Heart-Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Smoothie with Walnuts

Mild, sweet zucchini makes the perfect base for a creamy, heart-healthy vegan smoothie. This squash, which can be green or yellow, has a high water content and low caloric value. Eating one medium zucchini, which is what we used to make our Chocolate Zucchini Smoothie with Walnuts, will get you nearly half your daily recommended intake of vitamin C, essential for heart health. Zucchini also contains potassium, manganese, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, and the B-complex vitamins.

Chocolate is no slouch in the nutrient department either, and brings many benefits to this smoothie for heart health. The cocoa beans used to make chocolate and cocoa powder are rich in antioxidants that protect your heart, as well as minerals such as copper, manganese, iron, and magnesium. They also contain trace amounts of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, and selenium.

Last but certainly not least, walnuts offer up significant quantities of heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats. A smoothie with walnuts can do wonders for the health of your heart and your overall well-being. Walnuts also provide vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.

  •  Servings: 1
  •  Ready In: 5 minutes
  • 1 plantain, frozen

  • 1 zucchini, sliced

  • 3/4 cup chocolate almond milk

  • 1/4 cup walnuts

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

  1. Place 1 frozen plantain in your blender or food processor.

  2. Slice 1 zucchini and place on top of the plantain.

  3. Pour in 3/4 of a cup of chocolate milk.

  4. Measure and add 1/4 cup of walnuts.

  5. Finish with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder.

  6. Blend until the chocolate zucchini smoothie ingredients are well-combined, top with walnuts, and then drink up!

Health Benefits
  1. Zucchini: contains a fiber called pectin, which research indicates can lower bad cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health. It also contains tons of potassium, which can protect heart health in a number of ways, including by balancing blood pressure levels.

  2. Plantain: is a valuable source of both insoluble and soluble fiber. The latter decreases blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels, which can reduce your risk of both heart disease and diabetes. Plus, both types help fill you up, preventing hanger attacks.

  3. Chocolate almond milk: offers, like all almond milk, tons of vitamin E per serving (you’ll get 50% of your daily recommended intake in a single cup). Vitamin E prevents lipids in your blood from oxidizing, which in turn lowers your levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol, a major risk factor for heart disease.

  4. Walnuts: provide monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Studies link an increased intake of these kinds of fat with a lowered risk of stroke and heart attack.

  5. Maple syrup: gives you trace amounts of zinc, which protects the inner lining of your blood vessels and can help to prevent multiple cardiovascular disorders.

  6. Cocoa powder: is made from cocoa beans, the source of compounds that improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as prevent the buildup of plaque in your arteries, the cause of many heart attacks.

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Ingredients List