut is a super-trendy food, and for good reason: The fat in coconut is particularly high in lauric acid, a type of fat that’s more difficult for the body to convert into body fat than other types of dietary fat; as a result, your body tends to burn it for energy.

2 teaspoons ground flaxseed

1 tablespoon shredded coconut

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

½ cup crushed pineapple

⅓ cup chocolate plant-based protein powder

6 ice cubes

Water to blend (optional)

296 calories
9 g fat
28 g carbs
6 g fiber
9 g sugar
27 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

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PEACHY KEEN

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As fruits go, bananas and peaches are polar opposites: bananas provide fiber and a rich consistency, while peaches add antioxidants for very few calories.

1 cup frozen peaches

½ banana

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

⅓ cup vanilla plant-based protein powder

½ cup ice cubes

Water to blend (optional)

287 calories
3 g fat
36 g carbs
5 g fiber
22 g sugar
29 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

CH-CH-CH-CHOCOLATE CHIA

The fiber in the chia seeds adds an extra level of fat-burning fun to a drink that tastes like a dessert.

½ banana

1 kiwi

2 teaspoons ground chia seeds

¼ cup black beans

½ cup unsweetened almond milk

¼ cup chocolate plant-based protein powder

3 ice cubes

Water to blend (optional)

298 calories
4 g fat
43 g carbs
14 g fiber
15 g sugar
26 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

FLAXING & RELAXING

Flax oil is the single most potent source of omega-3 fatty acids; the ½ tablespoon in this recipe will give you 3,600 milligrams of the stuff, about twice what you’ll get from a 3-ounce portion of salmon. And omega-3s are shown to help reduce stress, so you really will be “flaxing and relaxing.”

¼ cup pomegranate seeds

½ cup frozen blueberries

½ tablespoon flaxseed oil

½ cup unsweetened almond milk

⅓ cup chocolate plant-based protein powder

3 ice cubes

Water to blend (optional)

288 calories
10 g fat
25 g carbs
7 g fiber
14 g sugar
27 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

CA-CAO POW!

This drink packs a tremendous protein punch, not just from the vanilla powder but from the cacao (which delivers a gram per teaspoon) and the spirulina, a type of algae that’s about 60 percent protein. Like quinoa, it’s a complete protein, meaning it can be converted directly into muscle in the body.

1 cup spinach

½ cup blueberries

½ teaspoon spirulina

1 tablespoon cacao powder

1 tablespoon ground chia seeds

½ cup unsweetened almond milk

¼ cup vanilla plant-based protein powder

Water to blend (optional)

255 calories
5 g fat
27 g carbs
11 g fiber
8 g sugar
28 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

IT’S A DATE

You’ll love this super sweet treat. Dates are higher in fructose than any other food, which explains why this drink tastes as if we added sugar to it. But that’s natural fructose that comes with a shielding of fiber, so it won’t spike your blood sugar. Watch tennis champ Novak Djokovic in the middle of a tournament—he eats dates in between sets to keep his energy up.

2 tablespoon almonds, blanched

1 tablespoon ground chia seeds

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1 date

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 cup ice

¼ cup vanilla plant-based protein powder

Water to blend (optional)

272 calories
12 g fat
18 g carbs
5 g fiber
7 g sugar
25 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

VANILLA CHAI

Swap this in for your usual A.M. Starbucks order.

½ cup chai tea (brewed from a tea bag and chilled)

½ frozen banana

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1½ teaspoon almond butter, no-salt-added

¼ cup unsweetened almond milk

½ scoop vanilla plant-based protein powder

Water to blend (optional)

219 calories
9 g fat
20 g carbs
4 g fiber
16 g sugar
17 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

VELVETY ELVIS

Okay, we took Elvis’s favorite sandwich and turned it into a smoothie, but we added the super protein punch of spirulina. A tablespoon delivers 8 grams of metabolism-boosting protein for just 43 calories, plus half a day’s allotment of vitamin B12.

½ frozen banana

1 tablespoon almond butter

1 tablespoon powdered spirulina

½ cup unsweetened almond milk

¼ cup plain plant-based protein powder

Water to blend (optional)

288 calories
10 g fat
25 g carbs
5 g fiber
7 g sugar
30 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

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CHOCOLATE BEAN

Beans? In a smoothie? Use canned or precooked beans for a thick, earthy protein and fiber punch. One study found that people who ate ¾ cup of beans daily weighed 6.6 pounds less, on average, than those who didn’t, even though the bean eaters took in more calories.

½ frozen banana

¼ cup black beans

1 tsp nutmeg

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

⅓ cup plant-based chocolate protein powder

Water to blend (optional)

280 calories
3 g fat
31 g carbs
7 g fiber
9 g sugar
31 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH

One of my favorite food tricks is to make peanut butter & jelly sandwiches for kids, but to swap out the jelly for fresh berries (blackberries work best). The kids can never tell. You’ll get the same nutritional upgrade from this smoothie recipe.

5 raspberries

5 blueberries

3 strawberries

1 tablespoon peanut butter, unsalted

½ cup unsweetened almond milk

¼ cup vanilla plant-based protein powder

½ cup ice cubes

Water to blend (optional)

255 calories
12 g fat
14 g carbs
4 g fiber
9 g sugar
25 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

AVOCADO BLUES

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You won’t feel blue after drinking this, and you won’t feel hungry, either: A study in Nutrition Journal found that participants who ate avocado for lunch reported a 40 percent decreased desire to eat for hours afterward. Blueberries and flaxseed add an extra nutritional boost.

