I love writing about my latest recipe obsessions. This Chocolate Nut Maca Smoothie is my current fav. It’s great for breakfast or a snack.

I love it mainly because it’s like a peanut butter chocolate shake but instead of being loaded with sugar, it’s loaded with hormone balancing superfoods. And since we have the 5-day (Peri-)Menopause Detox coming up, I thought it was the perfect recipe to share with you and include as part of the detox.

The hormone balancing stars are maca, Brazil nuts, sunflower seed butter, raw cocoa and chia/flax seeds.

Maca is a ‘superfood’ powder. It is the root of a cruciferous vegetable plant that grows high in the Andes Mountains. No other vegetation is able to grow at such altitudes. Maca thrives there because it is able to adapt to its rough environment with extreme cold, intense sun, and harsh winds. And that’s exactly what it does for you. It helps you adapt. It has adaptogenic properties that support your hormone production what’s going on with you that day. It is loaded with protein, vitamins and minerals. It has a malty flavor that I love, bringing the flavor profile of this ‘peanut butter chocolate shake’ up one notch.

Brazil nuts are high in selenium. Selenium is one of those trace minerals that can be hard to find in our food supply. Brazil nut tree roots grow deep into the ground and are able to access the selenium. Selenium is needed for a lot of different functions in the body – like mood and thyroid function. Eat three Brazil nuts a day and you are set for your daily requirement.

Sunflower seed butter is high in zinc. Another trace mineral that is hard to find and so necessary for hormone balance. Zinc and copper complement each other in the body. However, there is an abundance of copper found in food and the environment that throws off the copper to zinc ratio. Mixed in with everything else, the sunflower seed takes like peanut butter.

Raw cocoa is high in magnesium, calcium, iron and antioxidants. Calcium and magnesium are two of the key electrolyte minerals and the minerals that your body uses up when you are stressed. Magnesium helps calm us down and keep our bowel movements regular. That being said, cocoa also contains caffeine and theobromine, which can be overstimulating if you have adrenal issues. I sometimes substitute in Carob for cocoa. Carob is high in calcium, fiber and antioxidants. It often used as a chocolate substitute and in this recipe is close enough in taste.

Finally, there are flax and chia seeds. I’m clumping these together. To be honest, I tend to use these interchangeably. Sometimes I use a tablespoon of each in smoothies. Sometimes I use 2 of one. I like the texture that chia seeds add to smoothies – it makes it thicker.  I also like the flax flavor – a little like graham crackers or wheat germ. Both chia and flax are high in fiber and omega 3’s. Fiber is crucial for detoxing hormones like estrogen. Flax seeds also have lignans that are high in the good estrogens that help block the bad estrogens from hanging around. This is good for cancer prevention but you don’t want to over do it on the flax.

Here’s the recipe…

Chocolate Nut Maca Smoothie (Makes 16 oz.)

2 tbsp. sunflower seed butter

1/2 ripe banana

2 Brazil nuts

2tbsp. raw cocoa or carob powder

2 tbsp. green powder (optional)

2 tbsp. chia or flax seeds

1 tbsp. maca powder

1.5 – 2 cups water.

Blend until smooth.

Try it. It’s delicious.

And join me for the detox….it’s a great to time for a reset. We start Oct 16 or 23, whatever works best for you.