Oaxaca Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Oaxaca chocolate banana smoothie

This getting older business is rough, isn’t it? I’m only beginning to notice the effects. My smile lines seem just a little deeper. Silver strands are infiltrating my dark hair. Hangovers hurt more than they used to. I’m even shopping for comfortable shoes (who am I?!).

On the upside, I’m getting wiser, too. I’m not taking failed relationships quite so personally, because most aren’t meant to be. If a job doesn’t suit me, I’ll find a better one. If a “friend” makes me feel small, out she goes! It’s never easy, but every time I take a leap toward the brighter side, I’m better for it.

spiced chocolate banana smoothie ingredients

Take this smoothie. I used to sip on a similar smoothie at a raw, vegan restaurant where I worked for a brief time. I waited tables on the weekends just to learn from the chefs, and I learned a lot about food presentation and vegetable preparation. It wasn’t a happy place, though, so I was glad to leave once I had learned enough.

I got this smoothie out of the deal, too. It’s rich and creamy, gently spiced with cinnamon and cayenne pepper (hence the Oaxaca, Mexico reference), and naturally sweetened with ripe bananas. It’s a nutritionally redeeming, grown-up chocolate frosty—my favorite frozen summer treat.

chocolate banana smoothie recipe

Oaxaca Chocolate Banana Smoothie
5.0 from 5 reviews
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
This rich chocolate smoothie is spiced with cinnamon and cayenne for a little kick. Slice peeled, overripe bananas into 1-inch chunks and keep them in the freezer so you can make this smoothie whenever your sweet tooth demands it.
  • ¾ cup cashew milk or milk of choice
  • 1 large frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • optional: ½ teaspoon agave nectar or honey or maple syrup
  1. In a blender, combine the milk, banana, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, cinnamon and cayenne and blend. Don't worry if the chocolate chips are still a little chunky. Taste and add sweetener if necessary (I used overripe bananas and didn't need any additional sweetener).
  • Yields one 8-ounce smoothie.
  • To make the hippie/raw/extra-healthy version, substitute cacao nibs for the chocolate chips, cacao powder for the cocoa powder and add 1 teaspoon maca powder for a nutritious malted flavor.
  • Here's how to make your own cashew milk.



  1. Grace says

    I shopped for comfortable shoes last night! Like, old lady sandals. You know, the ones with lots of cushion and that awkwardly shaped heel? Curse that heel! Every day I feel like I start to see my mother in myself which is all good but I refused to buy the shoes. I walked out discouraged with a pair of only slightly comfy heeled boots.

    • says

      Grace! WHY are comfortable sandals so impossible to find?! All I want are cute, not-chunky sandals with a bit of cushion and arch support. We should go into business as sandal designers.

      • Grace says

        I hear ya! It shouldn’t have to be this hard! As long as you can draw better than I can I think this business partnership has great potential.

  2. says

    I am running down to the kitchen now to freeze a banana for this smoothie. It’s super humid in the woods today, and between that and the bugs, a chocolate banana mini-vacation is just what I need around here!

  3. Autumn says

    YUM! Can’t wait to make this! I have a protein shake every morning for breakfast so I’ll just use my unsweetened vanilla almond milk, add Plant Fushion vanilla protein powder, take your advice on adding Maca powder as well since I love it and I know it will be delish! :)

    BTW – getting older isn’t so bad :) My 30’s have been great so far, just enjoy the ride…. even if I’d rather not have the fine lines that have formed. hehe

  4. says

    I love adding spices to smoothies. I have a similar version of this in vanilla, but adding the cayenne pepper is a really interesting idea. I bet it goes just perfectly with the chocolate. I so know what you mean about comfortable shoes- if my feet aren’t happy I’m not happy!

  5. says

    Oh I hear ya on the getting older thing! It’s not easy at all! I look at women who have children and families and wonder how they do it because I am busy enough just trying to look after myself! As for this smoothie, every bit about it sounds wonderful. I have some overripe bananas that would be perfect for the job!

  6. says

    On the rare occasion I have a smoothie chocolate and banana is my flavour of choice, however I love the spices you’ve added to this.

    I know what you mean about getting older, but one thing I won’t relent on is comfortable shoes. I love my heels :) I’ll probably be crippled with arthritis when I’m older, but I just can’t give them up.

  7. says

    Getting older is scary and I am only going to be turning 20! But I am still NOT looking forward to it. I want to stay young forever! Don’t we all?!?

    Love this smoothie and I have everything need to make it ASAP!

  8. says

    I had a birthday recently and have been noticing some of the same things — namely the greys (no, the WHITES) infiltrating my almost-black hair… and a lower tolerance for bullshit.

    Love the look of this smoothie. I often make smoothies when I can’t face a meal. Next banana smoothie is going to have a bit of spice!

  9. says

    ummm yes getting older is a bit sucky but the getting wiser thing is cool too. Plus i feel more confident than i ever did in my 20s. I was so insecure then. And that milkshake – wow, that milkshake. I thought i was doing good last night with a malted chocolate one.

