Chock-Full Chocolate Spinach Smoothie

from The Blender Girl cookbook
June 3, 2011

This chocolate spinach smoothie from The Blender Girl cookbook, and delicious and is a fun way to get kids to eat more veggies.

Chocolate Spinach Smoothie

This chocolate spinach smoothie is  still one of the most popular recipes from The Blender Girl cookbook, and is a fun way to get kids to eat more veggies.

Unlike the murky color of some vegetable smoothies, the brown of this chocolate spinach smoothie makes it look like a regular chocolate milkshake, enabling you to hide all manner of nutritious goodies inside. And this chocolate spinach smoothie delicious and creamy, nobody will know that it contains greens!

Note that the broccoli must be frozen and the cauliflower must be steamed and cooled, not raw. This is quick and easy to make if you have a bit of leftover cauliflower. If you can’t quite get your head around blending wet florets, you can always add an extra banana and reduce the sweetener.

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Other Chocolate Smoothies

Macadamia Milk Chocolate Smoothie
Brazil Nut Chocolate Milkshake
Chocolate Banana Smoothie with Hazelnut Milk
Chocolate Banana Maca Smoothie
Chocolate Maca Mint Vega Protein Smoothie

Please let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments!

Your feedback is really important to me, and it helps me decide which recipes to post next for you.


Chock-Full Chocolate Spinach Smoothie

Want to sneak some spinach and other vegetables into your kids without them knowing? This chocolate spinach smoothie is the best kept secret in town.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 16-ounce glasses
Author Tess Masters


  • 1 cup (240ml) unsweetened almond milk 
  • 1/2 cup (22g) firmly packed baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup (25g) frozen broccoli (about 2 florets)
  • 1 medium-sized banana, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 ripe pear, cored, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup (120g) steamed cauliflower florets (cooled completely)
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder, plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup (125g) ice cubes

optional boosters:


  1. Throw everything into your blender (including any boosters) and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth and creamy. Tweak the banana, pear, cacao, vanilla, and maple syrup. *This smoothie is best consumed immediately before the vegetables get assertive. 

Recipe Notes

Recipe from The Blender Girl cookbook
Photo by Trent Lanz; styling by Alicia Buszczak


Comments 46

  1. 6 dates? I don’t drink my smoothies sweet as I just rely on the bananas for sweetness, but then I see you also include cacao powder which I know is bitter, although I’ve never used it. (Until last week we couldn’t even buy it anywhere in my town.) I look forward to trying this out tomorrow.

  2. I know….you can totally make this without dates and just use an extra banana. For those of us who don’t eat a lot of sugar it is sweet enough. But I was trying to replicate the flavour of mainstream chocolate shakes in order to offer an option to mums who want to hide some spinach for their kids. LOL!

  3. can you make it without bananas? is australia (nsw at least) we are having a banana shortage due to the floods in qld earlier this year. bananas are either not on the shelves or are $13 per kilo! i miss my smoothies!

  4. Bronman!
    I totally understand! Who can pay that much for bananas! My heart goes out to all of the flood victims.
    You can thicken this smoothie with avocados (which I know are really expensive as well). You will just need more sweetener.
    Alternatively, you can add in some berries to make this a chocolate berry smoothie which is delicious.
    If you have any more questions feel free to email me.

    1. oh my goodness!! that was decadent and delicious! the avocado made it so thick and creamy it could have been a pudding for dessert!!

  5. Amazing! Just tried this on my very skeptical 4 year old cousins, BUT they LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! They keep asking for more!

        1. Hmmm….Yes, I know what you mean…I have tried lots of greens and none of them work as well in this smoothie as spinach. The only things that come close are different kinds of lettuce. But they don’t have the rich nutritional profile. If you shoot me an email I will try some other ideas and get back to you as I have had many requests about this! Thanks for the great question 🙂

  6. Is unsweetened cocoa powder the same as cacao powder? If not, is it ok to use? In the same quantities? Thanks Tess! I’m really hoping Cole likes this for breakfast!


    1. Hey Ann!
      You can use cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder and this smoothie is delicious! Use throw the spinach in raw and it is even better!
      Let me know how you go and looking forward to seeing you soon 🙂

  7. This shake is delicious – a perfect way to be naughty and nice – the kids are asking for more. They are also asking for the “piggy straws” they see in this picture.

  8. Dear Blender Girl,

    I am a gal having a love affair with her Vita Mix and I am SO glad I found your site this week. It has increased my bliss by about 8 or 9%! (To put that in context, finding fuchsia Frye cowboy boots on sale at Marshall’s for 60% off bumped me up by 15%).

    I have consumed a chocolate spinach shake every day for the past five days. I have also tried some of your cranberry recipes, since I had a glut of them, and your sweet potato shake. Tonight I will make your Socca recipe. Looks easy enough.