¼ avocado, peeled, pitted, and quartered

½ cup blueberries

¼ cup black beans

1 tsp ground flaxseed

½ cup unsweetened almond milk

¼ cup chocolate plant-based protein powder

3 ice cubes

Water to blend (optional)

297 calories
10 g fat
30 g carbs
15 g fiber
9 g sugar
25 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

CANTALOUPE KICK

A great combination of flavors inspired by Mexican cuisine. Just ½ teaspoon of hot pepper can help reduce appetite after a meal, according to a study at Purdue University. And daily consumption of capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne, speeds abdominal weight loss, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

1 cup cantaloupe

½ cup mango

1 dash cayenne pepper

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tablespoon ground chia seeds

⅓ cup chocolate plant-based protein powder

6 ice cubes

Water to blend (optional)

298 calories
5 g fat
35 g carbs
6 g fiber
23 g sugar
29 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

KEEP IT SIMPLE

This one really does keep it simple. In the end, all you need for a great smoothie is fiber, fat and protein, plus one plant or fruit source. The almond butter provides the first three, while the mix of chocolate and banana takes this flavor profile over the edge.

½ cup peaches

1 tablespoon almond butter

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

⅓ cup chocolate plant-based protein powder

Water to blend (optional)

288 calories
11 g fat
16 g carbs
4 g fiber
8 g sugar
31 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

CHERRY BOMB

If you can find them, use tart cherries. They’re grown exclusively in Michigan, but a 12-week study found that animals fed tart cherries showed a 9 percent belly fat reduction over those fed a standard diet.

¾ cup frozen cherries

½ frozen banana

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

⅓ cup vanilla plant-based protein powder

½ cup ice cubes

Water to blend (optional)

gea

The rule of apple nutrition: Synthetic fertilizers promote water retention, so the bigger the apple, the more diluted its nutrients. Smaller fruits give you more nutritional bang for your buck.

300 calories
3 g fat
38 g carbs
5 g fiber
19 g sugar
29 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

CHOCOLATE-COVERED APPLE

1 medium apple

1 tablespoon almonds

1 date

½ cup unsweetened almond milk

⅓ cup chocolate plant-based protein powder

½ cup ice cubes

Water to blend (optional)

294 calories
5 g fat
36 g carbs
7 g fiber
24 g sugar
28 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

SPICE THINGS UP

“Pepper greens” are a hot new grocery trend. Usually a mix of arugula, mustard greens, nasturtium, and other spicy lettuces, they add a surprise kick and a big dose of folate. Ginger adds its own spicy flavor, along with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers.

1 cup pepper greens

1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger

1 medium apple

2 teaspoons ground flaxseed

½ cup unsweetened almond milk

⅓ cup plant-based chocolate protein powder

½ cup ice cubes

Water to blend (optional)

Perfect garnish: a nasturtium flower

271 calories
6 g fat
31 g carbs
9 g fiber
19 g sugar
27 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

“HOT” CHOCOLATE

The heat from the cayenne makes the chocolate flavor pop.

1 tablespoon cacao powder

¼ avocado

1 cup ice

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 scoop chocolate plant-based protein powder

295 calories
15 g fat
16 g carbs
8 g fiber
3 g sugar
29 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

APPLE AND PEANUT BUTTER

The after-school classic gets a twist that adults and kids will love.

1 teaspoon peanut butter

½ Pink Lady apple

½ frozen banana

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 scoop chocolate plant-based protein powder

3 ice cubes

Water to blend

303 calories
9 g fat
38 g carbs
11 g fiber
17 g sugar
20 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

CHAI OF THE TIGER

Chai is black tea that arrives in your belly with a posse. That posse is a collection of herbs and spices, all of which have their own superpowers, and can help you fight the battle for your health on numerous fronts. Chai improves immunity; fights inflammation; slows aging; and enhances cardiovascular functioning. Bonus: one sip whisks you away to aromatic India.

1 cup vanilla chai tea, cooled

1 cup spinach

½ frozen banana

1 teaspoon chia seeds

½ cup unsweetened almond milk

1 scoop chocolate plant-based protein powder

3 ice cubes

Water to blend

223 calories
2.6 g fat
22 g carbs
5 g fiber
10 g sugar
27.5 g protein


NUTTY & CHOCOLATY SMOOTHIES

AB OF STEEL

One of my favorite almond butters is Justin’s. It’s made with dry-roasted almonds and a bit of sustainably-sourced palm fruit oil, which lends the spread its creamy texture. (They also make all-natural peanut butter cups that will make you question everything you thought you knew about the PB-chocolate combo.)

¾ frozen banana

2 teaspoons almond butter

¾ cup unsweetened almond milk

1 scoop chocolate or vanilla plant-based protein powder

340 calories
15 g fat
36 g carbs
10 g fiber
13 g sugar
20 g protein



ZERO BELLY TIP:

GO BANANAS FOR BANANAS.

One recent study found that women who ate a banana twice daily as a pre-meal snack for 60 days reduced their belly-bloat by 50 percent! Why? The fruit increases bloat-fighting bacteria in the stomach. Bananas are a terrific source of of potassium, which can help diminish retention of fluids.