  10. says

    Nice job putting one foot in front of the other, Kate! Besides gaining wisdom and all, you’ve also been able to pass on this delicious sounding grown-up frosty other folks – and we appreciate it! Have a great weekend, thanks for another nice post :-)

  11. says

    I just love chocolate smoothies/shakes with that light brown hue! It makes me think of the chocolate malts I used to drink prior to going dairy-free. Yours looks delicious and beautiful! :-)

  12. says

    Love the idea of this recipe!! Getting older does have its benefits as we think less of what others think and don’t take things as personal. This was and still is hard for me a times but also very freeing! Hope you are doing well and escaping any tornados :)

  13. says

    I find that the older I get, the less I put up with. If I don’t like it, I’m not doing it! Life’s too short. Your post was well-put! Love the sound of this smoothie.

  14. Gina says

    Kate, I love your recipes. I think our taste buds are twins. I love the same flavor combinations that you do, from the sweet to the savory. Your photography is tantalizing and beautiful. The short tidbits of insight you share with your recipes + taste bud twins + gorgeous food art = one of the very best food blogs I have come across, in my opinion. So glad I subscribed. Much love to you and much appreciation for sharing your blog with us.

    • says

      Gina, I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment! I’m really delighted that you enjoy my blog and my recipes. Sure sounds like we are taste bud twins! Wishing you many happy, healthy meals ahead.

  15. Gunhild says

    Kate, I must tell you, your blog has turned into one of my two favourite blogs, the other one being the Detixinista blog. Your recipes win every contest though as every single one I’ve tried out so far have been fabulous!
    Your photographs are also beautiful and when I’m tired or down I just browse through some of your recipes and they actually help my mood (yes I know, I’m a weird one)
    Anyways, I hear you on the getting older thing. I realized I was older the day I just could not bear the thought of climbing into another pair of sky high heeled shoes. Getting older is somewhat depressing at times, but looking at the youth struggling to find themselves, I realize that growing older and somewhat more grounded has its perks too.
    I’ll celebrate by having a spicy banana chocolate smoothie :-)

    • says

      Gunhild, I’m sorry for my delayed response, but I wanted you to know how much I appreciate your comment! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoy my blog. It makes my work worthwhile. :)

  16. Kit says

    I was so excited to see this and even more excited that I had all the ingredients just lying around! As a broke college student this made me feel super fancy and like I slightly had my life together (although we all know that’s a lie.) Being actually Mexican, I added a bit more cocoa powder and extra cayenne to make it taste more like what I remember from my childhood, but it was delish and easy! Thanks for the recipe!

  17. Krystal says

    DELICIOUS!! It is the perfect consistency and the chocolate flavor is spot on and nicely balanced by the banana.

  18. says

    this looks delicious! as we get older, it’s funny how much we can learn and learn to live with/without. things happen, people come and go, but the learning from it is what matters. love your blog

  19. says

    I mean really, what is it about getting older, hangovers, and shoes!? It’s really the worst. but sometimes…the perspective IS nice, I will concede.

    Loving this smoothie! Possible good as an old-age hangover cure?

  20. says

    I’ve been obsessed lately with chocolate milk and healthy smoothies lately, but I really like the extra kick of heat you’ve added to yours! Will be trying soon! p.s. I’ve been catching gray hairs in my dark hair for a couple years now; I debate if I’m going to color my hair or let it go natural every time I see one, ha!

  21. says

    Kate I have been doing the same lately, trying not to wear heels because I feel so uncomfortable and cushioned shoes sound sooo good!!! Gosh my bday is coming soon and I feel older!

  22. says

    I wish I didnt have to head out the door to work so that I could make this smoothie RIGHT NOW! It looks delicious (and easy). Thanks for the recipe.

  23. says

    Any excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast is perfect with me, but this is especially wholesome, so I can feel great about it! The addition of cayenne and cinnamon sounds wonderful and warming. I’m going to freeze up some bananas right now!

  24. says

    Kathryne, So true. Being able to move on from bad friends, jobs, situations is one of the great benefits of growing older.
    And your smoothie looks delish!
    Hope you are well,

  25. Maggie says

    I’ve made this smoothie twice in the past 3 days.. seriously addictive! Fixes my sweet tooth perfectly and I love the kick :) So tasty! Thanks for the great recipe!

  26. Kim says

    I love this so much! Along with a million of your other recipes (peanut soup, strawberry quinoa salad, Belize kale salad, falafel). Thanks for doing what you do!

  27. Ana says

    I am thinking about making this into a popsicle. Has anyone tried that? Are there any ingredients that need to be added?

    • says

      Hey Ana, I haven’t heard from anyone who has tried. Good idea. I suspect they will turn out a little icy—bananas have a lot of moisture in them. Using coconut milk instead of a lower fat nut milk might help make them more creamy.

  28. Liliya says

    I love this smoothie. I am currently trying to gain weight, so I add some additions to this including PB and more sugar and it is lovely. Recommend!!

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