CHOCOLATE COLLAGEN PROTEIN SHAKE
You are gonna LOVE this shake- the taste is amazing, and the health benefits are too. Within two weeks of drinking this daily, I witnessed unbelievable improvements in my skin. And after months, the benefits keep coming. Thanks to my whole food diet and high intake of plants, I enjoy great skin health to begin with, however, on occasion I suffer a mild skin rash- usually on my hands- due to my severe allergy to legumes and unavoidable cross contamination (I found a rogue chickpea in my otherwise plain quinoa from the Whole Foods buffet just last night, sigh). We naturally produce collagen, the most abundant protein in our body. Vital Proteins, the maker of the collagen supplement I've fallen head over heals in love with, says collagen "is the primary building block of skin, hair, nails, bones, tendons, joints, and cartilage. It is considered the 'glue that holds the body together'". As we age, we slow down the production of collagen, and cell structures "start losing their strength". I was curious as to whether a collagen powder could improve my skin, but I'm normally not into taking lots of supplements. After developing severe food allergies as well as a contact allergy to soy, I'm very cautious about anything I consume or put on my body topically for that matter. Yet I was curious enough to call my doctor to see if she approved of me giving this a go- a necessary step since I'm breastfeeding and wanted to be sure this product is safe if passed through breastmilk. I even chatted on the phone with the lactation consultant. They thought it was a great idea to try, with no worries, so I took the plunge. After just 2 weeks of drinking this daily, which is actually only half of the daily serving of collagen recommended on the jar, I had noticeable changes in my skin that really amazed me. My nails and hands showed the first changes- looking really pretty incredible- very dewy as though I'd just moisturized with oil or lotion despite using nothing topically. I'm hooked on the results, and SO hooked on the taste of this recipe.
Vital Proteins is the brand to get at the moment, and the Marine collagen is sourced from fresh wild-caught snapper. Lots of collagen powders out there are filled with nasty additives, flavorings, and junk. I have no affiliations with this company, no endorsements or anything like that- I'm just giving you good old genuine facts here. Vital Proteins is non-GMO, and contains only one ingredient: collagen. I'm not gonna lie, mixing a powder made of fish into a fruit smoothie sounds pretty disgusting, and I had my doubts. (If you're looking for a vegan protein shake btw, check out my recent post about my favorite go to hemp protein recipe). After buying a jar of collagen, my first attempt at making a shake was to use my usual protein shake recipe and simply replace the hemp protein with the collagen protein. It didn't work. It tasted ALL kinds of nasty. It was like downing fish scales in cherry coconut water- do not recommend. Don't panic, I've done all the necessary experimenting for you, so you don't have to, and believe me when I tell you I've devised the most delicious, velvety chocolate, rich, divine tasting concoction you could imagine. This is good. Really good. I dream about it at night, eagerly awaiting my next fix, and you will too.
The secret? It's all about nut milk, chocolate, cinnamon and banana. These are the magic ingredients that perfectly disguise and transform fishy powder into a sweet and smooth dessert. The cinnamon and chocolate offer a boost of antioxidants and great energy pre workout, and anti-inflammatory properties for quick recovery post workout. Some greens are thrown in there for fiber and just good measure as always. For me, this has become my daily pre workout shake, and I still enjoy my hemp protein shake post workout because I love how the cherries and hemp help reduce muscle soreness. I love having two go to protein shakes to add variety to my nutrient intake. Excited for you to give this chocolate dream a try!
For an amped up calorie dense version of this recipe that serves as a true post workout meal, check out my Chocolate Collagen Protein Smoothie Bowl post.
Chocolate Collagen Protein Shake
1.5 frozen bananas
handful of greens (spinach, chard, kale, or a combo of these)
1 heaping Tbsp cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup raw unsalted nuts (almonds, macadamia nuts, or a combo of both)
2 tsp vanilla extract (no alcohol)
1 cup filtered water
2 scoops Vital Protein Marine Collagen powder
Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until fully combined. Add less water for a thicker consistency. Enjoy!
Tip: Nuts, vanilla and water blended together make unsweetened nut milk. If you already have homemade nut milk on hand, you can simply use that.
NOTE: If you are pregnant of nursing, check with your healthcare provider before using Vital Protein Marine Collagen.