    I also love your site design. Your big pink search box is the coolest.

    Sending you blender love,

    1. Thanks for your lovely words Elaine.
      I really appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. It made my day 🙂
      I am so happy to be connected in “Vitamix love affair” bliss!
      I laughed so hard about the Marshalls comment! I am always doing my “piggy dance of joy” in the aisles of TJ MAXX and Marshalls when I found a fabulous bargain!
      We must be piggy kindred spirits!
      So glad you found the site and are enjoying it.
      Happy Holidays 🙂

  9. I know this recipe has been up for a while, but I just got a Vitamix, and happened upon your site as I was researching recipes. I made this smoothie and it was an absolute dream! I look forward to making it again. Thanks so much for your efforts.

    1. Hey Jennifer!
      Welcome! It is so great to be connected with you in “Vitamix Loving” Heaven!
      I am SOOO excited for you and your new Vitamix. That machine will change your life.
      I am so pleased you enjoyed this smoothie.
      Yes! It is a winner.
      For another green treat – make sure you try the sweet kale smoothie. I swear that thing tastes like pistachio ice cream! WOW!

  10. Hi, thanks for the recipe. It’s delicious! However, I do want to find a substitute for the bananas. I will try the avocados, but my daughter has a genetic condition where she can’t process too much fat so for her I would like to try something else. I’m wondering if you’ve ever tried sweet potatoes? Or any other suggestions?

    1. Hey Amy,
      Thanks for your comment.
      I think mashed sweet potato is a fantastic idea. It would be delicious. Sweet potatoes are not as sweet as bananas, so you will need a little more sweetener to get the right balance. But I have made delicious sweet potato smoothies!
      You could also try other fruits such as berries that would help thicken, sweeten, and work well with the chocolate. Please let me know how you go.

      1. In considering substitutions for avocados, if you don’t have sweet potatoes, you might try pureed pumpkin. I’ve made successful subs with this in pancakes and spaghetti sauce. (I’m a sneaky mom!) I’m curious how either would taste in a chocolate shake!

  11. Thankyou so much Brianna.
    I really appreciate your kind words of support and encouragement. I am so glad you enjoyed this smoothie. Yes, you can even halve the amount of sweetener and it is enough. Enjoy 🙂

  12. Wow oh wow! So first, I’ve got to give you props for coming up with such yummy creations! Your blog and recipes have been a huge source of inspiration for me as I’m finding my own blend; being new to both green smoothies and now a raw vegan life style. Now, for this one: I made it because I wanted to see if it really would serve as a way of sneaking greens into my green loathing friends. It did not disappoint. My only mistake was making it for breakfast. LOL! I cut the sweetener way down, given that my bananas were very sweet, and dates are hugely sweet on their own. It was extremely rich and extremely yummy; and somehow, it’s chocolaty goodness did not leave me feeling nearly as naughty as the very bad for you mainstream creations out there! Thank you again! I look forward to serving this with glee, to veggie haters! 😀

    1. Oh Amy, it is comments like this that MAKE MY DAY and make this blog SO worthwhile for me and everybody who reads it. Thankyou so much for taking the time to share your experience with such enthusiasm. You comment seriously just made my day. I am glad you are finding this site useful in your quest for your perfect blend, and I look forward to sharing more recipes with you. Oink 🙂

  13. Made this for breakfast (didn’t have any rice milk or dates on hand, so subbed in almond milk & a little agave nectar), and put in some chocolate flavored Warrior Blend protein (not sure where you stand on that, Blender Girl?). Also added about a cup more of spinach – it made enough for 2 smoothies. Super fantastic! File under love! Making this again for sure!

    1. LOL! You are so sweet. LOVE your blend of this shake, and the Warrior Protein blend is fabulous. So glad you enjoyed this.

  14. I have a very very picky eater and will try it today on her. Do you think frozen spinach will work as well as the fresh one? I always end up throwing away leftover spinach so I switched to organic frozen from BJs. Thanks!

  15. Delicious! However I don’t really agree with ‘hiding’ vegetables for kids. They will never learn to like them, and when they leave home will just be drinking chocolate milkshakes 🙂

    1. Chris, yes, I agree that kids and adults should learn to enjoy vegetables. But, you have to start somewhere, and if they just won’t touch them, these kinds of recipes are helpful.

  16. I was skeptical but holy cocoa nibs Batman! This was outrageously delicious. I substituted almond milk (just out of personal preference) and was completely amazed at how wonderful this is! Tomorrow I will repeat but will add peanut butter and chia seed for extra protein. Thank you, thank you for giving me my new go-to chocolate “shake”!

    1. Awesome! I’m so glad you enjoyed this Peg. Yes! Peanut Butter is delicious in this, and chia seeds. Try adding a shot of espresso and a pinch of cayenne pepper! WOW!

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